Posted in Social Media
"Hey Peter," the ad said. "Hot singles are waiting for you!!" He might have dismissed the advertisement, which appeared on his Facebook page, but for one thing.
The woman pictured in the ad was his wife.
In an earlier post, I discussed the important role of honoring the trusted relationship that we create with our guests online. Facebook's change of policy regarding the use of my uploaded photos for advertisements has now bit them in a very public way as shown above. Facebook claims that the ads were created by partners who didn't follow their policy. But does that matter? Facebook ran fast and loose with member content and ended up hurting someone, albeit only slightly in this case since the husband had a sense of humor and his wife did not lose her job or similar.
What mistakes did they make? Facebook didn't follow the premise of "permission marketing" popularized by Seth Godin. If they believed that the policy change was a good idea for both users and Facebook, Facebook should have made the change, but set the option to "off" and invite members to enable it for some yet to be discovered end user benefit. Instead they decided what was best for us and put us at risk of their sometimes "rogue" partner behaviors. Perhaps Facebook was struggling with the belief that users would not opt-in because the value proposition was hard to convey, so they imposed the change instead. If that is the case, and I've been in businesses where that was the crux of it, then they undervalue their members and the respect that they deserve.
If you are fortunate enough to build a passionate audience, honor it. Respect it and it will honor and respect you right back with loyalty.