This Nugget might be more of a Soap Box statement than an educational piece, but it's important.
Facebook services an alleged 600 million users accounts now, but they only have around 1,000 employees. They have no customer service department, and when you have trouble, you are forced to use the online help system to get answers from other users.
Their system is very big, and even with the help system, it is impossible to figure out how to post a question. The only way you can talk to a live person is to have a paid advertising account with them.
Facebook has a very strict set of rules. They are almost absurd, actually. The most absurd is that each person is allowed only 1 account. We've expressed our dislike of this policy during our Live 2 Event in August 2010.
Since they have a limited staff, they had to develop built-in ways to enforce their policies automatically. Our founder, Matthew Perosi, has pushed the limits of their policies a few times to see when these automated enforcements will kick in.
Here's what we know:
1. If you try to friend more than 400 people, you will loose the ability to friend people for at least a month. This might not seem important for a retailer, but a vendor just entering the system might try to friend all their retailers. Oops, too bad.
2. If you try to friend too many people outside your geographic area, you will be asked "Do you really know this person?" but you won't get the option to say yes. Instead it cancels out on you. This is also a problem for vendors, or a retailer who is trying to friend other members of their national buying group.
3. You can't send too many emails. If you CC or BCC more than 20 people at a time, you will be considered a spammer and your email ability will be revoked for about a month.
4. You can send individual emails to a limited number of people in 1 hour. But when you send too many, you will get a warning that you are "sending too many emails too fast." In other words they do not want you to contact all your friends directly via email.
5. If you send direct emails, you can't send more than 10 in a single day *if* you include a website address in the body of the email. They will give you a warning that you are spamming. They will not shut you down if you remove the website address, but #4 above still applies.
6. The only safe way to contact your entire list of friends or fans at one time is to set up an event and invite them to the event. You can include a message in the invite and then full details on the event.
7. Events do not have to be real events. They could just be announcements of something happening in your store.
8. You cannot run contests on your business fan page. Your account will magically disappear if you are caught. More on this tomorrow.
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