Amway – the social exploiter

There was once a stage where my immediate response to someone being nice to me was “oh no, they sell Amway”. And the best way to lose a good friend was for them to start to sell Amway.

And Amway managed to get an incredibly bad reputation for one very simple reason – they exploited social connections for the economic benefit of the individual.

In theory it was meant to be simple – just start with your immediate friends and find out who is interested. From there, build you network. The reality, however, was that friends feel compelled to support, or they feel bad for not supporting. Either way the friendship was often tarnished.

And then every new relationship was then viewed as a potential new client, not a potential new friend. It was more about “networking” than “socialising”.

By this stage you are either in full agreement with me or are offended (and sell Amway) but chances are you aren’t sitting on the fence. The reality is that Amway and their representatives tarnished their reputation by abusing social relationships for economic gain.

And if you agree, read on.

Facebook – the new social exploiter?

Will Facebook rapidly head down the same path?

As I work my way through the new online era and what I am meant to be doing, the new option is Facebook marketing. That’s fine, I can do that to total strangers and that’s part of the capitalist society we live in.

But then there’s sharing business things on Facebook to try and promote our business. We are exposing our friends to these attempts for us to make more money, or grow our business.

We are exploiting our social connections for our own economic benefit.

So are we any better than Amway harvesting friendships for potential customers or resellers?

But hitting “Like” or “Follow” isn’t the same as signing them up for a deal. It’s not costing them anything. And why can’t a friend give us a helping hand?

Except every second post…!

The hypocrisy

Oh look, I shared this post on Facebook.

I have shared links before. And I will share them again. Hopefully just my better posts.

Yes I have business pages and most of it ends up there. But some of it spills over. Like this one. I like it. I’ll share it.

The questions

But here is my question, where is the line?

What are the guidelines that we should be using? Where’s the new social etiquette for business and social media?

“Faceway” – the ultimate social exploiter

Are we rapidly making a new way of doing business – the “Faceway”. Have we now achieved the ultimate method in annoying the most people in the least amount of time. Can we achieve the ultimate in social isolation with just a few clicks?

FaceWay

(And yes you can complain about the shoddy artwork, it’s not like any of my friends are going to see it!)

The disclaimer

I am sure that Amway has lots of good products and there are many great people who promote their products. And there are many other products that have used far worse methods to sell their products than Amway.

In fact I had more bad run ins with Omegatrend than Amway. But Amway was on the scene first and the mud has stuck.

And Omegatrend is now where it deserves to be.

By the way, do I have any friends who sell Amway? Have you now found that discretion works? Just remember, this post isn’t about you – it’s about Facebook.