Do you find yourself enjoying Facebook but wondering if you’re “doing the right thing” as it relates to business?
Let’s take a look at how easy it can be to use proper Facebook etiquette.
1. Tone Matters on Facebook
As in all communication in life, your tone of voice is important on Facebook. Make sure that when you are responding to someone, whether privately or on a public post, that you share from your point of view and don’t make your comments in an attacking nature or accusatory way.
We all know that social media conversations can get heated. However, there is never a need to take conversations to a point of being rude and unprofessional.
Simple things like exclamation points can mislead people and cause for heart rates to increase and tempers to flare. Re-read anything before you hit ‘post.’ This is one smart way to safeguard yourself from impulsive situations that could have been diffused.
If the conversation is bothersome to you, you are better off to just say something professionally and disagree rather than getting into a heated debate involving name calling or slanderous words.
2. Respond Quickly to Comments
Take the time to respond to comments on your business page as well as on other pages where people have mentioned you. Sometimes they ask you a direct question and are wanting a response. However, sometimes they just do an @mention because they want you to know that they wanted you to be a part of the conversation. By quickly responding, it will let everyone know that you are engaged on Facebook and really paying attention to the conversations that are taking place.
3. Not Everything Should be Posted On the Public Wall
Have you ever made a mistake or typo? Would you prefer someone to publicly tell you about it on your Facebook page or to send you an email or Facebook Message letting you know that a correction needs to be made?
I can tell you that I have had someone publicly tell me of a correction that was needed and it could have been done in a much nicer way. If you notice there is a correction that needs to be made or that you have a really sensitive question, don’t post it on the public wall for all to see.
Here are some examples of things that you shouldn’t post on a public Facebook post:
- Correcting someone’s grammar
- Scolding someone from an injustice
- Divulging personal or secret matters
4. ALL CAPS CAN DRIVE PEOPLE CRAZY
The truth is that all caps can drive some people crazy and it can be overdone. Use ALL CAPS sparingly on Facebook. Truth be told we have some people we know that actually type everything all the time in all caps. Don’t be one of those people.
5. Share Other People’s Special News with Caution
Maybe you saw a friend recently announce on Facebook that they were having a baby and the whirlwind of likes and comments started to flood in. But the next time you see a friend and they share personal information with you (such as a death, birth, marriage proposal, etc…) be sure and not post it on Facebook until you know for sure that they in fact are ready to have it be public information on Facebook. To be safe, wait until the person that told you originally has posted about it on Facebook.
6. The Personal v. Business Connections on Facebook Question
In the world of social media, Facebook is one of the places that most people have their privacy settings very high. For many, that means that unless they know you personally in real life, and are friends or family they do not want to be connected with you on their Facebook personal page.
And they have that right.
Therefore don’t just automatically send a friend request to someone every single time that you meet them. If you feel as if you want to try and make that connection, check to see if you have any common friend connections. Trust me, they too will be checking to see if you have mutual connections.
If you feel you want to still reach out to them with a personal Facebook friend request, send them a message if their privacy settings allow for it. In that message, share briefly how you are connected and the initial reason of your friend request. But don’t be offended if people tell you they prefer to keep their personal life and business page separate because that is exactly how some people prefer to keep it.
7. Don’t Overshare on your Personal Page about Your Business Page
According to Facebook terms, you want to make sure that you have a business Facebook page to conduct your business.
However there are still many perks and benefits to posting on your personal page about your business. If you are an entrepreneur and small business owner working very hard, most likely your business is your passion and it is something you love. It makes complete sense that some of your business topics make their way over to your personal page.
A good rule of thumb is to post 20% of the time about what is up on your business with your personal Facebook page. So for example that would mean out of every 5 posts, only 1 would be about your business. This is subtle enough that it isn’t overwhelm but it allows people to venture over to your business page if they want to learn more about what you do.
8. Share other People’s Posts
Every business owner wants to be getting more traction on their Facebook business page. Therefore it is wonderful Facebook etiquette to share content from other people’s business page onto your business page. This not only shows your readers that you look outward to promote others, but it also shows that business owner that you value their work and that you are out to lift others up. Often it will be the case that people will return the favor and do the same for you.
9. Read Rules of Groups Before Posting
Make sure that you know very specifically the guidelines and rules in each Facebook group when posting. Some groups encourage you to promote and share your own content on certain days and in certain posts. Other groups don’t ever allow self promotion. The worst thing you can do when you are new to a group is to violate the community’s procedures. By taking the time to read carefully the rules of each group, you will be able to know exactly how the group wants people to post and it will let you get off to a great start with a good first impression.
10. Think Before You Tag or Mention People
Some people on Facebook take great pains to make sure they look great in photos they are tagged in. Other Facebook users don’t really care and want as much exposure as possible.
With that in mind, think about the person’s Facebook style before you tag them. If the photo is a good photo of them and they are a public person, it is usually acceptable to tag them in the photo so that they see that they are now linked to the photo. If there is any doubt as to if they would want to be tagged, send them a Facebook Message first and tell them that you posted the photo and that they are welcome to tag themselves in the photo.
You don’t want to mention someone or a business in a Facebook post if they don’t have anything to do with the post. Many will see this as you simply trying to take advantage of their following and it can lead to a negative reflection on you or your business. We know that isn’t what you want.
To be effective as a business using Facebook, treat people with respect and use proper Facebook etiquette to get the best results. Facebook business pages may not be the answer for your business, but either way, when you treat people the way you’d like to be treated, it helps everyone feel valued and Facebook is a much happier place to be.
Which of the above areas do you see violated the most as it relates to Facebook etiquette? Please share your thoughts and comments below!