In this article we’re going to cover some of the basics of Facebook(FB) Etiquette on a business level as well as personal. If you’re anything like me you’re on FB ALL THE TIME! Well part of that is due to my job. I am a Social Media Consultant so that means almost every working hour I have is spent on it. But for the rest of you folks out there, you’re only 2 clicks away from FB. We typically will have it open as another window or tab on our browsers. Then at anytime, you just click on it to see what’s going on.
I’m sure you have it on your Smart Phones too, right? That way you can be connected to the people you love or at least find interesting on a 24/7 basis. Let me guess, when you wake up in the morning, you reach for your smart phone or tablet and check your FB feed and email? I’m guilty of that myself, so don’t feel too bad…”because everyone does it.” Right?
Ok let’s move onto some basic etiquette on FB. Here’s a few that should help you avoid arguments or unfriending (is that even a word?) situations.
*Avoid political or religious posts.
We all know people who post things as their status that is related to some sort of politics and religious stuff. This goes along the same ways towards gun control. Basically you avoid this because when you start posting your view point’s there’s always someone that will challenge that and argue with you. During the Romney and Obama elections, there were so many HEATED arguments on FB on why you should vote for who or which propositions you should vote for. At times it got ugly between my own friends and some even unfriended each other because their views are different from their own. I’m not saying having a different opinion or having a great discussion isn’t healthy, but for the most part, people are not mature enough to do that on FB. So much is lost in text that the tone is lost.
*Emoticons are not guaranteed to work
Do you know what they are? It’s icons that are supposed to mimic your emotions. For example, do you use emoticons at the end of your posts like this to show you’re happy :) or sad :(? What about when you’re joking, I think the proper emoticon is using the colon and the letter P signify that you’re smiling and your tongue is sticking out to show you’re being silly. But the problem with emoticons is the person can’t see your face doing those same actions. So if I were to call someone FART FACE with that could be taken as 1. Joke or 2. making fun of the person you called a fart face.
Yes there are hundreds of emoticons, even animals have emoticons, but they are still not great at REALLY expressing your facial expressions as if you were talking face to face with the person and that could cause problems in communication in which I’ll touch on the next point.
*The tone of your message may not be taken the way you want
A recent situation I had was with one of former my client’s FB page. A customer commented about his bad experience at one of the retail stores the company owned. I responded to his comment in a joking manner, very sarcastic in tone but he took it as a personal attack on him. That situation I had to immediately apologize to him after reading his rebuttal to my comment. The issue with tone is that sometimes people may not get your humor. Something that you may think is hilarious may not be as funny to another.
*Don’t send important messages through a status update or in a comment
This is one of my pet peeves. Basically what I’m saying is, if it’s important to the person to get you the message. Then pick up the phone! Here’s an example, I saw an argument start on FB and the people involved kept going back and forth on comments. Then they started sending each other private messages to continue their argument. Here’s the thing, if it’s a conflict, just call them. Don’t use PM or status updates to further argue or resolve things.
I recently had a situation where I commented in a joking manner to a serious tone. The person asked if I could keep it serious since this was something he was being sincere about. I said no problem and obliged to his request. Then here’s the best part, he picked up the phone and CALLED ME! Yes, he called me to make sure that I wasn’t offended that he asked me to keep it serious. I told him that I wasn’t and that I really appreciated his heart behind wanting to make sure no bitter root grows between our friendship.
This one is a double edged sword because not too many people really want to see you having so much fun in Hawaii zip lining while drinking a pina colada while kissing your hot wife. Why? It’s due to the fact that people don’t like show offs. I’m sure there’s a friend that will see your photos from Hawaii who is sitting in his mom’s basement in Dayton, Ohio who is super jealous of your exploits and is probably single or has an ugly girl friend that wishes he could do what you’re doing…but he can’t. Besides, no one really cares about those photos of you looking to the left or right or pictures of your designer purses and shoes that you bought or what you are having for lunch.
The flip sides to this are business fanpages. Fans love to live vicariously through the pages they LIKE. I say post as many photos of your products being used, office shenanigans, customer photos and anything that shows off your product. If you make dog sweaters, then post as many photos of dogs in sweaters, preferably your own brand.
That’s about it, I’m sure there’s so many other things I could touch on, but we’ll leave that for another day.