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Six Rules for Facebook Etiquette


I love connecting with friends, family and colleagues on Facebook, but sometimes you wonder if everyone has forgotten basic manners, just because Facebook has some anonymity to it. I am not even talking about the political postings – they are an entirely different scenario, and would take way more than five rules. No, I am talking about ordinary day-to-day Facebook postings. I probably share too much at times on my personal page and not enough on my business page, but either way, I try to follow a few basics. (Note: Just because it is on your personal site and you haven’t friended any clients, doesn’t mean they can’t see it, or won’t hear about it. Remember the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon)

Rule #1 Communicate as if you were talking in person. If they are asking for advice, help them out, if they are sharing some information, don’t start telling them how you would do it different or that what they did was wrong. Chances are
they have thought of any scenario you can share or they would have asked for your advice. Sometimes an “atta girl” or “go gettum” is the most helpful. Don’t be a buzz kill or else share your thoughts through a DM if you really feel you have relevant information that they absolutely need to know.

Rule #2 Check out any links on a business page and to find out all the information you might need. Don’t keep sending messages for each little detail. Only so much information can go in a post and the link is to provide you all you need to know. Only then should you send a message.

Rule #3 Consistently monitor your page if you are in business. We live in a 24 hour society and while we may not like it that is the way business is done. For the most part clients and customers don’t deliberately bother you after hours and you may not even need to reply until the next business day, but you do need to know you have a message, in case it is an emergency. Never longer than 24 hours to answer a request, even if it is to say you will need a little longer to get the information.

Rule #4 Smile! No, I don’t mean putting an emoticon or an LOL on all your messages. Sometimes “LOL’s” are just snarky. When we used to do telephone training, putting a smile in your voice was always the first thing we taught. The same think is true with Facebook posts. Post as if you are smiling and chances are that tone will come through.

Rule #5 On Facebook, you are inviting people into your life, home and sharing your friends and family. Just because you know my name from somewhere or you are friends with my second cousin’s boyfriend does not make you my friend. If you want to build a relationship with me “like” my business page and do some interacting there.

Rule #6 Never, Never, Never, Ever be rude to someone on Facebook. Not only do you look bad, even if you are right, everyone you are friends with can see it. On your personal page, if you post it you need to be prepared for different opinions and different viewpoints. I personally won’t engage in these types of discussions. No one wins. If you have a business page and someone posts something bad, Apologize, Apologize, Apologize and see what you can do. Try to take the discussion offline as soon as possible.

Sage Strategies works to assist business, nonprofits and small government in rural areas through one time project management, social marketing, nonprofit administration, strategic planning, brainstorming, event planning and business coaching.

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