Facebook for Business: Mind Your Manners!

Facebook for Business EtiquetteSo I was walking down the street the other day and out of nowhere this guy (total stranger) bumped into me. He looks at me and says…“wanna be my friend”?  I was baffled and pretty wary! I didn’t know who he was, knew nothing about him or why he wanted to be my friend! My first instinct was to run away as fast as I could!!

Ok, so this didn’t really happen on the street because most people are usually not that bold but it happens to me all the time on social networks life Facebook! I get Facebook friend request from total strangers all the time which is all right with me but if I don’t know why you want to connect on Facebook or can’t see any information about you because your privacy settings are restricting access to all your personal information and your picture is less than professional, I’ll usually ignore you even if we have some friends in common.

Some people add just about anyone as their friends on Facebook and although numbers are impressive to some, a lack of strategic networking might work against you. If you have nothing in common then how are you going to build a relationship? The goal of networking on social media sites shouldn’t be solely about numbers but should be about creating connections and relationships. To build a strong network, you should develop a strategy and understand how to use each social platform.

If you’ve decided to use Facebook for your business as a networking tool, you should make sure that you know basic etiquette within the online business community.  Don’t get me wrong, most people start off making typical slip-ups like sending friend requests to anyone or having no real strategy.

So here are a few tips to help avoid a few slip-ups on Facebook:

  1. Chose your friends carefully. You should look at who’s in your target market and try to focus on those people along with key influencers in your niche market.
  2. When sending a friend request to a stranger, write them a personal message to introduce yourself or tell them why you want to be friends on Facebook. When you meet someone new at social or business events, you usually introduce yourself first. You should see Facebook as a networking event and behave in the same manner.
  3. Your profile should have a personal picture and your own name. Don’t use a business logo or a business name.
  4. Don’t go on social networks if you’re “under the influence”. You’re only setting yourself up for a disaster!
  5. Don’t over promote your services or products. People don’t want to hear your sales pitch. Did you know that only 50% of Facebook users think marketers are welcome participants” on Facebook (imediaconnection.com). The top reasons consumers “like” brands on Facebook:
    1. Promotions and coupons
    2. Advice or support
    3. Exclusive information
  6. Be careful of what you post. It’s a lot harder to express emotions online than in real life. Some people might not understand your sarcastic sense of humour especially if they don’t know you personally.
  7. Don’t spam other people’s wall or page by posting about your services or products.
  8. Don’t over post. According to a report from Exact Target and CoTweet, 44% of users who “unliked” a brand on Facebook give posting too frequently as a reason why they unliked a Page.
  9. Don’t send your event invitations to people if your event doesn’t apply to them.
  10. Chose your Facebook likes carefully. Remember that when you like a page, your friends will see it in their news feed.
  11. Don’t poke people. Seriously, what’s the point?
  12. Keep in mind that Pages are for business and Profiles are for more personal use. Try to keep most of your business posts for your Page.

Am I missing anything? Please share your thoughts on proper Facebook etiquette.


Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Genevieve Lachance is a web marketing consultant who has a passion for social media and technology based in Montreal, Canada. Read More About Me »