What are the rules of etiquette on Facebook and how should I observe them on my Facebook profile and in my Facebook groups? No matter what we do in life, or where we go, there are standards that apply, right? In the workplace, at school, in church, even at a baseball game.
No matter where we are, there are expectations of how we should behave in order to not just get along, but to harmonize with others. The same is true online, but the rules of the game are a little different. Somehow the rules online have changed, and people say things online that they would never dream of saying in front of people they know.
There is widespread political bashing from the left and the right online now, of which you are probably very well aware, but it by no means is it limited to politics. In perhaps a vain attempt to bring a little civility to the online world, and especially to Facebook where the rules of the “Old Wild, Wild West” seem to reign supreme, I would like to talk about Facebook etiquette from the online marketers point of view.
I know, to use a crude analogy, I may be merely spitting into the wind here, but it seems to me someone has to point this out, and I guess I might as well be the one to do it. What does political bashing inside a Facebook group of pro-Trump, or pro-Hillary supporters actually accomplish? This is a real enigma for me.
Who are they going to influence in a group where everyone shares the same political view? If they wanted to try and change someone’ viewpoint, maybe they should all go together and post all over one of the pro-Hillary sites until the owner of the site would just give up in frustration, (or vice versa).
I really don’t want to go here, but it also seems like there is an awful lot of Muslim bashing on Facebook. Where did this come from? I fully understand the frustration with the wars in the Middle East, but especially at the time of the 4th of July when we celebrate the Constitution, isn’t freedom of religion one of the fundamental principles of the pilgrims, to the Founding Fathers and the Revolutionary patriots? Jeesh, give the complaints against Muslims, especially Muslim-Americans a rest already.
OK, now here is the practical side to this post for those who want to promote on Facebook. You may ask “How should I post on my Facebook profile and my Facebook groups”?
One thing that should be said upfront, you should probably develop a thick skin if you don’t have one already, since there is someone, somewhere who will want to beat up on you, (verbally), for one reason or another. If you can’t take the heat, I suggest you get out of the fire and leave Facebook.
There is no rush whatsoever to join any group on Facebook. I have heard that there 8 million groups on Facebook, so there are plenty of groups to join, and they will be waiting for you, so do a little research before you click that join button.
There are a very large number of groups that are nothing but classified ads sites. If you post to these groups, your p ost is just one of thousands of other ads that no one is really paying attention to, so do not waste your time with these groups.
On these groups, there is no interaction, almost no comments, and no intelligent life as far as I can tell. Why would you want to waste a post on this kind of site?
A good sign of a healthy group is the number of new members, as well as your first reaction in viewing the most recent posts. Are there just ads, or are they promoting a discussion of any kind? Is there any discussion at all? If so, then maybe this group is worthwhile. If not, no problem, just move on to another one of the 8 million groups on Facebook. No harm, no foul.
Also do not waste your time posting out the same message to all of your groups. Change it up a little. Obviously there some of the people you want to add as friends and want to connect with that are members of many of the same groups you are. You look like a spammer if you post the same information everywhere.
The one exception to this rule would be a Holiday greeting. I used this method in a non-promotional way to wish my friends and people in my groups Happy Memorial Day, and I did it again, for The 4th of July. I received hundreds of likes,
and comments and they were still coming in several weeks after the Holiday.
This is when I realized that promotional methods on Facebook have a potential to reach tens or even hundreds of thousands of people.
So my advice is as follows:
1) Be polite, don’t push your own agenda all the time.
2) Inspire people with your message and they will follow you and want to be your friend.
3) Join groups with growing membership, and make sure you check the rules of
group and act accordingly.
4) Interact as much as possible on groups, especially with the moderators, influencers, or people active on the group.
5) Reply to messages in a timely manner. (same day if possible)
6) Have something inspiring to say with short test messages and images. Ideally do not promote directly through your text message, but you can link to another page with useful information and links to your offers. This indirect method of promotion will be more effective in the long run than just splashing your ad everywhere like most people do.
7) Have fun and keep your sense of humor. Don’t forget that Facebook started as a fun place for people to connect. In growing so big, Facebook has lost quite a bit of that “fun” spirit, but use your creativity to keep trying new things, and experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. By following these guidelines your experience on Facebook will be more enjoyable, AND more profitable.
John Lombaerde – Goldfinch Digital Publishing