What I Don't Know Yet

10 Or So Things Not To Do On Facebook

In Facebook, Group behavior on February 5, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Various newsletters arrive in my mailbox, and at least once a week, they include such items as, Six Mistakes to Avoid on Facebook, or Ten Things Every Business Owner Should Do on Facebook. The advice is always painfully obvious, achingly petty, or both. It hurts me to think that someone is paying writers for this drivel — mostly because they weren’t paying me for mine.

So, although no one is paying me, here is my breathless advice for Facebook success:

1. No one wants to hear about the fights you’re having with  your ex, your daughter, your dog, your neighbor. Posting such things is like going into a cocktail party and bursting  into tears. The hostess has to stop what she’s doing and usher you into a dark room. A cocktail party is not the right place to air your personal problems. Neither is facebook. Now stop it.

2. If you always write really long posts, no one is reading them. This is Short Attention Span Theatre. However, if you just enjoy the sound of your  own voice and don’t require interactions, have at it.

3. If someone comments, respond to them. It’s a conversation, not a lecture.

4. If you are only posting your business successes, real estate listings, pictures of your latest accomplishment, your last hot story, and never chat, I turned off your feed long ago. Why would you treat your “friends” like an audience? However, if you’re delightful company and occasionally post your work, I’ll read it and probably provide thoughtful comment as well.

5. Do not “friend” people you do not know in an effort to enhance your business. Do you think you win a prize if you have the most friends? You don’t. Sorry.

6. This is all I can come up with at the moment. Please send me your suggestions — which, by the way, is a great way to actually start a conversation on facebook.

Now send money.

Yes, I know there aren’t 10 suggestions here. Thank you for that information. You’ve reminded me of my 7th rule.

7. You are not editor-to-the-world. If someone makes a mistake in their post, misspells a name, uses the wrong verb form, misplaces a period, or otherwise violates your high standards, let it go. This isn’t English class and you aren’t the teacher. Now go sit in the corner until you learn to control yourself. (Yes, yes, a mixed metaphor. What did I just tell you?)

Now you can send money and suggestions.

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  1. Being a Facebook addict, I agree with almost all your suggestions.

    I take issue with the last one. No, it’s fine if people send you money. I mean, number 7. Being opinionated and apparently vein, I am flattered to know that people are reading what I’m writing, especially if the only fault they point out is grammatical. Plus, if I remember their lesson the next time I write something,I’ve become a better communicator as a result of the criticism. w00t, w00t!

    • OK, in the spirit of your comment. You mean you’re opinionated and vain. But I’d argue that anyone who submits to public correction is anything but vain or vein or even vane. I applaud your generosity of spirit — which I do not possess at all.

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