Facebook, the world’s most popular social networking site now has in excess of 1.59 billion monthly active users. Every day around the world millions log onto the site to network with friends, conduct business and to share news and photos. Facebook was launched in 2004 but ten years later it seems that many users still commit some sizable social faux pas. Just as you don’t slurp soup from the bowl in a restaurant or slam a door in someone’s face in the office, online etiquette or “netiquette” exists to govern social networking behaviour.
Take a look at my 4 Tips For Good Facebook Etiquette to save you from red faced shame:
Play Nicely Children
Try to avoid arguments on posts or timelines within Facebook because they are largely public. The most common etiquette faux pas here is rudely worded complaints on company Facebook pages whereby the user publically vents about their negative experience with a product or service. This is exhibitionist behaviour and will usually result in the page blocking you and your friends thinking a lot less of you.
Solution: If you have a complaint or want to argue with one of your Facebook friends then use the private messaging feature… that’s what it’s there for!
Don’t Spam Your Friends
So you are selling a product, promoting an event or you just really love sharing petitions to save the greater spotted pink penguin. Whatever you are doing, spamming your Facebook friends is very poor online etiquette and could result in your friends secretly hiding you from their newsfeed or blocking you altogether.
Solution: The ratio of promoting to interacting on Facebook should be around 20/80… exceed it and you may lose fans and friends!
Employers Use Facebook Too
Employees often don’t stop to think that their employer or potential employer can see their Facebook page. If you have your colleagues or your boss as a connection then be very aware that they can see what you are posting. If you are moaning about your job, posting sunbathing photos when you are supposed to be sick or playing Farmeville during working hours you might not find yourself in line for the next promotion!
Solution: Don’t write anything online that you wouldn’t want your boss to see! If you can’t do that then make sure your privacy settings are high and you do not add work colleagues to your Facebook account.
Check Your Facts Before You Share
One of my pet hates is the incessant need for Facebook users to share nonsensical posts. An old classic is the “Bill Gates Will Donate $1 For Every Share” post which is usually accompanied by a photo of a sick child or sad puppy. Let’s not forget the “Type Amen” if you care type of posts. These posts are usually engineered by business pages who wish to gather more fans and know that by tugging on heartstrings they will get additional shares and likes. Nobody is donating money to charity for a share and all it does is annoy your friends and leads them to question your judgement.
Solution: Check the story first on a site like Snopes which will tell you if an online story is true or false before you share it.
So now you know how to conduct yourself on Facebook and remember that these rules also apply to other social networking sites, forums and blogs. Have fun but don’t forget your social networking manners! Catch up with Charli Says over on Facebook.