There are about a million opinions on what’s appropriate for conversations on Facebook. Everyone has a different approach to how they use the platform, and most don’t use a lot of etiquette.
For example, some people don’t want to post their own stuff, but they read everything, and they might like a lot of posts. Others don’t want anyone to see anything except for their closest of friends and family, so privacy settings are as strong as possible, and they get upset if they’re tagged in photos by friends. Some users’ friends know every intimate detail of their life – too much, sometimes. Then there are the people who seemingly only want to argue – politics, religion, vaccines, school options, what deodorant is best, what socks are the most comfortable, they just want to share their opinion on everything. And that list is just the tip of the iceberg!
The truth is, your Facebook profile is YOUR profile, so you get to use it how you want. But when it comes to running a business page, I suggest you implement a few “rules of thumb” to play it safe. Apply a little bit of etiquette to manage your page best, so that you maintain a positive, safe environment.
1. Don’t use ALL CAPS – unless you mean it. All caps is the internet equivalent of shouting. So if you need to emphasize a word, fine. But as a general rule, don’t put entire sentences and posts in all caps.
2. Don’t like your own posts. With all the confusion that results from algorithm changes, people sometimes think they can trick Facebook into thinking that a post is getting higher engagement by liking their own posts. But the truth is that, even if it does make a post seem more engaging to a computer program, it’s generally eye-roll inducing. It’s really the equivalent to patting ourselves on the back for everything we say, which would annoy everyone around us in real life. No one would want to be around us! So don’t like your own posts.
3. Save your political opinions for your personal profile. Unless your business is directly tied to politics, people aren’t engaging with your Facebook page in hopes that they will learn who you want them to vote for. They’re engaging with your page because your business is important to them, for whatever it is that your business does. Throwing politics into the mix will surely get you a few raving fans – but it will alienate other fans, and may result in ugly conversations, hosted by you.
4. Think before you post. Is your post helpful to your ideal customer? Is it helpful to your business? Is it helpful to the future customer who is observing you from a distance? I’m not saying every post has to be some amazing piece of content. But it can be easy to stray into sharing too much random stuff that has nothing to do with your business or your audience. So take a quick minute to pause and ask yourself, “Is this really the best place for this to be posted?”
5. Avoid gossip. Simply put, keep your business page free from unnecessary people-bashing. (Besides, that can come back to bite you, and you don’t want your business to suffer for it.)
6. Share your personal life, but don’t over-share. It’s a delicate balance, but we all know it’s helpful to show small peeks of “behind-the-scenes” of your business. Your audience is curious about you! They want to know who you are, where you work, what your work is like, etc. But if you spend all your time talking about yourself, you’ll never provide actual value to your audience. So don’t forget to share a bit of you and your life on your business page, just don’t get carried away.
7. Answer people. We all talk about how we want engagement on social media. Well, it goes both ways! One of the rudest things you can do is totally ignore the people who are commenting on your post or profile. Take the time to answer questions, thank people for commenting, and even redirect their questions to the appropriate customer service portal. Ignoring them just sends the message that they aren’t important.
Hopefully you have a good content strategy for social media for your business. If you do, that should help protect you from poor etiquette, at least to some extent. But keep these tips in mind as you craft and schedule your posts. Strive first and foremost to provide value to your audience, the rest should fall into place.
What other etiquette tips would you suggest for a Facebook page for business? Or do you disagree with any I’ve suggested? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.