Facebook is a Love-Hate thing. We find it entertaining. Annoying. Too much to keep up with or TMI (just too much information). Whether we are users or not, most of us have an opinion of Facebook. And it’s not often neutral.
A friend recently asked me about Facebook. Her exact words were, “OK, miss-way-to-say-it, if you’re such an expert in how to say things, what guidelines should we follow when posting on Facebook?”
I decided to answer her question in this post. Now, I know we won’t all agree on these, so I’ll put it out there now….tell me YOUR thoughts. What are your guidelines or pet peeves about Facebook? Why do you love it, or hate it? Use it or avoid it like the plague?
Here are ten thoughts I have as a communications specialist about using Facebook with some restraint, class and consideration:
- Don’t Make Me Ask. If everyone who sees the post can’t understand the meaning of it, it shouldn’t be public. Consider sharing these posts individually through private messaging or with a specific group who is in-the-know.
- It’s Not a Book. Remember, sharing your thoughts or experiences on Facebook is a “post”, not a book, nor a tell-all-memoir. Practice restraint and have some boundaries on the length of your post.
- Keep Your Dirty Laundry at Home. If you’re angry, fed up, frustrated, arguing, or at odds with a Facebook friend, this is not the place to air your issues. Have some class. Ideally, talk it through. At the very least, use private “message” so only the two of you can see it.
- Practice Food Restraint. We all enjoy knowing what our Facebook friends are up to. What experiences they are having, what’s new. Generally that doesn’t include seeing or being updated on every meal. Practice some restraint. Only share photos of a meal when there is something unique, special or interesting to tell with that photo, or on Instagram. Besides, it makes me hungry to see all these yummy foods!
- Not a Place for Intimacy. If your post includes a “pet name” for someone, or an inside joke or something intimate, please, keep it off public pages. Find a private way to communicate your intimate messages. They are great—for the insider.
- Take A Breath Before You Post. When you have negative feedback to share, take a breath to think it through. Those few moments may make all the difference between what you share with your Facebook followers, and what you don’t. The urge may pass or you may elect to keep that negative feedback for the individual or company it relates to.
- When It’s About You. If a friend posts something about you, or to you, that you don’t like, put on your way-to-say-it attitude and talk it out. Call them to explain why it’s unacceptable to you and ask them to remove the post. Ask what they meant by it. If you don’t have their phone number, handle it in a private message. Skip the public response.
- No One’s Perfect. If you have offended someone on Facebook…inadvertently or intentionally….have the guts to clean it up with them. Apologize and then remove the post.
- Mixing Business with Personal. If your Facebook page is predominantly for business, all the rules of face-to-face networking apply. Keep your politics and your religious views to yourself. You don’t want to mix business with personal and risk offending clients.
- Share the Glory. When you post something wonderful, sweet, or complimentary about one of your contacts, be sure to insert their Facebook name so they, too, will see your positive words.
And to my Facebook friends…sorry, I know you won’t all agree with me, so tell me what you think. What are your thoughts? Feel free to disagree. I’m ready to hear what you think about Facebook posting, as well as my comments.
For more suggestions on Facebook posting and behavior, see 14 Do’s and Don’ts to Being a Good Facebook Friend.