Thankfully, since this post was originally written, we don’t see nearly as many of these common Facebook etiquette mistakes. But they’re still out there!
One of the benefits of creating a Facebook Timeline for business is the ability to interact with other businesses by commenting and posting on their pages. While commenting on something another business has posted is welcome and sharing of their posts is encouraged, advertising to their fans is not. Checking out several other business pages and posting “Hi everyone. Hope you’re having a great day. If you’re looking for pizza for supper tonight, we have a great special for all of our Facebook fans. Come like our page to get in on the deal,” is considered spam. If it is uninvited it will likely be deleted from the page and if it happens repeatedly will result in being banned from posting on that page. Accumulate enough “bans” and Facebook will close down your business page and perhaps your personal profile without warning.
FIX: To engage with another business, comment on their posts. Even better, share their content with your fan base–they might return the favour! Alternatively, tag another business in your post.
Don’t add people to groups without permission
There are several impolite trends happening on Facebook lately. While most businesses have made the switch to Timeline, some smaller business owners are still using groups. Depending on how a group is set up, the administrator and/or the members of a group can add any of their friends to the group without permission. Suddenly the new member is getting e-mails about a group they didn’t join, and perhaps don’t want to be associated with. Yes, unjoining a group is easy to do, but it’s an annoyance to a potential client and some people feel they cannot leave a group for fear of hurting the administrator’s feelings. This leads to resentment and it resurfaces everytime someone posts to the group.
FIX: Publicize your group and let people choose to join. Alternatively, send people a message and ask if you can add them to the group…and honour their choice.
Don’t create false events
If you really just want to ask people to buy your product, donate to your cause or vote for your submission, just ask them to do so on your page. Don’t invite people to an “event” so that you can “spam” them with messages about said product launch, cause or contest. Chances are few people will join the event anyhow and it makes you look desperate.
FIX: Use events for events: workshops, open houses, parties, conferences, book signings, fundraising dinners and auctions. Everything else should be posted to your Timeline.
Don’t tag people in pictures unless they’re in it
While this may sound redundant, it happens a lot. Tagging people in a photo is a great way to get their attention and put your name in front of their friends. However, similar to above, it really just annoys the people who now have to take the time to come check out the picture and untag themselves so they aren’t bombarded with messages from the other 30+ people who were tagged.
FIX: There really isn’t a fix for this one. Sorry. Just don’t do it. As a person however, you can stop this from happening by adjusting your privacy settings as they relate to tagging.
Finally, if you do choose to employ these “guerilla” tactics on Facebook and your friends, co-workers and customers leave, unsubscribe and unlike the pages, don’t send them haughty messages. You have inconvenienced them, not the other way around. You were marketing to them, or through them, without permission and they are just reinforcing their Facebook-given rights to privacy (such as it is). Leave it be and hope they will still think of you positively when a friend needs your product or service.