This is a guest post by Michael Perulli, account executive at Cision.
Facebook is a valuable networking and content marketing tool for PR professionals, there’s no denying that. As Gini Dietrich discussed on Spin Sucks this week, a personal brand is imperative to business growth.
It’s easy to overlook the fact that your personal online profile can often be seen as an extension of your online brand’s persona, especially if you are using Facebook to market your company. This article attempts to provide some tips on how to keep your friends list (and online dignity) intact.
1. Status Updates
Nothing makes me hit the ‘unfriend’ button quicker than a cringe-inducing status update. There are a couple varieties of this deletable offense:
The ‘TMI’ Update – Simply put, some things are better kept to yourself. Example: “What’s up with this rash? I think I need to go to the doctor.”
The Mundane Update: Opposite of the ‘TMI’ update. Frankly, I don’t care. Example: “Waiting for the train to go to work.”
Vague Updates – These updates usually come from people that are dying for attention and just want someone to comment on them. Example: “Seriously, I can’t believe that happened!”
Karaoke – Music can be very powerful and sometimes people think the artist is speaking directly to them so they have to share the lyrics with everyone. Example: “’You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me, but we are never ever ever getting back together… like ever’ – Taylor Swift.”
Digital PDA – There is a private message feature on Facebook for a reason. Please use it. Example: “Happy anniversary to my hubster. I can’t wait to gaze longingly into your eyes tonight as we celebrate 3 fabulous years together. You are my best friend. I love you.”
If you can make sure your updates don’t fall into one of these categories, you should be good.
2. Game Requests
Social games on Facebook are a great way to pass the time; however, if I don’t know you very well or haven’t talked to you since 8th grade, what in the world makes you think I want to give you a virtual brick so you can complete the construction of a make believe farm house? I don’t even write “hbd” on your wall when it’s your birthday, do you think I’m going to register for an application I will never use just to help you score points on Farmville 2?
3. Ghost Tagging
The old “bait-and-switch” technique. If you tag me in a picture that I’m not even in just so I’ll look at it, I won’t be impressed. Especially if it’s a flyer or an advertisement (maybe if I was actually on the flyer, it would be more awesome). Delete.
4. “Like if you…” Posts
This is a recent phenomenon on Facebook. People post heart-melting pictures and try to convince you that if you don’t “like” them, you are a bad person. Example: Here is a picture of my Grandma, she’s awesome!!! Like if you think your Grandma is awesome too! Ignore if you want her to die.
I will never participate in these and I’ll remove you if you insist on sharing them. Hopefully Grandma is ok.
5. Hash Tagging
This isn’t twitter, hash tags don’t work. Also, you aren’t exempt if you’ve synced your Twitter with Facebook. That’s even worse. Now I have twice as many of your annoying hash tag laden updates coming through. Unfriend.
6. Group/Event Spamming
This has irked me ever since Facebook allowed users’ friends to add them to groups without consent. Here is Facebook’s stance on this according to a spokeswoman:
“If you have a friend that is adding you to groups you do not want to belong to, or they are behaving in a way that bothers you, you can tell them to stop doing it, block them or remove them as a friend — and they will no longer ever have the ability to add you to any group…If you don’t trust someone to look out for you when making these types of decisions on the site, we’d suggest that you shouldn’t be friends on Facebook.”
This is Facebook’s fault as much as it is the users; unfortunately, I can’t unfriend Facebook (trust me, I’ve tried), so I have to unfriend you…
“Are you sure you want to remove this person as your friend?”
Remove from friends.