Earlier this week, we discussed Why Facebook is a good way to incorporate social networking into an online profile management and web communications strategy. Yesterday, we viewed our options on Facebook, as to whether we need a profile, group, fan page, or a combination of these.
Now, let's talk about some of the things we should avoid doing on Facebook. You know, those understood "faux-pas" that always seem obvious to us after we make them?
- You will be given the option to invite everyone in your e-mail address book to join Facebook. Don't use that feature. Just don't. Be selective, and send requests only to people you think might really like Facebook. Also, remember that you might have multiple e-mail addresses for some of your friends, so don't send an invite to every one of those addresses.
- Don't send blind friend requests to people you don't know. If you are not sure if the person you're sending a friend request to you will understand who you are and why you are requesting him or her to add you as a friend, be sure to use the "add a personal message" feature on the friend request, and remind the person of your connection. If you don't know the person, but you have a common interest, be sure to say that.
- If someone you don't know commits one or both of the above faux pas, and sends you a friend request, it's fine to request clarification, but avoid being defensive. In most cases, your e-mail is probably in that person's address book and/or you have mutual friends. Just ask politely. Note: In most social circles, responding with "Do I know you?!" is not considered "friendly." If you are concerned about security, remember that you will have the option later to "block" this person if he or she becomes a problem.
- Do not invite all of your friends to use every application you discover. This is a good way to get yourself "blocked." Your kinder friends will simply use the "hide" button when they get tired of you. Actually, be careful about adding applications at all. Applications (or "Apps") are developed by third parties, not associated with Facebook, and can pose security risks.
- Remember that Facebook is a social networking site, not a place to simply promote yourself, your website or your products. Most people are on Facebook to keep in touch with people they know and like, or to network - not to shop.
Do you have other suggestions? Facebook faux pas you've
made seen people make? We'd love to hear them!
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.