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The etiquette of Facebook marketing

It’s advisable on Facebook, whether you’re running a business page or a personal account, to watch what you say and do. There’s something about the internet that can lower a person’s inhibitions. People who usually filter their thoughts in face-to-face communication, feel a false sense of security behind the screen of their computer, smartphone or tablet.

Facebook

Along with remembering the standard privacy, content and safety conditions on the social network, it’s a good idea to behave on social media how you would in front of your grandparents, boss and the in-laws: with professionalism, manners and respect of other users.

The etiquette to follow in everyday Facebook marketing is:

You are not an automated machine

You are a living, breathing human being, so make sure you sound like one when you respond to comments and write posts for your Facebook business page. No one wants to feel like they’re interacting with a computer that’s even less personable than Suri. That won’t set your business apart from every other in your field.

Be creative and inventive with your responses. You could try anything: clever rhymes, puns, cracking a joke, being helpful, personable, sympathetic, making a sarcastic comment about a news item, expressing an opinion in line with the business’s values etc. You don’t have to limit your responses to your own Facebook page. Make witty comments on someone else’s post and monitor the results.

Save the vulgarity for your personal accounts.

If a post doesn’t add value, don’t bother

Don’t post for the sake of it. If you haven’t got anything worthwhile to say, don’t comment. A redundant post will look bad to anyone who receives your posts on their timelines, and it’s proven that greater and wider appeal is achieved through intelligent, entertaining and valuable content. That’s right, we’re back to content marketing.

Don’t ignore negative feedback

Like any other business with a presence on Facebook, you will receive negative feedback. As a business, deleting and ignoring comments is a bad idea, because even the most vitriolic words can teach important lessons. Perhaps you’ve been making a mistake over and over and it takes a customer’s rant for you to see it. Learn from their criticisms, respond (sensibly) to their messages and prove to them that you do care about their opinion and your commitment to customer service.

It’s also worth pointing out here, that the average employee wading through the comments on a business’s social media account, tends to not be the person the customer is mad at. Obviously there’s great satisfaction to be had from venting your frustration on the official Facebook page of a business you feel wronged by, but the person manning that account is probably a nineteen-year-old intern who has no idea what you’re talking about. If you are that employee, don’t take the feedback personally. All you can do is prove your professionalism and ask what you can do to fix the error.

A great reputation can be killed

The number one rule of marketing on social media: everything you post publicly affects your reputation.

Too many marketing professionals forget this. Facebook is public. Everything you post can be seen. You’re trying to build up your reputation, not kill it with a poorly timed marketing gaff. Run every decision you make regarding your Facebook page through the quality filter. Ask yourself:

  • Have I checked a post I’m unsure about with another team member?
  • Does the tone of this post reflect what I am trying to say?
  • Is this in the best interests of the company? Would we say this?
  • How can my words be misconstrued?
  • Is this a safe topic of conversation?

“Treat others how you want to be treated,” goes the saying. Run your Facebook account with these points in mind, and you’ll avoid many social media marketing potholes.