Social Media Etiquette 101: How to Market Yourself on Facebook Without Irking Your Social Network

Elizabeth Reyn
Social Media Etiquette 101: How to Market Yourself on Facebook Without Irking Your Social Network

We’ve all had experience with those insufferable individuals on Facebook. The ones whose lives seem to revolve around oversharing every homemade or takeout meal they’ve ever eaten. The ones who can’t seem to go a day without mobile uploading every step taken outside.  The ones who flood our Newsfeeds with sob story status updates.  We’ve all wished that they could take their overbearing stories elsewhere. Perhaps to a therapist who gets paid to listen to them.

But then there are the individuals who actually do useful things with their time offline and use Facebook to share their professional or personal accolades.  These business professionals/accomplished individuals etc. want to get their name out to public and mean well doing so. The problem is this behavior, if overdone, can fall into the category of those people, the ones we want to get off our Newsfeeds.

Marketing on Facebook is like mixing business with pleasure. You want the whole-hearted support of your family, friends, and people you haven’t talked to in 10 years. You want your brand to be memorable, but not at the expense of your loved ones. Below are 5 tips on marketing yourself while exhibiting good Facebook manners:

  • Everything in Moderation:

Not every event in your personal or professional life requires a Facebook post. Only post the most important bits of news that you think will resonate with your network. If you’re advertising an open event, limit your event reminder posts to 1-2 per day. If you’re announcing an award you won or an accomplishment at your job, post once and be sure to respond to any comments or words of congratulations.

  • Dichotomize the Personal and Professional:

This is to you, business professionals. Marketing your company may feel relevant to you, but does it feel relevant to your network? Keep in mind that your social network on Facebook is comprised of a wider demographic, probably not just your target audience. For this reason, it may be best to write posts through a company Facebook group and link to your personal page sparingly.

  • Avoid Messaging Your Entire Network:

This may be the worst Facebook offense of them all. You may think by informing your entire friends list through a mass message or an event invite, you are spreading your brand name or awareness of a particular event. But while it’s convenient, it’s also impersonal, and it doesn’t make people feel connected with what you’re promoting. If you must send a message, personalize it. The best thing would be to message people who you think would be legitimately interested in the event or ask your more intimate network to spread the word.

  • Keep Strong Opinions Away:

You really hate that your Facebook friend shared a link to an article that supports the notion that stay-at-home moms don’t contribute to the economic workplace. Or what about the other Facebook friend whose statuses consist of tireless political rants? You really want to say something about it. The scenario sounds familiar, right? Ignore it. As much as you’re itching to give your two cents and contribute to a heated debate via status comments, resist the urge. If you’re marketing yourself or your company, forcing your opinions onto others is not only overbearing, but unprofessional. If you must say something about the article, send them a message, but still keep it courteous and civil.

  • Post Mom-Approved Photos:

If nothing good happens after 2 am, it’s better not to document it on social media. As much as you’d like to show people all of the photos from Spring Break partying on the beach with margaritas, marketing yourself means limiting photos to wholesome and interesting shots that Mom would be proud to share with the extended family. Feel free to post a great photo you took of New York City at sunset or friends smiling over dinner. And remember, enough photos to make you memorable, not so many that make people absent-mindedly click away before giving up on your posts altogether.

It’s important to be smart about how you market yourself on social media. While your goal is to get people talking about your brand/achievement/event, bombarding Facebook newsfeed with constant posts will cause people to respond negatively: ignoring posts, giving you the cold shoulder, not attending your event. Know that it’s okay to post the occasional food picture. Just be sure to leave some of your food choices to the imagination. Popularity is good. Notoriety, not so much. So please, please, I implore you, take that person within you off of Facebook.