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The Big Ten Facebook Commandments

Everyone is talking about Social Media Marketing these days. We are, our competitors are — you see Facebook, YouTube and Linked In icons on every website these days. Everyone wants to use Social Media Marketing to their advantage, but not everyone knows the best way to accomplish that and what pitfalls to avoid. Here is my short list of “How not to win friends or influence people” on Facebook. In other words, your Facebook commandments.
Social Media Marketing

  1. Thou shall share more to receive more. I was raised as an only child, so sharing is not one of my strong points, but when I was young I began to understand that I liked receiving – I also learned that by sharing a little I could receive a lot. This is essentially why selfish people share. So, be selfish when it comes to your business and share yourself online. Take the time to court your “friends” by making comments on their posts, “liking” funny posts and generally just engaging them the way you would a potential client in a store front.
  2. Thou shall not connect multiple social media platforms to Facebook. Nothing bugs me more than when I see Facebook updates that were really meant for Twitter. This might be because I only Tweet for SEO, but seriously! Who wants to see hash tags and other nonsense on Facebook? You need to keep in mind, too, that not all Small Business Owners know what a Tweet really is, and the overlap could bug them as much as it bugs me.
  3. Thou shall not Farmville, Cityville or Mafia Wars on Facebook. I know this seems obvious, but you might be losing some serious credibility when your news feed is full of game updates during business hours. I mean, if you aren’t busy — then why are you trust worthy? It also goes without saying that your business associates aren’t there to play games with you.
  4. Thou shall not upload party photos to your business profile. This comes down to the question of credibility, again. Your business associates don’t need to see the photos of you with your saggy eyes and pirate patch (no, there are no photos of me like this ha ha) from the big backyard party the weekend before. It’s best that your business associates see you as someone they would like to do business with and not party with.
  5. Thou shall do unto others as you would have them do to you. Does it bother you when you get tagged in uploaded images that are really just an advertisement? It’s done, because it feeds into your network of friends, as well. With tagging comes great responsibility! Don’t tag all willy nilly, because if you do…you will find yourself “un-friended” before you can even Tweet an apology.
  6. Thou shall not act like a crazy person. Continually posting status updates declaring a personal vendetta on Obama, PETA or anything else, really, is not only obnoxious – but really tasteless. Treat your Facebook wall like a dinner party with friends and family. Some families might tolerate a loved one jumping up on the dinner table to declare war on health care reform, but most families would just knock you on your (insert expletive here). The same goes for Facebook.
  7. Thou shall not type in all caps. THE THING ABOUT TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS THAT IT’S ANNOYING. REALLY, REALLY ANNOYING. LIKE YOUR LITTLE BROTHER THAT KEEPS POKING YOU IN THE ARM FOR TWENTY MINUTES DESPITE YOUR BEST ATTEMPT TO IGNORE HIM. DON’T DO IT LEST YOU FEEL THE RAGE YOUR ALL CAPS SEEM TO INDICATE COMING BACK YOUR WAY.
  8. Thou shall create a “page” on Facebook for your business — not a profile. Yes, there is a difference. Yes, it is important. Business pages are “liked” by others and not “friended” by others. They come with nifty analytics and other social media marketing goodies. Just do it!
  9. Thou shall update your business page. Your Facebook page should have life. No one wants to “like” a dead page. Keep it current, relevant and fun. Who wants to be friends with the quiet guy that just sits in the corner at a party and stares at you? No one!
  10. Thou shall not mass e-mail “friends” with events or other promotions. It bugs people. It bugs like the flyer under your windshield wiper that you don’t notice until you get on the freeway. Make it personal. By taking the time to make it personal, you take the time to let you know that you actually care about the people in your network.

The bottom line here is that people that want to be effective in their Social Media Marketing efforts need to understand one golden rule: you HAVE to be genuine. Even if you are as shallow in your intentions as a tuna can — fake it. Be careful how you wield the power of your network or your shallowness will come back to haunt you — promise.

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