“Facebook No-No’s”

– a guest post by Corey Smith, president of Tribute Media

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facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

Generally, I am not one to be a social media cop. I think that there are too many people out there that have way too much time on their hands trying to be the police of what other people do.

There is one exception that I make to this rule… that is when companies have a personal profile on Facebook and try to be my friend.

I try to be very nice and, when I get a friend request, I send a note back to them that goes something like this:

I’m sorry, but I can’t be your friend because you are not a person. If you would like to send me a friend request from your personal profile so I know who you are, then I’d be happy to accept. I would even be happy to fan your business page if you set it up right.

As I was thinking about this not long ago (I had just received yet another message from one business that was trying to justify using a personal account) I noticed a tweet from @fosterthinking where he mentioned the top three irritating Facebook habits. I won’t mention that company’s name (you know who you are).

I thought the tweet was so prescient, I’d elaborate just a little. Think about these three things as you are working to market your own personal brand. As an author, you have to be sure to speak directly to your audience. If you are trying to short cut your social media marketing, you’ll miss the boat and fail.

Couples Sharing an Account

I rank this one right up there with couples, or even business people for that matter, sharing the same email account. When I am trying to connect with someone, I want to know with whom I am talking. Think about trying to go to a party and talking to a couple of people but not knowing which person is saying what… or an even better example would be talking on a conference call with different people where their voices are so similar that you don’t know who is saying what.

When you are on your Facebook account and you don’t have your own personality, others never know who is talking and to whom to address remarks. As an author, your voice is important in your writing. Make your voice important in your online social engagements.

Using a Personal Profile as a Business Page

This relates to my comment above. The most operative word in social media is social. You can’t build a relationship with a company. You can’t build a relationship with a book or a concept. There needs to be a human element. Not only is it against Facebook’s terms of service, I want to know that the person I am a friend with is actually a person. I can’t call up a business and say, “Hey, wanna hang out?”

For further discussion on this topic, check out what Facebook says about it here.

Including Your Business Name as part of Personal Profile Name

Come on… don’t you have a personal life? Can’t you be identified without your business. Sure, this is a problem with businesses but I see authors do it all the time. I see the name of the book as their middle name or their day job as a part of their name. This would be like the person who goes to his kid’s birthday party and says, “Hi, my name is John Allen Superior Plumbing.” As an author the example would be “Hi, my name is Corey “Do It Right” Smith.” Your name is important. It is also important that you an identity apart from your book or business life. If you wouldn’t introduce yourself in real life (IRL for you kids out there) with your company name or book name as part of your name, then don’t do it online.

~~~~~~~~~~~~Corey Smith is President of Tribute Media and Author of “Do It Right: A CEO’s Guide to Web Strategy”. His firm specializes in building websites for businesses, (including authors). Connect with him at About.me.

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