About Kate

 

I’m a scrappy, southern marketer loving the west coast and all things related to branding, marketing, startups, mobile, and technology. Art, music, and pop culture fuel me. I love Twitter, finding viral videos first, dresses, and design thinking. See what inspires mehere and please reach out and say “hi!”

Anything written in this blog is strictly my opinion and not the opinion of my employer.

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Tuesday
Mar172009

Social Networking Etiquette & Tips: Facebook

As I mentioned in my Social Networking Cocktail for Entrepreneurs, Facebook is an important tool that you can use to connect with your professional and personal networks . Because you are connecting to old high school friends and business colleagues through the same profile, it can be a little tricky. In this article, we'll discuss Facebook etiquette, and how to connect with everyone you know without experiencing an embarrassing "incident" (aka unfortunate wall post).

FaceBook Etiquette

When using Facebook, "The Goal" is to stay connected with your contacts, both personal and professional, and to give your friends a glimpse into your personality and life while keeping your professional class and cool.

  • Your Profile-

    • Photos- Yes, it's true that Facebook is more casual than LinkedIn; however, it's a good idea to choose a pretty neutral photo for your main profile pic. Stay away from photos of drinking beer with the boys or partying it up with the neighbors at last year's 4th of July picnic. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't upload these photos to your profile at all.

      Photos with the spouse and kids are fine. They show that you're family-oriented and responsible. Avoid using photos that question your character. Also, friends may tag you in photos that they have uploaded. Visitors to your profile will be able to see these, so please feel free to remove your tag on these photos. It's not rude.

    • Personal Info- Topics that can become awkward at a dinner table can also be awkward online. I suggest leaving Relationship Status, Political Views and Religious Views blank, unless these are very important to your work and you. Remember that Facebook announces any changes you make to these fields to your entire network.
  • Adding Friends- Be careful who you add to your network. I believe in quality over quantity, so I only add people that I know well. I'll consider adding someone I don't know well, if I want to build a business relationship with them.

    This may sound cold, but be weary of adding family members- especially parents. The same common sense applies when choosing not to live next door to your parents. You don't want them to have instant access to your life. The last thing you need is "remember when" or "where are you" comments left on your profile!
  • Status Updates- It's very easy to get carried away with Status updates. They make us feel cool, hip, and proud of ourselves. Don't post anything that you wouldn't say in a conversation with a business contact. Asking questions is fine, as is telling people small snippets about your life. Just keep the tone positive. (See Facebook Don'ts below.)
  • Writing on Walls- If you need to catch up with someone, it's better to do this by sending them a message than to post full life updates on their wall. Also remember that inside jokes are fun, but can leave a weird impression online.
  • Posting Content- Articles and links should compliment your professional expertise and some of your personal interests.  Viral videos are often funny, but send those via email instead of posting them for your entire network.  What you think is funny may be considered inappropriate to someone else.

Facebook Do's

  • Ask questions through your Wall/Status. Examples: iPhone or Blackberry? Wordpress or Blogger?
  • If testing a market or idea, ask your network for feedback on your Wall.
  • If you're launching a new product or business, tell your network and ask them to spread the word. Just don't do this too often.
  • If your website or product is doing well and is established, add a Facebook page.

Facebook Don'ts

  • Drop the sarcasm and ego. (Social networking has a tendency to bring these out!)
  • No swearing or sexual content.
  • No finger pointing or angry words.
  • Do not use Facebook under the influence! You'll regret it.
  • If you wouldn't say it in front of your momma, don't type it.
  • If you wouldn't say it to a business colleague, don't share it.

 

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