How TO DO Facebook Right . . . If You Care About Your Online Reputation

Filed in Facebook , Featured 21 comments

When I heard the title “The zen of social media marketing,” I knew I had to read this book by Shama Hyder Kabani.Ā  Her chapter on Facebook was really detailed with lots of tips, so I thought I’d offer many of the items on Shama’s list of Do’s and Don’ts with my own comments.

Facebook DO’s and DONT’s for those with a business to grow


1. Spend time creating an outstanding profile

a) Begin with the “right” photo. Many people suggest that Best Practice — for those wanting to establish a consistent and credible online presence — is having one head shot that is distinctive, i.e., memorable, but not too casual.

b) The brief message below your photo could be a bio, mission statement, and/or a quote you live by.

c) Personal information you include, like hobbies and activities, can spark deeper relationships when connections see you share similar interests.

2. Let your personality shine through

Remember that people do business with people — not organizations. The whole reason why Facebook works for business is that you as an individual have the opportunity to build one-on-one relationships with people who can grow to like you better and trust you more.

3. Reach out to people in a professional and thoughtful manner

The word I like is “deliberate” i.e., EVERYTHING you write on the Internet needs to be carefully thought out; it’s indelible ink — and Findable.

This does not mean you are “inhuman”; on the contrary, you just need to be your Best Self. If you have just had a bad experience or you’re simply in a bad mood, write your feelings down somewhere else besides on the Global Whiteboard.

When people do discover you online, they should find a person who is the Go-To Source for some kind of information. That is the kind of online reputation you want.

4.Build a loyal Facebook friendship base

Shama suggests having a “friending policy” and most experts agree that if you want to expand your business using social media, you need to expand your definition of a friend, as well. Think connections, not intimate buddies. If you have really personal stuff to talk about, that doesn’t belong online anyway.

5. Leverage Notes and status updates by providing value

Status updates give you an opportunity to engage regularly on Facebook with short messages that show who you are, what you care about, and how you can help your community solve problems and meet challenges.

The Notes section is like a blog on which you can write your own short articles or share helpful information that you read. Your Notes entries will first appear as News Feed updates and then remain accessible on your menu board.

6. Work on attracting people to your site (using real value, not pushy links)

One of the most important “commandments” is Thou Shalt Not SPAM!

People typically come onto Facebook to see who’s there, what they are doing and thinking. The last thing they want is to be sold anything . . . so if you want to “use” Facebook for business reasons, you do not sell products/services — rather, you sell yourself, your nice, friendly, smart self.

7. Build a community around your topic or specialty

This is the Real Opportunity for building your business online: Start a Fan Page. It is a micro website, a public profile for your business/products/services in your Facebook neighborhood.

Invite your connections [i.e., Facebook Friends] to become your “Fans” and then keep them engaged:

  • Be proactive in your networking efforts
  • Share relevant pictures and videos
  • Participate actively with special offers and other reasons to keep your fans wanting to see what’s new.

Use your Fan Page content to build Brand Evangelists!

. . . and here are Shama’s DON’TS

1) Don’t be pushy

2) Don’t post your web link when writing something on someone’s Wall.

3) Don’t send or accept frivolous applications.

4) Don’t use your business name as your profile name.

5) Don’t put up crude or thoughtless pictures or comments.

6) Don’t expect social media to “work” for you.

7) Don’t be impatient.


Book Review: The zen of social media marketing

Don’t make these social media “newbie” mistakes

How to do social media “By the Book”


Please leave your own tips and experiences in the comment section below. Let’s help each other get the most value out of Facebook.

Phoro by Howard Blum
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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   17 April 2010
Tags : , , ,
Apr 17, 2010
2:17 pm

Shari, you nailed it again with your reminders for what I want to pay attention to…thanks for continually helping me to clarify!

Author Apr 17, 2010
3:31 pm

Dotti, be sure to ADD any others that you’ve found along the way.
BTW, did you read in my Facebook Update that I JUST got my first Smart phone, a Droid, and I’m going to have tons of fun with my new toy — and lots more to write about.
Do you have a smart phone?
If so, what was it like when you just got it?

Apr 17, 2010
5:28 pm

You hit it right on the head. Some terrific ideas, all presented in a common-sense way. Thanks!

Apr 18, 2010
11:00 am

Hi Shari ~ thanks for the terrific list!

I too use Facebook for my business and I’ll be adding a Fan Page here soon (I’ve been using my personal page thus far). What is the best way to transition my business contacts from my personal page over to my Fan Page once I set it up? *SmiLes* Suzanne

Author Apr 18, 2010
11:37 am

Hi Suzanne, so happy to see you here.
Re: “transitioning” connections from profile to Fan Page: takes some “work” because it’s hardly automatic.
What I’ve learned about a Fan Page, though, is that you really need to have a strategy in place BEFORE you start inviting people to join. In other words, there should be something of value they hope to find every time they see a “Feed” from the Fan Page.
And . . . even better . . . if you can provide the impetus to have them CONVERSE on your page.
George Kao, a local social media expert and consultant, gets a lot of engagement going on his Page by holding Webinars and having participants post questions AND RESPONSES right on the Fan Page.

There’s also a Linked Strategies group on LinkedIn that I belong to, and the owner of that group encourages his members to post questions, which he answers on a regular basis. Those are two really excellent ways to drive traffic and engage with your fans.

In fact, I think I’ll put this answer to you on my Fan Page: Performance.Social.Media!/Performance.Social.Media
Lots of luck to you and let me [and us] know how the Fan Page goes.

One other thing: check out other Fan Pages BUT be creative. Use the other ones as models, but do unique things. That is most likely to keep your Fans engaged.

Apr 18, 2010
12:17 pm

Shari ~ Thanks for your thoughtful response. I know how much work will be involved in doing a Fan Page the “right” way so that’s why I’ve put it off … LOL I appreciate the tips! *huGs* Suzanne

Author Apr 18, 2010
3:09 pm

Love the big “G”

Apr 19, 2010
9:53 am

Shari: Loved your post regarding facebook – again you are always have the best informaion regarding all of this social networking. You really take the footwork out of it and make it easy for everyone.

Author Apr 19, 2010
10:00 am

Hi Jennie, the more I read, the more I have to share . . . and DO.
Love to see you here.

Apr 19, 2010
2:23 pm
#10 Dotti Berry :

All great comments…reminds me why I am hiding my fan page until I am ready to put it out there with value and a specific marketing strategy. I’ll stick with my blog for now and regular FB page.

Apr 19, 2010
3:00 pm
#11 Marla Rosner :

As always Shari, very thoughtful and practical information. Has broadened my vision of how to use Facebook.
Best regards,

Author Apr 20, 2010
10:58 pm
#12 Shari Weiss :

Comment from posting on the LinkedIn Group
LinkedIn Groups

Group: PR Professionals
Subject: New comment (2) on “Do’s and Don’ts for Facebook | Sharisax Is Out There”
I have found that focusing on Return on Engagement gives better results. My personal belief is that Social Media should be more for engaging with people instead of just looking at the return on investment which is old school thinking.
Posted by Biresh Vrajlal

Apr 21, 2010
12:55 am

Well said, Shari. This is the kind of thing that needs to be shared. Most helpful to any- and everyone involved in Social Media in any respect. Great work.

Apr 21, 2010
6:43 am
#14 Nerie :

Nice read. I learned another great piece of advice today. Thanks for sharing information like this.

Jun 21, 2010
3:23 pm
#15 Maritza :

Shari- I really enjoyed this blog and it made me see a lot of negative things I’ve done on my profile (myspace), but I have corrected them. I’ve realized that I don’t need to put crazy pictures of myself doing “crazy” things to show my friends my personality because if they are my friends they should know the type of person I truly am and that’s why they consider me their friend as well as I do. =)

Jun 29, 2010
4:55 pm

Shari, have you ever considered authoring a text? You really should, as your knowledge and expertise are critical to the subject. It would certainly be a best seller, and I know your readers would be interested. Of all the experts in the field, your viewpoints are the most down to earth and easily understood. Certainly something to think about.

Author Jun 29, 2010
8:05 pm
#17 Shari Weiss :

from your lips to a big publisher’s ears šŸ™‚

Jan 31, 2011
5:18 pm

Hi Shari – Great post for any network marketer wanting to know how to use Facebook properly to promote themselves and their business!

Thanks for sharing!

~ Donnie

Author Feb 1, 2011
1:43 am
#19 Shari Weiss :

Yes, my friend/colleague Karen Clark is a real Guru on Facebook. I depend on her to answer everything I don’t know about Facebook.

Sep 16, 2011
12:58 am
#20 Loren Greig :

Hi Shari,

You’ve outlined some really important steps for building a loyal Facebook fan base of followers. Especially since it’s a social site, letting your personality shine through is crucial; and being professional is highly important as is the value that we’re providing. Good reminders, thanks Shari.

Author Sep 16, 2011
9:38 pm
#21 Shari Weiss :

Loren, today’s “truth” is that people do business with people, not organizations. And why do they choose the people they do? Personality, of course!

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