20 Facebook Mistakes You Should Avoid

Filed in Facebook , Guest Post 30 comments

Have you ever been “scolded” for committing a Facebook faux pas? Did you seek out an Emily Post to figure out what to do and NOT do on the most popular social media sites? I said “Yes” to both those questions last year and then wrote this article.

However, today I found the best article on What Not To Do on Facebook, written by my good friend and social media colleague Karen Clark.

Stop Annoying People on Facebook

Guest Post by Karen Clark

I’ve gotten great reviews of my Facebook Do’s and Don’ts report that you can get when you subscribe to my newsletter. Since writing that though I’ve noticed even more “bad behavior” on Facebook! A lot of it coming from so-called Social Media consultants. I decided to poll people on my Twitter and Fan Page to see what the most annoying Facebook behaviors are.

Here is what we came up with – do you see yourself in any of these? Then knock it off! :)

1. If you’re an active Twitter user, do not have your Tweets feed into your Facebook Profile or Fan Page – it’s too much, too often, and uses too much Twitter lingo – it’s annoying. Disconnect the auto-publish and either use Selective Tweets to share occasional Tweets, or turn it off completely.

2. Don’t constantly send gifts, badges, eggs, hearts or other “cutesie” items to people. Once in a while, and for a reason, is OK, but not over and over and over.

3. Don’t tag people who aren’t actually IN the picture, note, or video. That’s “tag spam.”

4. Don’t authorize your game apps to post to your Wall (and therefore OUR news feeds) every time you score, win, kill someone or need help. If you must share, post manually not automatically.

5. Don’t post something dramatic leaving out crucial information – such as “Oh my gosh I can’t believe it!” – without giving the details. Don’t make us beg, it’s annoying and manipulative. If you don’t want to tell, don’t post. If you do want to tell, then tell!

6. Don’t post your own self-promotional junk on someone else’s Fan Page wall. Would you go into a brick and mortar store and plaster posters about your business?

7. Don’t use Facebook Mail (private messages) to spam people you don’t even communicate with. Messages are for friends who want to have a more private conversation.

8. Don’t use the Events as a way to promote a non-event such as running an event that runs Nov. 1 to Nov. 30 and the event is “Join My Business Opportunity” – bad form!

9. Repeatedly negative posts – whining, ranting, venting, complaining about how bad your life is. How is this adding to anyone’s life?

10. Constantly inviting friends to participate in games – Chances are if we ignored or blocked one, we won’t agree to any of them, so stop inviting us please.

11. Don’t repost something original and brilliant I said without asking permission and/or giving me credit for it. Use the “Share” link so it says “via so and so” or tag me in the post or at least say “Thanks to Susie Q for this great tip” for example.

12. Don’t keep suggesting I become a Fan of your Fan Page over and over and over. If I am ignoring you, I am IGNORING you. There’s no way for me to block the suggestion so please take a hint. A general rule of thumb is to invite someone once, and maybe once again in a couple weeks and then stop. A generic “share” of your Fan Page link to your wall occasionally is enough to remind people and give them a chance to choose whether to join you.

13.If you’re using FB for business, and aren’t a good speller or have a decent command of your primary language – consider having someone proofread for you  – or compose in Word and use spellcheck/grammar check. A minor typo here and there is one thing, but improper English and obviously misspelled words reflects poorly on you as a business.

14. Don’t put your personal problems out there on Facebook and then get mad when people jump in with advice or their opinion. If you don’t want a discussion, don’t bring it up.

15. Don’t start drama on Facebook. Do you know how that makes you look to others?

16. Don’t reply to a status update or a post on your wall by going to the other person’s wall and starting a new post. Just click ‘Comment”

17. Don’t post personal things on someone’s wall or status update that should be private or could be embarrassing.

18. Don’t post overtly sexual remarks or use profane language. If you wouldn’t say it in the company of strangers or friends of friends, don’t say it in public on Facebook.

19. Do not post business related items over and over on your personal profile. We tune you out!

20. And last but not least, we do not need a play by play of your day, every 5 minutes!

:-) What would you add?

Check out Karen’s other Facebook Guest Post on this blog:Tips & Tabs for Facebook Fan Pages.

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   11 November 2010
Tags : , ,
Nov 11, 2010
11:28 pm

I’d have to add not to send me an invite to be a friend without telling me how we’re connected. (Sound familiar?) LOL. I know I keep beating a dead horse with this, but if you don’t tell me a connection, I can’t expose you to my family and friends. It’s that simple. I mean my mom and dad are on Facebook for crying out loud. I have to be careful.

Nov 12, 2010
7:52 am

“Repeatedly negative posts – whining, ranting, venting, complaining about how bad your life is. How is this adding to anyone’s life?” – I feel bad for this person. Too many people out there suffer from depression, and many don’t even realize it. It’s hard for us to hear; it brings up our own painful emotions.

And, yes, I agree with DeAnna – tell me how why you are connecting if we have never met before!

Author Nov 12, 2010
1:20 pm

Engagement is such an important word for online participation. Who wants to “engage” with a negative person . . . unless, of course, you are a therapist who will be paid 🙂

Nov 12, 2010
1:43 pm

Fantastic post! Now can THAT can be sent to everyone I know 🙂


Nov 16, 2010
12:12 pm

I get annoyed when businesses set up friend pages instead of fan pages. This may not be a real inter-personal issue, but I don’t want to get a friend request from someone’s business.

Author Nov 16, 2010
2:02 pm

Jason, you aren’t the only person annoyed by this practice. It is actually against the Terms & Conditions of Facebook, and people’s accounts can be deleted permanently.

Nov 17, 2010
7:54 pm
#7 Walter :

When using Facebook it is important to give respect to the space of others. Never just intrude in order to promote something. What we find annoying we should not do unto others, plain and simple. 🙂

Author Nov 17, 2010
10:50 pm

Walter, you are absolutely right! The Golden Rule is never out of style.
I just heard something today that I’m going to share in many places, so I’ll start with this reply to your comment because it has similar aspects. Here’s the advice: when going to a networking event [off line OR online], never go to SELL, but instead go to see what you might want to Buy. And, of course, there is the BNI slogan: “Givers Gain.”

Nov 19, 2010
2:12 am

I agree with #9. Ranting and whining is useless, but I would love to play poker with that person!

Author Nov 19, 2010
2:19 am
#10 Shari Weiss :

. . . and I bet you’d win BIG!

Nov 25, 2010
10:31 pm
#11 Benny Howe :

Hi Karen and Shari,

Thanks for the heads up. Fortunately, I don’t think I have committed any of these. I did have a good giggle at the games posting to your profile point!

I sent a guy a message attached to a friend request the other day, with a few questions about his site. He very kindly answered them and then said ‘I look forward to networking with you’. Am I right in thinking that that was what I was trying to do, but he kinda stopped the conversation off short?

Does that happen to anyone else?

Author Nov 26, 2010
10:48 am
#12 Shari Weiss :

Benny, your comment reminds me how important it is for each of us to take responsibility for our own “added-value” experiences in social networking. Because this is all so new, most of “us” are evolving and experimenting, which means that it is difficult to do everything right. In the situation you have pointed out, YES, I agree that the person is probably giving off some automated-type response, but if you see value in continuing the relationship, then, of course, you can go for it — i.e. asking him some questions that could help you solve personal/professional challenges.

Author Nov 26, 2010
11:27 am
#13 Shari Weiss :

Benny, I liked your comment and my response so much that I used them in a separate post.
Thanks again!

Nov 26, 2010
10:28 am
#14 Scott Pollov :

Shari. I agree with everyone of the points you made above. While social media is in its Wild Wild West phase, using the same professional and personal manners and practices we use in the offline world should be followed. I particularly liked the last point – I don’t need to know everything about every minute of your day. Just tell me about the big stuff! Thanks for sharing this.

Author Nov 26, 2010
10:41 am
#15 Shari Weiss :

Scott, thanks for checking out the article. My friend Karen Clark is my Go-To person whenever there is something I need to check out on Facebook.
It continually amazes me that many Facebook posters don’t yet “get it” that the Global Whiteboard is not a personal diary, but an opportunity to share insights and experiences that add value to the lives of others. That being said, I suppose if one brushes his or her teeth in the morning with a new toothpaste that changed their smile, then perhaps that would be worth broadcasting to one’s friends.

Nov 26, 2010
3:37 pm
#16 Anne Egros :

I am new on Facebook and I still don’t know the difference between a business fan page and a friend page. I made both but I bored myself with the business “fan” page because I have nothing to tell. So I use my friend page to discuss with my existing network about various topics that need more than 140 characters. Unlike Linkedin, I have invited people I don’t know in my FB network just because they offer great content such as George Kao who kindly put me in is “friend page ” not in his “business fan page”. I expect from my friends to tell me when I am making a mistake in the same way I expect them to tell me when I have a piece of spinach between my teeth 🙂
Thanks for posting this

Author Nov 26, 2010
3:42 pm
#17 Shari Weiss :

Anne, I’ll check out your Facebook profile and tell you “my humble opinions”

Nov 28, 2010
3:33 am
#18 Anne Egros :

Thanks Shari, I appreciate your support. let me know if is useful to keep both my business “fan” page and my friends page?

I saw “473 Responses on “How to Become Rich & Famous on the Web”
Driving miss Shari: http://networkedblogs.com/b3PP9

Does it count if I have already posted a comment ? 🙂

Author Nov 28, 2010
10:35 am
#19 Shari Weiss :

Hey, Anne, FIRST OFF, you can respond on “How to become rich” as many times as you want
Mike Maynard certainly has
Have you read any of his posts? He’s a HOOT!!!

SECOND: You can only have a Fan Page IF you have the Friends page. And, yes, but a different strategy for each.

Your Friends page should have little, if any “business stuff” — and certainly no spam. But people these days do business with people, not entities, and that’s why the FB friend profiles are so important.

Nov 28, 2010
12:05 pm
#20 Anne Egros :

Hi Shari,
Obviously Mike Maynard LOOOOves your blog! I’ll be back there later. One interesting thing about FB: I have attended a free webminar using the speaker’s Facebook Friends Wall page as a chat room where people posted questions in real time during the call. Great idea and I think it is was better to use Friends page than Fan page for this type of events. What do you think ?

Author Nov 29, 2010
12:24 am
#21 Shari Weiss :

YUP, Mike “loves” me, and I “love” him . . . We have a blog thing going on.

IMHO, I think that a Fan Page with your name [like George Kao] works better than on your Facebook profile.
To my mind, it all comes down to what’s best for the reader, and I’ve heard too many Facebookers say that they really dislike people who conduct business on their personal profiles.

Jan 13, 2011
2:01 am
#22 Kim :

Hi Shari,

Thanks for nice tips. Not using facebook so much but i often get annoyed when i start receiving so many “requests” for joining irrelevant gropus, pages etc from single person. They usually end up as a spammer.

As said by Walter, Respect other and you’ll get same from others while using FB.

Author Jan 13, 2011
10:32 am
#23 Shari Weiss :

Kim, your comment about “respecting others” reminded me of a nice thing that someone told me yesterday as we were both walking to the pool here at the Grand Mayan resort in Acapulco: She and her husband were from Calgary, and I’d said how I always met such nice Canadians while vacationing in Mexico. She said to me that nice people attract other nice people.

Mar 20, 2011
4:26 pm

Really good post, Shari. Hmmm,I was going to use the Event thing to advertise when I FINALLY get my free gift up on my website. Is there a better way to do this?

Thank you, THANK you, THANK YOU for #13! It’ really hard to figure out what someone is saying if there are no caps, messed-up punctuation, quantities of misspellings, everything in one long run-on-paragraph, etc. For someone who is not native English, this can be expected, but certainly not an English speaker. Ok, I can get on a bandwagon — I’m a former elementary teacher!!!

I have tried hard to keep my personal FB profile separate from my business one, as I want some place where I can simply socialize with friends. I also don’t want to spam my friends. At first it bothered me that my tribe members were supposed to be my FB friends! I’ve gotten over that, and now that I’ve connected personally with some, I think it’s cool — it’s the possibility of getting to know new people, and that’s attractive!

But I do post notices of my blog on my personal page, and will post of my website and the free gift when I get the squeeze page done. I’ll tell what I’m personally doing but don’t want to cross over into “business” spam… It’s a fine line.

Author Mar 20, 2011
5:12 pm
#25 Shari Weiss :

Hi Sherry, nice to see you 🙂
First off, if you haven’t already become of Fan [i.e. Liked] my personal Facebook Guru Karen Clark [MyBusinessPresence on Facebook], then please do AND ask her your question about the “Event” thing. Karen posted the article for my site.
Secondly, I don’t worry about Who Sees What on Facebook. Rather my online posting philosophy is that Everything I post online contributes to building my influence as a Go-To source for info about social media AND I’m a nice, well-rounded, caring, supportive, bright individual.

Feb 10, 2012
3:13 pm
#26 Kamishia Dotson :

I think that a lot of those don’t are reasons why i don’t check my Facebook everyday. So if anyone is guilty of doing these things please stop. Loved this Blog

Feb 10, 2012
3:23 pm
#27 Benny :

Don’t add people to groups without asking! 🙂

Mar 25, 2012
3:42 pm

I have one…stop posting pictures of the food you ordered in a restaurant or the yummy dish you prepared for special occasions…it makes me hungry.

Jan 6, 2014
7:21 am
#29 Thomas Metz :

Increasing problem of all these social networking websites are number of users we come across tend to be fake. Looking to the increasing benefits of these medium businesses invest in them for their business sake which makes us to look entire network with dual mindset. It becomes very tough to identify motive of the person who wants to be friend with you.

Jan 20, 2014
12:20 am

I have to agree with you, Karen. I get totally annoyed when someone repeatedly everyday send me app request or gifts and such. Although i do not have to do anything if I don’t want to, slowly it gets irritating!

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