Be a Good (Facebook) Citizen

So – I am not one of those people who works at home in my pajamas. If you are, good for you! Me, I can’t do it. It has an effect on my mindset. I need to be ready to go, mentally, and how I’m dressed is part of that mindset.
Mindset is important. We all know how much more we can get done when we’re “in the zone.” It’s not just about the quantity of work, it’s about the quality as well. When you’re in the right frame of mind, you put out a lot, and it’s generally “better” than those days where things aren’t quite coming together the way you hope. I firmly believe that mindset is a big issue in how we handle social media. Not everyone will agree, and I’ll say right here: Only you can define what works for you. But this has been on my mind for a long time, and I’d like to share just a few of my thoughts.
Offline, most of us try to be good citizens. We don’t litter, avoid jaywalking, and really do try to remember to use our turn signal. Sometimes we even let the other guy take the left turn before we proceed through the intersection. Being a good citizen, exercising civility is something that makes life better for everyone (including ourselves). Why wouldn’t you want to be a good Facebook citizen?
The same thing is true online. Each social channel media channel has a slightly different culture, and today I’m only going to talk about Facebook. Following these simple guidelines will help you stay that person people who’s posts make other smile – not cringe.

  1. Don’t immediately accept a friend request. Seriously, whether you immediately recognize the person or not, visit their profile page. Do you know them? If you don’t, how many friends do you have in common and who are they? This can be a big clue to why they want to connect. If you do know them, still check out the profile. Make sure this looks like the person you know offline. If you don’t have time to check, then just let the request sit. It will wait for you. They don’t spoil.
  2. Make your friend list private. This is probably the single most important thing you can do. It’s a very common scam for people to phish (copy) a profile and then send friend requests to all of the friends of the person they are decoying. They’re using your established relationship as a trust basis to ultimately run a financial scam. A new, more recent version, is when one of these unsavory folks phishes only the Messenger account. They still copy the Facebook profile picture and send requests to your friends, but don’t create a separate Facebook profile. Don’t fall for it. If you can’t link to their profile from within Messenger, ask pointed questions to see if this is the person you know. But – to get back to my point: This scam doesn’t work when you have your friends list private. The whole point of this scam is to abuse the trust your friends have in you. Protect your friends from dealing with these jerks by keeping your friend list private. No temptation, and the scammers move on.
  3. Don’t add people to your Facebook group without getting their permission first. Just.don’t. Ask. It’s not a big deal to ask, and then you know what their interest level is.
  4. No vaguebooking. Got a bone to pick with someone? Don’t post about it on Facebook and just “not name names.” It’s not good form. It’s not edifying. If you can – let it go and move on. And if you can’t do that, then deal with the issue but don’t electronically air your dirty laundry. Ew.
  5. Cheer others on. Facebook has its pros and cons, but one of my favorite things about it is that, every day, I can easily support and encourage people. We don’t always have time we’d like to chat with friends, but in just a few seconds, we can bring some sunshine into their day with a comment (Congrats!). I’ll let you in one a secret. I am a reactionary reveiwer. When I have a bad experience with a company, I head online… and start writing reviews for other companies. Companies and businesses that have served me well – I sing their praises! I feel great, they get an endorsement, and my comments help other people to know businesses that can be trusted. Sure, I write a bad review when called for. But I think people would rather read where to go than spend their time reading what to avoid. I’ll tell you from experience: writing good reviews has always made me feel better that writing a well-deserved bad one.

Need some help with your social media? If managing your social media seems as if it should be obvious but feels like being lost in the woods, make an appointment for a free consultation. We can help you make social media work for you (and not the other way around).

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