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A Guide to Facebook Etiquette

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Space Out Posts

Having a slew of posts one right after another is a sure way to lose friends and followers. Go ahead and post multiple times a day, but put a couple hours between them.

For businesses, frequent posting is a good way to get your posts marked as spam and alienate customers. The standards are a little more stringent for businesses. Unless it’s a special occasion, try to keep the post down to a couple times a day.

Respond to Comments

No one likes being in a conversation where they’re let hanging. Or where nobody’s listening to them. If you get comments on your posts, try to respond to them, especially if they’re questions. If the comment doesn’t really need a response, such as a witty joke, then a simple “Like” is much appreciated.

Make Comments

Avoid posting into the void and then walking away. The point of Facebook is to be social. So “Like” the posts of your friends, or leave a couple comments when you find something interesting. In-person social relations are all about give and take, and Facebook is the same way.

Don’t Over Hashtag

Hashtags help sort pictures or make comments. Facebook allows them, but they’re much more common on Twitter or Instagram. On Facebook, stick to one or two hashtags. Over hashtagging is especially a danger if you’re posting to Facebook from Instagram, since Instagram posts routinely have more hashtags.

Be Polite

In general, it’s a good idea to treat Facebook as if you’re in a crowded coffee shop, at a reunion, or similar casual social gathering. Yes, everyone there is connected to you in some way, but you should still remember your manners. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, then don’t say it on Facebook.

That doesn’t mean you should hide your opinions, but try to be respectful and polite about it. Don’t write posts or comments when you’re angry. Avoid name-calling and insults, even if someone really deserves it. Feel free to share interesting tidbits, but avoid sharing things that are inflammatory or insulting.

Be Wary with Pictures

You may be completely public and open about your profile, but that doesn’t mean that your friends are. If that’s the case, don’t post tons of photos of them without their permission. Privacy issues aside, always be ready to take down a picture of someone if they ask. Even if you think the photos looks fine, they may not want others to see it.

Make Private Discussions Private

Facebook has an advanced messaging system, and it just got more horsepower with the Facebook Messenger app launch. So use it when discussions move out of a public forum. The conversation could be sensitive, such as political discussions or arguments. Or it could simply involve personal information, such as planning get-togethers or sharing phone numbers. Basically, if you only need a few people to receive the message, then use messenger.

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