We have read about Twitter etiquette many times, how to conduct ourselves and what not to do. Since many people still consider Facebook to be more of a personal thing and not really something to establish business relationships, it seems like there is no etiquette at all.
As the social web starts blurring the lines between networks and they start looking more like each other, the etiquette should be considered for the web in general and not just for a particular platform.
The big difference between Twitter and Facebook is that whatever you say, link or post on Twitter stays on your streamline… shouldn’t we be more careful on Facebook then?
I made a little list of the most annoying things happening on Facebook and what to do about them:
1. Post Your Link On Other People’s Walls
If you have no previous consent from your friends, you should not post your link on their wall. Would you go to your friend’s business or shop and hang a huge banner on the front window? I didn’t think so. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should.
The only way to do this properly is by asking. Even better, you should ask some friends in advance and have some kind of agreement to support each other.
2. Wrong Use Of The “Tag” Feature
Tagging somebody on your status will make it appear on their wall too. I don’t think people have a problem with this as long as it is for the right reasons, in other words, don’t do it just to show up on their wall because then you are pretty much doing the same thing as point #1.
A good reason to tag somebody could be to share or introduce the person to your network or because you want to thank this person in public. Look at it this way, It should benefit the other party more than it benefits yourself…
3. The Status Is Not Your Twitter Broadcaster
There are some social applications that you can setup to feed and update automatically. Facebook and Twitter are not the case and while it is perfectly fine to sometimes post the same thing on both sites, what can be very annoying to others is when you are posting all your tweets on your Facebook status, also including a format that is not even relevant on this platform, like hashtags or Twitter handles…
If you don’t have enough time, perhaps you should focus on getting better at just one network.
4. Turn The News Feed Into Your Mafia Scoreboard
I have nothing against Mafia Wars, Farmville or any of the other games but there are 2 things you should consider if you are a player. First, the fact that your score, weapon acquisitions or how you feed your animals are showing up on the News feed so all your friends can see it. Second, when that is all you got coming out of your profile, people usually assume that’s all you do.
How to fix this? Just look into filtering information and separate groups of people. You keep playing and sharing information with your buddies while you keep it clean for the rest of your friends.
5. Are You Recommending Too Much Stuff?
First of all, please understand that you do NOT have to accept all invitations to groups and fanpages so please don’t feel obligated. Now, if you choose to accept them all, at least don’t turn around to recommend them to your friends. This can build up, I actually used to receive 2 or 3 invitations a day from the same person and about all kinds of topics.
6. Pillow Fights Are Fine… If The Other Person Is Your “BFF”
Sometimes it’s fun to find real-life equivalents for online behavior but I don’t want to say something like “would you hit somebody with a pillow? somebody you barely know?”… I guess I already did.
I have one word for this kind of behavior: WEIRD. If the other person is not a very, very (2 times “very”) good friend in real life, you should not hit him/her with any pillows. I’m obviously using it as an example, there are plenty of other kinds of gifts and stuff to send people.
7. Abusing The Mailbox
Even tough Facebook doesn’t allow you to send bulk messages to prevent spam, there are useful ways to send them to groups and it is ok to use it occasionally, the problem is when you start abusing the system. I have seen accounts put on hold because of sending too many messages or friend request and I think Facebook would also cancel it if you insist, but what I am sure of is that you will most likely annoy a few of your friends.
Behavior on the social web has a lot to do with real life, the best thing you can do if you are unsure about what is appropriate or not is to use some Common Sense. Make the connection between digital and real life and if it feels kind of weird then it probably is…
The other thing you can do is ASK. Asking is a beautiful thing and there is nothing wrong with it.