This blog is all about helping you market your business through social media, content marketing and public relations, but sometimes my posts will relate to personal use of social media, technology or digital tools. This is one of those posts. If you spend time at work marketing your business on Facebook, it’s likely you maintain a personal Facebook account as well. I’ve often been asked, “what are the major pitfalls of personal social media use?” There are plenty of pet-peeves and annoyances I would recommend against that don’t quite make the “never-do” list (ex. posting random, vague posts about unnamed people and inviting your entire friend list to every new Facebook game you play). I’ll cover those in another post. This post is for those things you should never do on Facebook. Avoid these Facebook pitfalls at all costs!
Facebook Never-Do #1: Never screenshot or otherwise re-post a personal picture from a private Facebook feed without permission.
Oftentimes, your privacy settings are different that those of your friends. By re-posting a personal picture on your own feed, you may be exposing it to audiences your friend purposefully excluded. Re-posting personal pictures without permission is a breach of trust, so don’t be surprised if you’re not trusted with access to future posts by your friends or family, because they will update their settings to exclude you, or worse, end the Facebook friendship. Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi Zuckerberg experienced this.
Facebook Never-Do #2: Always demand greater privacy and the right to permanently delete photos and content from Facebook, but never assume you’ll get it.
Act as though your public postings on Facebook will be available to the public forever. Think before posting and when in doubt, sleep on it. You’ll be surprised how often a great idea for a wonderfully scandalous or controversial post seems like such a terrible idea the next morning.
Facebook Never-Do #3: Never end a real friendship over a Facebook dispute or quarrel.
Despite your best or worse intentions, written words will never be quite the same as an in-person heart-to-heart. You’re human, so act like it.
There are some things you should never do on Facebook. All of these Facebook pitfalls have one thing in common: they usually involve acting without thinking. So the overarching lesson here? Think of the long-term consequences of your posts before publishing them. The social web would be a much nicer place if only everyone followed that one guideline.