We can turn you off. we can hide you. Look at the fate of many of your Facebook Farmville friends, Spammy McSpammerston.
And cross-posters. I connected with you on Facebook because we have that personal thing. Maybe we made out a few times. Maybe we co-lamented under the migraine inducing fluorescent lighting of that office. Maybe we’re related.
In the social of all social networks, we tend to allow our friends a bit of leeway when it comes to promoting their businesses and interests. After all, what’s the purpose of the network platform if we all don’t compulsively share?
There is an etiquette, however, and it becomes even more important as marketing more obviously invades our precious social sites. We can’t be sure that ‘suggestions’ are organic. Look at the suggested ads that run down the side of your profile. Everything’s in public honey.
Back to etiquette.
Don’t junk up my morning scroll through Facebook with incessant tweets, hashtags, and the like. It’s like you’re throwing crumbs at me. Use Twitter to connect with the networks that bring meaning and value through that particular channel.
Use someone’s name in your status update if it refers to them. Voyeurs as we all are, we like to see what you’ve deemed share-worthy from and for someone else. If you share a link, add some context by telling us why we should care. If you can describe something in 140 characters in the hope of being retweeted, surely you can spare the time to bring some ‘so what’ to your Facebook posts.
Don’t abuse the LIKE. Creating a company page and asking everyone you know to Like it is akin to ringing my doorbell every 10 minutes, and then running away. What’s there to like? Links to content that I might find useful? A contest that will make me salivate with desire? Don’t forget that Big Brother is watching my likes – and will advertise to me accordingly. Be responsible.
Take this into consideration: a post this week from Social Web School looks at a growing trend for companies launching or re-launching on the web. An interactive, custom-designed Facebook page is emerging as the platform of choice for many brands, instead of an independently-housed site of their own. Why? Well, since it’s Facebook, you’ve got the social built in. You’ve got access to the social graph. You’ve got the usability that is now almost second nature – since most of us on the planet are already there – and Facebook’s ability to target pages based on your love of Nickelback (ugh), or root beer, or knitting.
We love (and hate, sometimes) Facebook for it’s tentacled hold on our social and digital lives. Are we ready for it’s explosion into our consumer lives? My bet is on companies who can create an experience that flows seamlessly with the social functions we already use. And then our friends can act like friends, instead of telemarketers.