You may have noticed, but I spend a lot of time on Facebook. I’m really interested in engagement and connection on social media, and do my best to be open to meeting new people and interacting with them when I can. Sometimes, Facebook seems a bit like a popularity contest, with people collecting page likes or friends like Pokemon, without really stopping to chat to the people behind those likes or friend requests along the way. I’ve been as guilty of this as anyone over the years, and last year I actually went through and deleted all the “friends” with whom I had no real connection.
It seems like somewhere along the line, we’ve all forgotten about the social side of social media. Here are five things I see a lot on my timeline, that are not really conducive to authentic engagement with people…
1. Liking your own status
Half of the people reading this will be thinking, what? Who does that? The other half will be thinking what? Why shouldn’t I like my own status?
People tend to like their own status because that action will put it into the newsfeeds of others, thus potentially showing your post to all of your friends again… but really, if they weren’t interested the first time around, they’re unlikely to be bothered the second. It’s a sneaky way of trying to get more eyes on your post, and the people who see it either recogninse what you’re up to, or think you’re a bit odd to be liking your own post.
2. Sending mass messages
The worst example of this is those ridiculous “support the fight against cancer by changing your status to the colour of your knickers and…” what?! Firstly, how will that do anything at all to aid the fight against cancer? And don’t tell me it’s to help raise awareness; when more than 50% of people born after 1960 will be diagnosed with cancer, I think we’re all quite aware enough, thanks very much. Besides this, there are the endlessly pointless group messages about all sorts of other nonsense.
I can’t stand messgaes that have been sent to half a person’s friends list, where people I’ve never even heard of are responding to it and I’m getting endless notifications. If you want to talk to me, talk to me. Don’t send an impersonal, mass message to me and 100 other people and expect me to interact with you. Or to change my Facebook status.
3. Sending app requests
If you have the time and inclination to sit playing Candy Crush or Farmville all day, be my guest. I have neither time nor inclination, and I really resent being invited to all this bollocks all the time! Stop it!
Also it’s worth bearing in mind that when you do send these requests out, people mostly read them and go “gosh, has this person nothing better to do? They really just spend all day online wasting time…” Do you want people to think that of you?
4. Cross-posting from Twitter
I have my Facebook page set to update my Twitter. It works well for me and means if I’m asking for help or advice (which I do a lot), I only need to ask the question once.
Never, ever set your Twitter to update your Facebook though. That’s a bad, bad idea. I’ve seen people who seem to have set their Twitter to update Facebook with every action, and their Facebook page is filled with “this person retweeted @thisotherperson saying something pointless” or “this person: @thisotherperson yeah mate I agree totally with yr other tweet my Facebook followers can’t even bloody see.”
Aside from the fact Facebook moves more slowly than a Twitter timeline, so your endless Tweets are clogging up my newfeed, it’s just unsociable to have all this inconsequential crap on your page. If you’re not on Facebook to engage with the people there, then just don’t bother with Facebook. You’ll alienate fewer people.
5. Endlessly promoting your blog or business
Seriously, your friends probably already know you have a blog or a business. And the occasional mention of it here and there is fine. But if the only thing you’re posting – on a page or a personal account – is links to your blog or business, or advertisements for it, then just don’t bother. That’s not engagement; it’s a bad marketing plan and it won’t work.
Thanks for reading! If you’ve been nodding your head along with these points, you may enjoy my other posts about Facebook.