Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Wrong Way To Use Facebook For Business ( a tiny rant)

Technology really has made things easy for us. If you have noticed, wireless companies like AT&T have eliminated their minutes plan and have started to charge for data because people just aren't communicating with their friends and family via phone calls like they used to.

I am not even sure that they using email as much as a contact, when it is just so easy to text or Facebook message for an immediate response. Most of us have smartphones and get notified straight away when we get a message on FB. I am a big fan of instant contact and can say that my phone habits have changed  and are not the same that they were a year ago.

Of course with everything, it must be used in moderation and with some common sense.

Some thoughts from a girl who is cranky on this issue:

Contacting a person for new business via text message or (personal) FB message

DON'T
As far as I am concerned, your personal Facebook page is for you, your friends and your cute cat and kid pictures. Writing someone on their personal Facebook page with a long drawn out business inquiry in their personal inbox is just wrong. Even if the phone (you should pick it up and call, then) or FB is your only connection, there is a better way to ask business related questions.

DO
Be proper and apologize for bothering them on their personal Facebook and ask if they have an email you can use for this inquiry. 

Texting or Personal Facebook Messaging for Impersonal Reasons

DON'T
So you are an employer looking on your personal Facebook page...maybe enjoying your friend's recent vacation pictures or wondering how big is your niece going to get. My point, is that this is your personal time with you and with Facebook., and in comes a message from Facebook...someone you only know, not are even that good of friends with-"Hey, I was wondering if you are hiring?" or "Do you know anyone at the radio station that can get me tickets to One Direction" (This is actually a true story from someone I hadn't talked to in five years.)

DO
The Do here is Don't do that. Ever.

Understanding a time and place rule.  

DON'T
Using Facebook or Text messages to check in on your vendors for progress out of business hours has its own set of rules. This is a Do and a Don't. I think if you have someone you work with or for-you can check in with them via text or ask them a quick question, obviously. But during business hours only. Sending an email, text or Facebook message other than between the hours of 9-5 Monday-Friday is NOT ok! Unless your building is on fire, please don't do this!

DO
It is understandable that you are not being conscious of the time because you dont want to forget the question or situation at hand. Rely on services like Boomerang that will delay your email and send it at a more appropriate time. As someone who gets up at 5a, I would die without this feature.

An actual expert weighs in.
Founder and Director of The Etiquette Seed, Heather Post says "Facebook posts and texting are considered two of the most casual forms of communication and using these for cold calls or to apply for employment can imply that the recipient is not important enough for face-to-face or "human" contact.  These forms of communication should not be used in formal business situations where a first impression or building a relationship is key."
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