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Stop, Drop and Erase: Facebook Group Etiquette

I have seen brides make some fairly terrible wedding gown selections in my day.

In my past life, I  would only catch my first glimpse of the dress at their wedding reception so there was no going back, and certainly no point in saying anything other than, Congratulations! You look so…. happy!

When Facebook groups started to become more universally accepted as a way to communicate on the interwebs, I was quick to embrace the idea. After all, what a great way to stay connected with the industry while also ensuring that I wouldn’t suffer at the hands of the unfriend button for posting too much work related stuff on my profile.

Then, my inbox started filling at an uncomfortable rate with updates from the various groups of which I belonged, and I found myself exercising the same restraint I did all those years ago. After all, like those ill fitting strapless gowns that crossed my path all those times, the damage was already done.

Until today that is.

A rambling list of don’ts and what not to do’s aren’t really my style so I decided to go with a more gentler approach when it comes to my officially unofficial rules of Facebook Group Etiquette, sponsored by no one and endorsed only by me so far. 🙂

If you find yourself at a point where you are about to hit “send” on a post to a Facebook group that has the potential to end up in the inbox of the masses, ask yourself these three (just three!) vital questions:

1. Who really benefits from my post?

This is an easy one- if you’re the only one benefiting from what you’re about to post,then don’t.

2. How will others perceive me after I post this?

When I first accepted a position with a Hotel as one of their event planners, I didn’t necessarily advertise to my colleagues my banquet experience was lacking. When I had a question, I made my way to a few trusted friends or I simply found out the old fashioned way- with Google. In short- I didn’t want people to think I was incapable of doing my job.

Treat Facebook groups the very same way. It is ok to share knowledge but Facebook is not a substitute for training, experience, purchasing your own equipment or a Mentor.  Don’t ask questions that will make you look anything other than the very best at what you do.

3. Have I posted this very same thing in this group before?

If the answer is yes, then in 95% of the situations, it’s time to hit the backspace button. I struggle with this one myself- never exactly knowing how much I should post about my workshops but in the end, go with your gut.Yes, there’s something to be said for repeat exposure when it comes to a message, but not at the risk of being blocked by your fellow wedding pros for being a spammy mcspamster.

Like seemingly everything, there are exceptions to the rule.  Group administrators should post what they please- after all, it’s their group. Additionally, most Facebook groups are in the best interest of something and all posts that point toward this mission should be fair game. If the message is consistent but not really your thing, then leave the group.

It wasn’t so long ago that the only people you could easily network with were in your own backyard. For better or for worse, Facebook has connected us in new ways. Let’s just make sure we’re doing it for the right reasons.

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive wedding pr columnist to wedding marketing journal WedLock magazine and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. She loves ruffle table runners and Royal Wedding Tchotchkes. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding pr, please contact us today.