Please don’t do these things in or to your Facebook status

A quick and dirty list of five important things to remember not to do when you’re posting Facebook status updates on behalf of the organization for which you work:

1. Do not include a URL in the status update. Two main reasons: it unnecessarily occupies important real estate, and it’s ugly. Don’t do ugly things on company time. Simply click “Link” to the right of “Share:” and a box opens to allow you to paste in your URL.

2. Try to avoid posting without an image. Images are lovely. Our fans our lovely. Let’s keep everything lovely. Sometimes it can’t be avoided, like when you post a link from someone else’s website. But if you’re posting from a blog, webpage or something else where you control the content, make sure there’s an image Facebook can grab onto (when you’re inserting a link using what we discussed in #1) and put in your status update.

And if you’re posting a fun fact or a random question without a link, still try to include a photo that relates to your content.

3. If you’re posting on behalf of an organization, don’t refer to yourself in the first person. Aka, “I wanted to share this with you all this afternoon…” There’s a fine line between being personable and not using Facebook properly as a representative of your organization. It’s hard to explain in Facebook-ese, but that first-person reference crosses it.

4. Do not like your own posts. When you post something on your personal Facebook profile, do you then go and like it? You shouldn’t. Unless you just tickled yourself so much you can’t help it. Organizations shouldn’t like their own content. And if you, as your organization’s Facebook manager, really, really like something you just posted on behalf of your organization, then switch back to your personal profile and like it as yourself. Still, though. If you personally like your company’s content too much, it looks like you’re just trying to increase likes in a desperate, non-organic way. And that’s not fair to anyone.

5. Do not let the sentence just end. Facebook has implemented a fabulous feature: when you insert a link into a status update, it pulls (along with a photo) the first sentence or two of the page’s content. And that is editable. So make sure you read it to make sure a) it’s what you want to use and b) the sentence doesn’t end abruptly.

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