Facebook Group Etiquette 101

Facebook Group Etiquette 101

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When someone wants you to attend their event, whether it’s a first birthday party, a 50th wedding anniversary or a business networking event, you likely receive an invitation. Facebook Groups, however, are a totally different animal. I’m not sure why, but people think it’s perfectly acceptable to add people to groups without inviting them. Would you do that for a real-life event? I don’t think so. Here’s something to think about.

That’s how it feels when I am added to a group without being asked. It’s just not the right way to do it. There is a right way to invite people to your Facebook Group. Etiquette isn’t only for the dinner table.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Ask them if they would like to be added with a simple text, email or phone call. When you ask, tell them a little bit about the group. Don’t overwhelm them with paragraphs. Give them the Cliff’s Note version.
  2. When you ask, make it a conversation with ONLY that person. It should NOT be a group chat or group message. Nobody likes getting endless notifications all day long. And, it makes it less personal if you are “saving time” by messaging 20 people at once.
  3. You can also post on your Facebook personal or business page, inviting anyone that wants to be added, to comment or send you a personal message.

If you made the mistake of already adding them without permission, before you read this post, I suggest you send them a personal message and tell them you did not know it wasn’t great etiquette to add someone without asking them first. Tell them you’d love it if they stayed in your group, but that you understand if the group isn’t for them.

And, PLEASE, if you added someone and they left the group, do not add them again. They have left for a reason. I was added to an MLM group four times! I kept leaving, she kept adding me back. People don’t leave groups by mistake. They leave for a few reasons:

  • Group was nothing more than a place to SELL, SELL and SELL
  • It is a group that they are not interested in (yes, it’s possible)
  • It provided no value for them
  • Group does not align with their lifestyle, beliefs or goals

Bonus Tips:

1. Welcome

As new members join your group, make them feel welcomed. Say hello and ask them to introduce themselves. If you know them, then you can do the introduction. In my groups, I like to occasionally tag members just to let them know I am paying attention. If I have a group member go silent for a while, after usually being active, I will check in with them. I like to know that they are ok.

2. Complete

Make sure you complete the Group Description area and add a header image that’s appropriate for the content of the group. Meaning, if your group is for solo business owners that are; female, 25-50 years old, in the USA, online business and public speaker… you might have a header image related to marketing or online business. You would not have a header promoting fitness, skin care or DIY crafts.

3. Ask

Are group members dropping like flies? Think about your group. Have you changed focus? Changed your posting style? Started selling too much? Consider asking some members that left what their reasons were. Be genuinely curious and be thankful for any feedback they provide. It can be a great learning opportunity for you, if you take their feedback as constructive criticism and not as a personal attack.

[Not sure who your ideal group member is? Download my Ideal Client Avatar Workbook to help you know exactly who she is.]

facebook | sonja pound | gramercy social

Just like email marketing, adding someone to Facebook Groups should be permission-based. People are so busy, often overwhelmed and overloaded with information. Let them choose where they would like to spend their time and energy.

What tips would you add to the Facebook Groups Etiquette list? I’d love to know what your most valuable groups are on Facebook. Share a link below.

Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.

Instagram Has a New BFF

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…and you’re going to be so happy they met! Instagram is a great tool. Not only is it fun to see what people choose to share, it’s also a great way to build relationships while marketing your business. But, if you aren’t using certain shortcuts, it can be a HUGE time commitment. Watch this short video or follow the steps below to make posting faster and easier.

Quick How-to Guide

  1. Sign in to your Evernote account on your laptop.
  2. Create a NOTE for hashtags. Here’s what mine looks like; Evernote | Instagram | Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social
  3. Breakdown hashtags you use for certain posts. For instance, I use the same hashtags when I post about design, and a different set of hashtags when I am posting a business tip.
  4. Create another NOTE for all of your blog posts. I create a post for each new blog and keep it in this section so I can easily copy and paste if I want to share it on any social network. It’s also great if you have a potential or existing client that is looking for certain information and you can easily send one of your blog posts to them. Here is what that looks like; Evernote | Instagram | Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social
  5. Ready to post on Instagram? Simply go into Instagram, add your photo, write a caption, choose a filter, add a location and tag people. Then go to your mobile Evernote app and open the note that contains your hashtags. Select and copy the appropriate group of hashtags.
  6. Go back into Instagram and paste those hashtags at the end of your post.
  7. Not sure how to do that? On an iPhone, you can double click on the HOME button and see all of the windows/apps you have open. Scroll using a swiping motion to find Instagram and then click on it. When you are done, if you need to return to Evernote, do the same thing again.

How much time do you spend on Instagram?

If you spend just a short amount of time setting up an Instagram notebook on Evernote, I’m positive it will save you time every time you share a photo on Instagram. Try using Evernote with Instagram and let me know how much time it saves you and if you find any other time-saving ways to use Evernote.

Here’s a bonus tip…

You can use the same steps to save time on Facebook and when sending emails. If there is any content that you routinely share, create a notebook and populate it will any information you might need to share. Are you often sharing affiliate links? Make a note that includes all of your links so you can quickly share.
Leave a comment below with any tips you love when using Instagram or Evernote. After you do that, say hello on Instagram.
Looking for more tips on how to be more productive, optimize social media, create amazing websites and graphics and how to create a team to collaborate with? Then join my newsletter community. At the moment, I only send a newsletter once per month and ONLY with information that I think will help you and your business. Join me here.
Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.

3 Amazing Productivity Tools

3 Amazing Productivity Tools

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We all have a lot to do each day, right? And I’m guessing most of us are searching for ways to make anything faster, easier and more convenient. Here are my top three picks for productivity tools that I use each day.

HootsuiGramercy Social | Sonja Poundte.

Are you familiar with Hootsuite? The founder, Ryan Holmes describes it as, “We are not just a social relationship platform. We are not just a tech company. We are creators, innovators, and builders dedicated to revolutionizing the way you communicate.” Many people use Hootsuite to schedule social media posts for various sites such as Facebook and Twitter. But, do you know that you can use it for a lot more than just scheduling? Here’s just a sampling of what you can do.

Contacts Icon: Have you ever clicked on this icon? It’s on the left of your account window, under where your profile image is. Open this tab and you can see who is following you, who you are following and see details about each person/account, including how many people they are following, how many followers they have and their Klout score. Next to each person/account you see a mini bio including how many times they tweet per day and their latest tweet. It’s so much easier than going into each social media network and searching person by person.

Gramercy Social | Sonja Pound

Hootlet: You can easily add items to Hootsuite when you are browsing the web using the little owl in your browser bar. When you click on the owl, a pop-up window appears allowing you to choose the account, platform (Facebook, Twitter…) and time you want to share the selected information. For me, I use this as a way to schedule my posts for a few weeks at a time. Learn more about Hootsuite here

Gramercy Social | Sonja Pound | Productivity

2Basecamp.

Have you ever tried to collaborate with multiple people on a project using emails? It can be very difficult and confusing to follow the email trail. And try finding a document that someone attached to their email days ago – very time consuming and frustrating. That’s where Basecamp comes in. I recently bought a house and had so many documents and emails that I needed to keep in one place. I used Basecamp to keep track of everything. I was able to add documents, files, make notes, create to-do lists and invite others to be able to view and comment on the project. I have also used Basecamp when working on client projects. It’s a great way to track comments and change requests made by clients. Often, there are many people weighing in on a final product – with Basecamp you won’t lose any comments or change requests. Learn more about Basecamp here.

Gramercy Social | Sonja Pound | Productivity

 

Index Cards3 copy.

I know it’s not what you expected for a productivity tool. But, I’ve tried many apps for making lists, and nothing makes me get things done like an index card. First thing in the morning, I take a blank index card and start my list. On one side are things I need to get done for work and home. This includes any scheduled appointments. On the other side are things I need to do outside of the house – grocery list, post office and other basics. By making an actual list, I am able to better map out my day. There is a huge sense of accomplishment when I can take a pencil and cross an item off of the list.

BONUS TIP: Take a photo of your list each day with your smart phone, just in case you lose the index card.

What tools help you with productivity? Share any tips in the comments below.

 

Thanks Sonja

Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.

Five Ways to be More Social

Five Ways to be More Social

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Being social (or not) can make a huge impact on your business. Days are long gone when a business is found by looking in the Yellow Pages. So, how does your business get noticed? How does your business stand out among hundreds of competitors? SIMPLE. Build relationships with your potential and current customers and clients.

People want to do business with a well-liked, reputable business. This blog will focus on businesses with physical locations. Today I am using Sky Zone as an example.

Case Study: Sky Zone

Today I went to Sky Zone with my son. It is a trampoline-based entertainment and fitness center for all ages. They are a franchised business with more than 65 locations in the US, Canada, Mexico and Australia. We both had a lot of fun, but after I finished jumping around with my son, I started thinking about all of the missed opportunities at this location. They had great signage throughout the building, consistent branding and very friendly staff members. But there were no opportunities to build a relationship via social media. I looked all over the facility and never saw any mention of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I know they have a Facebook page because I looked it up before visiting. Here’s what I would suggest for most businesses with a physical location where customers and clients visit.

Five Ways to Make Your Business More Social

  1. Have signage with your social media accounts visible.
  2. Encourage visitors to like, follow or connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  3. Let visitors know what hashtags to use when posting.
  4. Have a social media station to allow sharing while your customers are still in the building (more on this below).
  5. Offer incentives when a customers follows you on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Share Your Social Media

Make it easy for people to share your business on social media. Don’t make them hunt for you, sometimes having to try many different versions of your business name before finding you. This is especially important for businesses with multiple locations and multiple social media accounts. Make it clear. Make it simple. Sky Zone has signage all over the building. Not a single one had any logo or mention of social media. Look at this clear, large and bold sign. They could have easily put their user names at the bottom of this sign along with a logo for each social media account.

Gramercy Social | Sonja Pound | Brand Concierge | Social Media

What do I mean by setting up a social media station?

Remember when you were a kid and loved photo booths? A social media station is a new take on the photo booth. Consider having a great backdrop and some props that have to do with your business. In this social sharing location you could have prop boards with your hashtags on them and empty picture frames for taking selfies. Place this in a highly visible area where guests can go and take pictures with their own smart devices. Encourage them to immediately post to their social media accounts using the hashtags you recommend. In the case of Sky Zone, why not use hashtags like #SkyZoneFun #SkyZoneSelfie #SkyZoneRocks and more. One person that does hashtags really well is Sue B. Zimmerman. She is pictured below with Steve Dotto (another person you should follow and learn from). You can link to Sue’s hashtag course here.

Social Media | Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social

In the case of Sky Zone I would encourage them to have a Social Media Team Member. This person would go around the facility and offer to take photos for people, using their own devices or a company iPad. If using the SkyZone iPad, team member would take photos and then let the people in the photos tag themselves and then post to social media accounts.

You can read more about Sky Zone here.

[Side Note] Yesterday I was reading the November issue of Inc. Magazine and found an article titled “Learn From Social Media (Without Losing All Your Time)” written by the CEO of Sky Zone, Jeff Platt. He talks about using Twitter to communicate with employees and customers. He mentions Instagram, stating there are about 190,000 photos of Sky Zone on the site. Imagine if each location actually promoted the use of social media while at the facility? It’s amazing that there are so many photos posted, with no mention of the social sites while in an actual facility.

Have you been to a business that does social really well? Where were you and what did they do? If you own a business and wonder what your customers think about your business, contact me to schedule a review. I will visit your location and review your online presence to ensure that you are reaching your ideal customers.

Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.

Three Social Media Mistakes NOT to Make

Three Social Media Mistakes NOT to Make

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Is social media really about being social? Being social isn’t about telling people (politely or not) to like you back. Being social is about liking a page, post or profile because you like it. Not because you expect something in return.

I didn’t intend to write this blog but I just came across a few postings that are doing just that. Now I can’t type fast enough to tell you some social blunders you should avoid like the plague. Here’s my short list.

NO. 1: Asking for Follow Backs

Here is a recent post on a page that I manage;

UnSocial Blog

It’s great that this person is now following Pound Consulting. After all, that’s what I asked for in the Facebook post. But, when you follow someone it is not imperative that they follow you back. Let that be their choice. Don’t demand it. If they are managing their pages properly, find value in your content and want to further the relationship they will follow you back on their own terms.

No. 2: Asking for Help with Engagement

Follow-up is great, but be genuine. I recently received this message on my business page. Initially I thought it was great that he took the time to send me a message. Not so great that it was for self-promotion – but I was willing to give him a chance and I continued reading. He totally lost me when he started giving me a tutorial about how Facebook works and then asking for me to go to his page and like some posts. Maybe it’s just me, but that is a total social turn-off. Admittedly, I’m a bit stubborn. But had he just sent me a nice message saying he stopped by my page again to help with engagement and reach, I probably would have visited his page and done the same thing for him – without feeling like I am being shamed into it. 

UnSocial Long Winded

No. 3: Long Winded Sales Pitches

Please don’t send people long winded messages explaining what you do, asking for help or selling something. These are immediate turnoffs. If you are managing your social media accounts well, people will know what you do. They will know what you sell. You will have loyal followers and engagement. I don’t know anyone that is interested in paragraph after paragraph of information from someone they just met on social media, unless it was requested. It comes across a bit like a used car salesperson. I recently received a Facebook message from someone I had not heard from in well over three years. At first I was happy to see her name pop up. Then, sadly, I read the message. There was ONE sentence saying she hoped my family was doing well. The other three paragraphs were trying to sell me some products she is affiliated with. The message left me feeling let down, sad and angry. This is NOT a way to build a relationship or to build a business.

The takeaway here is probably best explained using this quote:

If you want kindness

Not sure what that means? Basically, it means that everything you say and do has an effect. The effort you put into something, whether it is relationships, personal growth or business, will all come back to you in one way or another. 

I’m sure when most of us started out using social media we made mistakes. It’s all part of the learning process. I know I’ve made some along the way. What social media mistakes do you see that annoy you? What do you do when you receive sales pitches or requests for help? To learn about LinkedIn and common mistakes on that platform, read this.

Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.

Your Profile Image: Tips for Success

Your Profile Image: Tips for Success

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Last week I wrote about how to get started with LinkedIn. One of the action items was to have a professional photo for your profile image. You are not a cartoon, a three year old child or a pet. I can’t tell you how many times I have clicked on a profile, received a request or noticed in comments, a profile image that is not professional. Do you really want prospective employers or clients to view you as a cartoon? How about with a drink in hand? I recently received a LinkedIn request from an education professional. I was shocked to see that he was in a t-shirt and holding a beer surrounded by many other party friends. I’m positive I would not hire this person to be an educational advocate for my child. Would you?

I suggest establishing your “brand” using an image that is;

  1. A current photo of you and only you
  2. Professional
  3. Headshot from your shoulders up
  4. You wearing clothing that sets the right tone for your business and credibility
  5. High resolution

I know you are probably saying, “but I don’t like to have my picture taken” or “is it really that important?” The answers are simple.

They will look at your image and judge your credibility, your likability and decide if they might want to work with you. Now that I’ve said that, do you think it’s important?

When I first began working in social media I did not have a professional image. Everyone I was in groups with, took classes with and met in person all had professional images on their social media pages, website and sometimes business cards. I can easily say that it sets a tone. It establishes them as serious about their profession and serious about their image (or branding). I can’t believe I am going to share this with you, but for the sake of making a point, here are my before and after profile images. As you can tell, the first image was taken at an event. In the original image, I was sitting with my son. He is cropped out. The resolution is awful. It is simply not professional.

Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social | Brand Concierge | Professional Photos

Just a few months ago I invested, yes I said invested, in professional images. I strongly believe you get what you pay for. Hire a seasoned pro. Do not hire your neighbors high schooler that happens to be taking a photography class. A professional photographer will consider your background, posture, clothing colors, makeup, hair and so much more. When I had my photos taken, Debbie of Art+Life Photography worked to position me so that my shoulders didn’t appear too broad. She also reminded me to put my chin down a bit and lead with my forehead. What the heck is that? I had never heard of that before. But, when she showed me the difference I was amazed.

Pro Image | Sonja Pound | Gramercy SocialWardrobe Tips

Choose colors that you look good in, but take into consideration your brand colors. Here’s what I mean by that.  If you look great in purple, but your logo and website/social media branding is turquoise, purple is probably not the best idea.

 I also suggest that you do not wear white. It tends to wash out skin tones and make people look “flat”. If you wear glasses, ask your photographer if they suggest you have the lenses removed for the session. Sometimes glasses create a glare and also make it more difficult to edit/touch up your eye area.

Makeup

A great photographer will be able to work with your image. You do not want to look plastic or too photoshopped, so be careful. However, if you have a blemish on photo shoot day, don’t panic. Your photographer will be able to easily erase. When applying makeup for your photo shoot, use just slightly more than you would on a normal day. Think Jennifer Aniston in the Aveeno commercials, not Peg Bundy in Married with Children. Another easy fix using Photoshop Actions is to add color to lips, cheeks, erase dark circles, add more mascara and soften any shiny areas.

Bonus Tips

You are probably spending a decent amount of money on your images. While you are on location, ask your photographer to;

  • Take some background images. These could come in handy when updating your website or creating cover images for social media.
  • Take some lifestyle images of you walking, sitting, on iPad or other device, meeting with a “client”…
  • Take some images of you in horizontal (landscape) orientation. Think Facebook, Twitter and Youtube cover images. You can only stretch a vertical (portrait) image so far.

Be sure to keep reading my blog. In a few weeks I’ll tell you all about my comedy of errors when having recent photos taken. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your experience having professional profile images taken. Do you have any tips and tricks of your own to pass along? Post them in the comments below.

For more information on your professional profile image and LinkedIn, go here.

Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.