Social Nettiquette

Last week, I did a guest post on The Art Biz Blog. Alyson Stanfield has a very successful blog that, like mine, focuses on the business of being an artist, although hers is more geared towards visual artists, while my specialty is theatre. You can read my guest post here.

As a result of doing this guest post, my blog was introduced to a new group of people who hadn’t heard of me before. Those people visited my website or my about page, and a bunch of them followed me on Twitter, or asked to friend me on Facebook.

I think.

I’m not entirely sure, because I find myself in a situation that requires a new-age Miss Manners. You see, since last week, I’ve gotten a bunch of friend requests from people that I don’t know, and have no friends in common with. I have no problem being friends with people who found me through my blog, but I have a strict policy about not being friends with strangers. Even if I’ve never met the person, I need to know who they are before I allow them to be my friend. This is just due to the personal nature of Facebook; I use it for dual purposes. I have pictures of Michael on there that are meant for his grandma, but I also do a lot of business.

So, here’s my suggestion: when asking someone to be your friend on Facebook, take a minute and write that person a little note saying how you know them, even if it is a virtual connection. My feeling is, your friend request will be accepted a lot faster.

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Another solution to this problem would be for me to start a fan page for my blog. That would clearly separate the business from the person.

Does anyone know if Miss Manners is hiring?

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

Comments 5

  1. Rebecca: I’m SO glad you posted this. I’ve been ranting about this for over a year now! I compare it to meeting someone in public. You don’t just walk up to someone and say, “Hi, will you be my friend?” You say, “Molly was telling me about you the other day and thought we should meet.” OR, “I read your column in x and I wanted to introduce myself.” Good gravy! Do the same thing online, peeps. (You see, I can get all worked up about this.)

    And, yes, you also need a Fan Page. 😉

  2. Yes, I too am pleased to see that you have written about this as I find it so strange that people send you a friend request when they don’t know you and without even introducing themselves or letting you know how they found you. Even with my friends I send them a little message inviting them to join me.

    Maybe Alyson is right that a fan page is the way to go with Facebook.

  3. Hi Rebecca… I’m one of these people that found you through Alyson’s blog.. This is a great subject, people seem to forget their manners a little in cyberspace.. I had a message-free friend request recently and it took me 2 months to understand that the guy was in my Banff summer camp in 94…

    This leads me to a little nettiquette question for you: I have JUST created a fan page myself, how do you send friend request AND ask people to be your “fan” at the same time? “Hi, I would like to connect with you on facebook, by the way please be my fan” seems a bit much..
    I’ll be sending you a friend request in a minute… with a message.. 😉

  4. Hey, Amelie;
    (can you tell me how to do those special characters so I can spell your name right?)
    I think perceptions of what a “fan page” is on Facebook is changing. When FB first introduced them, I felt like it wasn’t really cool to have one unless you were someone legitimately famous (ie: rock band, movie star, Gary Vanyrchuk). I set up groups for all of my clients.
    Over the last few months, however, because of improvements that FB has made to its fan pages, it now makes WAY more sense for businesses to have Fan pages over groups. You can, for example, track metrics, in much the same way that you can through Google Analytics.
    I think maybe FB has outgrown the term “Fan Pages” in the same way that Twitter has outgrown “what are you doing right now?” Fan pages are for businesses. They help to separate the business and the person.
    That’s a really long way of me saying that I think it’s totally cool these days to have a fan page, and to ask people to become your “fan.” I also think, however, that you need to continue to add value to that page. You can’t expect to create a fan page, have people join it, and then do nothing. Ask your fans’ opinions on things, post events, do contests and giveaways to keep them interested and coming back.
    Also, you probably know that you have to have 100 fans to get a vanity URL. A little begging to that effect is perfectly understandable. 😉

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