Dress me up in black and white and give me an air horn (a whistle just won’t do). I’m sick and tired of watching people, ESPECIALLY social media “experts” (AKA: ninjas, gurus and mavens), make glaring mistakes in the social sphere.
It would take way too much space to list ALL of the platforms, so today we’ll focus on Facebook. Maybe we’ll turn this into a series and cover other social sites on later posts.
I realize most people don’t read the Terms of Service on Facebook. It’s long. It’s hairy. You just wanna skip ahead and put out those red solo cup pics … yeah, yeah, I get it. However, if you happen to be a social media “professional” you should get up close and personal with Facebook’s ToS.
Seriously … if you “work” in social media and you haven’t read the ToS start to finish, STOP RIGHT NOW AND GO DO IT. I’ll even make it easy for you and list the Pages Guidelines here.
Flag on the field!
- If your Cover Photo has an email address, phone number, web address or any sort of contact info, you’re violating ToS. You also cannot include pricing info or a CTA (call to action). For instance, “Like our Page,” is a big, fat NO NO.
- A newer rule (as of December 17th, 2012) with Cover Photos says that it cannot contain more than 20% text – so all of those amazing quotes about your amazing business all over your CP?? VIOLATION.
- You cannot reference Facebook features on your Cover Photo … so “Like us” or “share this” type text is not allowed.
Illegal Assist in Scoring!
- You MUST use a 3rd-party application for ANY type of contest. This means you are NOT allowed to have Fans like, comment, or share something on your Facebook Page to win a prize. So your little Trivia game for a free pizza? VIOLATION.
- Additionally, when running a contest or promotion, you cannot announce the winner through Facebook. So again, telling Sally Sue her answer was correct in your illegal Trivia Contest is also a VIOLATION. You may not message Sally Sue, either. In fact, you can’t use ANY Facebook functions to name a winner (starting to understand why those 3rd-party applications are necessary?!).
- Every participant of a contest or promotion must also be notified that they are giving their information to YOU and not to Facebook.
- Page names on Facebook must represent Page content. This means if you’re a candle stick maker and all you do is post cat memes, you’re technically violating ToS. I haven’t heard of FB coming down hard on this yet, but I am secretly wishing for the day marketers will have to use their noodles to garner likes and shares versus going to Someecards.com and re-posting non-relevant content day in and day out.
- Though there isn’t specific language in FB’s ToS, using other people’s content, visual aids, or the taking of one’s ideas without giving credit IS a form of online plagiarism. To read more about your rights and what you can do if a dirty marketer steals your stuff, read this.
- Okay, this one isn’t anyone in ToS, either. However, we see it WAY too often. Stop posting crap. This means don’t make it all about you. It also means help your community; give your Fans useful, relevant and educational information. Be original. And if you can’t be original? Well, yikes. Maybe Facebook isn’t the place for you.
I know there are a MILLION examples I’ve left out – I just wanted to go for the ones we’re seeing way too often (and by way too many social “professionals”).
Please take your very own moment with the referee whistle and the bullhorn and rant away with the fragrant fouls you constantly see in the comments section below!
See you in the social sphere!
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