Sharon Koehler

Artistic Stone Design

facebook logoWe all love Facebook. I have a personal profile, and I bet you do, too. I created my company’s page and I am partially responsible for its content. But, as with everything else in life, there are rules to be aware of and follow. These rules were created by Facebook. The below 10 Rules of Facebook are all from their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. (You know, the pages and pages of text that we were supposed to agree to when we set up our accounts, but most of us never actually read?)

#1 – No scamming. 

You cannot promote or advertise any unlawful multi–level marketing plan i.e. no pyramid or Ponzi schemes. 

#2 – No sex offenders allowed in the pool. 

Convicted sex offenders are (supposedly) barred from Facebook. Good in theory, but hard to enforce.

#3 – Everything stays on the up and up.

You cannot publicly display any false information about yourself. You cannot have more than one personal account for yourself, and you cannot create an account for someone else without permission. Also, no accounts for your pets, either (sorry, Grumpy Cat).

#4 – No harassment.

You cannot try to intimidate, harass or bully anyone. 

#5 – You must be “Of Age” to have a page.

No one under the age of 13 can have a Facebook account. Did you know that Facebook shuts down approximately 20,000 accounts per day belonging to underage users?

#6 – No spamming or hacking. 

No unauthorized commercial communications allowed, no uploading viruses or harmful codes.

#7 – There is no free speech here.

Facebook says they will not tolerate anything that encourages or incites hate, violence or pornography. I have had several friends in “Facebook Jail” over this, (mostly over political posts).

#8 – Leave your neighbor’s stuff private.

If you want to be an idiot and post your own financial documents or your own identification documents, go ahead, BUT you cannot post any sensitive information about anyone else.

#9 – You cannot be a digital salesperson.

What they mean is that you cannot use your personal timeline for financial gain and you can’t sell your status update to an advertiser. In simpler terms, you cannot use Facebook for profit unless you are willing to share it with them.

#10 – You cannot encourage or knowingly help anyone to violate these Facebook rules.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. So, if you want to stay out of ”Facebook Jail,” follow the rules! The Facebook Police have proven pretty successful at catching violators.

Now, besides what Facebook has told us they will not tolerate, we humans as a society have come up with some things that just bug the heck out of us – on Facebook.

#1 – No self promotion. 

If you recently became self-employed or are picking up spare money selling something, create a business or private page. Announce it on your personal page and direct everyone to your business or private page. Do your business there.

#2 – Don’t tag people in “not so great” photos.

Your BFF may not want everyone to see her when she is recovering from the flu or throwing up because he partied too hard.  Also, remember that their employer may be out there lurking somewhere, and college admissions offices do peruse social media, as well. Think before you post: “Would I want the world to see me like this?”

#3 – Don’t overpost about your kids or pets. 

Yes, little Elena is cute and Rover does the most adorable things. We get it, and we may even agree they are officially the Cutest Thing Ever. But don’t overdo it.

#4 – Don’t post or share pictures of OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN without their permission.

Some people are funny about Social Media and their privacy. Just ask the question before you post. Better safe than sorry.

#5 – Facebook is not for Instant Messaging.

Yes, it’s on your phone and you get alerts for activity, but these sorts of posts tend to clutter up people’s pages. Instant messaging is what texting is for.

#6 – Don’t just assume everyone wants to play your game or wants to help you play it.

If yousend someone a game request and they don’t answer, don’t keep on doing it. It’s really, really annoying.

#7 – Don’t overdo your status posts.

If you want to check in, that’s great. Unfortunately the whole “We just got seated…We just ordered drinks and are waiting for food… The food just arrived and now we are eating! Here’s a picture of my plate!” chain is overdoing it and frankly, most people just don’t care.

#8 – No bad-mouthing. 

You and your BFF had a falling out. You found out your girlfriend cheated on you. Your sister stole your favorite sweater. Don’t take to Facebook and air your dirty laundry in public! Your 200-300 friends don’t want to be dragged into your personal drama. This is what phones are for. Call someone. Keep your bad-mouthing private so it has less chance of coming back to bite you in the butt! Because believe me, it will come back to haunt you.

#9 – Don’t discuss anyone else’s problems.

They aren’t your problems. You have no business discussing someone else’s life, problems or issues, on Facebook. Airing their woes is up to them.

Just remember that your personal profile is yours and it reflects what is going on in your world. Keep it clean. Keep it simple, and as a rule of thumb, make sure that if your grandmother read it, neither of you would be embarrassed.

Taking Care of Business

If you have a business page keep all of the above guidelines in mind, and also:

#1 – Stick to business.

The people following your business page don’t care about your personal life UNLESS you have just attended a seminar or convention, and you want to spread some new and exciting information.

#2 – Keep your information current.

If you change your hours, personnel, contact information or simply change locations, make sure your page reflects those changes. 

#3 – Add pictures, pictures and more pictures.

Post a lot of project photos and be aware that they don’t always have to be of the end, finished and polished product. It’s OK to show work in progress.

#4 – Check your page frequently to stay current.

Check for posts by others, comments you need to address and questions you need to answer, and respond in a timely manner.

#5 – Show a mild sense of humor.

Keep the humor light. If you get too radical or snarky, people may not understand or you may offend someone. Example: I once took a picture of a flock of geese in our parking lot and termed them “Visitors” for a post.

#6 – Tag your colleagues. 

Tag other trades or businesses that you work with when displaying photos or making posts. Give credit where it’s due. What goes around comes around. 

#7 – Keep your political opinions to yourself.

People aren’t following or looking at your business page to find out how you feel about politics, religion or any other pressing world matter.  What’s more, airing your views may even lose you some customers, who only want to know about your business and what you do. Sharing the other stuff is what friends are for.

Remember Facebook can be a great tool for your business. Make sure it shows the world what your business is about, especially  if your customers have good things to say about their experience with you.

Please send your thoughts on this article to Sharon Koehler at