So you have started a business on Facebook – you’re excited and you’re proud of what you offer; no doubt you feel you have the superior product offering.  The most important thing you need to do now is to start building your online business reputation – because your reputation and your brand go hand in hand.     There are many articles on how to promote your online business and that is not the purpose of this blog.  Today I want to talk to you about what is NOT good business practice and how you just might damage your brand by doing the wrong thing.

We are living in public times, Facebook and other Social Media open our businesses up to all kinds of scrutiny – are you playing by the rules of good etiquette?   Before you enter someone’s facebook wall, make sure you wipe your feet on the mat!

Here are my top 5 things to NEVER do with your business on Facebook:

  1. SPAM – do not plaster advertisements for your business all over someone else’s wall.   It is one thing to engage as part of a community, but if you want to advertise your products or services then be respectful and ask the page owner by a private message first.    By being courteous you are building your reputation for a business with high standards and good ethics.  If the business says NO to you – take it on the chin.   Just keep on doing what you are doing right on your own page. Use Facebook ads and other promotions – not underhand tricks.
  2. DONT SOLICIT your competitors clients and fans – If you have a great product it should speak for itself.   You risk a huge backflip on your own business reputation if you start messaging and emailing fans from someone else’s page about your own business.  Engage on your competitors page in a positive vein, adding good content to discussions.
  3. DON’T make claims about competitors products or services if you cannot prove them.   Trying to bring down your competitors reputations by making statements and accusations about the quality is highly unethical – think about your own business and how you would feel if someone starting putting your business down without even knowing you?   You actually risk that occuring because your statements may upset loyal fans who will then start posting negative comments on your page.  You reap what you sow!
  4. Don’t be a TROLL.   There is no surefire way of damaging your business or personal reputation than by “trolling”.  This is when you post remarks which are aimed to give someone else a rise, cause havoc and generally are inflammatory or negative.  Sure you might put some people of the business you are trying to put down – but do you really think you are building trust and respect for your own brand?  All you do is create mud and then someone else has to get out the mop and bucket.
  5. Don’t just randomly share content without acknowledging the original source – even if it is a direct competitor – do the right thing and let people know who wrote it and where it came from.  Take the time to add your own insight and take on the article or ask relevant questions to get the conversation going and  to provide more value to your readers.

So that’s my quick top 5.  Have you ever had someone walking muddy footprints on your wall?   There are right and wrong ways to respond to bad Facebook behaviour – it’s important to respond with good etiquette.   Join the conversation and let’s problem solve together.



Fiona Lucas is an online reputation management specialist and Social Media Educator. She has recently launched a new program iRespectOnline. Follow her on facebook at