The following social media etiquette information is relevant to membership in the iCreateDaily for Creators Facebook group. It’s also relevant to other groups you may belong to as well as any page or group you are growing or planning to grow as a host.
Our Social Media Etiquette Regarding Links
The iCreateDaily for Creators Facebook group rules have been for community members to only share their personal or brand link posts on the Friday Link Share invitation posts. Members can share their art, work, updates, etc, on the daily host post or on the timeline all other days.
Some groups never allow you to post your own brand links.
Shares in our Facebook group can include links to other inspiring or interesting sites and information on all other days. But for members’ brand and product links, it has been restricted to Friday Link Share invitations.
However, that’s changing. Next, we explain the reason for rules and also why we’re relaxing ours now within the iCreateDaily group.
If you’re an individual creator without a brand page or group, and no intentions of starting one, you might be interested as a community member, to learn some of the ins and outs of how it works. If you do have—or plan to start—your own creator brand page and community, this may help you in establishing your own approach.
We’re always learning, so if you have tips to share from your own experience, we’d love to hear!
The Reason Behind the Rules
The need to restrict links was born out of necessity. This is because it’s very common in Facebook groups and pages to have people joining and ‘following’ or ‘liking’ pages in order to promote their own brands. It is a normal and recommended brand growth strategy to connect with others of similar interests, both as an individual as well as for business networking.
However, some people use other’s groups to spam with links to their sites, accounts, landing pages, shops and affiliate links. They do this for growing their own audience as well as for selling stuff to make money. Others are employees doing scraping content and clicks for their employer’s businesses and websites.
We’re all for the entrepreneurial efforts, however, the few who do not utilize good social media etiquette can mess it up for the majority who do. Kind of like how the bully in the classroom, disrupts it for everybody, or a handful of terrorists, forever changed the experience of travel for the entire world.
The few who do not engage in good social media etiquette can mess it up for the majority who do.
Our Sister Brands
As a family, we also own and manage a few other websites and social accounts. One of the social groups is the Planting for Retirement Facebook group, sister brand to our gardening website, GardensAll.com, and also PlantingForRetirement.com.
With over 4.3k members in our Planting for Retirement Facebook group we have to vet new member requests as well as scan posts for spam. As such, it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, even though it’s clearly stated in the group rules.
We also get daily requests to join from:
- Individuals and small companies seeking to grow their business and brands
- Foreign outsourcers looking to lurk to scrape content for their employer sites
- Sales reps for all kinds of MLM companies
It’s the first group that we serve most, but which is a balancing act. We have to balance encouraging and cheering members along in all of their business growth efforts, versus those who tend to violate social media etiquette.
We applaud the need for entrepreneurs to toot their own horn. It’s essential for business growth to put your name and content out there. However, not cool to join a group to promote to sell, unless that is the nature of the group.
In spite of the group rules, some people don’t read them, and others don’t care and try spamming the group anyway. We used to give a warning out of courtesy: second infraction and you’re out. But it was time consuming and invariably, they would spam the group again.
So now we often ban them without warning, (as is stated will happen in our group rules). But first, we check their status around an essential social media etiquette rule which we’ll get into in the next section.
Social Media Etiquette
Social media, is—first and foremost—about interacting with others. Just as in any relationship, the best results come from good manners and respectful behavior, and go a long way toward creating good will, and reciprocal interactions from others.
Anyone who is rude or disrespectful in any of our groups is removed immediately and blocked from further access. Period. Besides that, the next most important gauge we use is engagement.
The one thing we check for before removing someone from any of our groups or pages, is how engaged they are in the group and with others.
A common example of poor social media etiquette is to visit the group to post your things, but to never read and comment on other member’s posts. Usually, those who spam the group have not posted anything else but their own promotional link/s.
In any relationship, if you’re only interested in yourself and what you have to say, or what you’re doing, your relationships will suffer. Same thing in social groups. If a member engages in the group content and posts, is helpful and encouraging to other members, that’s good social etiquette. We will always give them the benefit of the doubt before immediate removal. In that case we first send a private message (PM) to remind them of the group rule that was broken.
Typically, those who are there to spam the group or just there in pursuit of their agenda, haven’t had any other engagement. There are also exceptions, such as some spammers lurking for awhile and then months later posting a rash of promotional posts.
There are also positive exceptions, such as solid and thoughtful members who are just too busy and productive in their own business to have time to spend on social media. Often, these folks may show up periodically with positive engagement and interest. Then of course there are always the shy folks… the ones who retreat to the corners at parties and try to avoid interactions as much as possible, yet the still want to belong, so we never remove people for not chiming in.
Finding the Balance – Supporting and Serving While Protecting
As the hosts for any group or page, the admin and moderator role is to serve as hosts for our audience first, while being a platform of expression for our brand or group purpose. The iCreateDaily brand serves individual creators as well as professional creators earning a living—or aspiring to—from their creative endeavors.
As such, we want to promote creators and share their work and businesses, even as we share our own. In fact, a foundational aspiration of the iCreateDaily brand is to be a platform that elevates, promotes and supports other creators.
Our goal is to grow our brand success such that we will have a larger, stronger platform for helping other creators succeed in their aspirations and goals. Part of that includes creating opportunities for sharing member’s work as well as having members share their work, websites and social accounts.
We also encourage supporting fellow members by visiting and liking each other’s social accounts.
So our aspirations to serve, elevate and promote other creators and their businesses, must be balanced with protecting members from those who are there to recruit and sell to fellow members.
It must also be balanced with our purpose of creating and sharing our content and products while providing lots more of value to members for free.
We belong to social groups to elevate, encourage and support each other, not to sell to each other, (unless that is the stated purpose of the group).
Together we grow stronger. By elevating each other we also elevate ourselves.
Supporting Without Distracting
As social hosts, another fine line we walk is that of providing content that is hopefully, helpful, encouraging, uplifting and useful, while not providing a distraction. As cheerleaders for fellow creators, we have to balance keeping the group involved, interested and engaged with not being a distraction to the very work and focus we’re encouraging.
Changing the iCreateDaily for Creators Facebook Group Rules
Fortunately, spamming has mostly not been the case in our relatively small and intimate iCreateDaily for Creators Facebook group. When it happened, that member was removed. And for that reason we are now opening the comments of our daily posts as the place for members to include a relevant link to whatever they’re sharing, when applicable.
For example, a number of members have their own artist page which they need to nurture with content. In that case, when they want to share something in the iCreateDaily Facebook group, it will save—and leverage—their time to post it to their page and from there, share it to the iCreateDaily group.
For anyone building a brand or company of any kind, social networking is a natural and needed thing. However, there are ways that work and those that don’t. Most people are not on social media to buy; they’re there to connect. Connection over commerce.
Summary of Good Social Media Etiquette
A simple best practices summary of social media etiquette, do’s and don’ts.
Social Media Etiquette:
- Care before you share.
- It’s not a one-way conversation.
- Connection over commerce.
Social Media Do’s
- Social media is about conversations, caring and connecting, not promoting.
- “Care before you share.“ (Don’t just post your own content. Comment and engage in others posts too).
- You’re welcome to share one relevant (non-promotional) link per day in our social groups. Consider:
- tips and info that may help others
- industry news and positive stories (non-political or divisive)
- posts from your own social page or profile
Social Media Don’ts
- Don’t only share links to your sales or product pages.
- Don’t only share links to your stuff without also genuinely commenting, liking/loving, other member’s posts. I.e.,“Care before you share.”
- Social media is not a one-way conversation. Don’t post and not respond to other’s posts and comments on yours.
The iCreateDaily Group and Community
As the host of the iCreateDaily—and other—Facebook groups, our goal is to uplift and encourage our members in their personal, creative and professional aspirations. So it’s a balancing act.
It’s about cheering on members and providing insight and opportunities, while also protecting the group. You want to avoid an environment of members being “sold to” by those with that as their sole purpose for belonging.
The purpose of iCreateDaily can be summed up in the 4-C’s:
Creation, Connection, Contribution, and Collaboration. Beyond that, also sharing here the iCreateDaily mission and motto.
iCreateDaily® PURPOSE – 4-C’s:
Creation, Connection, Contribution, & Collaboration.
Transformation through creation.
The Day is the Way.
Hosting Groups, Pages and Admins
For any host that is a brand or an individual hobbyist, social groups and pages are wonderful resources. Social mediums are the best way to connect with kindred spirits and those who most resonate with what you represent.
This includes people who may never buy what you have to offer, as well as those who do and those who may. All are welcome.
For members who are also seeking to grow your audience and sell your products, that’s great! Our ultimate goal is to support you. But whether it’s iCreateDaily or other groups you belong to, keep in mind that to go into other groups and pages to promote your brand, products, blogs, etc., without an invitation, is poor social media etiquette and is as likely to lose followers as to gain them.
A Perspective on the Socials
If you’re a writer, you wouldn’t show up at another author’s book signing to try to sell your books, right? Nor likely to go to your local indie coffee shop carrying a Starbucks cup.
If you’re a baker, you wouldn’t stand in Starbucks trying to sell your muffins, nor post a sign in their window telling their customers to visit your place of business. Nor would you pop into any local shop or business and tell patrons that they should visit another, better one down the street.
These are common sense good manners kinds of things, and the same applies to social media platforms as well. Goodwill, caring and sharing go a long way toward helping others.
By helping others, we help ourselves.
We are after all, social animals.
Good social media etiquette translates simply as being thoughtful, respectful, helpful and interested.
Don’t Yet Have a Website or Facebook Page?
Do you need a website, or not sure if you do? This article should help,
If you don’t yet have a Facebook page, here’s a 13 minute tutorial on how to set it up. He even includes a quick Canva tutorial on how to quickly create images using the free Canva app.
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