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Facebook etiquette: Not on my timeline

Facebook Etiquette: Not on my timeline

| On 30, Apr 2013

Pardon me while I get on my Facebook etiquette soapbox for a minute.

I don’t know if you’ve had this happen, but recently an acquaintance, ACQAINTANCE, from high school, which for me was 20 years ago, posted a sales pitch on my Facebook timeline for his car sales business.

It said something like:

If you’re looking for a new car I’ve got lots of great deals at XYZ Chevroford Sales in downtown Bryantville. Some under $30,000! Come see me this weekend for $200 off.

This was my response in a private message:

Hey [Jack], You’re fine to ask people to post for you, but it is overly presumptive to post the sales pitch directly on someone else’s timeline. Best of luck to you, but I have deleted your post.

Why was I offended?

Because posting your pitch directly on someone else’s timeline is the social equivalent of running into a big party at a stranger’s house and yelling, “BUY MY THING!!!” and then running back out the door.

No, sir. Don’t do that.

How to respond

  • Be polite
  • Be firm

I’m still learning I don’t have to be sugary sweet all the time. In fact, sometimes being sugary sweet prolongs the issue unnecessarily. Polite and firm = efficient and fair. I am not a doormat, and I am not a bitch. It’s a thin line.

Facebook is changing the rules of etiquette, but the basic principles still apply.

Have you had anything like this happen?




  1. Applause! As someone who offers a service as well as product, I don’t do that to people. Thanks for voicing how to handle it well.

  2. Kim

    I get other people in the same line of work as me liking my business page and posting their business page on my timeline asking “me” (my likers) to like them back. Those usually get deleted with no like back. Your acquaintance…I’ve just got to think he must be pretty desperate for business and I maybe even feel a little sorry for him. Not that I wouldn’t delete the post!

  3. Thankfully not on facebook just yet…but I tried helping a former high school classmate (a person that I did not run in the same circles with) with a new endeavor of hers. And now she will not leave me alone with trying to get me to buy her product. I was simply being nice and trying to help. Offered to let her guest post on my blog to help spread the word, and then she put the hounds on me. ;) So much for being the nice guy!

  4. Good for you! I don’t know if I would have been so polite. No, I know I wouldn’t have been so polite.

  5. Oh this happens all the time on my blog’s page. It is typically the same company doing it over and over again. I just keep deleting them, but haven’t thought to send them a “sweet” little note.

  6. Oh indeed that has happened, both on my own timeline but also on the pages that I manage. Why would anyone think it was okay to promote an event or organization on another organization’s page? Ask permission first! Lots of times cross promotion is great. But just posting without permission and expecting a nonprofit organization to promote your event or organization is like a bad photo bomb. Knock it off, people. Just ask first!

  7. That doesn’t bother me as much as when I mention something about a bad health day or losing something and I get people trying to sell me their crap. Literally “I don’t know what is really going on because you didn’t say but I have something that will help it.” Those get deleted. So is it rude to let people know about a friend’s service or event on a Facebook page or profile timeline? I have to admit I am guilty of that.

  8. Great response! I haven’t had anyone do that on my own timeline, but have seen it on pages I administer. I used to send people a message explaining that we only promote certains types of events/businesses/etc.. but now I usually just delete and move on. They probably don’t keep up with who leaves their posts up, and if they do and get in a snit, they can un-like our page and I won’t cry about it. :)

  9. Yes. Thank you. Perfect example of party scene. :-) Preach ON, sister!

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