11 Things You Need to Immediately Stop Doing on Facebook

dislike-button-stop-signAre you getting tired of Facebook or some of the behavior of your friends on the site? Facebook is the most popular social network with over 1 billion active users. And with great popularity comes some shameful characters looking to tap into Facebook’s viral market to sell you their crappy products or scheme your money through affiliate links or worse.

So if you happen to find yourself doing any of the 11 following things, you should look to stop doing so immediately before all of your friends look to jump ship!

1. Tagging Random People in Photos

Please stop tagging people you barely know in photos that have nothing to do with them. It’s one thing when your buddy tags you in an unphotogenic pic, then sends it out to friends for some laughs, because, hey, at least it’s you. But the people I’m talking about upload photos and tag as many people as they can to try and gin up as many likes as possible. This is a classic move by spammers so be cautious of anyone who does this. I’ve had to call out several individuals over the years, even friends for their random tagging, and you should do the same in any suspect post. Sending a personal message to them to stop could work, too, but I feel like if some goofball wants to tag me in every one of his posts, he must be looking for my input so I give it to him publicly right then and there. Yes, revenge is a dish best served cold…

2. Cross-Posting From Twitter

Look, I understand you’re a little short on content and things to say. We all basically post the same stuff on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. but at least have the decency to not automatically send your Twitter tweets to Facebook. For one, you’ll get much less engagement posting to Facebook via any third-party app let alone Twitter which basically disregards Facebook etiquette. If you do this, it’s a clear sign you’re not really engaged on Facebook or maybe just too lazy to post yourself, either way a fail.

facebook fail

Recommended for YouWebcast: The Art of Community Development: Turning Brand Awareness Into Sales

3. Liking Your Own Posts

So you’ve just posted the cutest cat or baby picture ever. That’s cool, I guess. But then you go ahead and like your photo too. Well, I know you already like the post, aren’t you the one who just shared the damn thing? Besides being annoyingly repetitive, the real reason people feel the need to do this is that the action of liking the post will again show up in the streaming news ticker, giving the post even more exposure (it’s potentially seen twice). These are typically the moves of self-proclaimed “social media gurus” or people who just feel insecure about their status posts.

4. New Page Invites

Look, I understand you need to create a page for your business, but please stop inviting me to your half-ass Facebook pages. Instead post interesting content to your own page, share it on your profile as well (so your friends see it), and if people find it interesting they will follow. It’s almost not your fault, as creating a page and inviting all your friends can be tempting, but most of your friends won’t like your page and maybe they won’t like you anymore either. And the ones who do like it would’ve probably found it anyways without your begging them to do so. So don’t do this…

facebook messages

what you really sound like on Facebook

5. App Requests

If you’re on Facebook all day playing Farmville, that should be embarrassing enough, and the last thing you should ever want to do is invite your friends and alert them to your nerdiness. And I can’t even explain to you the ill feeling I get when I receive a request to join Klout, for example, even though I’ve already registered, from one of my less intelligent friends.

6. Suggesting Friends

Please stop suggesting I friend somebody else. You playing match-maker is a little creepy and I might start to question why you and I are friends instead. And it’s actually worse than creepy because, you see, on Facebook expert spammers pair up and start suggesting up to 50 random friends for each other. By doing this, the people they suggest will get the notification (in their friend requests) and may mistakenly think the spammers requested the friendship. In reality, the spammers want you to commit the first step by adding them as friends (essentially tricking you to friend request them). Facebook penalizes people for requesting too many friends, but spammers who pair up and suggest friends for each other escape notice since they are not actually doing the requesting.

7. Adding People to Random Groups

This one’s a big pet peeve of mine. A classic text-book spam artist move, people will add you to random groups without your knowledge and all of a sudden you’re signed up for every single notification for each posts to the group. If this happens to you, make sure to leave the group or at least turn off the notifications within the group settings, as well as question the friendship with the culprit who added you. You don’t want to be the person known for doing this on Facebook, it’s a huge red flag.

8. Off-base and Mass Messages

Stop sending mass messages with dozens of people attached. You’ve seen these before, like “please like my page” or “vote for me in this ridiculous award I can’t win,” etc. People loathe being addressed in this style, and if you really have something to say at the very least personalize your message to each individual or, better yet, refrain altogether from sending out mass messages. After all, it’s straight out of the guide to spamming.

please vote

what really happens on Facebook

9. The Ridiculous Event Invite

I’m honored you want me to come to your poetry reading in Siberia, but I’m not quite sure I’ll be able to make it. When you send mass requests to a bunch of people you don’t really know, it makes you seem inconsiderate and pretty much paints you as a spammer.

10. Overdone Like Buttons

Somehow I’ve ventured over to your blog only to be greeted by an alarming pop-up Facebook “like” box baiting me to like your page. And then, when that goes away, I can barely even see your blog post because of the 100 “like” buttons strategically placed throughout your site.

too many like buttons

11. Poking People

Always sort of a joke, it might be time to finally retire this Facebook feature. Something just feels off every time you poke me. No matter how you cut it, there isn’t a single situation in which poking someone is acceptable.

poke me again i dare you

If you are one of the millions of people committing these crimes on a daily basis, please refrain from doing so at once! You know who you are. I promise you whatever you’re trying to sell or market will have a much better chance if you come up with some honest hard-working tactics like creating or curating interesting and relevant content as opposed to relative social media douchebaggery.

get more likes

you wouldn't do this in the real world

create awesome things

It’s that simple folks, avoid these 11 things and one day you can go from a spam-bot back to being my friend! Does anything else annoy you about Facebook?

Comics via The Oatmeal, Facebook stop sign by Steve Lovelace

Comments: 62

  • Whitney says:

    Good stuff! Loved all of these, especially the overdone share buttons and liking your own posts, #desperate! :-P If you want to see some Twitter Do’s and Don’ts, check out my Twitter cheat sheet on Grow Socially! http://growsocially.com/2013/01/07/twitter-cheat-sheet/

  • Lynn Trahan says:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself, thank you!
    I didn’t see a share button or I would have put it on my page and been oh so tempted to like it! You have my permission to share it on my page and I will personally see to it that it gets posted on my timeline.

    I love it when people tell the truth, good job sir.

  • You’ve made your point in a very clear way. Thank you for that, it is very helpful and I really like the way write!

  • Olive says:

    #12 Don’t make up ridiculous job titles to make you sound smart. “Social Media” Evangelists, Doctors, Experts, Engineers, and (ahem) Scientists… they may sound ok to the title holders… but they really sound more like this:

    “Please hire me because I know how to use Facebook and Twitter, and you old people don’t”

  • Mike Smith says:

    Why does anyone waste their time on FB anyway ? come on people – get a life. Really.

  • Great points, I could not agree more! Being automatically added to groups be people is the one that drives me crazy!

  • Awesome post. When people automatically add me to groups I unjoin right away. If I want to be part of a group I’ll join or request to join.

  • Daniel, I don’t understand the second one. I publish my ‘best’ content on Twitter, and most of my friends don’t use Twitter. I usually like to share my new thougts with my friends, so I have a facebook plugin to automatically do so. (efectively, I’m not really engaged on Facebook). Where is my fault? PS: I hate people who change his facebook status frecuently, that is not an option. Thank you in advance.

  • Superb Daniel – thank-you for putting all of these in one place. You’re responsible for a big fat smile on my face. Interesting, don’t you think, that social platforms have been largely responsible for encouraging so much of what I consider to be socially inept behaviour by otherwise normal and intelligent people! It’s as if the moment we’ve created a profile on Facebook we take on a new persona – I just know most people would not behave as they do on their social profiles if they were actually in the same room as their “friends”, “fans” and “followers” – great post :)

  • Laurie says:

    and while we’re at it here’s a link to my Cats Sing and Patty Cake The Birthday Song. Share it with your friends wall Facebook birthday greetings! :) http://youtu.be/_DxXDcRfaQI

  • Doug Cohen says:

    Nice! Totally agree with these, and since you asked I’ll add a couple for brands. This falls under number 8, but specifically there is nothing worse than a brand that posts a ton of memes – does that really represent your brand and what you do? So lazy – create or at least share some real content. Also just flat out overposting in general to try to keep your reach up is really bad. It ultimately has the reverse effect. “I promise you whatever you’re trying to sell or market will have a much better chance if you come up with some honest hard-working tactics like creating or curating interesting and relevant content as opposed to relative social media douchebaggery.” is one of the better lines I’ve seen written on this topic. Douchebaggery may be my new favorite word. Well done.

    • Steve White says:

      On social sites, but also on the Web at large, why do such “debauchers” imagine that by using Bait-‘n’-Switch, intrusion, pop-ups, spam, and trickery think these things make them titans of industry? Yes, getting people to your site is vital, if you’re selling something; but chaining them, throwing them into the back of your ’82 Fairlane, and shoveling them through the door (so to speak) might not be the best way. You get me to your commercial site by trickery, and you don’t have a buyer; you have one uncharacteristically pissed-off Web veteran from whom you’ve just stolen time and serenity. Do I wanna buy?
      #@&%, no!

  • Carl Brim says:

    I Agree, I am new to Internet Marketing, I do use face book and Twitter but I usually don’t blow up my timeline with link after link, I do However need the business to grow so social Networking will work, I hope. If you have any suggestions please contact me. Thank You, Carl Brim

  • Great article! ‘Liking’ own posts drives me insane and seems to be one thing that a lot of clients struggle with, even when advised not to do it and why not to do it!

    I think many problems stem from the fact that the way you use Facebook as a business is different to the way you use it as an individual, yet inexperienced people are using those same methods which just makes them look unprofessional.

    Thanks for an entertaining read!

  • Adam Gilks says:

    This post deserves a like…one hell of a like.

  • Caoimhe says:

    Can I add a “don’t”? Relatives sharing photos of my kids with their friends.

  • Amy Schellen says:

    social media scientist?!? …pffft! you should include something about this bs* too, don’t you think?

  • Sassi says:

    It creeps me out when people post pictures of their kids. Seems they’re leaving themselves open for pedophiles, rapists, or kidnappers. I’m childless, so I understand if you put up 1 or 2 pictures if your kid wins a dance competition or graduates college, but the people who download 100 new pictures per day – is that really necessary? I’ve unfriended people for being too “kid crazy.”

    • Jenni says:

      I look at it this way – these people aren’t getting their kids’ permission, and neither is Facebook. They should not be posting pics of their kids online. In fact, I don’t think you should post any pic of anyone on Facebook unless that person is actually on Facebook themselves and is old enough to understand the pitfalls of online profiles. As for the kids, if people want others to have a pic of their kid, postal mail a photo to that person. That’s what our friend does. I posted pics of my parents before and then thought, “I shouldn’t do that. I don’t have their permission.” I deleted my account altogether.

  • Lindsey says:

    My personal best is when people ‘like’ the pictures they put up of themselves.
    Oh, and facebraggers who do nothing but talk about all the exercise they do and healthy food they eat.

  • Chloe B says:

    Oh my goodness, this story made me giggle. What annoys me is, when people post very personal situations and expect others to feel sorry for them. Then they get angry when they’re abused.

  • Ambriance says:

    I agree when people automatically join you to groups on Facebook! My ultimate pet peeve. I never asked to join but you go around and put me on. I don’t care if it is family related or not, you can ask me.

  • Darrolyn says:

    Thank you for this article. Not only is it 11 pieces of good advice, you did it with humor which made it near perfect. I get so fed up with all those little saying that, although I like most of them, take most of my time scrolling through to try to find live messages. I wish everyone was limited to one (or two)per week ad the rest of what they send is from THEM.

  • Adam says:

    This is one of the funniest useful posts I’ve ever read.

  • Jackie says:

    This literally made me LOL!! Love the picture captions too! Great article!!

  • pold says:

    Funniest useful posts, I love the images!

  • And in an excellent related article, “25 Signs You’re a Social Media Toolbag,” Refer #19: “(You) blatantly copy others original content and even have the guts to have it syndicated on other sites…”
    So great article, love all the graphics you “borrowed” from The Oatmeal, sir.

    • Mary says:

      Oatmeal is cited at the bottom of the article. I would assume, unless I see evidence otherwise, that the writer used the comics with permission. Might’ve been wise to state that somewhere in a caption, however.

  • “You wouldn’t do this in the real world” is amazing. I feel I need to send a LOT of small business owners to this page. The only thing I didn’t see was “Registering your business as a person” those ones are great

  • Shaylee says:

    Hilarious article, love the illustrations! Thanks for the laugh.

  • Jeff says:

    OMG great article I had to stop reading several times because I was laughing so hard. Keep up the good work

  • dann says:

    need only common sense

  • NOAEfame says:

    I am so glad I never did any of this, i just started using Facebook, I am still learning how things are done there. Thanks for sharing.

  • Suse Kenton says:

    “Douchbag” is highly offensive to many women, implying that females are “unclean.” Other than the use of that term, the article was hilarious.

    • Dala says:

      Really? I’ve never met a woman who said she viewed it that way – the only people I know who’d be offended by it dislike foul language in general, or are pushily PC to the point of being offensive themselves. Actually met one person who objects to the word “kid” as a kid is a baby goat, and somehow this stops children and goats from attaining suffrage or equal pay or something; most people I mention that to find the person objecting far more objectionable than the term itself. I’m a woman and a lifelong feminist (though not of the radical-nutbag Mary Daly variety who seemed to hijack EVERY class in university, no matter what the subject, and whether the professor was male or female) and my friends of both genders, who have gone to bat for women’s rights on everything from advertising images to abortion, use that term VERY often – to describe rude/unkind people, NOT unclean ones. If anything, the ACTUAL EXISTENCE of douches is far more offensive than the slang term – real douches are bad for women and have only been marketed under the assumption that women are dirty. Having said that, actual douchebags are gross in the way used condoms are gross; this does not, however, imply that the body parts these – errr, sleeves are intended for are unclean (though, like all body parts, they do require regular cleaning). As a slang term, “douche(bag)” is simply an insult. Calling someone a “dick(hole)” “prick” “tool” (implying that the male member is a bad thing), or “as ugly as a bag of foreskins” (huge put-down where I come from), while not very PC because most put-downs aren’t, has never been taken as sexist. All due respect, but many of us feel we should be focusing our feminism on real issues.

      P.S. Excellent article, but am mystified by the “suggesting friends” point – have never heard of the phenomenon you mention and don’t really know any one who’s been a victim of it – is it business community thing? Have never had anyone suggest a friend that wasn’t a mutual friend of both of ours from way back; it’s most common when people are just joining FB and don’t know who’s on there. Besides, if you don’t know the person, you don’t accept their friend request. Simple. Oh, and the blog thing is less a FB thing than a blog thing.

  • Mark says:

    Some interesting points. Most are spot on. Well done!

  • Kelly says:

    well, not ‘exactly’ an original contribution. Doubtful that The Oatmeal gave you permission to use those images. The little attribution at the very end doesn’t really do justice, nor does it likely cover the copyright on the images. Sounds like most of the readers here have never been to http://theoatmeal.com. Kind of disappointing coming from a “social media scientist.”

  • Daneil, I’m reading this article 3rd time, and today I decided to leave my comments :) I don’t think after reading your entire article, someone will do these things, but you know 99% small business owners (so called business owners) on Facebook (social media) read/watch stupid marketing videos, purchased their products and they start doing, what you already illustrated to stop them.

  • GRH says:

    I don’t know why I read this, I don’t have a lobotomy – sorry, I mean Facebook account, but it made larf so it was not all bad. But after I laughed I felt sad. Sad that this is what people waste their time on. Don’t get me wrong, I had a FB account loooong ago when it was optional. But it was the compulsory lobotomising that made me cancel. Oh well. Good luck world.

  • It is the old adage Daniel, if you are desperate for your likes and followers, you certainly come across as sounding desperate. Its like that in sales too btw. If you are desperate, people end up getting annoyed with you. You get nowhere. Same applies to social media. Regarding the liking your own posts, I am going to go with the “Social Media Guru” excuse. Good read, thank you for sharing. I especially liked the illustrations.

  • Robert Bruce says:

    I will show this article to y son. I can hear hi ranting at you! “..You have listed all the things that made my days on Facebook so worthwhile. Not fair.You have snitched on all those activities me and my 999,000,047 cohorts did daily. Now what am I going to do all day? Go get a life? Where from? How do I know when I have found the life I need? Do they sell them at Wal Mart or Macy’s? Can I use dad’s credit card?…….etc etc”

    Thanks you from the bottom of my very empty bank account.

    A Happier Father

  • Valentina says:

    This article made my day… I swear! Point 4 with that “i sold my kids to slavery” made me laugh for 5 minutes and I almost could not breath.
    You are totally right, on everything.

  • Georgina says:

    Great article, also is annoying those who says: Like if your mom is the best, Like if you love your children, or a picture of a disabled person doing something extraordinary and says: Like if you are proud of him, a picture of Jesus Christ saying like if you love him and share if you think he loves you; and a long list of things you “obviously like” Is disgusting

  • Daniel, Wonderful article…love the pictures! Thanks for the laugh. :)

  • Nice to see so many things which I never thought of as something not be do done on facebook. You have given a very good insight through humor. I often find that people are inviting me to some app or a game. Once in a while it is ok but time and again, even after not accepting it, if they keep sending the same request then that is quite annoying.

    Tagging is one more thing which I do not like. Why should someone tag me in some of their friends photos and worse still, in some non-people photos. I mean, I understand that they want the notification to go to everyone in their friends’ list but that is quite useless.


  • Henry says:

    You also need to immediately stop splitting infinitives.

  • Lilay says:

    WOW. this is great. it’s really very annoying seeing someone liking his/her post on FB. thank you, but i need to share this on my FB so people i know will learn the right FB manners. more power.

  • Onika says:

    Noteworthy points. I must say some of the things here have been shared earlier as Facebook etiquettes, but the way you presented them and with the use of infographics it has become so much better. Commendable.

  • Mollykins8H says:

    But I love poking wars!! lol :D

  • Heidi Cornish says:

    Brilliant article! In today’s fast living time through instant communications via internet/mobile phones and the growing painful competitiveness how to prove how ‘likeable’ one seems to be, it is refreshing to read this and remind ourselves, that without the internet and it’s various mediums, we would never say or do things in person to our fellow friends,mates,colleagues or employers the way some absentmindedly do this online.

    It is as if common sense seems to be wiped out more and more without thinking a smidge ahead of any consequences or how it may make others feel about you.
    Thank you for putting this together in a really fun and interesting way to read!

  • rhum sellers says:

    I think many followers of FB are guilty of these, at least one or two. I’m also a “victim” of some invitations to play games which I was reluctant to do. And it became “perpetual invitations. I delivered a “perpetual denial”. Would you mind your article be a content of my timeline? This will serve as
    Guidelines for all who are tempted “to do if they have nothing to do” for the day.

    In addition, “If you have nothing to do, don’t do it here!”

    I like this!

  • Jennifer Olsen says:

    Great information! I have to agree that these “poke” things are extremely annoying and should be removed from Facebook because I always feel really uncomfortable when someone does this to me and I hate it.
    I’m going to have to work on a few things such as not clicking the “like” button on my friend’s pages(I had a friend who asked me to please stop)so I did but I have to remind myself not to do it.
    I don’t like app requests either because I would like to play the games I want not what others like.

  • Bill Wall says:

    I’m betting most, if not all, of the readers and comments given are from people over 25, possibly 30. At least 7 of those 11 are water off a duck’s back to however many under 25s still use Facebook. There have been several articles about how liking posts influences the kind of adverts to be targeted at you and draws attention to your own post by the same process.
    The attitudes towards the internet are different for those who don’t remember there not being an internet. Most people that complain about automatic changes, password changes, forced cookies, etc etc are people who remember the internet when it was all about ‘me’.

  • Eleanor says:

    Good for you. However, I really have a problem with the news feed reverting to the top (latest added news) whilst I am still busy reading an entry! So
    frustrating – considering cancelling my facebook registration because I can’t read at leisure?! PLEASE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! I WOULD LOVE TO READ ALL THE NEWS ARTICLES AND ALL THE INTERESTING INFO ON THIS FEED!

Add a New Comment

Thank you for adding to the conversation!

Our comments are moderated. Your comment may not appear immediately.