May 23, 2013

What is proper etiquette for using personal social media accounts to promote your company?

I have an acquaintance that constantly posts promotional links to her company on Facebook and Google+. I mean constantly. I would guess on a typical day I get a half-dozen posts that are links 100% related to her work without any witty comment, observation, or even introduction. Essentially, I get hammered with ersatz advertising whether I want it or not (and I do not want it). Then after I get the Facebook posts, I get what are essentially duplicates from her on Google+. To be fair, I have certainly posted links to some things that are work related myself, such as when an article I wrote was published, but that is very rare. What do you think? Where is the line on using a personal Facebook/Google+/Twitter/etc. to promote work events and activity?

If you must do it, do it sparingly. Nobody likes being spammed.

In her case, you'd probably do well to hide her posts on Facebook and Google+. No point in seeing it if it doesn't interest you.
If it's that much of an annoyance to you, I'd drop her from the social networks you both use. You describe her as an acquaintance, so it sounds like she probably wouldn't be personally offended. Also, if she's that out of control, you will be far from the only one cutting her off. I doubt she'd even notice; as you describe her, she sounds relatively unaware.

Proper etiquette is to not do it, or at least do it very rarely. I would say the example you used about posting to your news feed when you had something published is different, because you are really sharing something that you accomplished. If you accomplish something personally, say a high profile new account or the like, I wouldn't have a problem with someone announcing that in their personal account, because, as in the above example, you are really sharing something that you accomplished.  When you start using your personal account as a back door to get your corporate message out to people who have not expressed an interest in it crosses the line into advertising.


This technique of is also likely to be counterproductive and get the person "unfriended" or ignored. How effective is it going to be when you annoy everyone by treating their news feed as a corporate billboard? Not very. If I had to make a bright line rule, it would be this: If you are sharing your own professional accomplishments, that's ok. If you are pimping for you company, that is not. 

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