Stay out of the slammer: 4 tips to avoid Facebook jail

Today’s guest post is from Tracey Warren, founder of Ready Set, Grow! Marketing, where she helps small business owners wrangle and manage their social media accounts and content with ease.

You expect Facebook to behave in certain ways, right? You want to be able to make friend requests, post statuses and comment on what other people have to say.

But imagine that today is different. Today, when you make a Friend request, you get a notification that you are blocked from making friend requests for 7, 14, 30 days. Or, you go to post a status and that functionality is not available for you.

You are in Facebook Jail.

OK, there really is no such thing as Facebook Jail, but that is the term people use to refer to the above.

If this has ever happened to you, I imagine you wondered what you did to cause it. If it hasn’t, I would guess you would want to do anything you could to avoid it.

Here are 4 tips for staying on good terms with Facebook – and your friends – so you can fly free and stay out of jail.

  1. Space Out Your Friend Requests: Don’t make tons of Friend requests at the same time. If you make a number of requests and people don’t respond, Facebook puts up a little red flag and assumes you might be a computer. Just make your requests slowly and if people aren’t responding, send them a nudge via a message to remind them.
  2. Ensure You Know the Person: Don’t make a number of friend requests to people you don’t know – or don’t make those at all. When an opportunity does arise where you would like to make a friend request and you don’t personally know them, send a private message at the same time. When someone receives a friend request, they have a few options. They can accept, or say not now. When they respond with not now, Facebook then asks if they know you outside of Facebook. If they answer no, that is a problem that can often be avoided with the private message.
  3. Don’t Bait and Switch: If someone you don’t know does accept your Friend request, don’t immediately invite them to like your Facebook business page. First of all, that is terribly tacky. Second of all, it looks like spam and can be marked as such.
  4. Stay Mindful of Mixing Business with Pleasure: Don’t post too much about your business on your personal page. That is a direct violation of the Facebook Terms of Service and can get you banned altogether. In addition, as with every post, spam is in the eye of the receiver. Any user has the option to mark any post as spam – and some will if you overly blast them with sales messages on your personal profile.

If you post what looks like spam, even people who like you will unfollow you or unlike your page. Neither is a good option as it makes your content completely invisible.

One last quick note, if you haven’t read the Facebook Terms of Service, it may serve you well to take a few minutes to do just that.

Keep these tips in mind to keep you free to use Facebook and all its capabilities!

Are you currently using Facebook for business or have you abandoned it as a  marketing platform? Any cool things you’ve been doing with your Page? Would love to hear so let me know in the Comments below!

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