Simple Facebook Etiquette

This is NOT SocialJune 2nd was my 40th birthday. I had hundreds of people wish me Happy Birthday on Facebook. Some sent me a message instead of posting on my Facebook wall. This post is about one message in particular. I had to educate them on social networking, I hope they “got it”.

I’m protecting the guy’s identity here because I’m not doing this to get back at him. I’m posting this as a “What Not To Do” so people can learn from it.


My response to the message was:

Bryan, I take it you don’t know much about me.

I liked his honest response:

Thanks Michael for your comment. I know nothing about you whatsoever please enlighten me for your products and tips. I promote Chris Farrell to help our Facebook friends learn to get started on the Internet, we have a great group of top Internet Marketers who give their help, tips and coments and trust you will join them.

The thing is, he was trying to justify what he did and that garnered this response:

Well, just look at my profile. You would know I AM an internet marketer. I was even Editor in Chief of Internet Marketer Magazine Also, newbie marketer mistake #1, CLOAK YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS. If you wanted to tell me about Chris’s program as a friend, you wouldn’t have given me a link like that.

Instead, it looks like you were using my Birthday as a way to make a quick buck. Not a very good impression at all.

This IS Social Media, and this IS our first interaction. You came in telling me about something that would make you money.

You should watch this short video Beginning to End. It has excellent content and will help you immensely:

That video I made 3 years ago and generally show it to people like this. Hopefully they “get it” but some don’t understand that what is portrayed in the video is the WRONG way to do things. It’s entitled “How NOT to be Social”. I also Bolded the part I hope he took note of.

Nope, he still doesn't get itHe responded again but still doesn’t get it. The thing is, if he would have spent 30 seconds on my profile, he would have noticed I am not “starting out on the Internet”. I put up my first webpage in 1994 and have been an internet marketer since 2005 or 2006.

Here is my response to him. This response is what sums everything up. SOCIAL NETWORKING IS SOCIAL.

The point is, your first impression was you were using my birthday as a way to make an affiliate sale. If you would have taken 30 seconds to look at my profile, you would have known I’m not a new internet marketer.

If you were at a social gathering, would you walk up to someone and say: Hi, buy this….?

If someone did it to you, how would you feel? Would you recommend them? Would you introduce them to someone else?

In a social gathering, whether online or offline, you should build a relationship. Then offer to help.

I hope you do that today. The next person you say happy birthday to, just say happy birthday.

He didn’t reply after that. What are your thoughts on this subject?

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About the author /

Michael S. Copeland is a social media geek. His blog is at He helps businesses with their online marketing and social media management at If you need anything, just give him a call 847-380-2670