You’ve probably seen them. The chain status updates that go around. Sometimes they’re silly. Sometimes inspirational. Sometimes business-oriented. But they’re always word-for-word, and they tend to get noticed the more you see them.
But are they a good idea? Do they help you build relationships with people? Here are my thoughts:
- The “Copy this status as your own if you love/hate/believe…” updates can be intensely irritating, because they imply that if you don’t, you’re somehow a bad person. Yet they can be a tool to connect with other people who love/hate/believe… If you plan to use these, I advise that you remove the guilt-ridden language at the end, and simply state what you believe. And don’t use them too often. They get old quickly.
- Status updates that express a particular political opinion. This is really a subset of number 1. But as a direct seller, expressing strong political opinions can alienate customers, and affect people’s impressions of your parent company. This can make it more difficult for every direct seller in your company to do business. Really think before blasting these. It may be better to share these opinions in person, instead of on Facebook, where they’ll last forever and undoubtedly have a polarizing effect.
- Business status updates that worked for someone, somewhere. Someone shares a post that’s worked for their business, and you decide to use it too. This one can also get old fast. If I had a dollar for every good idea someone had for a recruiting status update, that got stolen and repeated ad nauseum, I’d be a rich woman. If you MUST copy a post that someone else wrote, give them credit and exposure by tagging them. And even better, come up with your own updates. You’ll be much better off in the long run.
- Public service announcement posts. Sometimes people discover some functionality about Facebook (or think they do) and warn all their friends to repeat the post to all their friends. Sometimes the information is valid, sometimes not. But it’s typically guaranteed to cause panic or at least outrage. If you do want to share one of these, be SURE to verify the facts first. You may find it’s old news. And be sure the wording is helpful, and not designed to cause panic. Don’t just copy it word for word because everyone else is.
- Company posts. Sometimes your company will put out a status update that you think is simply brilliant. You immediately want to copy it as your own. However the general public does NOT need an onslaught of the same post, over and over again, especially if it appears to come from different people, but the posts are exactly the same. If you wish to share a post from your company, either use the Share link if it’s available, or Tag your company in the post, so people know the source. Give credit where credit is due.
Have you ever copied a Facebook status update (or had one of yours copied)? How do you feel about it? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.