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The ‘art’ of posting to Facebook and Twitter

One of the better features offered by social media giant Facebook is the ability to “hide” a person or page from your news feed, effectively preventing you from having to see updates that don’t interest you.

This way, you don’t have to rudely “unfriend” someone, but you can politely ignore them (without them ever knowing).

Of the 500-some friends I have accumulated on Facebook in the past six years, I would estimate that 300 or more of them have been hidden from my feed, leaving more room for updates that I am interested in.

Social media entrepreneur Peter Shankman recently posted his “Top 10 Things That Get You Unfollowed/Unfriended” (unfollowed being a reference to Twitter).

Some of Shankman’s tips are incredibly accurate, such as number nine:

9) Play any game on Facebook that requires you to post on my wall that you need “coins” “vegetables” “guns” or anything similar.

And number two:

2) Ignore the basics. Please. “At the store. Buying a latte. Doing my laundry. Looking at a dog.” OK, really? We get it.

Shankman only critiques the types of Facebook and Twitter posts that have to do with personal interactions among friends, rather than address how companies and organizations use social media to disseminate information.

Many companies and organizations now have their own accounts that allow users that are interested to connect with them. If you “like” The New York Times on Facebook, for example, you will receive news updates from them several times a day. If you “like” Starburst candy or Wawa or Chipotle, you will see promotional updates and other random musings from them.

What we do at The Daily Record — on both Facebook and Twitter — is similar to what The New York Times does, just on a smaller scale. We blast out breaking news and other updates in order to engage readers with our page and our website. We also sometimes market events and other promotions. But there are good ways and bad ways to do this.

Continually posting to your page to the point where it clogs up others’ news feeds will surely get you hidden, if not “unliked.” But posting timely, useful and interesting information — not too often — shows users that your page might be worth “liking.”

There is a fine line between posting enough to engage and posting too much, and a page’s manager must walk it gracefully. Or someone just might blog about it.