As last week’s post about showing appreciation on Twitter started, “social media is about being social, whether you are an individual or are representing a brand.” And in response to a status update on Facebook about the Twitter appreciation post, a grade school friend I’ve become reacquainted with on Facebook over the past year, Carrie Sparkman, essentially said it would be nice to see how the Twitter etiquette rules I shared would translate to Facebook.

That was an intriguing request since I spend a lot more time on Twitter. But since Carrie is particularly wonderful at Number 1 below, I was compelled to try and address her request.

These nine etiquette ideas for showing appreciation to Facebook friends are some suggestions to make your shout out really count:

Showing Appreciation

1. Make It Personal

Write a personal, heartfelt, and encouraging comment for a Facebook friend who has made a difference for you and post it on their wall. Or even better, write an encouraging comment for someone who needs YOU to make a difference for them.

2. Don’t Just Like Them

Go beyond liking another person’s Facebook status update and actually share their content with your friends as well. Include your comment about your appreciation for the person, their accomplishment, or their content. You can also share photos or video of the person you want to celebrate.

Calling Attention to Your Appreciation for Your Facebook Friend

3. Tag, They’re It

Actually tag the person you are showing appreciation for in your update. You can tag a person by first typing the “@” symbol and then the person’s name. People whose names match what you’re typing will start appearing on screen; hit enter on the correct person to enter a link to their profile. If you want to only use the person’s first name in the update link, backspace over the last name to erase it while still keeping the link to the individual.

4. Let the Public See It

When you’re showing your appreciation for a Facebook friend, change the sharing criteria (from the drop down toward the lower left of the message) on the status so that it is “Public.” That way, the widest possible audience can see what you have to say. Be sure to change the sharing status back to what you typically use before you make your next update, however.

5. Linking of Others

Provide a link to where people can learn more about the person you appreciate, i.e. to a blog or website. In this way, people can connect with them on places other than Facebook.

Be Both Predictable and Surprising

6. Happy Birthday

Take advantage of the Facebook Happy Birthday notifications to share a few words of celebration and a birthday greeting with Facebook friends. If you’re in touch with them on other social networking platforms (especially email), consider sharing Happy Birthday greetings there.

7. I Wanna Like You All Over

When you see great content from a Facebook friend somewhere else on the web, click the Facebook Like button associated with the content to show your appreciation.

8. Surprise Someone

Don’t just show appreciation for those you interact with frequently. Show appreciation to your Facebook friends for no apparent reason, especially if you haven’t interacted with someone for an extended period of time.

Don’t Call Undue Attention to Yourself

9. Cool It on Facebook Apps

Another way to show appreciation? Be purposeful about what you share with your Facebook friends. Don’t use Facebook:

  • To invite people to events they have no hope of ever attending
  • To send them Facebook app requests that clog their Facebook notifications
  • As a repository for other websites to post your activity on their sites while filling your Facebook status updates with low value information.

What are your etiquette ideas when you show appreciation on Facebook?

What are you doing to show appreciation to Facebook friends? What do you find works best for you, or even better, what encouraging messages do you appreciate seeing show up for you? - Mike Brown


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