How to Stay Out of Jail – Social Media Jail that is

Can Someone Help Me Find My Parole Officer?

“Macro view of an urban person’s hand on a chain link fence in De Nieuwe Stad” by Mitchel Lensink on Unsplash

The names in this court of Facebook groups are not changed to protect the innocent. I am guilty as charged.

It was going to be a busy work day, and I had very little time to spare. I had just posted my latest blog post on my website, and now I needed to share it with my social media sites. A few quick clicks and I was almost done. Finally, I was left with the many Facebook groups that I’m in.

You know, the ones that you are supposed to be an active member in. Isn’t that how you share your information in the blogging world when you are just getting started?

“Join as many groups as you possibly can and share your information and blogs there.” I was told by overeager marketers.

If you do this consistently, many people told me, you’ll find clients by the dozen!!!! (Umm, well…I painfully learned this wasn’t exactly true. But keep reading. You’ll understand soon enough.)  


I see a lovely picture in another group, so I go to comment on it. Just a friendly comment about that picture, and BAM!

Iron bars start climbing up around me. I hear the jangle of the keys locking me in. The nice wooden floor turns into bare concrete, and everyone is wearing orange jumpsuits…ok, ok, I’m being slightly facetious, but you get the point.

This picture shows exactly what does pop up.

Screenshot Facebook Account — Personal Page, Johanna Galyen

Yes, down below, there is a button showing you how to file an appeal if there has been an error. Feel free to fill that out! Share your impassioned heart with Facebook of why this is completely wrong and you are innocent.

Do it!

And then guess what will happen?


You’ll still be in Facebook jail, stuck with your thoughts, rethinking that last post to a group, and wondering what went wrong!

Here are the lessons I have learned through Facebook Jail

Read the Group Rules and follow them

The rules for the group can be pinned to the top of the page, on the right side-bar, or hidden in the note section of the group.  It doesn’t matter where they are posted, you are responsible to find them. Read them. Memorize them, and possibly quote them.

You must obey the law, always, not only when they grab you by your special place. Vladimir Putin

Some groups are nice; they keep the instructions plain and simple. They let you know what you can share and when. Other ones make it interesting. Wednesdays are for selling (one might say), Saturdays you can share your blog post.  The other days you can only post questions or informative pictures – just not anything that remotely belongs to you.

Some people like hashtags. For example, #nospam #nopromo can begin or end the post which let the moderators know quickly whether they should allow your comment.

If you’re wanting to do any political or religious posts?…well, you’d better read the next section

Follow the flavor and style of other member’s posts

Making sure you follow the rules are good…if each group was run by an impartial judge, but this is not the case.  It is often run by multiple members who do this for free, in their spare time, in between watching children and running 3 other businesses.

You need to make sure what you are posting fits perfectly with the flavor or theme of the group. If it’s a support group for depression, then it’s not a good idea to post your latest political pundit even if it is a really funny post.

If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor. Eleanor Roosevelt

Make sure you are an active enough member that people associate your name with helpful and informational content. This means you need to observe the 80:20 rule. Post 80% helpful and friendly posts, and only 20% self-advertisement. In some groups, it’s more like 99.8:0.02 with really strict rules. (I recommend avoiding those groups; they’re often run by overprotective Mama-bears who’s cub just snitched some honey).

No matter what you do, DO NOT make enemies of the moderators. They are the imperial rulers of the group and love to wield their power mercilessly. I know this lesson rather painfully.

Poorly formatted articles look like spam

This was the mistake that I made.  I shared a post about marriage and family bonding, or so I thought, to a Facebook group that covers marriage. In fact, I had just posted a similar article a few days ago and got several likes from it.

However, my picture, title, and excerpt did not share anything that would be important to the members there. If the moderator had read the article, she would have seen that it did apply there.

You are remembered for the rules you break. Douglas MacArthur

But that is not her fault, the fault lies with me. I must have all the right information in the right place. It needs to be easily visible and understood in less than 2 seconds.

In retrospect, a simple fix of changing the title or adding a more informative subtitle would have let the post get past the moderator.  Instead, I got reported to Facebook.

Have more marketing strategies *other* than Facebook groups

Since I’m a repeat offender, I’m slowly beginning to learn this lesson. There are multiple other ways to ensure that your content will be shared. They are slower, and they may not have all the pretty and easy graphs like Facebook does, but the jail-time is not as bad.

Information can bring you choices and choices bring power – educate yourself about your options and choices. Never remain in the dark of ignorance. Joy Page

A few of my favorite places to on Social Media and sharing platform sites are:

  1. Triberr — Sharing groups are organized by “tribes”. Simply look through the various groups and see which ones are similar to the area that you are in.  Once you join, you will see a newsfeed that updates every hour and you will be able to share them on Twitter and Linked In with one simple click (the red “Add to Queue” button)  As you share your tribemates posts, in return, your content will be shared as well.  The content can be shared at different intervals;  options such as every 15 minutes all the way up to once a day.  I recommend every few hours because it is easy to have multiple posts in your queue waiting to be posted.

    Personal Screen Shot on

  2. ViralBee —When you tweet or share other people’s content, you receive credits in a bank.  In turn, you are able to post your own content by spending that bank amount.This works with Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Stumble, and Pinterest.  There are multiple categories of sharing on ViralBee ensuring that writers and bloggers of all stripes and niches are able to find a way to share their information.
  3. JustRetweet — Works very much like Viral Bee, but there are not as many sharing options.  This works for Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.  Currently, Twitter has rescinded JustRetweet’s access but there is hope that it will soon be restored.
  4. Power Affiliate Club (PAC)— a blog sharing platform that allows you to share your blog and comment on others. Participation is mandatory if you drop your link, and they respond with meaningful comments(not spammy ones) Lesley Federici states that being involved in the PAC helps you to have “Instant connections, More traffic to your blog, and Quality Comments”. In addition, comradery develops between the members allowing them to like and trust each other. In turn, this creates positive reinforcement for purchases of products between the members and their friends.
  5. Twitter – While this seems like an obvious choice, Twitter moves very fast.  Some experienced Twitter masters recommend posting 40-60 times a day.  To do this effectively, use a scheduling app with pre-scheduled posts. Also, making occasional personalized posts here allow your readers to see your personality.  A word of caution: Twitter does not like repetitive posts, and is very serious about this. There is a possibility for your entire account to be shut down permanently.  Lisa, at Inspire to Thrive, recently wrote an excellent article about mixing up tweets.  She stated 3 tips for changing tweets.
    “The Buffer App Selected Text Tool Great for Mixing Your Tweets Up!  Sharing tweets from your Twitter lists!  (from Donna Merrill’s website How to Sweeten your Twitter List) and Missing Lettr is Another Way to Mix Your Tweets Up”

    Using TweetDeck is very helpful when using the list options.  You can quickly organize your lists into a visual summary. Each day you can see what is happening in each list with a simple glance and scroll down.  Notifications are set up in the first column and let you see them without the other feeds getting in the way.

  6. Medium – A newspaper-like publication that is continually changing with blog posts.  Posting your blogs here and interacting with fellow Medium’ers allows your writing to get exposure.  You can post your content under your name by cross-posting from your blog, just make sure you add a simple note stating where and when it was originally posted.  Medium also gives the opportunity for payment.  You have the option of putting articles behind the “Pay Wall” and members can view and clap for them if they like them.  Membership is optional, and you do not have to be a member to receive payment.  To view more than three articles a month, that are behind the paywall, you do have to join the membership. However, at $5.00 a month, the fee is definitely worth the investment.  And that is how members get paid.  The monthly contribution is put into a pot and divided (by some really complicated and virtually impossible to understand algorithm) amongst the members every month. By posting consistently here, it is easily possible to recoup the $5.00 investment.

Depending on your type of content, you can use all of these or a combination of them. I have found that Medium, PAC, Triberr, and JustRetweet work incredibly well for me. Viral Bee seems to work better for digital marketers and blogging informational posts, but that is just my opinion. Feel free to prove me wrong.

Friendship counts more than anything

Gone are the days that a newbie can just drop a blog, a cutesy informational selling vlog, or cold-message someone and get a good return on it.

Oh sure, there are those who can still sell, but they have been at this game of marketing for years. While you may see glowing reports of high sales, guaranteed marketing strategies and other easy short-cut ways to do it, it all boils down to a few simple issues.

Your customers do not buy a product. They buy the feelings associated with that product. The best way to get those feelings at a level at which customers buy your product is likeability and friendship.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie

By taking the time to get to know your fellow network marketers and treat them as friends, you will see an increase in your investment in your product.

Likeability of you and your product is paramount

Kind of like salt and pepper. Ketchup and Mustard.

Ice-cream and chocolate sauce. Peanut Butter and Jelly.

You get the idea.

If you are not liked, then there is a good chance your product is not liked

As I reflect back on my ten long days in Social Media jail, I’m reminding myself to take the time and get to know people.

Everyone has likes and dislikes. Most people have a family or least a car they like to talk about. You can also talk about their children or their pets. The last vacation they went on (since they posted 71 pictures of Aruba, and you’re stuck at home in the snow).

Or, if they’ve recently been sick, a get-well-soon gif video of virtual flowers is appropriate in 2018. If you can get to know them and show that you care, you will you create a genuine friendship.

Friends rarely put their friends in Facebook jail and are more likely to recommend you and your product to their friends.

“And that, your Honor, is my confessional and the lessons I have learned. I swear, upon the grave of my dead goldfish, that I promise to never spam another Facebook group again. I have learned my lesson, and vow to be a much better citizen in the future.”


One Repentant Facebook’er

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