I started a group on Goodreads called “Social Media 101.” http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/104837-social-media-101
I’m pulling discussions from the group and adding them to my blog in an effort to help newbies and experienced people use social media to promote. Today’s will be on Facebook. I hope you like it.
Facebook is massive. It’s full of so many promoting opportunities that it causes major headaches for people. What I’ll include here will be a short synopsis of what Facebook offers. There are tons of Apps for Facebook that can be used to enhance your experience, and the platform communicates with all of the major social media sites, making Facebook still a social media GIANT. But, be forewarned, you mess with Facebook (pushing limits for adding friends, testing their position on porn, etc) they will come down on you hard.
First, you need to create an account. Explore Facebook by going to www.facebook.com and consider creating an account. Once this is done, you can play with the settings for your Facebook “timeline.” A really nice feature of Facebook is that a windows-based program will help you learn all about Facebook. You will also be able to link other social media accounts, add personal information, create pages, join or create groups, play games, add Apps, add photos, and connect with friends and family. Most of this is done through the “setting function” that looks like a small gear with teeth (just like Twitter and all the other social media giants). I have my Facebook account attached to Twitter, Linked-In, Klout, Pinterest, Goodreads, Whisper, and Four Square. By doing this, I get my message out to several places in one shot.
Once you get the account set up, I have a few pointers:
A) Facebook has an easy function to search for friends and family. Once you find someone you want to be friends with, send them a request. When they accept, you will be notified. Send them friend requests to share what you are up to and to see what they are up to. This was the original basis for Facebook, and why it became so big so quick. Now, Facebook is more commercial, full of ads, and littered with spam. Nonetheless, by keeping your settings set so that only friends or families can see your postings, most of this will be alleviated. However, you need to have your settings set to “public” if you want to promote stuff.
B) Consider creating a separate “page” for your product, brand, whatever it is you want to promote. Having said that, the single best way to promote yourself is BE YOURSELF. However, a “Page” allows you to focus more on your brand or product, instead of hammering your friends and family with updates about what you want to promote. The page is setup just like your timeline so it is fairly easy to manipulate. As you move along, you can link apps and other pages to the first page. You can add a cover photo and a smaller “profile” photo. If you have a book, you should consider putting the cover of your book as your cover photo of the page. Facebook has another great App called “Author App.” I will go into more detail on this App a bit later.
C) PHOTOS!! So many people will be your friend that they will be bugging you to post pictures about what it is you are doing. Take advantage of the “photos” tab on Facebook. You can create albums, “Tag” your friends or family who are in the photos or with you when you are taking photos, and import photos from your computer, smart phone, I-Pad, Twitter, pretty much from most places. You can also add #hash tags to these photos, which is similar to Twitter or Instagram and fun to do.
D) “About” tab. This is where you choose what personal information about yourself that you are okay with others seeing. DO NOT POST stuff here that you feel it private and you would not want someone to see. Even with the sensitive screening and filter process Facebook has, some data will seep through the internet cracks….Don’t get nervous about this, just know it’s a possibility. And, if hackers like Anonymous want to hack you, you’re done for anyway.
E) “IM”- Instant Messaging. Facebook has a function in which you can see which of your friends is currently on line. You can click on the friend and instantly begin messaging them through a window that pops up. It’s like texting or instant e-mailing. Your friends do not need to be on line for you to message them. You can directly message them and the message will be sent to them and stored on their account. Recently Facebook added their version of “emoticon” (happy, sad, faces) that can be used during messaging.
F) Author App- This is a great App for authors trying to PROMOTE their work. You literally enter all of the data pertaining to your book, where to buy it, the ISBN, the blurb about it, the cover photo, and many other things. The App digests the info and will put the cover photo of the book on your page timeline so everyone who goes to your page sees your book. They click on it, and it takes them quickly to a spot to buy your book or they can learn about it. You can add your blog or website to this app and it is linked to the app directly so people can learn even more about you. People can then “Share” your work to all of their friends. Another key function of the App is listing where you may be doing book signings, which will draw more people to share and hopefully come out to the signing to meet their favorite author!
“Like”- Everyone loves to know what they are saying or posting or sharing is liked. When you click on the “like” button, it’s telling the person you support them. It’s a very big deal.
“Share”- You can post on your timeline something someone else has posted by clicking on the “share” link. Usually you add a blurb about why you are sharing the item and it is posted on your timeline. This is a GREAT way to show support to someone/ group. Normally people will “like” something, but fewer “Share” it.
“Friend”- someone who has access (based on standard setting) to see your timeline and posts.
“IM” Just means Instant Message. Someone may say “IM” me.” Then you have a conversation with them that is not seen by anyone else.
“Un-Friend”- This is a function that you can use to remove someone from your friends list and will prevent them from seeing your postings. It is considered the holy grail of MEAN things to do to someone…. Consider working out the issue with the person first, but, if you can’t, then you can “un-friend” them.
“Report/Block”- This in another function, in the drop down menu that reads “Friends” located to the right of your friend’s picture. You can use this when you find someone to be annoying or offensive. By “blocking” them, they will not be able to post on your account and will be investigated by Facebook.