Thursday, August 26, 2010

Facebook Zen - Don't Fight Facebook, Learn To Love It!

You heard that right - don’t fight Facebook – learn to love it! I understand a lot of people may be intimidated by social media, but it really is not anything to be afraid of. (I promise!)
Facebook is a great casual networking arena where you can interact with individuals, organizations, companies, like products, and partake in causes. In this dynamic interactive space, you can make many types of connections that not only enrich you the individual – but can also enrich you the professional, the business owner, the entrepreneur, the expert.

Just dive right in, I promise the water is deep and you won’t hurt yourself, go ahead and make an account (or you can have someone help set one up for you, like a Virtual Assistant). Once you have an account set up you can begin to familiarize yourself with it and get used to how Facebook functions. There are some great articles to help you get started with Facebook out there I highly suggest reviewing. One thing to note is your privacy, Facebook offers privacy settings but please be aware of your safety at all times and the kind of information you are sharing with others.

Considering it is hard for one to interact with themselves – your first step to take is to “find friends.” Trust me when I say this begins to get addictive! Start with family members, branch to close friends and then coworkers. This will give you an excellent foundation to building your Facebook network. You will be surprised at how many Facebook users you know that will help connect you with others or give you friend suggestions. Soon your connection network will branch out in every direction imaginable.

Now that you have a nice friend base, you can move on to what it is exactly you would like to DO with Facebook. This is where some people get a little fuzzy or things begin to blur. Is this a personal account? If you want to keep family and friends separate from business, I suggest creating an additional “professional Facebook account” – one that reflects your network of colleagues and associates, vendors and clients. Since this article is referencing Facebook for business, we are going to focus on how you can use this very easy social medium to your business advantage. Remember – if it is professional, keep it professional.

Photos are a lot of fun, and are a great thing to share about you, what you do, what you are involved in, what passions you have, what activities you partake in and a way to offer a piece of you with the world. They make great conversation starters, so don’t be afraid to post about the great things going on in your life!

Videos are another way to share yourself with others and can also offer a great marketing platform. Videos are highly indexed in the search engines, and when linked to other social media networks like YouTube, you have a great start at a viral video (and did I mention FREE?). (Don’t worry, “viral” isn’t a bad thing, it simply means that it spreads on the Internet because people enjoy sharing it by all networking and link sharing means, including Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, MySpace, etc.

Status updates – pretty straightforward. Update your friends on what you are doing, what is on your mind, a quote that inspired you, a link that interested you, etc. I would suggest trying to get these in once a day as a normal interval (which it is completely understandable if you are not able to do this) but no less than once a week. Having a stale account can sometimes be a bad reflection when a potential client comes looking for you. The great thing about Facebook is that once your business gets hopping and using social media to boost your search engine rankings begin to pan out, you can always ask a Virtual Assistant to help you maintain your social media websites on an as-needed basis.

Comments are a lot of fun, too – this is how you interact with your friends list. When you see your “feed” you will see posts, status updates, videos and photos of the people you know. You can place comments on these items to mingle with your peers. Let the real you shine through!

The “Like” button is also an easy tool to use when interacting with friends. If you don’t really have anything to add to the discussion you can simply “like” someone else’s activity. This is a great way to keep active even if you are running short on time, and lets your friends know you are still in touch with them.

Not to mention you can link your Facebook page to your Blog, Twitter and other networking websites to get all of those feeds spreading out from just a single source - that's online marketing efficiency!

Again, it is always a good idea to be mindful of your posts and comments – Facebook is indeed a public networking site, no matter how private you think your comments are. Keep everything professional and please also be mindful of your safety and do not offer information that is too personal.

See? Not so scary now is it? Go forth my friends – go forth and network the world! If you want a great place to get started, feel free to friend Targeting Pro, I look forward to networking with you!

“God bless the Geek, for they shall Internet the earth.”


Stay tuned to the Targeting Pro blog for my upcoming articles that will delve deeper into each aspect of social media – we will be really getting into the meat and potatoes of what it takes to be top in your field. If you need assistance in setting up or maintaining your social media outlets, feel free to contact me to discuss if Virtual Assisting or Ghost Writing is right for you!

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