Facebook Tips

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PLATFORM: Facebook

Current Friends/Followers to date: 0!

One of the major ways we use social media today is with Facebook. Almost everyone is on it these days, and so much goes through it that I should have started an account earlier. But I didn’t! So I’m starting one now.

I decided to start a profile rather than a page because I agreed with the advice Jane Friedman gives in her post 5 Reasons to Use Facebook Profiles to Build a Platform. I’ve started by liking some of my favorite authors and favorite pages and will next focus on getting organic friends and followers (rather than fake ones). I also added the link on my Twitter account. So now you can find my profile and friend or follow me!

Here are my take on Guy’s tips for posting on FB:

  • Be aware that because of FB’s algorithm not everyone will see what you post. But, if people re-share it, more people will see it.
  • Use video whenever possible, specifically video uploaded to FB. Because Youtube is owned by FB’s rival, Google, FB has more incentive to post videos in its own media server, so these videos will be more heavily promoted by FB.
  • Add a link and FB will bring in the picture. Instead of uploading a picture, FB will insert it for you if you just paste the link in the text box (Me-Then you can delete the link so you don’t have a clunky URL distracting everyone in the text!). You can also change the picture if you like.
  • Use Facebook Insights for analytics on who you are serving and how to serve them better.
  • Pages interacting with other pages (like regular people) make your pages more powerful and popular. Pages are the business version of profiles or walls. But, they can “interact” with people or other pages just like you interact with your FB friends.

Some DON’TS

  • Don’t buy likes. You want personal engagement from people who actually like what you’re doing. Not masses of anonymous likes that don’t actually mean anything.
  • Don’t ask for re-shares or likes. No one wants to be your friend when you have to beg. They want to be your friend when you demonstrate value added. Remember the weird kid on the playground who asked everyone if they could be best friends? Don’t be that kid (even if you once were.)
  • Don’t ask why someone unfollows you. Same as above, no one wants to be grilled on why they unfollowed someone. This makes me think of those creepy boyfriend who demand a legitimate reason for being dumped. Just because! Ugh!
  • Don’t overly promote yourself or your product. Guy says the ratio should be 1:20. 20 items of value added to 1 item of selling/promoting something. Speaking for myself, I couldn’t agree more! I hate feeling like I’m being sold to when I’m just trying to catch up on my friend gossip via a FB scroll.
  • Don’t overly focus on likes or friend numbers. This one is my tip. Yes, you are there to increase exposure and gain popularity so you can make a living. But don’t make it your reason for living. So what if that one post didn’t get enough likes? Does that mean you lost value as a person? No! Just like in the first tip, you want engagement from people who actually care. If you start off small but strong, and are adding value to the conversation, you’re creating a lifelong circle of fans.

Guy Kawasaki’s Tips for Social Media

Do you know Guy Kawasaki? I didn’t really know who he was until I signed up for Lynda.com (highly recommended!) and started watching his lectures on how to properly use social media for a business. I thought that for part of my series on how I am trying to learn to “harness the power of social media” as an author, I would tell you about what I learned from him. If you want to know more I highly suggest you check him out, or buy his book, The Art of Social Media with Peg Fitzpatrick. Here are a few of his tips in general about posting on social media:

Always Add Value

You can do that in four different ways:

  • Information
  • Analysis
  • Assistance
  • Entertainment

Pass the “Re-Share” Test

Post such great content that people will want to re-share it. He gives an example of a great restaurant that you tell all your friends, “YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS PLACE!” That endorsement can be a little scary because what if your friends hate the place? Suddenly your reputation is on the line. They might not trust you anymore!

But, what if they love it? Then your reputation as a person to listen to grows. I personally love sharing things with friends and making those connections, but I am definitely hesitant to do it in a public forum. Often the things I like feel so niche that no one else will really care. On the other hand, that’s the great thing about social media, isn’t it? You can always find your people.

Use the NPR model

I got a little thrill when he mentioned NPR and some of my favorite programs. He uses them as an example because they create such great content that when they come around begging for money twice (or more) a year, people feel an obligation to reciprocate and pay back in some way. Yes, we might complain about the campaign drive, but we know we need to give back!

In addition to NPR, I personally experienced this with one of my favorite podcast teams at Storywonk. They have given me so much great information, analysis, assistance and entertainment that I felt the need to sing their praises, and show them my support in any way I can. And when they discuss their Patreon donation page I’m immediately in favor of giving them some money if they’ll just keep doing what they do!

Feed the Content Monster

When using social media you can’t pop in and out, leaving vast silent holes. I definitely find myself in this loop, partially because I don’t know what to say or share. Guy has some tips, naturally. Some people might not feel these are all genuine, but I’m going to share them any way because they give very clear answers, and maybe will help you see how others do it.

  • Piggy back off of others, using services like Alltop.comreddit.com, or feedly.com, which are aggregate services that gather popular stories on specific topics.
  • Post what’s hot on Facebook to your own page
  • Be bold. Take a stand. Show what you are interested in.

Obviously, this last one needs some clarification if you are doing this for a business. Take a stand and be bold as it relates to your brand and your company. Maybe talking about dietary restrictions isn’t right for your brand, but talking about a story about getting motivated to be creative. It depends on the angle and the topic.

Also, for those of you thinking that piggybacking is cheating, it’s not. Post what you like, and what interests you. It’s not cheating if you see a video and would also send it to your best friend and share it with your FB friends. That’s just engagement.

His last tips were a little more technical, but useful:

  • On Facebook or Google+ keep posts to 2-3 sentences
  • On Twitter, keep them to 100 characters (even though you have 140) so that others can add their two cents when they re-share
  • On blogs, keep it to 500-1000
  • Pay attention to the right size of photos so that it’s easier to view on different mobile platforms.

 

Looking Back & Looking Ahead

New Year's Eve 2015

This time of year is full of New Year resolutions that we start with such vigor and slowly watch them fade as the year drags us kicking and screaming along. My 2015 was full of transition and hard work. I worked my rear off (metaphorically, of course. Literally, it’s the same size it was last year). I worked a few different jobs trying to keep myself in the black, and trying to create opportunities where none existed before. I learned a lot. And now I find myself in a better position to take advantage of this yea of hard work, which is a really nice thing. A lot has happened.

  1. I finished my first novel, went through the editing process and pitched it to an agent who wanted to see the full manuscript. So far I’m not certain what will happen, but I’m cautiously optimistic and trying not to think too much about it as I know my success so far is a little atypical and I don’t want to get my hopes up.
  2. I completed 2.5 more semesters of college teaching and rediscovered my love of British literature and teaching in general. Even though I’ve absolutely needed the break for the holidays, I’m really enjoying my current teaching track and don’t want that to change!
  3. I’ve saved some money even though it’s been tight for us, and am grateful I’ve been able to do that. My husband started a new job that he really, really likes in September, but before that we were barely squeaking by. I may have contributed to that problem by leaving my soul sucking high school teaching job and teaching as an adjunct instead, but I’ve been working very hard to make up for it with my second job.
  4. I’ve come to better understand what I want out of life, and focused on how I can achieve it. In a vague way, I’ve always known what I’d like my life to look like, and most of my twenties involved a process of chipping away at other things to get to what I truly wanted. But now I’m clearer on the steps I need to take, and clearer on my ability to take them. I’m not letting anything stand in my way if I can figure out how to move it or go around it, and that is an empowering feeling.

So what’s next in 2016?

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Silver Linings & Lemonade

Inspiration Quotes

One of the downsides of being an adjunct is that occasionally you end up without work. And that is where I find myself this spring semester. Partially it is my fault, because I got distracted and didn’t turn in my faculty preferences early enough and all the classes got snatched up. I work in a weird liminal space at the college which means that English classes I am eligible for are more limited than the average college, which has students who need English all year round, which is a real lemon scenario.

The silver lining of this cloud is that I will have more time in January to devote to writing. I got overwhelmed with grading this semester and did barely any writing. It’s not always like that but it made for a frustrating 16 weeks.

And, since I want to be able to both teach and write, I need to devote myself to that, and I need to also focus more on the business end. I’ve slowly been learning about being an entrepreneur this past year (which is how I think the modern writer really needs to think to be successful) and am eager to keep learning and start applying these lessons to this blog. So, as a sort of record I will be keeping track of my progress and my actions here on this blog. Maybe it will help someone else too. And thus; we will all drink lemonade in the shade, having done some good hard work to make that silver lining grow wider and wider and take over the gloomy clouds of this unemployed educator!

Keep watching for some changes in the new year!