Friday, August 26, 2011

Facebook Tips by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

A couple of weeks ago I responded to a few concerns about Facebook on an email loop and had a suggestion to post a blog about it. I did, and I thought I would share it here as well. 
I think Social Media is like writing. You have to work at it through trial and error before you figure out your voice and discover what works best for you, your personality, your goals, etc. Plus, goals change, so I think our social media will go through stages, just like our writing.

Here are some perceptions/facts that we are going to have to accept and figure out how to work around:

1) People prefer to friend personal profiles over liking fan pages.
2) We can ask them to go to our author page, but we can't force them as we've all discovered.
3) People can unlike a page just as fast as they can like it.
4) Readers do want a glimpse into our personal lives. They like praying for us, connecting with us, and knowing all the news. I consider them my online church family, but I don't share everything.
5) Rules on FB change often, but one that has been consistent and has NOT changed since the beginning is that an individual cannot have more than one profile account and every Fan Page has to be connected to a profile. Please keep this in mind if you decide to convert your current profile into a Fan Page and then decide to create a new, private profile with a different email. 

I started out trying to keep my profile page personal, and luring everyone to my author page, but I gave up. I couldn't change other people's perception, so I had to change mine--the way I think about FB and my place/role there. FB isn't private. They own every piece of content and photo we upload onto their site, regardless if it is on a profile page or a fan page. If a hacker wants my info, he/she can get it.

Here are some suggestions that have worked for me. These suggestions will
not work for everyone, so please keep that in mind.

1) I recommend my author page to every person who friends me. Over half of them have not liked my page. I don't know why, but I do know that I don't want to lose my connection to them, so I've made the decision to sacrifice my profile to accept others. Some people who have NOT liked my author page did go buy my book. I don't understand it, but I stopped trying to analyze it a long time ago.

2) For those who have both friended me and liked my page, I make sure I post different things on each so it doesn't feel repetitive to them. I'm so used to it by now so it doesn't seem like extra work. It's merely part of my job.

3) The social culture of FB and Twitter are so different, that I don't link them. I tried this, and I started losing likes because FB people don't like as many posts as Twitter people. Therefore, I use Twitterfeed and I've set certain blog posts to go to FB and others to Twitter. That way some of it is automated and does free up time for me to post things I want to generate discussions on and to do other things.

4) If you want to generate discussion, ask a question. People love giving opinions and sharing ideas.

5) I give a glimpse of my personal life, but I don't share anything I wouldn't want anyone on the Web to see or know. I don't post many family photos on my author page, but I do post some on my profile. However, I'm careful. I don't post images of my 14 year old daughter in her swimsuit or talk about vacation until we are back home. I monitor her FB page and I don't let her accept people we don't know. Other authors have sent her friend requests, but I don't let her accept them.

6) I screen each friend request and the profile of anyone I send a request to.

7) When I reach my 5,000 friend limit, I'll have the perfect excuse to send people to my author page, and they will know it isn't because they didn't pass muster to be my friend. It puts the blame on FB's rules, not me. Plus, I won't have to screen people anymore.

8) I don't worry about keeping up with 3,000+ friends. I create my friend lists and use them as needed and I don't worry about it. I have enough pressure. I don't need to add more to myself. If I happen to see a post on my newsfeed and I want to comment, I do it and I forget about it. I don’t worry about trying to comment on everyone’s post. Based on some of the comments I've seen from others, I'm concerned that many are putting too much pressure on themselves to try and keep up with everyone. Don't do that. Just relax and let go.

9) I've set all my social media on an email address that is NOT my main email. That way, I'm not annoyed by alerts I don't want. I don't need to know that 20 people commented on a post after me. Also, if one of my social media accounts is compromised, they don’t have access to my main email.

10) I place ads on FB every so often and they have worked well. You can set a daily cap and target people who are not already a friend or fan. My husband and I have set up a separate credit card just for online purchases such as this so that it isn't linked to anything if it were to be compromised or stolen.


Sheila Odom Hollinghead said...

All good ideas. One other tip--on you Facebook settings you can opt out of receiving alerts. Helps keep your email inbox from overflowing!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Great suggestions! Thanks for sharing.

Ty said...

Great information, Jennifer. There are indeed mysteries to FB and we just need to adjust. LOL!

Davalyn Spencer said...

Wise recommendations. Thank you.

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

You're all very welcome. Glad it was helpful. Have a great weekend.

Patty Wysong said...

This makes sooo much sense, Jennifer. Thank you. That personal touch is what people want and this method accepts that and goes with it. (and now I don't feel bad about how I was doing things, LoL)

Jeanette Levellie said...

I appreicate you saying you don't comment on everyone's wall who comments on your posts. I don't either, but wondered if I was being rude. Huge sigh of relief.

Millie Samuelson said...

Best list of FB tips I've seen! Thanks! And so interestingly shared. . . :-)