Once a social platform for college students, the 40 million active membership site facebook is the latest buzzword in social media marketing. However, most members are extremely online savvy and they smell blatant advertisements from miles away. It is important to know some basics and gain experiences in utilizing the site and interacting with its members before you start planning your facebook marketing adventure.
1. Create a profile. The first step is to create a profile. Sign up using your real name and upload some pictures. If you do not have an email with a top-level edu domain, by default you join a regional network based on your zip code or international address. Later, you have the option to join your company’s network and change your regional networks. You can change your networks twice in a 60-day period.
Always upload a profile picture. If you don’t upload a picture, facebook places a default question mark icon. It is a good strategy to show your face in facebook. Don’t use group pictures for your profile because others may have difficulty identifying you in the group pictures. Don’t use logos, your cute cat or dogs’ pictures, or a picture of your expensive car and boat.
You don’t have to fill all the profile information. Fill only the information you are comfortable sharing with others. If you want to find dates using facebook, fill up the relationship status feature of your profile accordingly. Don’t change the status often because others will notice it and doubt your trustworthiness.
2. Make friends. The site can find active facebook friends for you using emails in your address books of a few free web email providers like yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc. Once you get a few friends, new friend requests will pour in from your friends of friends. You can also search for friends and send requests. Work on creating a network of 100 to 200 friends. Don’t make friends with celebrities because in most cases these are fake profiles setup for marketing purposes.
3. Upload pictures and videos. Start uploading some interesting pictures and group them in albums of travel pictures, baby shower photos, bachelor party scenes, etc. Pictures help people connect with your life without meeting you face to face. Always upload a number of related pictures or themes.
Create a random albums and put all your random pictures in the random album. Tag your pictures to identify people on the pictures. When you tag your friends in your pictures, they show up in their wall. You can also share your albums with others outside facebook. You can upload personal videos using your browser or mobile phone and directly record videos to facebook.
4. Use friends’ walls and never post on your own wall. You have a wall in facebook for others to write notes. Don’t write in your own wall. Write in your friends’ walls. Your friends will write notes, share videos or links in your wall. You do the same in your friends’ walls. When a friend posts something on your wall, reply to the post. If you find the posting annoying, politely ask them to back off and clean up your wall.
5. Join a few groups. There are all sorts of organic groups in facebook. These are groups of people with similar interests. Find a few that interest you and join them. You can create your own group but first find out if one exists on the same topic. This is an excellent place to be creative and get support from a bunch of people for your cause.
6. Create events and invite people. If you want to host a party, this is the feature you will use. Create your events and invite others to join. You can make an event public for your friends to see or private for the invitees to browse. Under my event, you can browse your friends’ public events. You will immediately know who are your fake friends because they did not invite you to their gala dinner they are hosting.
7. Send notes and share links. You send notes to your friends. Depending on the topic, you can send a note to a few friends or to all friends in your network. Don’t send chain letter notes because people find these repulsive. Your notes show up in your friends’ news feeds or on their walls. A tagged note shows up on the wall, otherwise, it is found in the homepage news feed. Use share for sharing links, even though you can use this feature for sharing notes. Share that link of a cheap travel-booking site you have found while surfing the net with friends planning their upcoming vacations.
8. Visit your homepage everyday. Besides your profile page in facebook, you also have a homepage. You homepage displays collaborative news feeds of all your friends, event and group invitations, friendship requests, friends’ birthdays, etc. If you want to know what is going on in your facebook friend circle, visit your homepage everyday.
The other features of facebook are poke, marketplace, facebook mobile, and hundreds of applications that enhance the facebook experience. As the facebook awareness grows, online marketers have started pounding the facebook door to gain a foothold. Future articles will discuss different ways to market your products and services to facebook members without insulting their intelligence.