Thursday, July 17, 2008

Joining the Facebook Frenzy

Among the social networking sites, Facebook is probably the best known of all of them. Facebook (originally called thefacebook) was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February of 2004 at Harvard and was originally designed as a hobby project. Within a few months, the idea spread across the college and shortly thereafter Facebook sign-ups extended to Stanford and Yale. Since that time it's grown in numbers no one could have anticipated; in fact, there has been such a change in traffic and demographic that the average age on Facebook has changed to a median 35 -64.

Keep in mind that while these tips are directed to "facebookers" they can often be applied to a variety of online social networking sites. While the set-up is unique to all of them, the interaction, tips for growth, and marketing strategies tend to be the same across the board.

Setting up a Page on Facebook

Unlike Squidoo which tends to be a tad more involved, the Facebook sign up is pretty easy. There are four basic steps to follow:

1) From the Facebook homepage you'll see a screen that asks you to login or sign up for a free account. Click on "Sign Up," which takes you to a Web form.

2) The form will ask you for your name, email, password, and birthday. You'll also have to go through a security procedure which will involve typing a series of letters and numbers. Once you do that (and agree to their terms and conditions) click the "Sign up now!" button when you have completed the form.

3) A confirmation email will pop into your inbox. Simply click the link when you get the email to confirm that you did register and off you go! You're logged into Facebook and can start uploading content.

4) You can start building your network by looking for friends, colleagues, and groups that are appropriate to what you're doing. Join any groups that seem to fit your message, and start networking.

5) Facebook works really well when your page is personalized so add some applications that will further enhance this page. You'll want to add photos, a library where you can select books you're reading or ones you recommend. You can upload video, even the RSS feed from your blog. Making the page as robust as you can is your goal!
Facebook Facts:

More than 60 million active users

An average of 250,000 new registrations per day since Jan. 2007

Active users double every 6 months

More than half of Facebook users are outside of college

The fastest growing demographic is those 25 years old and older

Sixth-most trafficked site in the United States (comScore)

More than 65 billion page views per month

More than 14 million photos uploaded daily
Facebook Tips

Fill out your profile: Seriously, don't leave pieces of your profile undone. Make sure it's uploaded completely. This doesn't mean giving out your home address or year of birth if you don't want people to know your age, it just means filling out the fun stuff like hobbies, books you enjoy reading and so on.

It's not just about you, it's about the community: Remember the golden rules of social media: help first, promote second.

Step outside of your social circle: try getting away from your inner circle and migrate out to other people who might be good networking opportunities. While it's fun to stay connected to all your college buddies, that's not the main focus of your Facebook page.

Slow and steady wins the social media race: The best Facebook pages (and this is true for any social networking site) are built over time. Slow growth is best when it comes to social networking sites so don't force a sudden surge of growth. This will also keep you from getting booted off if you add friends too quickly. Facebook watches for people who are adding hundreds of friends at a time and will lock your page if they think you're over-promoting yourself.

Don't be shy: The purpose of Facebook is to connect and interact with other members, so don't be shy! Interact with people on your friend list by commenting on their pictures, wishing them a happy birthday, "poking" them (unique to Facebook), writing on their wall or throwing something at them (again, this is unique to Facebook). Doing all these things will help others to get to know who you actually are instead of just knowing your name.

Content, content, content: Remember that it's important to add content. You can do this by uploading a video, adding the RSS feed from your blog and a variety of other things. You can also add Facebook applications and there are a bunch to chose from. Spice up your profile using these applications.

Marketing on Facebook: Marketing on this site is done via interaction with members as I've stated before. Interacting with others on the site is a great way to market yourself.
Keep updating your profile: Don't let your profile get stale. Update your status, add photos, answer wall messages and emails.

Create events: Yes, you can create events on Facebook and it's pretty easy to do. Once you have your network momentum going and are adding friends, why not plan an event too?
Add your Facebook page to your blog: Make sure and add your Facebook page to your blog. You can have your web person take care of this for you, it's a simple widget that gets added to let people know you have a Facebook profile.

Keep in mind that there are a few different things you can do on Facebook. There are Facebook Profiles, Pages, and Groups. A Facebook Profile is the standard way to get yourself onto Facebook and if you're just starting out, but if aggressive promotion is what you seek then a Page or Group might be better suited to your needs.

Penny C. Sansevieri
Author Marketing Experts, Inc.Turning Authors into SuccessStories

Note from Michael:
Penny mentions Content, content content. This is Very, very very important - for any site. News servers such as Google Alerts constantly spider for new content on the web. Remember blog directories categorized blog content differently then web browsers do. So add content frequently to all your sites and yes this includes your web pages too.

Thanks Penny

1 comment:

william2233 said...

Let's see how many people actually read this?
Find me on facebook
william sawyers