Monday, February 28, 2011
The Do´s and Don´t for professional use of Facebook
The 16 most important things you need to consider if you set yourself up on Facebook in a professional and authentic way:
Before you set up your profile, become clear about what you want to accomplish. Will you use it for private purposes with existing friends or do you also want to make new friends and business contacts? Is your intention to promote your career, business, products or services? This makes a significant difference in how you would set yourself up / brand yourself.
If you have chosen “business” as your main purpose to be present on Facebook, it all starts with your profile picture. A photo of your pet, kids, cars, a comic figure or simply nothing is a total No-Go (I personally would not accept your friend request)! For the beginning, upload a nice business-casual photo where you appear open and sympathetic. Or – be creative. Let your photo tell a story – your story! Facebook leaves you a space of 200 x 600 pixel to do so. The easiest way to produce your 200 x 600 pixel “story” is by using Powerpoint or Keynote. Add a fine selection of photos, use the programs graphical functions to assemble and make them look nice, then export, resize or crop – and there it is. Upload it to Facebook, position the thumbnail (this is your “avatar” – a 140 x 140 pixel part of your photo, resized by Facebook to 50 x 50 for wall posts) – ready! There’s not too many skills required. However, creativity pays off big times attention-wise, as people will much more likely go and view your entire profile in-depth – and that’s what you want.
Write something interesting about yourself. Some of what is history, but much more of where you want to go in life and what you believe in. Share your vision, dreams and goals. Tell people why you do the things you do (believe in), as this makes you attractive. Your profile is the “showroom of your brand”, so it is ok to present yourself in the best possible way. But don’t over do. Stay authentic and be yourself. Your friends will appreciate you.
Photos and videos:
It is better to upload less than more. Go back to your profile’s purpose and think of which photos would fit your brand. Working in the nutrition business posting photos of your last party while smoking and drinking does not make you look too good, right? Also, please do not post product photos into your album. Facebook is NOT an online store and people are turned off if they get the impression that you want to sell them your product or service upfront. Remember, you are using Facebook to brand yourself. At a later point – and only by invitation or request from someone – you are free to talk directly about your products or services. When it comes to “tagging”, do not tag all your friends at all times. It is sometimes nasty to see all those tagged photos show up on ones wall. Be selective. Regarding videos, post attractive stuff, like incentive trips or anything related to lifestyle. Your friends love to be “entertained”, not “educated”!
This is a function in Facebook you want to use only if you have great (own) content to share. View it like a Blog. As an industry newbie, you do not need it at all. It is much better to SHARE the content of your uplines with your own friends, given you personally relate to it.
Applications / games:
Don’t do it, delete it, block it! If you have only the slightest business interest on Facebook, there’s no room for Farmville et al.! Reject those invitations, delete installed applications and invitations on your wall. There’s no time for that stuff, at least not in our (networking) world!
Wall post behavior:
The no. 1 rule is – “Think before you post!”. The no. 2 rule is – “Be pro-active!”. Your posts represent your activity. It will be seen in the Newsfeed of all your friends, and if friends react on it, it will be seen by their friends too. So your word spreads fast and therefore you need to carefully think before you post. The best posts are those that provide value to others or are entertaining. Sharing good information, great wisdom, hot news related to your business and life will excite your friends and they will always pay attention to your posts. Never insult someone publicly, do not become political or even rassistic. Rather say thank you, recognize or edify people, friends and business partners. Also on Facebook, like in real life, people love to be recognized. A good indication for you is the amount of “likes” and “comments” you get on your posts, relative to the size of your community. The more value you share, the more positive feedback you get.
Response & “Like” behavior:
You do not need to comment on everything. Only do that if your comment provides additional value or shows great appreciation. Else, just “Like” the post. Should you enter into a controversial discussion with someone, do not create a public battlefield. Move over to the chat function or send private messages to each other to clear things up (best, get on the phone!). Never argue with someone you do not know in person, it serves no need. Always clean up the mess on your wall of the un-liked discussion(s) by deleting all post or comments related to it.
Sharing is the greatest option on Facebook. It’s a simple and effective way to spread relevant information amongst your friends. Again, it is all about “value”. Make sure the things you share provide value to your community of friends and support your brand. Sometimes, you will find “stuff” on Facebook that might be great or interesting for yourself. Only share it, when you feel it does serve value to your friends. You can share business content or -news at any time – this leaves a much better impression than posting it yourself. What you should share depends on what your community is mainly interested in. So here is rule no. 3 – “Know your community!“.
Some seem to view making friends on Facebook as a sports discipline. Let me tell you: The amount of friends you have is totally unimportant! What’s important is, that you and your friends form a like-minded “community” where all benefit from each other. That’s why you need to pick your friends consciously and not necessarily accept all friend requests. Consider, that – like in real life – your friends judge you by your friends! Usually, before I accept a friend request, I briefly scan their profiles. Be aware that there are network marketers on Facebook whose behavior is totally rude – they just make friends with you to get access to your contacts and then spam them. Should you notice such a behavior, un-friend them or use the block function and get rid of them. Keep your community “clean”! On the other hand, you need to connect with the relevant people, executives and leaders in your business. Make a list of people who you (or ask your upline) consider important and make friends with them. If you do, your Newsfeed will be extremely valuable for you and there’s a lot of great content you can “share”. You will add huge value to the overall community! Be aware that Facebook does not want you to connect to others like a wildfire. Your profile might be (temporarily or permanently) suspended if you do that. If you want to connect with someone who does not know you, send a personal message first introducing yourself, sharing why you would love to get into contact.
Do not “like” all pages you like! Just like those who add to your community or brand. Liking pages is like adding links to your personal website! Become clear about the fact that you draw people off your profile into a totally different subject, which is definitely not what you want to do! Make sure you like all relevant pages that provide value to you and your community. Connect with leaders or corporate executive fan pages, corporate pages and pages that add to your subject. Be selective!
I highly recommend that you study privacy settings on Facebook. There’s a lot to take care of. Don’t share too much private information. The settings allow you to exactly determine which content can be seen by whom, from “everyone” down to a single person.
You will find some industry leaders who run their own fan page and might ask yourself if you need one too. The answer is “No”! There’s only 2 reasons for setting up an own fan page:
1. You are a celebrity or publicly known in your field.
2. You have content to share on a regular basis to a bigger community even outside your own friends community. 3. You intend to “advertise” your page (yourself) in a Facebook campaign. If this does not apply to you, please rather focus on building and maintaining a great profile.
External links will draw people away from your profile. Make sure, you do not post too many and that those you post are the right ones serving people the expected value once they click them. Your links “brand” yourself!
Maintenance & frequency of posting:
Keep your profile clean and tidy. Too many people might post their stuff on your wall. You might either want to disable that function in general or at least keep your wall clean. This is your showroom, so keep it attractive! Put your settings to “you and others” so that you can see contents posted on your wall by others. Regarding your own posts: Post frequently – but only on your own wall! As much as you might dislike people posting on your wall, they might dislike you posting on theirs. Your posts do not need to be long or appear “too intelligent”. It is also nice to just read what you are currently doing (not “drinking beer”) in your business or what else keeps you active. The purpose is to establish a good relationship with your friends. You want them to get to know you a little better. Yes, this is all virtual, but it is still real! Your friends are real people behind their profiles (at least most), with real feelings and real emotions. Also, check the birthdays of your friends, they are listed by Facebook daily. Send those you know in person some birthday wishes. Anything you write – do it in style! No slang or gossip!
Once you have set up a great profile, it is time to show it to as many people as possible. This is you, and there’s almost no better way to find things out about you than studying your profile. How powerful is that? A 24/7 daily personal advertisement campaign or resumé! Once you are happy with your result, do not hesitate to print your Facebook profile’s address on your business card as a contact reference. Facebook will now become the no. 1 source of information about yourself – for others.
These guidelines was originally posted by Sven Goebel on this blog