FACEBOOK ~ MORE THAN A PLACE TO FIND YOUR FIRST BOYFRIEND
I want to start this by saying how much I adore Facebook. I love everything about it. I don’t care if they sell my personal information, change the settings, or take ‘friends in common” and make it hard to find.
I love it so much I want to climb inside my computer and live on my page. I want to just hang out there with the 400 people I know and the 2200 I don’t. On Facebook I am friends with Al Pacino and Karl Lagerfield and the first guy I ever slept with. I’m friends with people I have admired for years, and people who make me a bit nervous. I was just friended by this adorable Italian who lives in Venice and looks like he walked out of a Brideshead Revisited. I just love staring at his photo. I love it so much I want to stop writing this blog and go back and see how many people commented on my photos of the Park Ave Demonstration today.
But, aside from Facebook being the Happiest Place On Earth and you don’t have to stand in line all day for the fun, then spend two hours looking for your car, it’s also one of the best places to do your social networking.
I have probably gotten more mileage of Facebook than almost anything and I’ve had a blast doing it.
MY RULES OF FACEBOOK
1) Gather as many friends as you can. And forget that thing of “Yes, I know them.” Ask whomever you want to ask to be your friend. You will be amazed at the people who say yes. You will also be amazed at the people who ignore you. But again, reach out there, if you want to be an extension of your phone book fine, keep it to close friends and family. But if you are using it as a networking tool, build your base. Each week try and get ten new friends. If only five accept that will be 260 by the end of the year.
2) Post a variety of interesting things. Don’t just post things that appeal to your three best friends, or tag photos of your sleep-away camp’s reunion. Search for some really juicy articles, videos, songs, things people might not get to see. Make your Facebook Wall a destination. That makes you a destination and then when you put your blogs or things about your business or product there they will be taken more seriously.
3) Don’t post things on other walls without permission. Would you come over to my house and take the art off my walls and hang your own? Exactly. Same with Facebook. There are boundaries and they need to be observed. Also don’t sign other people up for groups they don’t ask to join. I’m very happy if you are a member of Vegan Bikers for Bachmann, but leave me out of it.
4) Don’t promote your own work on other walls. If you have been following this series you know I will go out on limbs, but I will never post my things on others pages. I think each person’s wall is their space and if someone wants to share something of mine then they will make that choice.
5) Don’t talk about yourself endlessly in comments. Stick with the topic at hand. If you are part of a group discussion and are asked it’s one thing, otherwise and this is true of all comments on all sites, stay on topic. We can talk about ourselves all we want on our own pages and sites. Be a good listener and contributor on other’s walls, they will respect you for it, and you don’t look like a tool.
6) Use it consistently. You don’t have to go on as often as I do, which is about 12,000 times a day, but go on at least three times a day. Be a presence. Share, as that is how people see you and find you and friend you and you become part of the community.
7) Use it for self-promotion, absolutely. Post your own work, reviews, comments announcements whatever pertains to your life and career. It is there for that. But if you are also peppering it with many other things, your own self-promotion (something I am big fan of) will not be offensive it will be part of the whole that is you.
8) If you want to be taken seriously or you have people on there you work with or want to work with I would keep the drunken shots of you peeing into the East River for personal use. I would keep most drunken or any shots that can be considered compromising off there. And if you are young, you are going to have many more boyfriends, girlfriends and lovers in your life, as well as children. What goes on Facebook or any site goes to the world, so just be prepared you can’t take it back. You aren’t inventing anything new, your a half naked shot, with your tongue crammed halfway down someone’s throat while six guys in boxers look on while they are downing shots, may come back to haunt you. Someone can snatch it, screen shot it and it’s out there forever.
9) Be a friendly person. When you make a new friend, it’s nice to say thank you for the friendship, make a personal connection, go on their page and “like” something or respond to a posting.
Last evening I was the recipient of what I think are some of the nicest FB manners I have seen. I was asked by a gentleman to be his friend. I accepted. In all fairness unless I have seen the face on a Most Wanted sign I accept most people. Shortly after I got a PM acknowledging a few things we had in common, Leonard Cohen and a fondness for the book Speak Memory. Then he included his website. Totally cool to do that. And it’s a really good website and if you have one, it makes a good impression. He also congratulated me on my own work, and signaled out one film and wished me well on my book. Which made me respond with a longer PM and included my website and a connection was made. This is how to use FB at it’s best. It wasn’t me, me, me. It wasn’t you, you, you. It was using the information provided, connecting the common dots, sharing individual work and being generous. I will now stop into his and page I imagine he will stop into mine. So the lesson is take the time, look at what someone does, acknowledge him or her. Point out what interests you have in common and then the door is open to share your websites and your work. I was totally impressed. And I’m linking his website as it’s one to pay attention to. He has hit all the right notes.
10) Companies care that you do this work. In the age of changing business models and smaller work staffs, people running companies like to see that you are doing a lot of this work yourself. It proves you are willing to roll up your sleeves and take responsibility for your own future. And if you are in business for yourself or an entrepreneur well you have little choice but to do everything you possibly can.
11) I’m not a big fan of the fan page. I find it a little creepy. Harper Collins set one up for me and I proceeded to ignore it. My friend Don Hutchison made one for Lucky Ducks I pay little attention to. Even if you never have any personal interaction with someone, people like the concept of being “friends” that is part of the genius behind it. It’s the reality and the illusion, the geek with all the pretty girls on his page or my faux friendship with Karl Lagerfeld. When I get one of those notes saying, “I’m really sorry, my page is filled but you can be my fan.” Or worse when people send out those Sally Field pleas to “Like Me” ~ it’s fine if you’re a legitimate business but real people would rather be friends whether it’s a real friendship or not.