Home > Facebook, Social Media > How Should Facebook be Used?

How Should Facebook be Used?


Cocktail party

My personal opinion of  Facebook is it’s an odd gathering of people from high school, college, work friends, recent friends, a couple of family members and people I don’t know, but I might want to network with at some point in the future.  A lot has changed since Facebook hit the tipping point and became the social networking juggernaut it now is.

When I started with Facebook two years ago, I had six friends.  I joined at the suggestion of my uber tech savvy Internet friend Pat Kitano.  My other five friends were real estate bloggers and a bobsledder from Jamaica I once did marketing for.  My friend list stayed at six for quite a while and then I started getting friend requests from people I went to high school with.  Then a Facebook group was created for the alumni of that school.  That list grew from a few dozen people to the several hundred that now occupy it.

Then I got requests from college friends.  Soon a group for my fraternity was formed.  Then, that group exploded with members.  Add in a trickle of requests from family, other people in real estate and marketing, friends of friends and my list had gone from six to 150 in a very short time.

From a human perspective it’s been really nice.  I’ve been able to reconnect with people I thought were long gone.  It reminds me of the lyrics to a song that was popular a while ago –

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

From a marketing perspective, Facebook is amazing.  Groups have formed by interest and location and social standing.  Ads can be highly targeted and since it’s so new, nobody really knows how to be successful at it without coming across badly.

I was reading an article the other day about the 12 most annoying types of Facebook users.  I agree with the author that all those types of people exist, but I’m not sure they’re all annoying.  I’m also not sure that we don’t all fit into at least one of those categories.  Today I’ll discuss three of those types of users and give out some ideas on how to make improvements if any are needed.

Combine dull status updates with shameless self-promoters, “friend-padders” and that friend of a friend who sends you quizzes every day, and Facebook becomes a daily reminder of why some people can get on your nerves.

The Let-Me-Tell-You-Every-Detail-of-My-Day Bore – The author definitely gets this one right.  There is such a thing as oversharing!  Depending on how you set your privacy levels and who you choose to add as friends, pretend that everything you comment, share, upload and link to can be seen by your parents, boss, teacher or religious leader.  Now do you want to post it?  Marketing on the Internet should be brief and relevant.  The technology practically forces us to be concise.  Let’s keep that in mind.

The Self-Promoter – Isn’t part of being on the web some aspect of self-promotion?  Otherwise you wouldn’t be there.  Facebook is a little bit different because members can be passive or even reclusive.  Having been accused of self-promotion myself, I think the best way to handle things is to be relevant with your comments and don’t over promote.  A status update every 10 minutes is overkill, but something once a day or every other day won’t turn off your audience.

The Friend-Padder – The article states most Facebook users have a network of about 120 people.  This fits into established theories about group size.  Humans have a difficult time coping with managing relationships with groups larger than 150.  The “friend padder” will have groups in the several hundreds.  One of my contacts has nearly 2,000 Facebook friends.  She’s also a rabid self-promoter.  One of my real life friends is ready to break 1,000 on Facebook, but she has a lot of friends in real life too.  As my friend count is approaching that magic number of 150, I want to divide and seperate my group.  I’ve created a new page for my SEO business where I can put potential contacts and clients, while keeping my friends and family seperate so I don’t bug them with my marketing.

I’ll have part II on how should Facebook be used tomorrow.

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  1. August 27, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Nigel, I feel ya on the Self-promoter, and I like the idea of sub-diving into groups for easier management over “150”. Love LOOOVEEE facebook! So much warmer in there than “out here” 🙂

    Like

  1. August 27, 2009 at 3:01 am
  2. August 27, 2009 at 6:55 am
  3. August 27, 2009 at 5:42 pm
  4. August 27, 2009 at 7:51 pm
  5. August 28, 2009 at 3:32 am
  6. August 28, 2009 at 3:05 pm
  7. August 29, 2009 at 1:11 pm

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