Humans are driven to be social. Yep, even us introverts – it’s a part of our hard-wiring. While I love spending time alone in my own head, the thoughts would become a bit stale without the brilliantly hilarious additions of my friends quirkiness.
If you’re busy (and who isn’t?) or if the thought of social media scares the undies off you, I’ve got five simple suggestions to help make the most of your time in a safe and effective way. This is in no way an exhaustive list, but these five steps will keep Facebook from eating away your time while allowing for a comfortable experience.
5 Quick Facebook Tips
- Start Small to Build Confidence. Watch not only what your friends are sharing, but where they are getting it from. When you see a source that makes you laugh or think, take a second and “Like” the source. Yep, this is one time it is okay to steal. We all have slightly (and sometimes largely) different quirks, so even when pulling from the same places we are each likely to share different things with unique interpretations. Which leads to…
- Like what you Like. Love a show, go like its page. Same for products. I’m a fan of Chobani yogurt and it amazes me how often I connect with others sharing a similar enjoyment. Interested in a subject, type it into the Search bar at the top of the Facebook site (or sidebar for tablet/mobile users) and you’ll typically find plenty of pages that speak to your interest. Every time you “Like” a page, it becomes part of your News Feed and thus, something you can share from in the future. Do one a day and soon you’ll have a healthy variety to choose from.
- Share Smart. Facebook ranks the type of share in the following way: Pictures are highest, links are second and personal status updates are at the bottom of the heap. Only your family wants to know what you had for breakfast, and they are just being polite. Share a photo of a cat saddled to a beleaguered looking dog and everyone wants to see it. Why? Because we all need levity to keep us sane and happy. If it makes you laugh or if an interesting (keyword, there) thought immediately comes to mind when you see something, share.
- Three times Three takes Nine. Share three things. Like three things. Comment on three things. And yes, you can double (or triple) up. This is how I started and it takes about Nine Minutes (or less). Afraid you’ll stay on too long? Set a timer and when it dings, rings, squeels, or makes the cat run and hide – move on.
- Interact to make friends. Someone responds in a friendly manner to your shares and/or comments – Be friendly back and Add a friend. See a comment that makes you laugh – give it a Like. Two caveats: 1) Always be positive. Negativity begets loneliness. 2) Facebook has odd “friending” rules, so only friend those you’ve interacted with. Just like in life, one doesn’t run up to strangers and wrap them in a bear hug. Give a positive impression at the start and positive results will follow.
Because I love giving out “value-added” resources, here are two for those looking for more ways to use social media or Facebook efficiently.
- When I first started out in social media, there was one book that helped beyond measure: We Are Not Alone: A Writer’s Guide to Social Media by Kristen Lamb. (First link leads to Amazon, non-affiliate: I only recommend what I’ve found useful).
- I recently took a spectacular class on Facebook by Lisa Hall-Wilson packed with tips on how to use the platform with clean efficiency. Lisa runs regular classes that I highly recommend – you can find out more at: Own Your Own Stage: Using Facebook for Author/Artist Platform & Branding. Or, friend Lisa on Facebook – I’m sure she’d love to get to know you.
Have any other Facebook tips or suggestions? Drop them in the comments. I’d love to chat with you *smile*
I liked each of these tips, Gene. Interesting that status updates–the most personal and interactive part of social media (or so I think, but what do I know?) rank below pictures and links. Go figure. And thanks for sharing the links to the books. Kristen’s been my guru for quite some time, so I’m off to check out Lisa’s work. Enjoy your day!
Facebook’s ranking system does seem odd at first glance, but when considered they follow normal human contact when meeting new people. First we see them (pictures), then we say hi and exchange a bit about ourselves (promotion), and after that, if things go well, we continue with small talk (status updates). This is why I suggest sharing pictures first and getting a dialogue going in comments. Over time this will lead to solid relationship building, and that is the heart of social media as “platform.”
Kristen is a total joy, with unsurpassed energy and insight. A good mentor (guru) to know. Same goes for Lisa 🙂
Have a great day!
Thanks, Gene. Guess that’s I never thought to invent such a platform, lol, my mind doesn’t work that way. My problem with FB these days is that ALL the interaction seems based on pictures. I happen to love connecting at the status update level, which gives me more direct insight into people. I suppose that’s just me.
The insight into FB’s hierarchy of sharing makes sense, especially for someone on the shy, timid side.
Wow. Now you’ve got me thinking of another post I can write.
Always glad to inspire, Joanna. We introverts (guessing I’m right on that one) love the deeper relationships. Facebook groups, Google+ communities and to some extent Twitter, can all meet those needs. However, the first step is getting others interested in wanting to know us on the deeper level – and often, that starts with a cool cat pic *smile*
By the way, when I say “platform,” it is my belief that everything we do publicly – every sharing of ourselves, our personality and our interests – is our personal platform. Regardless of whether it leads to anything beyond friendship; Share interesting things and people will become interested in knowing more.
Hmmm. I WAS an introvert–many moons ago. Made a conscious choice to free my inner extrovert of the time, lol. I agree about the pics and that being a safe connecting ground. Guess what I’m realizing is the evolution of FB. I liked it better back in the day, tho those echoes are easily still available to those who seek them. You take care!
I don’t know what to do with all the ever expanding list of bloggers that I don’t know who are suddenly coming to my real life Facebook page. Do you think it’s rude to ask them to go to my fan page? Trying to be the gatekeeper is exhausting!
Renee, one thing you can do is add a Subscription feature to your personal page. This allows you to not friend back or have to interact directly, while the person is still able to see your feed. You can then look at the subscriber list and send those on it a calm email request to like your fan page. I’m sure Lisa could fill you in the specifics if such is needed. There is bound to be some bleed over between the two no matter what we do. Social media should not be exhausting – try finesse at your leisure and try not to stress over it. Hope that helps 🙂
Great tips, Gene. I have to use the egg-timer approach; set an alarm to STOP or I’d be interacting all day to the detriment of getting schtuff (writing et al) done.
Right with you, Amy. I use a timer for just about everything now, social media, writing, etc. Thanks for the comment 🙂
Love these tips. To answer Renee (indirectly) I keep lists of people: acquaintances, friends, close friends. Different people see different updates. I think!
Great advice there, Leanne! And, you are correct about only those on the list seeing your updates, provided that, they are sent to the chosen group – a selection that can be made before posting a status update of any type by clicking the drop down at the top of the update box. Thanks for the comment 🙂
Great tips as always, Gene! I’ve started my social media involvement before I’ve joined WANA, but Kristen’s book and the blogging clas. (711) really mark the true beginning of my Facebook, Twitter, blogosphere etc. Interactions.
Gene I really like your 3×3 rule for wisely interacting on facebook. I used it a ton in college for interacting with friends and classmates, but admit I slack a lot when it comes to using it for my author platform. I like how you’ve created a nice guideline that doesn’t end up being a huge social media time suck. Thanks!
Excellent advice here! I’d also suggest staying away from negative rants and personal attacks on people you do or don’t know. If you’re going to say something negative, add some humor and ask if what you’re saying will evoke empathy for this universal experience (like the annoying bad driver in front of you or the 12 hoops you jump through to get to a customer service rep). Thanks, Gene.
Love these tips – they’re short and to the point and might get more (introverted) people to enjoy Facebook in a meaningful way. 🙂
I too employ a timer for everything or I’d never get anything done!
Thanks so much for the mention, Gene. *tips hat* Great tips. I love Facebook and I score in the 90th percentile for introversion, the chatting at a safe distance suits me perfectly. I can go days without actually speaking to a live human outside of my immediate family. lol I am offering a new course May 11 and 18 on advanced tips for tweaking out your Facebook Page – should be posted today sometime at wanaintl.com.
Angela: Same here. I had a couple of Facebook accounts prior to when all of you met me, but I logged on them once every 3-6 months. Yep, was right on top of things. Kristen’s book and WANA class (1011) changed it all for me.
Jess: Writers write. Typing a status update, is generally not the best use of that skill – however, it is a great way to take a break and relax for a second. It also lets us come out of the writing cave and get back a touch of sanity by chilling with friends. Always a good thing. The problem comes in when social creeps in and starts claiming writing turf. Glad you found the post useful 🙂
Julie: Good explanation of negative impact there (I did slip it into #5 up above, but yours is more detailed). Ugh, here you on CSR’s, there are good ones out there (might be married to one). I need to write you soon. Thanks for the great comment.
Jenny: Short and to the point keeps me inside my timer limit for writing posts *wink* Right with you on the timer, it is one of those not much spoken of writing items. Something I picked up from Holly Lisle’s writing books.
Lisa – *tips hat back* Half of what is above I learned from you *smile* I’m an 80-85 percentile introvert, not far off from you, social media is a great place for our kind. I’m glad to hear you’re running a couple classes for Facebook. While I haven’t applied all the tips I learned in your class (for others, yes, I’m a graduate of the class she is offering), it is only because I haven’t found the right banner yet. Hope you’ll swing by and honor us with a post sometime soon.
Oddly, I’m an introvert and I’ve not found social media quite the great place for me. It still feels like the party I was told to directed to go to and tolerate. One of the problems may be that everyone’s told me I need to do it, and it turns into a reason for me to feel like all those office parties and military parties that were mandatory, rather than something I wanted to do.
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