Tuesday, July 7, 2009

12 Tips For Creative Pros On Facebook

LM Comment: A very good primer on Facebook best practices. Click-thru to the underlying article on this one for all of the specifics.

July 1, 2009: summarized from CreativePro.com -- Here are 12 tips on how creative pros can use Facebook's various tools together, as part of a grand unified Facebook promotion strategy:

1. Start by setting up a Page (a.k.a public profile) for your project or business. Whatever you're publicizing, you'll need a home base for it on Facebook -- a central location for all the basic info, announcements, events, and other content that you'll be posting. That's where Pages -- with a capital P -- come in.

2. Make use of Facebook's News Feeds to reach people outside the boundaries of your fan base. One of the best things about Facebook is that it allows you to go beyond preaching to the converted. The secret ingredient to effective word-of-Facebook promotion is taking advantage of a phenomenon called passive endorsement, whereby Facebook's News Feeds make the content you post visible not only to your own friends and fans, but to all the people they're friends with, as well.

3. Remember that on Facebook, the best way to promote your creativity is to share your creativity. Or to put it another way: The most effective way to advertise on Facebook is not to advertise. I know that may sound like a Zen riddle, but bear with me -- this particular pebble isn't so hard to snatch.

4. Use status updates for short, punchy messages that keep you on your fans' radar. Just like your personal profile, your Page lets you post brief, timely announcements -- known as status updates -- about what you're up to and what's on your mind. Status updates appear on your Page's Wall, up at the top of your Page just under the name, and -- most importantly -- on the Home pages of anyone who's opted to view your content there.

5. If what you'd like to say is too long for a status update, use the Notes feature. Status updates do have some limitations. They're meant to be brief, so there's a restriction on how many characters you can type in the status update field (although it's noticeably more generous than Twitter's limit of 140 characters per tweet). But if you've got something you'd like to say that's too long for a status update, fear not: Facebook has you covered with the Notes feature.

6. Use Events to draw attention to time-sensitive happenings, build enthusiasm about them, and track your potential attendance. If you've ever used Evite, you'll be familiar with the basic concept of Facebook Events, which let you create an invitation page for a show, party, exhibition, meeting, or other calendar items. Posting public Events on Facebook helps you reach not only the people on your invitation list, but potentially their friends, and friends of friends, as well -- thanks to the magical ripple effect I mentioned earlier.

7. Use photos and videos to show off your projects in an eye-catching and entertaining way. Engaging people on a visual level is always a good strategy. So posting photos and videos on Facebook is an ideal way to showcase your talents. And because of the way Facebook's news feeds push photos and videos out to the Home pages of your Facebook friends and fans, you can use them as an effective tool to grab attention for projects, performances, and events of all kinds.

8. Direct attention to content posted elsewhere (YouTube, blogs, etc.) by using the Links feature. Facebook excels as a medium for sharing Web links. When you post a URL to Facebook, it doesn't appear solely as a Web address. If it's a link to an article or blog post, Facebook lets you choose a picture and a text excerpt to accompany it; if it's a video, Facebook will if possible embed a video player directly on the page. This makes it easy to keep your Page populated with fresh, engaging content.

9. Use Groups to network with fellow fans, professionals, and other peers. Although Pages are superior to Groups if you're looking to communicate with your own base of fans, customers, and supporters, Groups have their uses, too. Facebook Groups are a great way to connect on a peer-to-peer basis with fellow professionals, people you went to school or worked with in the past, or fellow fans and enthusiasts of whatever you're into. You might start a Group devoted to a specific issue or concern, and use it to meet like-minded Facebookers, some of whom might eventually find their way to back to your Page.

10. Keep your Pages, Groups, Events, and other content active to generate interest and discussion. Once you've created a Page, a Group, or an Event on Facebook, don't just let it sit there. You can help it get seen by as many folks as possibly by keeping it active. Add content to its page, write on its Wall, and use the Share button to post it to your own Profile.

11. Consider experimenting with the paid ads.
All of the tools I've discussed above are available for free on Facebook. But if you're willing to invest a little capital in the game, you can also experiment with bought-and-paid for advertising options.

12. Don't be pushy -- be engaging. Now that we've looked at the tools Facebook has to offer, it's time to circle back to the point I made in the beginning: The best way to put those tools to work is use them to showcase your creativity and the personality of your work. Try to make sure that every Facebook post you make has some entertainment value -- a new piece of information, a look at your work, or a useful or amusing link you just found.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/ojrg44

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