Here are some tips for writers who are either new to Facebook or who aren't sure if they're using it the correct way:
- Complete your profile. You don't have to include EVERYTHING, but I'd suggest at least covering these bases: Current City, Birthday (you don't have to include the year), Bio, Education and Work, Contact Information.
- Make everything public. As a writer, you should be using sites like Facebook and Twitter to connect with other writers, editors, agents, and your audience. So make it easy for them to find you and learn more about you by making everything available to the public. That said...
- Think about your audience, friends, family, boss, former teachers, etc., in everything you do on Facebook. Like it or not, you have to understand that if you are completely public on Facebook (and you should be if you want to connect with your audience) that you need to think about what you do on Facebook before you do it. Because Facebook ain't like Vegas: What happens on Facebook could easily go viral. But don't get paranoid; just use common sense.
- Include a profile pic of yourself. Don't use a picture of a cute animal, house pet, your children, an animated character, a famous celebrity, a model, etc. Just a nice pic of yourself. Even though it's virtual, you want your profile to be as human as possible so that you can connect with others.
- Update your status regularly. You shouldn't update your status every hour, but once a day is a good pace. This just lets others on Facebook know that you are actively using the site.
- Communicate with friends on Facebook. Don't stalk your friends; communicate with them. If you like a friend's status update, comment on it--or at the very least, click the Like button (to acknowledge that you liked their update). Speaking of friends...
- Be selective about friends you add. Don't blindly accept every friend request, because some may be bogus, and others may be from serial frienders (people who are trying to hit their friend limits). You want quality friends who share your interests or who you know from the "real world."
- Be selective about adding apps. I'm not a huge fan of apps, because they are a distraction and time killer on Facebook. But there are some that could be useful. However, don't waste a month of your life playing Farmville or Mafia Wars; you'd be better off completing a crossword or sudoku puzzle.
- Join relevant groups. For writers, there are an abundance of groups you could join, from professional organizations to those based around magazines, publishers and literary events. These are great places to connect with other writers. On that same note...
- Follow relevant fan pages. There are many who once had groups that migrated over to using fan pages, so there are fan pages for writing organizations, magazines, publishers, literary events, and more. (Click here to check out my personal fan page.)
If you've found other great ways to use Facebook, I'd love it if you'd share them below in the Comments. Also, I'd be glad to try and hunt down answers to any Facebook questions you might have.
Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer
For more on Facebook, check out these resources:
- Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day, by Chris Treadway and Mari Smith
- Facebook Marketing for Dummies, by Paul Dunay and Richard Krueger
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Facebook, by Joe Kraynak and Mikal E. Belicove
- The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World, by David Kirkpatrick
Some other posts that might be of interest include: