The pace of technological change is astonishing. The way we communicate, interact, study, travel, take care of ourselves – it has all changed. I often hear people speaking wistfully of the “good old days” simpler times. When we had “real conversations, not texts, children played outside, the world was altogether a better place, before the advent of Social Media!” While I understand these sentiments – I have a somewhat different perspective.
FaceBook allows you to stay in touch with friends all over the world. To renew friendships from 30 years ago. To keep up with all the goings on of families, children, grandchildren. To celebrate, even if it is from afar, weddings, graduations and birthdays. Through Twitter you can connect with new, like minded people all of the time. On LinkedIn you can keep up with people’s careers and businesses. And Pinterest you can plan your trips, plan home renovations, collect recipes and work out routines, see the latest fashions and get ideas for the next craft project.
I may sound like a social media expert, the reality is I am relatively new to all these platforms. I have had Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts, but have not done much with them, other than watch and listen. My friend Tina Pugliese, of PugliesePR.com speaks on “Netiquette” and some rules we can all follow to get the most out of social media without offending – Tina shares the following facts:
“Did you know that…
It took 38 years for radio to gain 50 million listeners.
It took 13 years for television to gain 50 million viewers.
It took only 4 years for the Internet to gain 50 million users.
With so many people on the information superhighway, it’s no wonder we need some rules to follow…”
I think like many of my generation – the tail end of the baby boomers – I have been somewhat shy on social media. We realize that what you put out on the ‘net is there for eternity, and we are careful about sharing our personal lives. There are some great resources on social media etiquette, and how to do this right. I will exploring in future posts. For now, lets look at the platform that many boomers first embrace – Facebook.
Facebook is a great place to catch up with family and friends, to share photos, ideas, inspirational quotes. It is also a great place to build a following for your business, blog, home based business or charity, but only if you use it carefully. Gone are the days of sharing every detail of your life, what you had for breakfast, pictures of your coffee at Starbucks. Or on the business side, spamming friends and family with constant pictures of your products or details of your services. And thank goodness those days are over.
Facebook is continually changing the rules, to restrict that type of activity. They are working to keep the news feeds interesting and engaging, because the whole point of social media is to be, well… social. A good rule of thumb on how to behave on FaceBook is to act as you would at a cocktail party (always assuming it’s not a crazy cocktail party!). Share the information that you are comfortable people knowing about you, like photos, travel stories, great new restaurants, or films that you have enjoyed. I stay away from politics and religion, just as I do in social settings.
If you are using FaceBook to promote your business, set up a separate fan page, (I will provide details of why and how to do this in my next post) and post valuable content, interesting stories and videos about your industry. Not too much specific information about your company or products themselves, remember people go to FaceBook to socialize and be entertained. They don’t want to feel that they are constantly being “sold”.
Remember you don’t have to be perfect, be your authentic self, talk about things that are of interest to you, share stories, ideas, pictures. And most of all, have fun with it!
What challenges and successes have you experienced on Facebook – do you check in often? And are there questions you would like answered in future posts? I would love to hear about your Facebook experience.