Blogging/Social Media

8 Fast and Furious Ways To Maneuver Facebook Changes Without Crashing and Burning


cast of Fast Five, Dwayne Johnson, Ludicris, Jordana Brewster, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, image courtesy Jack Zalium, Creative Commons

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Are you fed up with Facebook?

I’ve noticed a lot of complaints floating through the interwebs about Facebook lately. If you’re not into Facebook, I give you permission to check out another post here on the blog. But if you’re a writer or other creative re-thinking your Facebook or other social media platform interaction, read on.

Facebook has recently given us questionable privacy policies, increase in ads, the uncontrollable scrolling News Feed, charging business pages for ‘featured’ statuses, the change to Timeline and just this week the email switcheroo debacle.

Though Facebook has become a bit irritating as of late, I think there’s a few things to remember to keep a balanced view:

  • Facebook users are NOT Facebook’s customers. Advertisers and now shareholders are Facebook’s customers. Advertising is how they make money. Even though Facebook encourages making ‘friends’, Facebook is not your friend. Because it is a BUSINESS. Businesses are in business to make money. Users are a means to an end.
  • You’ve been getting FREE PR and networking with industry professionals, potential customers and those you want to share information and influence with that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise for FREE. Some have been availing themselves of this FREE service for years.
  • No one is forcing you to be on Facebook. If the cons outweigh the pros for you, quitting Facebook is a viable option at any time.

Want to grow your Facebook presence in spite of the instability?

Check out a textbook model of success and use his moves to grow your Facebook interaction.

Vin Diesel is an actor, writer, director and producer. He’s well-known and excels in his field, but he’s not the latest/greatest phenom, teen dream, or constantly in the limelight or on the gossip pages. Over three years time, Vin has quietly but steadily built his Facebook following to over 33 million people. He maintains his page himself and posts on a regular basis.

Here are 8 ways you can rock your Facebook page like Vin:

1.  Be real 

Vin is himself. Of course, the celebrity factor is a big attraction, but he talks about what’s going on in his life, some of his methods for preparing for his work, and the ideas that he is passionate about. Some of his posts are poetic and a little ethereal, even disjointed and mysterious. He doesn’t care. That’s who he is.

Don’t be what you think people want you to be, be who you are. Nobody else can be you as well as you can.

2.  Make your followers feel like an insider

Vin gives updates on his new projects in real time. He posts ‘behind-the-scenes’ photos on movie sets and his travels. Followers feel like they are getting in on what’s happening before the general public.

Can you share some of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ happenings of your projects? Give people a glimpse into your thought processes, the good, the bad or the ugly of your profession, the inner workings of your current artistic project? Embrace your Facebook friends into your world and they will embrace you back.

3.  Be positive

You don’t have to scroll down very far to see that Vin is all about positivity. Inspirational quotes and thoughts of gratitude fill the page. Followers respond in kind in their comments and their loyalty.

Have a positive attitude. Remember that old saying about attracting more flies with honey than with vinegar? It’s true. Don’t be afraid to share when you’re having a bad day once in a while, but if you’re always sharing negative thoughts or worse, ranting, people will eventually tire of it and tune out.

4.  Interact consistently

Vin shares regularly, answers questions that have been posted on the page and his followers look forward to his posts because HE POSTS.

If you don’t show up on your page, why should anyone else? Pretty basic.

5.  Stop trying to force a ‘sell’ 

Though Vin posts regularly, he’s not shoving his products down his followers throats. You won’t see him begging people to go see his movies or buy his video games 10 times a day every day. He shares the excitement he has for his projects, updates followers with progress reports, and includes them in celebrating his accomplishments.

Much better approach than begging for attention. Do likewise.

6.  Post photos

Vin posts photos. Good ones. And lots of them. Which is just what his loyal followers want to see.

One plus to the new Timeline and Page Covers is greater opportunity for catching the eye with photos. Post photos, but don’t overload the news feed, choose photos judiciously.

7.  Let people know where you are

In the ‘About’ section of his Facebook page, Vin lists all his websites and social media where he is active so followers can get more information about him and his projects if they choose.

Make sure you list all the places your followers can find you in your ‘About’: blog/website/Twitter/Pinterest accounts, etc. You’d be surprised how many people don’t.

8.  Establish your style/voice

Vin has a unique way of wording his status posts. Short, stream of consciousness, positive, rather poetic. He also often signs them with a “/smile”.

Just like you have a writing or artistic voice, think about establishing a Facebook voice. How? See Number One.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Facebook will continue making changes. Stay positive, roll with the punches and keep connecting and your social media platform will grow.

Want some more advice for navigating Facebook? You can’t beat the incomparable Jane Friedman. Check out her posts:

Have you considered quitting Facebook over all the changes?

Related posts: 

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10 replies »

  1. Very informative post, Kristin. And, I liked what you said about keeping a balanced view. Yes, Facebook can be frustrating at times, but many of us have benefited greatly from it.

    Like

    • Yes, Jan, definitely frustrating. Though we can whine about all Facebook’s nasty attempts to undermine the FB experience, I don’t think the social media landscape would be the same without it. I think it’s been particularly beneficial for writers, to get the word out about their work and most importantly, gain a sense of community for a professional that by its nature is one of isolation and working alone. I hope they can figure out that what FB users think is an important part of their business model.

      Like

  2. Great tips here.

    Although I agree with you that FB is free and we have benefitted from it, I also think that if they don’t take the users into consideration and keep doing things like you mentioned, I don’t think they’ll be around for much longer.

    I understand it’s a business, they need to make money, and the real customers are the investors, but it’s also about creating a service people will want to use. Otherwise, they won’t make money.
    As of late, many people (myself included) are thinking twice about continuing to use it.

    But as you said, if we are that dissatisfied with the changes we can quit at any time. If anything, I think it is important to get a head start on Google+. I really believe that’s the next big thing that will overtake FB and maybe even Twitter. What do you think of Google+?

    Like

    • I agree with you, Yesenia. If FB doesn’t get their act together and realize that users are what keeps their service relevant, it may be their downfall. I wanted to point out that even though it seems counter-intuitive that they don’t really care about what users think, ultimately they are a business who can do what they want. We the users can vote with our feet and leave or make the best of the situation.

      I was really excited about Google+ and jumped on board when it first opened to the public. I think it has a lot of good features like circles, hangouts and hashtags for a better interactive experience, but so far there is not a lot of activity like on Facebook. Sometimes it’s a ghost town over there, so much so I forget to check my account. Maybe if Facebook continues their downward spiral there will be more people willing to check out Google+. Change is hard. 🙂

      Like

  3. I’ve been frustrated with Facebook but some of it is my fault because I’m not consistent. You make some great points, thanks for showing us how Vin does it and how he does it well.

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  4. I appreciate your post, Kristin, and I agree that frequent interactivity keeps people coming back. As a friend said, “The best thing about FB is it’s free; the worst thing about FB is it’s free!”

    Question: Do you recommend both a personal and a professional page? That’s what I have now with lots of activity on my personal but not much on the professional. I’m beginning to post more on the professional and trying not to blur the line between stuff I’ll share with friends and family and that for others I may not know. Your advice?

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Eleanor. I only have a personal page. I’m not really at a stage in my writing career where I have actual ‘fans’ who have read my work, besides all my awesome blogging friends. 🙂 I think a fan page would be good for a well-established author who can use the Facebook platform to share about new books, talk with fans about the characters in their novels, advertise personal appearances, offer contests and deals and that sort of thing. Check out author Patricia Cornwell’s Facebook professional fan page for a good example of this.

      Of course you can also do all that on a personal page as well. The fan page offers extra functionality in analytics, additional data, and such if an author might need that to demonstrate social media activity to agents or publishers.

      You might want to read what Jane Friedman thinks about it in ‘5 Principles for Using Facebook’ from the link in my blog post. Even though she is very well-known and a social media expert, she only has a personal page herself. She has a nice list to help you decide whether a fan page or personal page may be the right fit for you.

      Having both seems like a lot of extra work, but again, it depends on your individual needs and whether you have the time/energy to devote to it.

      Also, as far trying not to blur the personal/professional lines, are you using the lists function on your Facebook personal account? It’s a good way to divide who you want to share what with. I don’t really have a dramatic personal life and don’t share intimate details so most of the time my activity is fine for all to see, but I know my non-writing relatives might get tired of all my writing-related posts so I will post to just the friends on my writing list periodically. There’s also the subscribe function now for followers if you happen to attain to that 5,000+ friends mark.

      I hope all that helps you. Definitely check out the Jane Friedman post. She covers it very well. That’s why she’s the guru! LOL Good luck!

      Like

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