Monday, July 9, 2012

Facebook Basics: Privacy, Friend Lists & More

Beginning writers ask me many basic Facebook questions; I will work to answer them here. If you have additional questions or advice, please share in the Comments section below.

Facebook is a great tool to meet and keep in touch with other writers (see a related post.) Of course, Facebook can also be a part of a writer’s platform. The key is to use it sincerely. Don’t just ask readers to buy your book, but rather engage with them as your friends (which, hopefully, they are.) For more on how to use social media effectively, Amy Bucklin at Clear Sky Writing has some helpful posts about social media tools and more.

Privacy Settings & Friends List
As you design your Facebook page, be sure to carefully set the privacy settings. Start by clicking the down arrow in the upper right hand corner, then “Privacy Settings.” From there, you’ll be able to make decisions. To check your settings, go to your profile page and then click on the gear (right side under your cover photo) and click “View As.” You can type in someone’s name (someone you're connected to because you are "friends" in the Facebook world) and view the page as they’d see it (i.e. if you’ve set the privacy settings correctly, you will only see the posts/pictures/etc. that this person is permitted to see.)

You can also keep track of your friends (and better set your Privacy Settings) by organizing your friends into lists.

Business Page
I have two separate Facebook pages: a private one for friends and one for my writing coach business. You can set up a business / professional page by following the instructions. You will want to set up your business page privacy settings, too, under “Edit Page” and then clicking on “Manage Permissions.” You can post anywhere on Facebook as yourself or as the company name. Do this by clicking on the down arrow on the upper right hand side of the page and choosing an identity under “Use Facebook As...”)

“Tagging” someone on Facebook means that you have created a link on a status update (either from your profile or business page.) This puts the status update on that person’s Facebook profile page, too (depending on the other person's privacy settings, the post might not go live until that person has approved it.) To tag someone, start with an “@” symbol and then type the person’s name (no space between the ampersand and the name.) You can only tag someone if you are that person’s "friend." (If you are "friends" with someone as an individual and they haven’t joined your business page, then you will not be able to tag that person on your business page if you are posting under the business name. You’ll need to write the status update as an individual and tag the person.)

Have you joined my Writing Coach Facebook page yet? 

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