Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
July 23rd, 2010

Facebook

My last several blogs we had been discussing Linked In and the strategies you can employ to make that tool useful for your business. Starting this month, we will begin discussing the largest of the social media tools; Facebook. Percentages would indicate that many of you already have a Facebook account and are using it for keeping up with family and friends. Facebook has become so popular that it recently surpassed Google as the site having the most clicks per day. In fact, on average 1 out of every 10 clicks on the entire internet are clicks related to Facebook!

Well, hopefully the information above is enough to convince you that if you are not currently involved, you need to be. In this blog I would like to cover the basics of getting set-up with Facebook personally and as a business. First, if you do not already have a Facebook account, register as an individual. The process is fast and free. As you set up your account, pay particular attention to the privacy settings. If you plan to use this tool for both business and personal, you may want to be careful about what information that you post and who can see that information. The default settings are for Facebook to be wide open. That would mean that anyone, whether connected on Facebook with you or not, could view everything that you have posted. The privacy settings allow you to tightly control all aspects of your content and only give access to parties that you choose. This is important as you may not want to have a business client to have access to a photo album showing you doing something you might be embarrassed about. I do believe in being as transparent as possible when using these tools, but some good judgment here can save you a bunch of headaches.

Next, you want to change your default Facebook url to what they call a “vanity url”. This changes your randomly generated numeric Facebook ID to some version of your name. This change makes your page much easier for search engines to find. It also is easier for friends to find you on Facebook if you have a url closely tied to your name. Vanity urls are given out on a first come, first serve basis, so the faster that you do this, the more likely you are to get your desired ID. If you have a unique name, you may be in luck as the vanity url is likely not taken. However, if you have a common name, you may have to come up with a unique spelling or orientation as the basic format is likely taken. I was lucky, my Facebook ID is Patricfransko. However, I could have also gone with “Patric F”, “PFransko”, “PJFransko”, etc.

Facebook is a huge social media tool right now and it gets bigger by the day. I often encourage friends that don’t want to be involved at this time to at least take the time to register for an account and lock down a good vanity url. At least at that point, you will have the foundation in place when you decide to use this tool. So, I hope that this month’s blog at least convinced you to take that step. In the next blog, we will cover how to set up a Facebook page for your company and lock down a vanity url for that as well. I hope that all is well with you and the summer is treating you and your business well.

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