Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Muddling Around on Facebook

I've finally done it. I've joined Facebook. For months--nay, years--I've purposely ignored this exploding networking site. I've been so busy writing books and all that. Well, now I'm in between books and can actually breathe for the first time in a year and a half. So I did it.

Except I have no idea what I'm doing.

There's this Events link. Okay, so I created some events--put up the info on writers conference/conventions/whatever I'll be attending in the next eight months. I thought that was a lot to accomplish. Now I'm looking around authors' websites and seeing how they've got photo albums of all their book covers, including hyperlinks. Oh, have mercy. And aren't we supposed to have pictures on our home page? Or is the main page of a person just all boring info? (I'd swear my daughter's is full of pics.) But how to do that? And besides, it'll take me days.

Somebody help. Give me the basics:

1. What marketing do you accomplish on Facebook?

2. What do you include in your profile?

3. Wanna be my friend? Send me an invitation. At least I know enough to answer those.

4. What else should I know that I don't even know enough to ask?


Wandering Writer said...

Welcome to Facebook! Your invitations will be flooding in soon. Once again my children have gotten me to move out of my techno comfort zone. I'm still learning ropes but being there has given me a chance to share the excitement of my new book with friends--one of whom I haven't seen in years and said, "You write?"

I'm hoping the old commercial line, ". . .and she told two friends. . ." works here.

Anonymous said...

Here's a profile hint. When you list yourself as "married," don't also indicate that you are "interested in men." It comes across somehow....wrong. :) :)

Rita Gerlach said...

Brandilyn, have you checked out the networks over at NING? You can set up your own pages there as well. A few I belong to are...

Writers Interrupted
Edgy Christian Fiction
Historical Fiction
Writers & Readers of Distinctive Fiction

It was fun at first, but I'm at the point where I can't keep up. I'm where you were...I just can't bring myself to check out Facebook. MySpace no. I joined Shoutlife and I can't keep up there either.


Pam Halter said...

I joined Facebook a few weeks ago and am learning as I go. It does take time, but you can control that by deciding what you want to keep up with.

Me, I don't agree to be Friends with anyone I dont' know. Friends can see your whole profile.

I haven't put up any pics yet. Will get around to it.

I added Pieces of Flair, but that's all. I get invites for other stuff, but I'm only dealing with one thing right now. Again, it's a time decision.

You can announce things, email, put up book covers, etc. through Facebook, so marketing can be done that way.

My advice is to keep it as simple as you can. It will take less time that way.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Facebook. I just joined a few weeks ago and I love it. Talking with people, posting little messages on their "walls". Then, there is a little part where you can list what you're doing at the moment. It's really fun.

And for authors, it's great that their readers can "see" what they are doing at random times during the day. I think it brings authors closer to their audience. Plus, word of mouth, networking, things like that. I'm learning so much about it day by day, it'll take a while, but it's really fun.

I hope you enjoy it.

Southern-fried Fiction said...

I found Facebook to be a time stealer, to be honest. Too many people thought all those cute "send a poke" were fun. I got poked full of holes and had to pull out. I'm not even sure I still have an account there.

ShoutLife is close to the same. You really have to manage your time well to make them work. I'll be interested in hearing how it goes for you.

Anonymous said...

1. What marketing do you accomplish on Facebook? Check with Mike Snyder about setting up a page where folks can become your fans. Great way to give updates and connect with your readers.

2. What do you include in your profile? Whatever you want, but of course you should make sure there aren't enough details that could lead to identity theft. Always give my forehead a slap when I see someone giving their cell phone or home phone number in a "wall post" rather than a private message.

3. Wanna be my friend? Friend request sent. If you have time, check out the most recent photo album of my baby Tim. (That's my fave part of Facebook these days - seeing everyone's photos!)

4. What else should I know that I don't even know enough to ask? I don't know, but you can always send me Facebook messages with questions and I'll do my best to answer them!

Jennifer AlLee said...

This is timely for me because I recently joined Facebook by accident. I was trying to find someone from my past (sounds mysterious, doesn't it?) and I thought I found her on FB, but the only way I could know for sure was to join. Well, turns out it was the wrong gal, but here I am, a confused member of FB!

The main reason I join any social network is to do just that... network. I WANT to connect with people I don't know who might be interested in what I write, so I say yes to just about any friend request. The thing to remember is, don't put anything in your profile that you don't want the public to know.

Ane's right... FB can be a real time stealer. So far, I've just found it to be a fun diversion. I enjoy the Pieces of Flair board, but really, it takes a lot of time to look through all those buttons!

Right now, FB is just fun for me. I'd really love to hear from anyone who knows how to make it an effective marketing tool. Or am I asking too much???

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Thanks to all who've commented and invited me to be a friend. At some point I'll need to do a follow-up post on how I've used Facebook.

Julie Arduini said...

It is easy to get carried away and I too am at the point where I ignore most requests. However, there is a new feature called blog network that I joined and I think it has potential to get our work out there.

I also have a RSS feed of blogs I write for on my page and I'm believing it as a ministry.

I'm at the point where acquaintances from high school are adding me as friends, church people I don't have the opportunity to talk to at church like I'd like, and then even new friends who find me through the "Friends you might know" feature are signing on. I'm believing they will see my work at the top through that feed and be fed somehow.

It has it's good and bad points but for me, it's opened up a world of connections I otherwise would not have made.

Just set a timer, we don't want you missing any writing deadlines because of FaceBook!

Gina Conroy said...

Ditto on FB being a time stealer, but I did link my blog to FB and now my Twitter is linked to update my status so it seems like I'm actually there on FB when I'm just Twittering. I even have an interesting discussion going on the Twilight books just from my FB updates. But all the other poking and throwing sheep stuff, I don't really have time for.

Anonymous said...

Facebook can be a time stealer, but you can also ignore much that comes through. The author (or group-type) pages are nice. People can become a fan of yours. This puts an icon on their profile. It also allows you to sent a message to everyone. As an added benefit, if someone writes on your wall or makes a comment about a photo or a note, it then shows up in their feed. Their friends can then see it.

I like FB because I can type in a short status message and update everyone on news, events, and prayer needs (or when a book is released?)

I believe you can still chose the Limited Profile option when adding new friends. This should prevent individuals from seeing your entire profile. However, I don't include my address or phone number just to make things easier.