Monday, August 24, 2009

Hints on Using Facebook Effectively

A current discussion on the "Murder Must Advertise" yahoogroup, where mystery authors trade promotion tips, is how to use Facebook effectively for promotion. Here's what I had to say on the subject.

I've made it a personal choice not to become any other author's "fan" but to become friends instead. If you don't want to accept my friendship, I'm not your fan. :) I am a "fan" of bookstores, local arts organizations, mystery cons, nutella, Wikipedia, TV shows, and stuff like that, though. I keep track of my extensive friends (over 2,000 now) by having a few sublists, one for family, one for close friends, one for Colorado folks, one for writer friends, etc. If I know you well, you end up on a sublist, and I'm more likely to see your status updates.

Also, I suggest that you pick only one application to play with, and choose "Block application" on any others that appear on your home page, so you don't waste all your time on trivia on Facebook. For me, my choice is an old application, (Lil) Green Patch, where you send friends plants, and I only send occasionally to those who've sent plants to me. I know a lot of folks seem to like Mafia Wars, though. Also, I try to limit my time on Facebook to one hour a day max, after I've met my page count or other writing goal for the day.

You don't find a lot of personal stuff on my Facebook page, like family photos or information about my kids. Since I use it as a promotion and networking tool, I keep the private stuff off my page. However, I've come to accept folks knowing a fair bit about me. Having an uncommon name means that we're the only Groundwater family in the Colorado Springs and Breckenridge phone books, where we own homes. So, if someone can find me that easily in the phone book, I don't worry about how easily they can find my address or phone number online. My birthday or SSN are another matter, however!


Miranda Peery said...

Helpful tips, thanks!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm finding Facebook a little too noisy and glitzy and wordy for my taste. As a result, I've slowed down on adding new friends, and I tend to visit only once a day (when I don't forget).

Maybe I'm getting spoiled by Twitter's 140-character limit and the way I can quickly scan a large number of messages.

Sheila Deeth said...

I've been thinking of joining facebook, so this is timely. Not sure what applications are - maybe I should ask the kids.

Beth Groundwater said...

Hi Sheila,
Applications are basically games or ways to send things to friends, and yes, your kids are probably good experts to ask!

Colleen Collins said...

Just passed a Kreative Blogger award along to you. You can find info here:


Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks, Colleen!