FaceBook No-No’s

While you are building your credibility on FaceBook, there are certain things that you could do – easily – that will completely undo everything you’ve accomplished to date and prevent you from ever building credibility through this social networking site in the future.  Plus, it can happen in a matter of minutes.

Here are some things that you definitely want to avoid doing on FaceBook:

1.  Do not spam people’s inboxes or walls. This will not only cause you to lose credibility, it can also cause you to get banned from FaceBook. FaceBook is one of the best social networking sites in existence and it is important to keep it in it’s currently clean, spam free state, so that it remains a useful and valuable tool for everyone who uses it.

2.    Never post messages on other people’s walls with the sole intention of linking to your own website. It’s obvious and just makes you look desperate and greedy. Don’t link anywhere at all. Instead, post interesting comments and people will click your name to learn more about you from your profile, where you should obviously link to your websites.

3.    While you want to give yourself and your business a human face, you really don’t want to get overly personal – especially with photos and videos. You aren’t searching for a hot date – you are trying to build your brand and your business. Don’t forget that – ever.

4.    Don’t add an abundance of silly applications to your profile. It just clutters your profile, makes it load slow and really just takes the viewers attention away from that which you want their attention firmly glued to – information about you and your business.

5.    Never have ‘cyber wars’ with anyone on FaceBook. If someone is bothering you, simply block them. It isn’t hard to do – and it’s much more reasonable than throwing flames for the whole world to see.

Above all, use good common sense. Always think before you act – or before you hit a submit button. Consider your customers, your potential customers, business contacts, and potential business contacts – how will they view what you are about to do?

If you follow these no-no rules, you will almost always be just fine.

You can actually manage Twitter

The biggest problem with the standard Twitter web application is that you only see the main Tweetstream.  In order to get the mosst out of Twitter, you need to keep an eagle eye on your replies and Direct Messages as those are the direct conversations with your followers.  This is where the value of Twitter lies. What are the Tweeple to do?  Are we forever stuck with the limited features of Twitter.com?  Of course not.  There are a tone of client applications that will help you actually manage Twitter.

Your TweetStream - To start with, download TweetDeck.   TweetDeck is a client application that helps you sort all your incoming tweets into columns so you can see what’s going on.  You can sort by Direct Messages, Mentions, Hashtags (#) and now with LinkedIn and FaceBook feeds as well.  Plus it keeps the last 500 tweets in each column so you have a longer running history.  The screen has a continuous right hand scroll, so you can set up different groups and their tweets will appear in that column. You might have a group called “best friends” and another for “gardeners” for instance.  That way you don’t miss important tweets from people who are more important to you than others. At the time of writing, Tweetdeck is probably the most widely used application for Twitter and I would highly recommend it to you.

Your Tweets - Start getting some tweets into the system now. On the Twitter home page, it asks What You Are Doing?  Quite frankly many people don’t care until you have built a relationship with them as a result of following.  If you’re just getting started try some of these ideas to get things rolling.

Start by tweeting links to interesting blogs posts (either yours or someone elses) with a link to the post. For example: “Interesting post on pest control in tomatos. Link”. Make sure you always include http:// in the link and not just www so the link is clickable in the Tweetstream.  If it’s a long link, Tweetdeck has a facility to shorten it to a small url.  Tweet a link to an article in an online newspaper – the WSJ or NYT have great stuff and are easy to link to.

Another good way of starting out tweeting is with quotes.   Here’s one I just found in the Tweetstream as an example: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle.  There are thousands of these all over the internet that you can use, but use these sparingly as they can become repetitive if all you do is tweet quotes.

Whatever you do, at no stage of your Twitter career start posting sales tweet after sales tweet.  Your career will be shortlived if you do and people will unfollow you very quickly.  Twitter is about engagement, value and a social experience. A constant flow of sales links is just not cool.  By all means post links to your products or sites, but keep them to around 5% of your total tweets at the most.

Another good idea with your tweeting is to keep religion and politics out of them. These subjects can only alienate followers and you can lose them.

Replies – You can reply to someone’s Tweet simply by putting the @symbol in front of their name. This makes the tweet stand out to them as it appears in their reply column or page instead of in the general Tweetstream. It is a very useful way of starting conversations with people in order to build relationships. Simply comment on one of their tweets. TweetDeck has a feature when you hover over the user’s avatar to put their name and reply symbol straight into the posting area.

Retweeting – People appreciate retweets and it is a good way to get noticed by others.  All you do is put RT in front of the @username. Using TweetDeck, hover over the user’s avatar and it will put the whole thing in the posting area. Separate their tweet from your comment if you have one.  I usually put two pipes, which is holding down the Shift key on the character.  This will produce “||” which clearly shows the end of the other person’s tweet and your reply or comment.

If other people retweet your tweets, make it a habit to thank them.  It’s common courtesy. Simply tweet @username Thanks for RT :-) and send. After all, it’s all about making connections, building relationships and learning more about people.

FaceBook Groups and Joint Ventures

EXAMPLE - FaceBook Groups
EXAMPLE - FaceBook Groups

One of the most important Internet Marketing related features on FaceBook is Groups. This goes far beyond joining groups to find new contacts. It also includes creating groups of your own for the purpose of joint venturing – even if that joint venturing won’t take place until a future date.

The process to create your own group is extremely easy. Simply log in to your account then click on ‘groups’ in the navigation panel on the left. At the top of the next page, you will see a button that says ‘Create a New Group’. Click that button, and fill out the form. It’s just that simple and can be done in a matter of minutes.

The hard part is determining what type of group that you want to start. What is the groups focus? All groups must have a focus otherwise, they are essentially worthless.

Let’s say that the focus of your group is to joint venture with other Internet Marketers, but you aren’t sure exactly what type of joint venturing you want to do at this point – or how you could work with the potential members in the group for the purpose of joint venturing. In this case, you may want to start a mastermind group for Internet Marketers. This is very broad and it leaves joint venture possibilities wide open.

Now, you must consider who you want to be in your mastermind group, so that you can send out invitations. Mastermind groups are typically small – usually just ten to twenty people, so this shouldn’t be very hard. However, you must remember that you will eventually want to joint venture with these people in your group. Therefore, you want to be very selective with your invitations.

Think about joint venturing – outside of social networking. You obviously need someone who has products or the necessary skills to create quality products. You need someone who is great at copywriting. You may need a web designer. You obviously want people who have large opt-in lists, and/or large networks of people, or complementary services to yours.

You definitely want people who are active on FaceBook. You will invite people from your own circle of friends in most cases, but you can invite people who have the interests and skills that you require, who are not currently your friends as well, simply by searching for them from within the group interface and inviting them to join.

The next step is to get your group active and to get the members participating. Ask questions that require input from members. Offer information that you know the members will find useful.  Start showing them what you are made of and what you have to offer so that when the opportunity or need for a joint venture comes up, they know what you can bring to the table. At the same time, pay attention so that you know what they can bring to the table as well.

Make sure that all content that is being provided to the group is useful, valuable information. Don’t advertise to your group and don’t allow other members to advertise either.  Let information flow naturally and freely without the advertising. You will find that you and other group members are easily able to work your products and services into the conversations or articles that are being published to the group – as those products and services relate to the information.

Finally, if you are a bit unsure about how to operate a group or how to make it a highly effective group, consider joining another small group that is already set up and being operated by someone else. You must really pay attention to how the members interact with each other and the content that is delivered through the group. This will definitely give you some great ideas for your own group on FaceBook.