Thursday, September 25, 2008

Facebook: Important Basic Rules for Beginners on This Social Media Platform

I’ve just started a group on Facebook called Information Mavens – a place for people to post information that can help others.

Because of this new group, I’ve “friended” two women new to Facebook, and on both their profile pages I’ve noticed some basic “errors” about which I’ve told them.

Thus I wanted to write a quick post about these plus one major “error” that many people do in order to help other people:

• Do NOT put your birth year on your profile (it is NOT required). It’s good to put your birth month and date so people can wish you happy birthday. But to protect against identify theft, leave your year off.

Your profile photo should be of you alone and a close-up so we can see what you look like. As Chris Brogan said when I heard him speak in LA yesterday, if you have a good photo of yourself on social media platforms, you can be recognized when people meet you at a live event. (If you’d like more advice on profile photos, get my free report “7 Mistakes to Avoid to Protect Your Image on Facebook” at

• Privacy settings are very adjustable on Facebook – it’s up to you how much you want people to see without being your Facebook friend. To make this decision, you need to decide what your purpose is on Facebook. If, like me, you want people to know about your novel and your blogs and your online businesses, you want to let as many people as possible find out about you. (But I still don’t put my telephone number and email on my profile page.)

And here’s the fourth important point thanks to MaryPat Kavanagh ( and her valuable Facebook webinars:

• With a friend request – always include a reason you are asking someone to friend you (unless it is someone you already know personally). Do NOT just click the friend request without adding a personal message. If you have a connection, say what that connection is. Or if you just like the person’s profile info, say what in the profile info attracted you to making a friend request.

Although I do want to expand my friend circle on Facebook, after learning this advice from MaryPat I usually ignore friend requests of people I don’t know who don’t write a personal comment with the friend request. I figure it’s not a real request to start a Facebook relationship but just a numbers game.

Facebook can be a wonderful venue for making friends, learning new things, and promoting your blogs and businesses. But it is NOT a magic wand. You do have to put in effort and interest in order to get a good return on your investment.

I’d love for you to friend me on Facebook if we’re not already friends. Just be sure to tell me where we “met.”

Technorati Tags:
, , , ,


Serena said...

Great advice, Phyllis!

MaryPat said...

I love that you whittled this post down to 4 points. I think this is a great start for people just getting into Facebook, or even just figuring out there purpose on Facebook!