There is a great deal of value available to us at Facebook and from what people tell me, most of us are leaving the money on the table.
Here's what I mean. Facebook is more than just a cheerful little place to see our friends' baby pictures.
It's actually a vigorous marketplace and news source. But you won't get that experience by simply logging in, and scrolling down the default news stream. Where you get the power is when you start reading what you want, and when you add meaning to your social media graph.
Don't worry, you don't have to dredge up your recollection of Boolean Algebra to do this. There are some very simple (and logical) actions you can take to make your social media graph more accurate and useful. There are also some simple actions you can take that get you to the pot of gold hiding in the Facebook update stream.
Let's talk about how to get there with Facebook.
So here we go:
*) Complete your profile as fully and accurately as you are able. You can address security concerns by tuning the privacy options if you don't want to expose certain facts about you (like age, marital status, or physical address). Don't supply information about facts you are unwilling to share. Realize that not everything you put in your profile has to be made public. Every bit of it does help the platform algorithm to create a picture of what's relevant to you. When you get this right -- the news will come to you!
*) Don't be a write-only contributor. The content on Facebook works best when it's a conversation, not a monologue. Be sure that for everything you "fling into the stream" that there are several instances of you responding to the contributions of others. Post follow-up content, Like the posts that you really like, and re-share content that you find interesting.
*) Make your contributions count. If you don't like to see the baby pictures or the lunchtime photos, then don't post that sort of content yourself. Think about what you find useful in the stream and make sure that what you post is of similar value.
*) Read beyond the default news stream. Have you ever explored the filtering options on the left-hand side of the screen? If a person regularly posts items you find of interest, click through to their timeline and read backward to see what other things they've contributed. Like the brands with which your company does business and read what they are saying on their pages. The number of variations you can find about how to read could make an entire course in itself. Mostly just realize that there are multiple powerful ways to find the valuable content. Explore some for yourself.
In the next part of this article, we'll talk about how to read Twitter. Understanding this will give you access to marketplace and world news as quickly as most major news organizations. Is that worth something to you and your company?
If so, then I'll see you next time! (Now, get back to work! -- But read some Facebook first.)