I was a latecomer to Facebook. I was an early adopter of MySpace and, as a marketer, still prefer the open access to user data MySpace provides. Facebook profiles are “closed” to the public unless you have a “connection”. As a user you may love that but as a marketer it’s a little bit annoying.
Facebook is better for social networking with contacts and/or friends than MySpace. They encourage independent developers to create applications for Facebook users. Facebook is much more “geeky” inasmuch as you can customize your profile with widgets while MySpace does not. It is a great resource for pure “pull” marketers; we (if you are playing my game) are not pure “pull” marketers; we gently push people.
Facebook’s closed access reminds me of the original LinkedIn gated access feature. LinkedIn realized that the gated access feature inhibited utility so I suspect that Facebook will ease it’s restrictions in the near future.
Once in, the applications ARE terrific. You can throw sheep at your friends, “poke” them, and do other adolescent things if you wish (but we don’t care about them). Some of the useful professional applications for our kind are are RSS feeds to a blog, CribFinders, etc.
Let’s get started. Go to www.Facebook.com
1- Click the green “sign up” button
2- Let’s stick with the personal profile. The “business” profile has limited reach. Fill out your name AND “at a company” in the drop down menu. This is important because you may have a greater reach across “networks” if you work for a large franchisor, like Keller Williams. Use your professional e-mail address; that determines your access. Fill out your password selection, birthdate, and captchka, and hit SIGN UP.
3- Retrieve your confirmation e-mail and click the activation link.
4- Use the “Find Friends” link and import your address book. It’s safe; they don’t e-mail your friends nor store that data. You control the invitations. When you’re finished, click “next”.
5- Populate the profile information. Entering your company data and alumni affiliations are important to future networking capabilities.
6- Click “save”- Pick your city network and click “join”
7- Now, you can edit your profile by clicking through. If you want to join an alumni or company network, Facebook requires you to have an approved e-mail for that school or company.
8- Two applications I consider a must: Blog RSS Feed and CribFinders.
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