So I finally got my hands on a copy of Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals and let me tell you right now, I am totally diggin’ it. The book is so filled with useful social media and public relations information that can be used to further my career aspirations it’s almost unreal. That’s not to say that reading this book will automatically make me an expert compared to the likes of Zuckerberg or anything, but to the layperson (of which there are many) it will certainly help me to appear very knowledgeable. Simply put, it’s the best single resource I’ve seen in terms of beginning to develop solid knowledge of and insight into the professional side of social media. Go out an’ getchaself a copy, you’ll thank me later.
Not to jump the gun or anything but I’m definitely giving this whole Social Media Specialist/Associate/Representative idea some very serious consideration and after reading but a single chapter of this book I have redoubled my interest in pursuing a job in the PR field that incorporates a significant focus in social media. I mean why not, right? Take two things I enjoy and seem to show potential in, the world of social media and the field of public relations, whip ’em up together real good and voilà! Career.
So that chapter I read? It was all about Facebook. Specifically, it focused on some of the basic ways in which Facebook can be used by organizations to engage with the public in different ways.
The book outlines several ways that a brand can use Facebook:
1. To build communities- People who “like” your page become part of the community.
2. To engage with fans- I think this is of high importance. Facebook makes it so easy to engage and also offers an efficient two-way communication model.
3. To amplify the brand message- It is possible to reach not only your fans, but their friends as well.
4. To socially enable your business- This involves that little blue “Connect with Facebook” button that appears on websites and allows people to connect third party websites to their Facebook account.
5. To sell products and services- Yup. Make that money.
Something that I found to be insightful and a potentially powerful bit of knowledge was that “Facebook often cites the fact that for every Fan engaged, 120 friends of that Fan can be reached (120 being the average number of friends a person has on Facebook). Therefore, a Brand Page with 10,000 Fans can theoretically reach 1.2 million people through engagement on its Page.”
That’s a big number.
I think that the most important tidbit of info that I gleaned during my reading was how necessary it is to create a well thought out strategy regarding the use of Facebook for professional purposes. Many people don’t give strategy enough consideration when they utilize Facebook, or social media in general for that matter, just posting whatever comes up. While being able to incorporate spontaneity in the use of Facebook is definitely a plus, I wouldn’t recommend relying on it exclusively. Kind of like running a fortune 500 company using a children’s lemonade stand business model as your guide; don’t do it.
The book also offers some tips on developing a strategy for your Facebook. There is no sure-fire formula to follow, but the guidelines given are:
– Know who your audience is and what they do on social media.
– Define goals for your Facebook presence.
– Be aware of the rules that govern your industry and make sure your social media presence is consistent with them.
– Strategize what your organization desires in the relationship they develop with the audience.
– Plan out the content you will be uploading in advance.
– Specify details about who will operate of the page.
I think that as long as serious consideration is given to these general guidelines, the chances of your organization thriving on Facebook will increase drastically. I could keep telling you about all the wonderful insight contained in Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals, but then you wouldn’t buy the book and I would hate to do you that disservice so instead I will play us out with my favorite video EVER.
Until next time.