You probably know this. But the worst is if you think you know this, but actually don't. Your Facebook wall is extremely public to your "friends" you've accepted into Facebook. That includes your cousins as well as networking types you know professionally. What is also public is what you write on other people's walls.
What does this mean? Be mindful of what you say in Facebook. If you are doing anything, anywhere in Facebook, there is a very good chance that others see that as well. This is the whole point of Facebook: to virally create word of mouth. If done well, this can be a great marketing strategy. If done carelessly, it can be a public relations disaster.
EXAMPLE :: PUBLIC RELATIONS DISASTER (this is totally fiction):
You are considering quitting your job. You like the people at your job, but it's time to move on and bust into your entrepreneurness. Maybe you're feeling some frustrations at work. You are Facebook "friends" with some colleagues from work. You may or may not be Facebook "friends" with your boss. If so, you accepted it so long ago, that you forgot. You speak to your friend about your job over the phone, and you get a little worked up. That night, your friend consoles you, and writes on your Wall: "Cheer up...I know you hate your job, but it will soon be over!"
Meanwhile, you posted a photo of something interesting to your Facebook profile, which attracted the attention of maybe your boss or other colleagues. They click on the photo to go check out your whole profile to see what you've been up to, and bam, there is the evidence of your true feelings about your job. The writing on the wall. Good luck explaining that one.
This is an example of an indirect way that something was revealed about you that you did not intend. If this happens to you, you must delete that wall post, and kindly ask your friend to never mention anything work related or to speak poorly about other friends anywhere near your Facebook account. Show your friend this article if they don't know what you are talking about.
In real life, this girl did lose her job after she declared that her job was boring in her Facebook status. Word got to her boss, and she was fired.
EXAMPLE :: HOW TO EFFECTIVELY USE FACEBOOK TO PASSIVELY MARKET (actual examples)
This is a more fun scenario to think about. You love helping your friends who have businesses. Here is how to ramp it up on Facebook.
You love a jewelry designer and have bought a necklace from her for your sister. You go to your sister's Facebook Wall and write: "Hope you're in town for when I give you your birthday present! Hint: it's from www.jala-designs.com"
Here is what happened from this simple wall post:
1. Your friends who are also your sister's friends actually just saw what you posted to your sister, which pops up in your public Newsfeed.
2. Your comment on your sister's wall is now viewable by her friends when they are stopping by to look at her Facebook profile to catch up on her latest news.
3. That link is live, so in both cases mentioned above, people can click on that link and start shopping.
a. If the website is built to be Socialness friendly, Facebook will automatically pull a picture from the website, the page title, and the first sentance of copy from the website. Can we say, best ad ever?
You love a jewelry designer, and are going to buy from her online sample sale on her blog. You declare this in your Facebook status (not quite the Wall, but close). You write: "Katie is excited to get some Gemma Redux from the online sample sale! Oh boy!! www.gemmaredux.blogspot.com"
Here is what happened from your simple status update:
1. It was exposed to all of your friends. When they log into their Facebook account, they will see a long list of status updates from their friends. Yours may be one of them.
2. One of your friends from California also loves Gemma Redux. She comments on your status.
a. Your friends can see her comment on your Facebook status, which also appears on their own Newsfeeds when they log into their accounts.
Examples of how to use (and not use) Facebook to your advantage can go on and on. If you are a Tin Shingle member, consider using your free 20 minute session with the Online Presence arm of Tin Shingle to brainstorm examples that can work for you. Or check our our Agency Services to see how we can think with you, or just have a tutorial or strategy session so that you can begin recognizing socialness opportunities around you.