The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Facebook

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When my social media clients ask me the difference between Facebook and Twitter, I tell them it’s all about communication; Facebook is  the extended family picnic while Twitter is a rock concert. Both Twitter and Facebook are important networking tools, tools to use to build relationships online, while knocking them out of the ballpark by taking them offline.

To be honest, I was reluctant to embrace Facebook. I wondered if it was a more grownup version of MySpace except not as spammy. To my delight, Facebook continues to evolve for the better. Many people use it as a place for family and friends to share, but freelance writers can fully take advantage of its networking capabilities.

Writers on Facebook

There are thousands of writers on Facebook and many of them won’t mind befriending other writers. Writers can learn a lot by reading another Facebook user’s profile and time line. Read what your friends are working on, where they’re working, where they’re applying, who is hiring, and you can comment on all of the above. Sharing with other writers is the best way to learn about new opportunities.

Facebook Groups

Writing groups abound on Facebook. It doesn’t matter if you’re a journalist, a web writer or if you blog, there are other people who do what you do, and they’re all willing to discuss ideas and swap tips. If you’ve always wanted to join a writer’s group but can’t find or afford one in your area,  try joining one of the Facebook writing groups. Writers post job tips, query tips, writing prompts and more.

Facebook Events

Do you have a new ebook coming out? Is your blog hosting a conference? Are you going on a book tour? Use Facebook events to broadcast your news to everyone you know, and even some people you don’t know. Simply fill out the form listing the date, address and time and you’re good to go.

Networked Blogs

The Networked Blogs feature will allow you to place your blog’s feed in several different places including your profile and Facebook’s networked blogs list. Fans of your blogs can also add your feed.

Fan Pages

Use the Fan Pages to build up a community around your books, blogs and other projects. This will enable you to share news, and will enable others to share and discuss their own topic-related news. Fan Pages are a terrific way to build up a community around your personal and professional brands.

Gathering Ideas

Use FaceBook to gather ideas for your writing. What are the other writers doing? What are your friends talking about? If you’re ever strapped for ideas, visit Facebook and poke around for a while. When you’re through, you’re sure to have several items on your list.

Down Time

Unwind with games and good reading. Facebook has quizzes, polls, videos and all sorts of distractions. Don’t procrastinate too much, but when it’s time to take a break, Facebook will keep you busy as you enjoy that cup of coffee.

How do you use Facebook? How has it beneffited you as a writer?

Comments

  1. I’m addicted to Facebook because I’m able to hold “coffee talk” type conversations with my peers that I wouldn’t have time (or opportunity) to do, otherwise. I feel like I can be “me” on Facebook because everything’s private and out of websearch/public eye. I’m a lot more guarded and reserved on Twtitter.

  2. Great article with useful tips. I’m a direct and online marketing consultant and a freelance writer – with a book on social networking coming out in a few weeks, so this was very timely.

    One tip I don’t recommend if you’re using for business purposes, however, is playing a lot of Facebook games or using those apps to send gifts, flowers, prayer cards etc to friends. When you use them, it shows up in your timeline. For people using Facebook for business interactions and networking, it may diminish your credibility or professionalism in the eyes of others. Second, some of those apps send notices to your ‘friends’ with invitations to play. If a client is following you on Facebook, it can get tedious and sometimes downright annoying to click “ignore” on those little notifications.

    I have successfully met several new clients through Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and other web 2.0 media. I invite folks to follow me on my social networking sites; you can find the links on my own website, Seven Oaks Consulting, to each. All are welcome. I post a lot of articles on marketing as well as links to my writing projects.

    Great article!

  3. I’ve started to use Facebook a little more in the past month or so. When I first joined it felt like yet another thing that takes up too much time.

    As with Twitter, I struggle against the streaming life line and I’ve developed defenses to avoid being overwhelmed by the sheer depth of content. I scan the news feed two or three times a day and only respond to the messages and comments that catch my eye.

    I frequently feel like I’m not using Facebook and Twitter effectively and worry that I don’t give back to the communities as much as I receive but it is hard to balance the time allocation. It can be difficult to justify the time spent because I can’t track the return on investment as easily as I can the dollar-for-hours work I usually feel like I ‘should’ be doing instead.

    How do you manage your social media time and avoid feeling like you’re either missing opportunities to network or spending too long watching the Facebook feed or Twitter stream?

  4. Thanks for your posting.

  5. One of the biggest features on Facebook is the photo. This social networking service is now a ‘host’ world’s largest online photo. This makes up for Facebook to develop their newest features are. Most recently, Facebook will introduce features automatic face detection.

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