Posted by: episystechpubs | April 10, 2014

Editor’s Corner: Social Media’s Big Daddy – Facebook

Today’s social media entry is dedicated to one site: Facebook. The following vocabulary and definitions are from the glossary at the aptly named Constant Contact website. It is this feeling of constant contact that drives me away from Facebook. While it is nice to see what old friends are up to and what amazing things my relatives are doing, I don’t like being saddled with the chore of keeping up-to-date on yet another app every day. If someone wants to know what’s going on with me, they can sign up for Editor’s Corner, right? Otherwise, you won’t see my vacation photos, pictures of my dinner, or anything else of much interest on my wall. For many, Facebook is a godsend, however; so here’s some terminology to help you navigate.

Note: The excessive capitalization in the following definitions is greatly frowned upon by yours truly; however, to let the article flow, I will refrain from adding [sic] to all of the common nouns that are capitalized.

Facebook

The largest of the social networks (it boasts more than 500 million active users), Facebook has become a favorite destination for people, businesses, and organizations to connect and share information because of its easy-to-use interface and interactive features. It’s the most multimedia-friendly of the big three networks as members can post text, pictures, audio, and video. It also offers tons of applications and widgets that can make your Facebook Page engaging and fun.

Commenting

Just about everything posted to Facebook has a comment field below it for you, Friends, and fans to post a response and facilitate a conversation. When comments are left on personal profile updates, the owner gets an email notification. However, Page comments do not have email alerts associated with them, so it’s vital to check back regularly to see if customers are leaving comments and to respond appropriately. Alternatively, you can sign up for a free NutshellMail account, to receive a daily update of new comments and activity posted to your Facebook Page.

Friend

When you want to connect with someone on Facebook through a personal profile, you "friend" them. The friend connection is two-way, meaning both parties have to agree before the connection is made. (See also "unfriending.")

Like

The "Like" button is now ubiquitous on Facebook (and off). The Like button provides a simple way for Facebook users to share their approval or endorsement with their network of friends. Users can Like a Page as a way of providing a recommendation or they can simply Like an individual post, picture, or video to provide a virtual thumbs up. You may have noticed Like buttons on non-Facebook websites. This is a great way to get visitors to your website or blog to recommend your business or an individual post with their Facebook network. (You can learn how to add a "Like" button to your website here: http://www.facebook.com/badges).

Message

Messages are private notes sent between users. They’re only viewable to the sender and recipients. It’s pretty much like sending an email but with an address book that is limited to your Facebook friends.

News Feed

What Facebook calls all the items that your friends and the businesses/organizations you Like have posted. Users have two ways to view this content: You can see "Most Recent" items (i.e., everything that’s been posted) or "Top News" items (i.e., those that have been most commented on).

Page

A Page (previously referred to as a Fan or Business Page) is the recommended platform for your business or organization to connect with new people and engage with your existing customers in an open dialog. The benefit of a Page is that customers can follow it by hitting the "Like" button without the connection having to be reciprocated. When you post a comment to your Page, it will show up in your fans’ news feed, for all their friends to read and share. You can create an incredible network effect by posting interesting and valuable content and promotions to your Page.

Personal Profile

Any individual who is on Facebook has a personal profile: it’s the focal point for the entire network. Your profile page contains all your pertinent information and is how others find and connect with you on Facebook. Through your profile, you can share status updates, photos, videos, links, and other content. Plus, friends can comment on your posts. Businesses, organizations, and celebrities are recommended to create a Page rather than a personal profile.

Places

Facebook’s geo-location feature allows users to check in wherever they are. As opposed to similar services like Foursquare and Gowalla, Facebook Places allows users to tag their friends who are also at a location, giving businesses and organization an even better indication of who is visiting their establishment or attending their event. Note: Facebook users can choose to block themselves from being tagged if they wouldn’t want that kind of information to be revealed.

Privacy Settings

Facebook has a myriad of privacy settings that you can use to control who sees what. Note that Facebook changes the range of settings and their defaults from time to time. It’s good to keep an eye on any changes to Facebook’s Terms of Service.

Share

Sharing is synonymous with posting or publishing. You can publish text, links, photos, videos, and events on Facebook using the share box at the top of your profile (it says, "What’s on your mind?" inside the box). After entering your text, you have the option to upload a photo, video, or insert a link. When sharing a link, Facebook will automatically include the title, description, and an image (if available) from the page you’re linking to. If there are multiple images on the page, you have the option to select which image you want to use as the thumbnail. You can also change the specific text that is displayed by clicking on it. In addition, when you share content to your Wall, your fans and friends can then Like, comment on, or share the content with their friends. The share feature is what makes publishing content to Facebook so powerful. By sharing great content, you can encourage your friends and fans to syndicate your message, creating a powerful network effect.

Tabs

Along the top of a Facebook profile or page, tabs separate out areas of content. Customers can add additional tabs using pre-built applications or by building their own.

Tag

You can tag friends in pictures, places, videos, and in text, which places a link from the item to their profile. Tagging a person’s face in one of your own photos will allow that person’s friends to see your photo, depending on the tagged person’s privacy settings.

Unfriending

Disconnecting with someone on Facebook. When you unfriend someone, the person does not get notice that you have done so.

Wall

This is your own profile page and the updates it contains. People can write updates on your wall that are viewable by all your friends.

Wall to Wall

Notes written between you and someone else that are viewable to anyone who is connected to you and the other friend. Think of it as being able to eavesdrop on a public conversation; writing on someone else’s wall means that anyone you’re connected to can read what you wrote.

Thanks to the Editor’s Corner’s best friend, Keith Slayton, for the graphic!

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor


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