It seems that the entire music industry is trying to create personal brands–off of their Facebook accounts.
I was asked an interesting question last night. “You get a decent stack of likes on each post. How do you create a good private account?”
The question sprang out of a Facebook status that I posted last night–receiving over 90 comments in the past 24 hours, and continuing to grow.
So here are a handful of methods that I’ve used to optimize my Facebook profile for maximum results.
Managing Your Reputation
Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once it slips, however you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides.
– Robert Greene, 48 Laws of Power
Your reputation is everything. What other people think of you affects how you can maneuver in the world. With a good reputation, networking becomes easy. Referrals happen. New people are magnetized to you. With a poor reputation, the opposite is true.
Avoid Negativity Like the Plague It Is
- Do not post anything calling another person out. While it’s novel and can get some quick likes, making a habit out of causing drama is never a good strategy for creating a lasting reputation. Think about it–if you come across someone who is known to burn those close around them, would you want to associate with them? No. Hell no. If someone shares secrets, causes drama, or talks shit, you want to be as far away from them as possible. So, don’t do any of those things.
- Do not publish posts that show your anger or hopelessness. You cannot help with your hands out. If you are depressed, go meditate, go for a run, go see a doctor–don’t post mindlessly on Facebook. Likewise, if you are the type to be regularly pissed off about something, don’t post all that rage online. It is okay to show human emotions, say sadness at the passing of a friend or family member, or anger at an extremely messed up situation; however, the daily sob stories or road rage accounts are not a good color on anyone.
Control Your Associations
Random Facebook tagging is the worst. How many times have you had some rando tag you in their shitty club event, hosted thousands of miles from where you live? Strategically controlling posts you’re tagged is essential to display yourself in the best light. Your timeline is your real estate, so clean up your space from other people’s junk.
- Turn on Timeline Review. Facebook is smart. They understand that you will be tagged in things that you don’t want on your timeline. So, Facebook added a little known option that lets you control which tagged posts make it on your timeline, and which don’t. Go into your Facebook settings and turn on timeline review. Then, follow the next action.
Keep the good press, remove the bad. Stay on top of your tagged notifications like a hawk. Immediately after you’re tagged in a post, view it. If it is good, then keep the tag, add to your timeline, and make a good-natured reply in the comments. If the post is spammy, weird, or paints you in a negative light, then remove the tag, and block it from your timeline. Easy.
Don’t Become Cliche
You don’t want to be caught up in the rhythm of publishing boring posts over, and over again. Avoid being stuck in loops and vary up your content, especially generic content that gets spread around the internet like a venereal disease.
- Stop oversharing content. We all know someone who shares way too many videos on Facebook. It does nobody good when you become the surrogate timeline for Buzzfeed or any other viral Facebook page. If you think something is funny, send it privately to a couple friends. Don’t constantly share things to your timeline–you’re just creating clutter.
- Don’t be repetitively generic. Similarly, posting extensively about the same few things–say music memes, inspirational quotes, or other generic internet content–is not worth it. You never want to be labelled as “the gym quotes guy”, or the “dat boi meme girl”. Instead, you want to be labelled as yourself–an interesting human being with many facets and interests.
Creating Value to Receive Value
The reason we love our parents is because they loved us first. Every single company should take this advice.
If you want a respectable Facebook presence, you first must give respect to other people on the platform. This means curating your posts to benefit your audience, and creating conversation to make them feel as important as they are.
First, Have Something to Say
There are countless numbers of people who want to be authors, but have nothing to write. There are drones of people who want to be musicians, but don’t have an idea to write. If you want to create value, you need to have something worth publishing first.
- Be useful to others. Before you publish something, ask yourself, “will others enjoy this? Will they find it useful, or is it a waste of space?” Remember that what we enjoy might not be what others enjoy. Only post things that have an impact.
- If you aren’t useful, shut up and figure out how to be. Go find a good edge, clever insight, or sense of humor. Go out in the world and find what you are looking for. Live life, learn as much as possible, and practice your skills until you are ready to start talking.
Create Conversation, Not Press Releases
Most people treat Facebook as a newswire, where they can blast out mediocre announcements, hoping for likes in return that can fuel ego. This
- Don’t be over-promote. If you have 2 promotion statuses right after each other, or 3 promotion statuses out of the last 5 you posted, you need to cut back. Nobody likes being constantly sold to. Likely, your posts are going unnoticed because nobody cares about your latest announcement or scheme.
- Add in Call to Action statuses into your recipe. Ask people to brag about themselves, say hello, mention what they’re up to. Everyone loves to talk about themselves, and often feel that they don’t have enough chances to do so and feel appreciated.
- Personally reply to every comment on every post you make. Not only will this help boost your news feed visibility (see next section), but it will show your Facebook friends that you actually give a damn. Even if it’s a simple smiley face or a quick “Thanks!”, go beyond a simple Like and make a human connection.
Optimizing for Facebook’s Algorithm
Engagement, relevance, and some other things.
So if you have a good reputation and you post good content, it becomes time to think about ways to make your content more visible. Facebook’s news feed algorithm, known as EdgeRank, can be used to your advantage in spreading your content.
First, we need to understand how EdgeRank works. There are three main criteria that EdgeRank takes into account when assessing if your post is good enough for someone’s news feed.
- How people are engaging with the post currently.
- How you personally have engaged with the person in the past.
- Various factors–time since posted, type of media, other random things.
This creates a virtuous cycle of visibility. If you have a popular post, someone who might not engage with you normally will engage with it–a like, comment, or share. From then on, Facebook will show more of your content to that person. More likes from them equates to more popular posts to spill into other people’s news feeds.
So, let’s get to maximizing Facebook’s algorithm.
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