History gals can learn new tricks! Out of necessity, I have become one of the Facebook queens. After three years of using it regularly, I still find that I constantly learn something helpful. I use Facebook in three ways.
- A personal page. This is the easy first step to Facebook. I joined with a valid email account, and I post pictures and make comments. I don’t really care ( and by that I mean report to anyone about) about statistics other than it’s a nice pat on the back when someone comments or likes something I post. I have to admit that I like likes. :)
- What sets this account apart from the others is how random it is. Whatever strikes me at the moment, I post, from a lost dog picture, to Christmas photos, blog entries, unusual weather and trips.
- I try to avoid posting yawn topics like, “I got up at 6:07.48 am and brushed my teeth.”
- Something that can be disconcerting is that a personal page can be full of personal messages might be better sent as an instant message, which is private. But it is my page, and if I don’t care if the world knows that my all my underwear was locked in the washer full of water for three days, then I guess ….
- This account is important in a business situation when I want to reach someone and I don’t have their email address. Today I searched on Google for for presidents of state councils for the social studies when I didn’t have a website for the state. I found two or three people that way. They don’t always respond, but I try to be open and let them know who I am, and most people respond eventually.
- A professional page. I’ve started several of these from my personal page, and I’m not sure how to do it otherwise. As an administrator, I can invite others to be administrators. Only administrators can post on these pages, but viewers can comment. I was frustrated at first because no one posted or interacted. In my experience this page is more for pushing information than interacting. This account is focused – or it should be, but it can still be personal. The face of the company or organization has personality. If a member of our organization has a good experience at school that they post on FB, I will sometimes share it. I have to cut and paste their post or it shares on my personal page. Usually the biggest hits on this account are upcoming events with a flyer or any information about legislation that affects us as an organization.
- The group page. I joined groups as an administrator before I really understood the purpose of groups. Since then I’ve been involved with a writing group and several groups from my town of Woodlake. I have found this form of Facebook most interactive for several reasons.
- There is a moderator of the group. What impressed me most was when the moderator introduced themselves and welcomed me personally and asked others in the group to do the same. Several of them did. Then some of them became friends with my personal account. I also get a lot of likes on my personal page from some moderators.
- There seems to be more open dialogue on the posts, almost like a personal account, but more focused. People don’t necessarily know each other when they start talking, unlike on a personal page, but they get acquainted quickly. Sometimes the conversations veer from the topic of the original post, but usually an outsider can read it and know what’s happening.
- Because group pages are moderated, the moderator can delete comments that might not pertain to that group. I have deleted posts and ultimately people from the group who post advertising on our California Council for the Social Studies group page because their ads don’t fit the purpose of the group page. The moderator can also add questions, comments or contests that will encourage others to participate.
All three types of pages have their uses, as do other types of social media. The trick is using the right page for the right impact.