Let’s pretend someone has convinced you to join Facebook. You play along, and at least register for an account. Now what? Whether you’re a business looking to represent yourself inside of Facebook or an individual looking to tap into Facebook for its rich social interactions, here’s a quick list of things to go do.
- Put a decent profile picture on there. NOT a professional photo. God, those look like school photos.
- Fill out your interests a bit. (I have a hack here: I killed most of the personal info, so that the “Wall” and other apps wasn’t a mile down the page. How do YOU do it?)
- Add a few useful apps. I’ve added Flickr, Upcoming, Lijit, Blog Friends, Video, Google Reader, Email Me Instead, and a few more.
- Avoid not-so-useful apps (Unless they’re your thing), like zombies, fishbowls, graffiti, etc.
- Add friends. Facebook’s nicer if you have people to interact with.
- Join a few groups. See if you can contribute.
- Update your status message periodically. (This is Facebook’s hint to get you to come back often).
- Explore. Why be in a social network if you can’t see what you don’t know?
- Relax with a nice game of Scrabulous (Scrabble). You can’t live by work alone, can you?
As a business person, the return on the time spent isn’t immediately obvious. The truth is, the return doesn’t come right away. It’s more a networking effect. You get to know people. You get to appreciate people. And eventually, some day, someone will be in need of something you know, or you’ll need something from someone else, and through the cultivation of the relationships you’ve built through Facebook, someone will know this and the transaction will happen.
But it’s not a set-up-and-forget application. It’s not something to go and push around like a Brussels sprout. It’s a breathing “social sculpture,” as my friend, Geo would call it. And you’re invited to participate, or sit out a vibrant conversation between millions of engaged people.
What do YOU do on Facebook?