Though Barbara Walters referred to Facebook as MyFace, hardly anyone confuses the social network with MySpace or any others. It's popular enough that some psychologists recognize people can become addicted to Facebook people can become addicted to Facebook .
Facebook began as a way to connect Harvard students. It later expanded to include other colleges and universities then high school students and now anyone over age 13 can join.
In its early days, you couldn't join the social network unless someone sent you an invitation. According to the company, those over the age of 35 now make up its fastest growing demographic.
Reach over 200 Million People
With over 200 million active users (this impressive number represents those who have logged into Facebook in the past 30 days not just anyone who has signed up), writers can access experts and publishers to land gigs, find opportunities and obtain memorable quotes.
While Facebook is one of a handful of top social networking sites, many say they see Facebook as a site for making personal connections rather than business connections. Nonetheless, plenty of freelancers and businesses include Facebook as part of their marketing toolbox.
Copywriter Mary Shaw has landed client work through Facebook by staying in touch through private messages, letting people know she's available, writing on walls and leaving appropriate comments. "Many former colleagues from my old company are there and some have either gone on to other agencies or started their own ventures," she says.
Getting Known through Facebook
This newsletter's Christina Katz gained publicity for Get Known Before the Book Deal through a Facebook connection. She found a known publishing insider in Facebook and introduced herself. She attached her book's promo video without any "in your face" promotion. The result? He replied fast, asked for a copy of the book, requested to interview her for his blog and more. All this from one FB message.
Fan and Group pages are popular tools for businesses. Fan pages don't require approval, but Groups sometimes do depending on how the founder sets it up. Stephen King's fan page may have over 28,000 fans, but most writers won't gain fans on name alone. Instead, create a fan page for your platform or topic specialty. Add resources of value to your readers, link to the page in your signature and other websites and offer contests to attract new members.
Don't just promote your books or business. Think of these pages as a way to get in readers' minds and give them valuable information that will help gain their trust and view you as credible. Plus, it turns into another link in your networking web.
Reach Infinity and beyond with Social Networks
Think of social networking, blogging, websites and e-mail newsletters as a web of marketing tools that help you build and grow your relationships. People don't buy on first meeting. If something doesn't happen the first, second or third time you try in Facebook, don't give up. Grow your web and people will take notice.
Meryl K. Evans is the author of Brilliant Outlook Pocketbook, co-author of Adapting to Web Standards: CSS and Ajax for Big Sites and contributor to many others. The long-time blogger and gamer has written and edited for a bunch of places online and off. A native Texan, she lives a heartbeat north of Dallas in Plano, Texas with her husband and three kiddos. Though born in silence, she tries to show that deaf people are just like everyone else. Follow Meryl on Twitter at @merylkevans.