Senior Contributor
02.26.10 6 Comments

If your mom’s on it, it must be true: everybody is on Facebook. That in turn gives you an incredible opportunity to get out there and promote yourself. But there are plenty of traps and problems with that, and here’s how to avoid them.

How many of them are your friends? The answer should be "All".

Always remember; they’re not friending your blog, they’re friending YOU.

Treat your Facebook page as a professional persona, not a mouthpiece for your blog. People look, more than ever, for sincerity. A page about a blog is impersonal. A professional page about a guy who happens to write a blog is much more interesting.

Have two Facebook pages; a professional and a personal.

Facebook is pretty much THE place for social networking today, so you want to use it to stay in touch, but you’re worried about being that guy who always spams people. The solution is simple: two Facebook pages.

One is your personal page. Set it up with your personal email, limit it to friends and family, and keep it a private page. This is good advice in general, but for your purposes it’ll really be important. Use a nickname or something. For your business Facebook, make it public, and use your professional name.

Make sure your friends understand that your professional and personal Facebooks are entirely separate entities. The last thing you need to do is spend an hour cleaning out Mafia Wars invitations.

Make your profile informative and leave out the controversial (unless it suits your image)

Think of your Facebook profile as your online business card, expect more detailed. Often it’ll be the first contact people have with you, so you want it to look good. Avoid filling out the “politics” or “religion” area unless you absolutely it’s necessary or if it’s a part of what you’re promoting. Otherwise you’re just asking for trolls. But music, movies, all of the rest, that you should fill out. Give as much personal detail as you’re comfortable with.

Be sure to enter your professional contact information: the email and phone number where you can be reached. It’s got two purposes; your new Facebook friends can contact you and old friends who lost your information can reconnect.

Figure 1: What You Want to Avoid.

Friend carefully

Start by friending people you know are interested in your material such as friends and fellow bloggers. If they have a separate Facebook for their professional endeavors, friend that instead of their personal one.

As you develop more contacts, friend carefully. It’s always worth checking, as much as you can, who they’re friends with and why they’re contacting you.

Practice good “’bookscaping”.

“’Bookscaping” is a term for keeping your Facebook clean and free of miscellaneous stuff that’s not relevant to the page’s overall message. Treat your professional page like you would any other online professional communication: make sure there’s not crap all over it.

This means deleting irrelevant Wall posts, removing rude comments, and so on. If you want examples of just how horrible it can get, go to You don’t want that on your Wall!

Join groups relevant to what you’re promoting

There’s a Facebook group for everybody, but there’s no one Facebook group for everybody. After you have your profile up and running, find the groups that are relevant to what you’re promoting and make sure you join them. Post a greeting on the wall introducing yourself, but don’t promote yourself.

People hate spam on Wall posts, even if it’s relevant to their interests. So remember, introduce yourself, and the views and hits will follow.

Be active!

Nothing makes people happier to be your friend than to showing you care. Update your profile once a day, and go through your News Feed to comment and like. Don’t mention what you’re promoting unless it’s relevant, though. Remember, this is about you as a person, not what you’re promoting.

And if all else fails, just sing them a little song:

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