Friday, September 9, 2011

Facebook Friday: Why Facebook's Like High School

Popularity still matters.  Especially if you are trying to promote yourself or connect with people through Facebook.  Your Facebook is through status updates that are then streamed to your friends or fans news feeds.  If you want people to interact with you, you need to show up on their news stream Have you ever wondered how Facebook decides what goes in the news feed and what doesn't? Well, they won't tell us, because they're all secretive like that, but some studies have been done and the findings seem much like high school:
  1. FB doesn't love the newbie.  If you are new on FB, you won't show up in as many people's news feeds until you build up a some coolness.
  2. You show up more on news feeds of people with fewer friends.  Well, duh. That's just math. If your friends all have 600 friends or more, you're like a needle in a haystack with your posts. So having some friends with less friends will equal more quality friendships. Just like high school
  3. Lots of interactions doesn't guarantee you're the top.  FB has two options of viewing your news feed: Top News (default) and Most Recent.  You would think that the more interactions the more your status would be top news.  Well, yes, but like high school, the quality of your interactions is more important than the quantity. Keep reading.
  4. Stalking doesn't make you popular. And it never did in high school either. If you lurk on other's FB pages or keep your news feed open at all hours, it means nothing. You have to do the posting to be cool.
  5. Being stalked does make you cool. Of course. The more you are stalked, the more FB thinks you matter. 
  6. Links are cooler than status updates. Because just like in high school, gossip is king. When you post a link in your status update, you're doing the FB equivalent of gossip. You're saying, "Guess what I just read!" And that ups your popularity.
  7. Videos and Photos are cooler than links. Because photos and videos are proof of gossip, right? Think about high school - a great story was better with pics. 
  8. If people talk about you, you're cool.  The more other readers comment on your status, photos, links, etc., the cooler you are. The more people tag you, the cooler you are.  Coolness = you showing up in their news feed.
And FYI, Most Recent news doesn't always just show the most recent news. It likes links and videos better too. 

Think about these facts as you decide how you want to interact on FB. Next week we'll talk a little more about what these tips mean for you as an author.

Do you think FB is like high school? How's your popularity? Do you post lots of links? photos? videos? Or just say "hi" cuz that's cool too :)


E. Arroyo said...

This is great! I hated high school. Probably why I don't do facebook. =)

Misha Gerrick said...

Ugh... no wonder I hate Facebook. :-(

Gail Shepherd said...

I just gave you a blog award, Laura. Come and git it!

Gail Shepherd said...

And I see you already received this award, so double the power! Laura, I'm trying to add your feed to blogs I follow, and I'm having a problem doing it. Can you email me? I've had this problem before with one other blog and I'm not sure what's going on. My email is gailpaigeshepherd(at)gmail(dot)com.

Emily R. King said...

Ha! I hated high school. FB is okay, in small doses.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I did not know that about the links/videos/pictures! Thanks for the tips.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm fairly new to Facebook, but I've thought it was like high school from day one. But I didn't know how it gauged coolness until reading this. Thanks.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

This is very interesting (and a little depressing because who wants to go back to high school!) :) I say hi and post updates, links and photos, but I don't think I'm popular. I will be looking forward to the next post on what these tips mean for authors!

Brenda Sills said...

What a fun, informative post! I laughed, nodded, said A-HA, and thought to myself, This Laura is helpful and fun to read at the same time! Thanks for the fantastic Facebook help - I finally quit dragging my feet & started doing it & I have no idea what I'm doing!

I'm a fellow campaigner - I'm not in your groups, but I wanted the fun of getting to know more writers. It's so great to meet you!

Jessica Love said...

How interesting! I had wondered about some of these things!

Michelle Fayard said...

So you're saying that I don't prefer Twitter just because the icon's cuter? :) I keep trying to love wall posting as much as blogging and tweeting, because I know Facebook is a great place to interact, but I hope it doesn't show that I just don't feel as comfortable on my profile page as I do my other social media. Now my fan page I like (no pun intended!), because it's more like a journal for my book, The Underground Gift.

Laura Barnes said...

Am I the only person who LOVES Facebook? I avoided it for so long, but have totally bonded with it. Not so much with Twitter, Michelle, you can totally be the queen of that :)

Gail, thanks for the awards!! I'm so happy and will be passing them on soon!

Brenda - so glad to meet you! I am really behind on my campaign visits. It's been an unexpectedly sucky week around my house, but that's just an excuse, isn't it? Anyway, glad to have you :)

Hello and thanks for posting to everyone else!

Joanna said...

Laura, this is a spot on analogy and very wittily communicated.
I am using FB, Twitter and Google+ and find each has different readership, goals and communication styles; It takes time but I am meeting great people on all these sites!

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