QueerJoe

QueerJoe's Knitting Blog

Making Social Media Work for You

With all the rancor on Facebook these days, I thought my friends might want some tips on making social media work for you, instead of against you.

Facebook – Making Social Media Work for You

I have quite a few friends on Facebook. About 2,700. Why would I possibly want so many “friends?”

Originally there were two purposes in having Facebook friends:

  • Keep up with family and “real” friends’ lives
  • Promote this blog to other knitters and LGBTQ folks

Those continue to be reasons for my activity on Facebook.  But, I’ve since added four more reasons:

  • Share ideas, accomplishments and questions about knitting, spinning, crochet (it has replaced the KnitList for me)
  • Market the Men’s Knitting Retreats
  • Help promote my political ideas and preferred candidates
  • Monetize my social media (a little bit).

First Step to Making Social Media Work for You

To make social media work for you, I suggest that you start by figuring out what you want out of it. Do you want to stay in touch with your local community? How about dating? Virtual socializing? Organize family events? Market a product? Become a Russian troll?

There are tons of reasons to use Facebook. To use Facebook effectively, you have to know what you hope to get out of it.

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Now, once you understand what you want, you need to understand how Facebook can help.  Here’s are some recent examples of how I have used Facebook well, and also how I haven’t.

Click-Bait

Do you ever see a compelling link in Facebook with a title that just compels you to find out more?  Do you ever see someone post a link that pisses you off and you want to try and debunk it? Or argue with the person posting it?

Just know that professional click-bait purposefully uses intriguing titles, like “Child’s Pet Murdered in the Most Gruesome Way!” When you click on it, it often brings you to a lengthy web page with tons of embedded advertisement that strings you through the story. Often the ending is quite boring and you’ve suffered through many unwanted ads to get there.

But also, posts that really piss you off.  It really is best to just ignore them.  Click “Angry” emoticon or comment on them, and you raise the possibility that this person will have their post shown more often. And that’s the last thing you want.

Don’t get me wrong, every once in a while I can’t help myself.  I need to prove just how wrong someone else is. So I leave a comment, which often turns into an argument.  All of this activity serves to go against my purpose. It brings MORE eyeballs to the person’s heinous post.

On the other hand, I’ve also started tagging conservative assholes on my progressive posts on Facebook.  It often lures them into the same trap of having a message they don’t want perpetuated being bumped up higher and higher on the list of items that gets displayed. It also shows them somehow related to my post. The last thing they want. So, if you keep seeing enraging posts from a specific Facebook friend, you don’t need to respond on their timeline.  Just post something with your point of view and tag that asshole on the post.

Display algorithm

The new Facebook algorithm works by ranking all available posts that can display on a user’s News Feed based on how likely that user will have a positive reaction.

Facebook reactions

Like, Love, Funny, Wow, Sad, Angry – react to a post, and understand how it will help or hurt the person posting it.

The more you participate with the post, the more eyeballs will get to see it.

If you want more eyeballs seeing your posts or your friends’ posts…post intriguing content and links, comment away…react away…share away.

Promoting on Facebook

  • Yours or others’ books, stores, Etsy shop, Ravelry patterns
    • If you want to promote your own or your friends items, often it’s as easy as just copying a link to their web site.  A photo will often come in automatically for the web site.  So, for instance, if someone asks about an interesting and challenging hat pattern, I will post a link to a friends hat pattern on Ravelry that I think meets the criteria.
  • Paid links like Amazon Associates
    • There are ways you can set up accounts on Google or Amazon that allows you to make money when you direct people to the respective web sites or advertising on those sites. You may notice that most of my product links on this blog are to Amazon, where I get a small kickback from them for anything you buy if you use my link.  Don’t get me wrong, the fees I collect don’t even cover the cost of the blog.  But it helps me defray the costs of web service and Domain Name costs.

Sharing vs. Ganking

When you find a photo or a meme on Facebook that you’d like to share, you can either click the “Share” button (if the person has posted it publicly). Or you can click on the photo and then right-click to “save image as” to your own device, and then share the saved photo/meme as your own.

Saving someone else’s photo is known as ganking. It actually means to steal or rob…which is what you’re doing.  Deciding on if you want to acknowledge who originally posted the meme/photo or not is whether or not you share or gank it.

Making URL links your own to remove tracking/identifying variables

When you click on a link from  your e-mail or facebook, you will often get a URL that will attach information to the web site about who you are, and where the link originated.  Recently, I clicked on a Facebook link about a very prominent black woman who was asked to leave her seat on an Amtrak train. I wanted to share the link to my Facebook timeline, but this is the URL that would have copy/pasted:

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-naacp-attorney-amtrak-seat-give-up-bad-looks-20200119-5jz437v2yfei7hxynotza4erau-story.html?fbclid=IwAR2WDWTTQP28OXOqQ9Cjhnw9JxYizGisSAk6N9ZYt9YypNkrNtTVShdeRM4

The actual URL is really only:

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-naacp-attorney-amtrak-seat-give-up-bad-looks-20200119-5jz437v2yfei7hxynotza4erau-story.html

When you’re copying a URL and don’t care to show the origin of who originally posted it, remove the first question mark and everything after it before pasting it into Facebook or an e-mail.

Format your posts and comments to make them more aesthetically pleasing

  • Understand that lengthier posts with use a “Read More” link at the end of it.
  • Know that you can use carriage returns (spaces between lines of text) for both your posts and comments.  Most people have their Facebook settings so that hitting <enter> or <return> on a post will add a new line. But hitting <enter> on a comment will submit the comment. To add a new line in a comment, you can often use two keys…on my iMac it’s  <option><return>, sometimes <ctl> <enter> on Windows.
  • If you want to add both a URL and a photo to your post, add the photo first. Other wise, the default photo will be from the URL you’re pasting into your post.

Do you have any tips or things that have worked well for you?  I’d love to hear them.

Current Knitting

Glad to have finished one project. I’m enjoying working on the second. And, I’ve started a third.

Chevron Scarf 01-19-20 01

I finished (almost) the Chevron Scarf.  With only a few ends to weave in, I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

Linen Stitch Scarf 01-20-20 02

This is the progress I’ve made so far on the Linen Stitch Scarf (which should move a bit more quickly now that the Chevron Scarf is out of the way).

Keyhole Scarf 01-19-20 01

And finally, this is a new key-hole scarf I’m testing out to see if I want to design and make a few to sell at craft shows.  I get a lot of folks asking for them. While I don’t enjoy making these very much, I could force myself to bang out a dozen to see how they sell.

3 comments on “Making Social Media Work for You

  1. Thanks for this! I’ve read other articles on this stuff, but they kind of lost me half way through. This was easy to follow, totally understandable, and answered a lot of my questions.

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