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Kevin Dean
by Kevin Dean
on March 14, 2013

thumbs Facebook is Maturing

One of the most visited and most versatile websites on the internet, Facebook presents both a challenge as well as a potential for great reward. While other websites before Facebook had much the same function on the internet, there are two features that those websites didn't have.

The first is something that is no longer part of the website's design or purpose, but originally Facebook was exclusive. You had to know somebody else who was already on to invite you to join. More than that in the beginning only certain people could apply in the first place.

The second aspect that Facebook excelled at more so than their competitors is that Facebook evolved. As a website, it was not satisfied with its initial success. The site continued to respond to user feedback, new ideas, and incorporating different media outlets placing itself above other social media websites. Even recently there was an announcement about the next set of changes which will be happening this spring to the timeline (TL).

You could say that right now Facebook is one of the most widespread and wide-reaching entities on the internet. Facebook is different than Twitter in that while they both rely on the concept of a TL, Facebook's approach allows for fine-tuned control as well as more content in general. As we talked about before, Facebook also has more permanence. This means that each post has a greater overall importance and reach, but it also has a few caveats that go with it.

Improve how you use Facebook

However, before we talk about what posts we're making, we need to find out what kind of user we are. Are you an individual, an artist, a group, a business, a non-profit, an icon, or anything else. On Facebook, knowing where you fit in the social fabric determines who you are as well as the other groups that you associate with. It also does a lot to determine the voice you will have online. Your voice, of course, is determined as much by who you are as it is the target audience group you want to associate with or attract. I think last week's post addresses that sufficiently.

When you make a post on Facebook you can make it in any number of ways. You can post a status, which in essence acts like a Twitter update. The main difference is that it is not limited to 140 characters, though there are reasonable limits to what should be posted (i.e. most people do not want to read a novel when they click on a status update). Also, as mentioned before, you can access and use other forms of media not available on Twitter. Pictures and videos, for instance, are a wonderful way to attract people's attention. You can get an immediate visual response through an image, which creates humor or shock as two common forms of interest.

As a way to attract traffic, many websites and other groups also have a presence on Facebook for the purpose of making seemingly meaningless posts - but interesting ones. This is for the sole reason of attracting a viewership base. When they need to post something directly affiliated to their cause, they automatically have a greater number of people paying attention. If you check most pages like this, unless the cause/product/business is universal, you will see most of their posts are aimed at having a general appeal.

It's also important to be mindful that Facebook is not just about tending to your page. You have to be a fully interactive being. Your associations and connections outside your own page can be as important as what you do to promote yourself internally. Your job on Facebook is to generate your own content, which people can then share and respond to. It is also to see what content others are creating so you can repost and make a reciprocal relationship based on an overlap of viewership.

Evolve Like Facebook

From reading these last few posts, you can easily see a common theme for social media - getting people to see and like what you are doing. That is the purpose of what you are dong, essentially advertising (which is what this is). No longer are two-dimensional billboards and commercials sufficient. Our online identities are living, breathing entities that interact and respond; they mold and they evolve. Whether the platform is Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, or any other of a number of the outlets you can use, the purpose is not just the message but the means as well.