Building Relationships on Facebook
In our previous post, Friending on Facebook, we continued our series on Facebook by going in depth about how to build a network of friends and manage that network.
In this post, we continue on with our discussion with a look at how to build relationships on Facebook, via messaging, wall posts, comments, and status updates.
Use Facebook Messaging to Build Relationships
Facebook messaging is a powerful way to build relationships with your Facebook friends. You can message up to 20 friends at a time, but you can also simultaneously message everyone in a Facebook group. This could be a good way for you to distribute your newsletter, for example.
Comment on News Feeds
Your News Feed is made up of activities of your friends. These activities range from simple status updates and picture postings to many other kinds of activities, such as connecting with others, posting on Walls, recommending a link, or requests from within the ubiquitous Facebook games, such as Farmville or Mafia Wars.
If you find a friend’s stream is annoying, you can block all or certain kinds of their posts from your News Feed. To remove all your friend’s posts, hover over any post and you’ll see an X. Click the X, confirm the removal, and that person’s feed will be removed. You can also remove messages generated by Facebook Apps by going to the bottom of your News Feed and selecting Edit Options. Here you can restore blocked friends and manage whether apps’ feeds are displayed, as in the following figure.
Figure 59 — Block Messages from Facebook Apps
One way to build a relationship with a friend is to comment on their items in your News Feed. Often you’ll find this will spawn a discussion involving friends of the friend, giving you more opportunities to connect to more people.
Change Your Status on Facebook
Like LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networking sites, Facebook has a status feature. It’s at the top of your News Feed and your Profile.
At the top of your News Feed is a box containing the question, “What’s on your mind?” When you post in the box, your status appears in all your friends’ News Feeds by default.
If you’d like to restrict who can see a post, click on the padlock at the bottom of the box. You’ll see options similar to the following figure.
Figure 60 — Selecting Who Can See a Facebook Status Post
If you want even more control over who can and cannot see a status post, select Customize. You see a box similar to the following figure which allows greater control, including the ability to select certain people who can see the post and those to exclude.
Figure 61 — Custom Settings for Status Updates on Facebook
Changing this setting only works for the current post unless you check the “Make this my default setting” box. If you want to change the setting permanently, you can also do so on your Privacy Settings page.
You can attach a variety of media and features to your status, including pictures, videos, Facebook events, and links.
You can post pithy, meaningful, or funny statuses. Just don’t post boring (“Today is the 350th day of the year”), trivial (“Just got up. Looking for coffee”), or obnoxious (“Shots shots shots shots for everybody!!!!!) statuses. Look to post at least one status message a day. If you have trouble coming up with one, there are sites that can help you (you knew there would be).
One such site is FunnyStatus.com. Here are a few of their more interesting canned statuses:
- By the time a man realizes that his father was right, he has a son who thinks he’s wrong.
- Leisure is the mother of philosophy.
- Thinking about opening a center for battered fish.
- My GPS says “Estimated Arrival Time.” I see “Time to Beat.”
If you Like their Facebook page so you can have suggestions when your status well runs dry, or use their Funny Facebook Status Generator.
You can also link your Twitter feed to your Facebook status. Be careful with this if you do a lot of replying on Twitter: People aren’t likely to be too interested in “@somebody You’re right” status updates. To link Twitter to your status, go to the Facebook Apps page and add the app.
Posting on Walls
A Wall is a Facebook members’ public notepad. You can post on your Wall, and friends can post on each others’ walls. The posts will show up in both friends’ News Feeds. With all the other ways people have to interact, actually posting on Walls seems to be becoming less popular.
Next up: Top Things to Do on Facebook
Building Relationships on Facebook is the 123rd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 331. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2
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 The Witty Hilarious and Ridiculously Funny Status Updates Facebook Page: bit.ly/bqhD3V
 Funny Facebook Status Generator: bit.ly/cluFZq
 Apps on Facebook.com – Facebook Developers bit.ly/Z7uWfr – here are several Twitter-related apps: bit.ly/XfOPDl