Facebook is an essential to anyone who has an online business, but it can also be very intimidating to someone who hasn't used MySpace before. (Twitter will not prepare you for Facebook!) I've noticed quite a few Etsians seeking out advice on how to approach Facebook for the first time, and so I've put together the following "Facebook 101" for anyone wanting to get into the game:
Profiles vs. Pages vs. Groups
Left: My Profile
The big no-no on Facebook is creating a Profile for your business. They will shut you down if you attempt to do this. So, step one is creating a profile for yourself. You will need to put your real name, information, and settings. You can, if you like, use your business avatar as your profile picture, but most people on FB do not do this. Your profile, once saved, will be visible only to people you allow to see it. Conversely, you will only be able to see the profiles of people who grant you access to do so. FB was intended to be used by people who already knew eachother. This doesn't mean you won't make new friends on FB, but it is a faux pas to randomly request to be the friend of a person you don't already know from somewhere else.
Pages, on the other hand, are for businesses. You can upload your avatar, banner, and product photos. You can post links to any of your other websites and FB pages are visible to anyone, including people who do not have FB accounts. Once you have created your FB page, you can start promoting it (on Etsy, Artfire, your blog, etc.) and other users can "fan" your page. This basically means that they are following your page and can post comments on it. Fans of your page are different than friends of your profile. Fans will not be able to view your profile information or profile posts. Again, only people who you have listed as "friends" will be able to see your profile information. A good idea is to search the pages on FB to get an idea of what they usually look like and what types of content they publish. Kmt Facebook Page
Groups are a lot like pages, except they don't necessarily promote products. You can create and join FB groups and they are a great place to meet new people with common interests. There are many Etsy groups on FB and most of them allow you to upload your product photos to the group page. Once more, members of a group will not be able to see eachother's profile information without permission to do so.
Each profile, page and group has what FB calls a "wall". This is where your friends, fans or group members can post their comments. Keep in mind that whatever is posted on your profile wall will be visible to all of your other friends. And, what you post on other people's walls will be visible to all of their friends. Obviously, Facebook is a place to be on your best behavior, especially if you are promoting a product. If someone does post something offensive or derogetory on one of your walls, don't worry. You have the power to delete any posts on your profile or page wall and on your group wall if you are the administator.
One of the best parts of using FB is the applications. They're endless. And you can load them to your profile and pages. Applications generally link you to other sites or give you the ability to manage your page / profile more effectively, and a lot of them are just plain fun. Applications are a whole other blog entry, which I will get into at a later date. For now, I would recommend loading any apps that catch your eye and playing around with the different options. You can always delete any apps you don't like!
Don't be afraid to take the plunge and sign up on Facebook. Just wade around in the shallow end for a while until you learn how to swim. If you do need some help or have any questions you can convo me at http://www.kmtgraphicdesign.etsy.com/ or leave a comment here!