I really love Facebook but it took me some time to get used to it. Facebook is not an easy friend: Facebook is cocky, sometimes unreliable and definitely insatiable. But with these 10 commandments every Social Worker can use AND enjoy Facebook!
What do you want to achieve? Or even better: who do you want to meet? Facebook is just like any other Social Media channel not a goal but a tool. You can use this tool to brand yourself, increase your network, connect people in your neighborhood. You can choose many roads on Facebook and easily get lost so be sure that you’re on the drivers seat.
Keep it light-minded
On Facebook you’ll get friends. Be aware that mostly these friends are not the friends you’re used to. Of course you can be friends on Facebook with your best friends you know since you were kids. You actually don’t need Facebook for that friendship. Friends on Facebook can also be clients, network partners and sometimes people you’ve never met. Facebook calls them your friends, that’s how it is. If you feel uncomfortable about calling these people friends perhaps Facebook is not your place to go.
How do you need Facebook as a tool to reach your goals? Do you need a profile? Or a Page? Or should you start a Group? To create a page or group you need a profile first. You profile is personal. For your business or agency, you use a page. To connect your audience and build a community, you need a group. Choose carefully what you need!
Many Social Workers are a bit afraid of Facebook. It could be dangerous. It could harm your privacy and the privacy of your clients. Fortunately Facebook offers you all the settings you need to keep your account safe. But you have to put your settings in the right place to really be safe. Take some time to look at your settings and you’ll feel a lot better about your safety.
Make your updates attractive with graphics, photo’s and video. Facebook loves this! And your friends and Likers love it too! Show pictures of activities at work, share selfies with you and your colleagues. Share pictures of the office and your boss. If you want to make your own graphics, go to Canva!
Call to action
If you want people to engage on your post, simply ask them to do so. Facebook is not only one way traffic. Ask your Friends, Likers and Members to like, love, laugh, wow or feel sad. Ask them to comment. Ask them to share. Ask them to tag others. Make it easy for them.
Facebook is a perfect place to share stories. As a Social Worker you have many compelling stories to share. Who have you helped today? What was the problem? How did it touch you? What are you proud of? Inspire and show that you’re proud of your profession!
Never ever count on Facebook
You’ll never know who will see your updates. This is completely up to Facebook’s mysterious algorithm. Facebook decides who will see your posts. And since Facebook sells ads they don’t give you much reach on your page. Sad but true. So don’t count on Facebook when you do your marketing. Unless you pay for your reach with an Facebook ad.
Facebook should be fun. If you notice that Facebook becomes a struggle, stop! Stop and ask help. There are many Facebook experts who can help you. We even have our own experts in our community Social Souls. So come on over and ask for help! You can tag me or Hans Versteegh or Ruth Katz.
Your thoughts and own commandments are welcome in the comments!