February 8, 2012

The Facebook Instruction Manual

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Written by: Ross Quintana
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The Facebook Instruction Manual is your guide to everything Facebook.

Anyone who loves technology has come to a level of frustration with a product only to find out when they read the manual that their problem was easily avoided. Countless Technical support specialists have helped people figure out that “user error” is the cause of most problems. If you are like me you have had moments where you were complaining to a friend about a product and then they said, “Oh yeah you can do that, just do this.” I am like, I have had that phone for a year and I could have been doing that all along, grr. By not reading the manual (getting to know the product), we end up having a worse experience. Here is a quick Facebook Instruction Manual modeled after all product manuals:

Getting Started – Most manuals have a getting started or quick setup page right in the front. The reason is they know most people won’t read the instructions. People just want to get the product running without knowing how to use it, this is how many people signed up for Facebook. The Getting Started and Troubleshooting section are the most used because people start using a product and then run into problems. Getting past the getting started page is half of the solution and since you are reading this you are already smarter than most people using Facebook. Let’s turn to the the first important page…

Learn the Buttons – In most manuals there is a page that shows all of the buttons and what they do. Take time to go through Facebook and press every button and see what it does. It only takes about 15 minutes but getting familiar with what everything does and where the resources and settings are will build a strong foundation. Many people use Facebook for business or networking and they don’t even know what all the buttons do. Learn the buttons. This does two things: It lets you feel comfortable with Facebook and you are sure to find some options you didn’t know you had. You will also find areas that let you set up and organize your experience. This way you can make goals for yourself like organizing your friends into lists so you can communicate with only certain people when you want to post something but don’t want to annoy some of your friends with your business posts. Keeping your posts relevant to only certain people is a must. The default is your posts go to everyone, and if you are using this for business you will annoy your followers if you don’t build lists. You use the tool so commit to pressing every button.

Plug it in – Most manuals go over the basics and then tell you to plug it in. Knowing the buttons before plugging in will help you get more out of Facebook. Once you know what Facebook can do, plug it into your other social networks. Add a link to your profile and start to integrate it into your overall strategy. People interact more on Facebook than many other platforms. Use other sites that let you meet or target your audience to drive them back to your Facebook account where you can further develop your relationships. Learn what Facebook does well and what the other networks do well and then you can know why you want people to connect with you on Facebook vs. Twitter or other networks. Plug it in to your overall online strategy so your Facebook account has a purpose.

Chapter by Chapter – In any product manual they divide things by chapter. If people got past the Getting started, learned the buttons, and plugged it in, this is where you start to really learn what the product can do. Every section of a manual goes into detail showing you what each thing can do and how it can be used. With Facebook get specific. If you want to build your business, take one thing and research it (Like Buttons, Effect of Comments, Business Pages, Lists, Groups, Subscriptions). Go read 2 articles on each section, a gaurantee someone has found a way to use each component of Facebook in a way you never thought of. Do this with each area you will be a Facebook expert in no time.

What can we learn from our Facebook Instruction Manual? I know you might have thought I was going to give you a bunch of technical data about Facebook, but this post delivered you something much more important, it outlined the structure of how you can learn every aspect of Facebook. Isn’t that what a good manual does? Don’t treat this manual like all of the other manuals and not use it. Take the time to do these things and you will have a much richer experience with Facebook. Then whe you friends or clients are complaining about something they can’t do on Facebook, you can say, “Oh yeah you can actually do that, you just go like this.”

I will be doing how to videos and posts for each social network and also posting by platform so you can get the chapter by chapter strategies for each part of Facebook and other platforms. Stay tuned and subscribe to our new blog and share it with others. Thanks

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About the Author

Ross Quintana

Founder of SocialMagnets, I am passionate about social media, influence, innovation, strategy, and marketing. I love to help people learn and understand the digital world. I stretch people’s thinking and share my analysis of information, tools, and strategies in social media. Let’s connect


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