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Social Networking With Facebook: How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Get Out Of Hand

Share it Please
There is no question about it, Facebook is the top referring site to our nonprofit corporations home site.  So I know I have to feed it so that it can continue to feed me! But do I just love doing the Facebook thing?  No, I’ve learned to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand so that my social networking with Facebook can be manageable, even pleasant.

Here are my top survival tools:

Time allowed
I was talking to one of the volunteers at our Center who is responsible for communications and publications.  He too realizes the important and value of our Facebook presence but does not enjoy the frenzied energy of Facebook with its, to me, non-intuitive interface.  I recommended the
strategies in this post to him: the first step of keeping it from getting out of hand is to strictly limit the amount of time you are using Facebook, especially if you don’t enjoy it.  I suggest that you can make a regular weekly date with Facebook, early in the week when you are fresh and alert, and spend no more than one hour per week and still get tremendous benefit from your Facebook presence.
You don’t have to be present to win!
All you need is a free Twitter account and a free Socialoomph account (or any of the others that do the same thing) and some time once a week to queue up status updates in the form of tweets that
Socialoomph will post to your Facebook TimeLine.  Now, if you have a website with something like “upcoming events” or a blog with new (and old) posts, you can copy interesting URLs from your existing material and tweet them through Socialoomph so that you have something going on every day in Facebook that connects your community with important information.  

Friends allowed
When you log in to Facebook during your scheduled time, first step is to attend to notifications.  I do it in this order.  Friend requests, message and then alerts/notifications.  Regarding friend requests, I only approve friend requests from people who have friends in common with me.  If the person has only one or two friends in common I write them a short note enquiring about their request.   I do not approve friend requests that are recommended to me by other people.  I want the people on my friend list to want to be on that list. It’s going to make them more likely to respond to my posts if they initiated the friendship.  I do not make any friend requests (other than direct family and close friends.)
Messages:  Did you Facebook me?
Next stop is messages.  I read the message and quickly respond to each.  I make sure that I put a link to my nonprofit corporations website at the bottom of my message responses, because Facebook will add a dynamic thumbnail to the message when I add that URL.  So www.cslsr.org goes at the bottom of my messages.  I do not use Facebook for business or important communications.  If someone is contacting me about important matters, I give them my regular email address and invite them to carry on the conversation there.  Favorite question from a young person in my life:  did you Facebook me?  Sigh.  It could mean anything. 
Stop, Alert!  Stop Alerts
Next stop is alerts, or rather notifications. This is important.  And once you get the hang of it, it’s going to simplify your Facebook use.  Do not approve any application, game, calendar, quiz or anything unless it is vital to your social networking experience. For example, I have an app that allows my nonprofit organization site to interact with Facebook.  That’s a keeper.  I have approved Twitter and a few other utilities, for obvious reasons.  But no, no, no, to games. No, never.  And, I also select “ignore all requests from [insert the name of persistent re-invitors.  They won’t know you are not receiving the invites, it’s a merciful feature.]  For the rest of the notifications, where friends have ‘liked’ a post of yours, or commented on a post or shared something you wrote, a quick visit is in order.  Resist that darn “like” button; if your goal is networking and connecting a sentence of gratitude or greeting is going to do much better for you.  If you can write something to the person that shows you actually know who they are, even better. If you can ask them something about their life or passion, better still.  Even “Hey Joe, thank you for sharing my post. I appreciate that. How are you?” is going to do so much more for your networking if you add it to your “like.”   How do I know?  I notice my own response when someone writes me a personal, warm note and I compare that to when someone contacts me to promote their gig or sell their product or exploit my friend list for their gain.  I notice, I really enjoy being asked a question, and I actually enjoy hearing the answers to questions I ask.  So I only ask genuine questions on Facebook.
Sharing is better than Liking, Honest – Just Don’t Share it On My Timeline or Page Please

Now for a quick look at the recent posts of friends.  That’s under the “home” tab.  If I see something I like, I’m going to do better than just “like” it, I’m going to “share” it because that does something for both my friend and for me.  Fewer people pay attention to likes than pay attention to something you share.  When I share something, I share it onto my own timeline.  I don’t post items on other people’s timelines without their permission or in the absence of a clear connection between me, them and the information posted.  In other words, I’ll only post something on another person’s timeline if it is directly related to them.  If someone posts an item on my timeline without my permission, I am going to read it and then hide it.  If they post something of an advertising nature to my timeline, I’m going to block them.   Now ya know!
Best Facebook Status Update
“Go outside, the graphics are awesome.”   And that’s the point of making Facebook work for you.  There is a world out there filled up with interesting people who have faces and stories and who will return your love with so much more than a computer or phone screen will ever be able to give to you.  If what you are doing with Social Networking is not producing more real time, face-to-face, quality, warm experiences in your community, I donnu…. Then maybe there is another something more useful to try.


  1. Thank you, Edward. I agree and will implement changes in my FaceBook responses' hides and blocks. It will be nice to be back in charge of my FB life.

  2. Edward, thank you for this. I have had a personal FB page for quite a while--tons of "friends", who unfortunately, are mostly in Seattle, so great for true social keeping up, but doesn't necessarily help us here in Monterey. SO I am seriously considering FB for Center. Do you think that is more effective fore touching local folks--who, of course, i would love to draw to check out the community...or do you find your personal one is sufficient?

  3. And the NEW WISDOM in Social Behavior ::. . .just keeps on commin'

    Thanks so much Edward - - -staying on front and protecting us . . .

    love YOU so much !

  4. Hi Liz, I would definitely create a Center Page in Facebook. Search for Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa in Facebook to see our page. It has a lot of activity and people enjoy it very much. They check in when they come to services and we make sure we post something interesting and useful on our Center page a minimum of twice a week. Much love Edward


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