Saturday, July 20, 2013

Three things to know about Facebook By David Pride

Believe it or not, my full-time job involves working with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn. It’s a geek’s dream job. Eight hours a day I stare at a computer monitor and look for and create conversations around some of New England’s strongest brands. When I’m not chugging Mountain Dew and choking down protein bars you can find me speaking around New England about using social media more effectively for business. Below are three things I think everyone should know about Facebook.

1.    You can control who sees what you post.
Ever wonder why your kid’s name and postings don’t appear in your Facebook newsfeed? That could be because he/she has you hidden from their posts. Have you ever wanted to share a piece of information with a select group of people but not all 1,100 of your Facebook friends? You can do that, too. All you need to do when you update your status to control who sees what posts is click on the down arrow icon that sits next to the box labeled “post.” A handful of options will drop down from that list. You can select friends, friends except acquaintances, public, customize or just me. Most of those labels are pretty self-explanatory but if you’re wondering what customize means you’re not alone. If you select “customize” then you will be given the option to hide the post with specific people. This could come in handy on many different occasions. Please keep in mind that hiding a rant about your boss does not mean he won’t see it – especially if he has friends who have access to your page. It is always best to save rants for in person conversations.

2.    Hashtags now work
Once reserved for other social networks hashtags (#) now work for Facebook. This means you can now find conversations happening about subjects you’re interested in simply by typing the word or phrase you’re looking for into the Facebook search bar. If you are like me and love Pomeranians you can now search #Pomeranians and you will have hours of Pomeranian pleasure at your fingertips! When you use a hashtag in your status update, it will also allow others to click that word to see others who used a hashtag with that particular word. Keep in mind that hashtags do not override your privacy settings, so if you have your status set to private as I discussed above, only those allowed to see your statuses can see the hashtag.

3.    Download all of your Facebook data
About two years ago, my Facebook account was hacked and the hacker managed to change my password and begin posting things to my community that I didn’t approve of. Things got so bad that I had to (gasp) delete my account. Luckily I had already backed up all of my Facebook data. Like most people, I post photos of great events in my life, have fun interactions, and am tagged in many photos. All of which would have been lost had I not backed up my Facebook information onto my computer hard drive.  The process to back up your Facebook info is very simple. Click the little wheel at the top of the right hand corner of your page; this will open up your “General Account Settings.” At the bottom of that page you will see “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” When you click that the next screen will let you know what this process entails and shortly there after all of your Facebook data i.e. statuses, photos, videos, and chats will be saved to your computer. This is a real help if you ever do get hacked.

What questions do you have about Facebook? I’m happy to help!

David Pride is a graduate of Windham High School Class of 01’ and the Social Media Specialist for Burgess Advertising. He also owns a social media/relationship marketing blog. David can be reached by email at

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