Seven Rules to Becoming a Facebook Tastemaker

When the New York Times referred to Facebook as a “Tastemaker” in an article last September, the term perfectly captured this era where one person can influence so many others. The internet has taken the power to influence the masses away from the media and put it in the hands of you, the social media user. The announcement last September was part of Facebook’s push toward a medium that processes what you’re doing, watching, wearing, and listening to and shares it with your friends. Facebook will process this information and use it to make recommendations.

This move toward public consumerism brings a great opportunity for small businesses, who may find a new audience simply by a few social media users mentioning them. Internet entrepreneur Evan Bailyn believes this is a prime opportunity for these businesses. Want to get involved? Follow these seven tips to increase your chances of becoming a Facebook Tastemaker:

Be genuine. Nobody likes a sales pitch, so it’s important to be sincere in your postings. Only post about those things you truly believe in. Your sincerity will come through and you’ll have more success.

Make the right friends. It’s not about how many people you know, but who you know. Make sure you choose friends that have a wide network. This will allow you to reach more people with your messages.

Project an image. “Facebook’s Timeline feature with its large cover image is the perfect place to showcase photos and graphics that reflect the spirit of your business,” Bailyn says. He recommends using Facebook ads, your website, and other social media sites to create an image that expresses who you are and what you do.

Leverage social capital. Bailyn recommends initiating a campaign where you personally e-mail other tastemakers and offer to post something about their business if they’ll post about yours. Be sure to choose tastemakers with large, active followings. While it may seem like a great deal of work, Bailyn notes that many businesses don’t engage in e-mail campaigns, so doing so can give you the edge.

Don’t over-commercialize. This is especially important in your e-mail campaign, as many tastemakers will be reluctant to exchange status updates if your page looks like an advertisement. Be sure your page has real, interesting content that sincerely expresses your interests.

Be entertaining. “No matter your profession, if you create a daily entertaining status update that relates to your industry that’s good enough, people will begin looking forward to it, commenting, sharing and liking it abundantly each day,” Bailyn states. He points out that those status updates with high activity levels are prioritized higher in members’ newsfeeds. By drawing users in with regularly updated, interesting content, you’ll increase your visibility, thereby growing your audience.

Play it cool. Once your Facebook presence has begun to take off, continue to pace yourself. Too many status updates and you’ll scare people off. Bailyn recommends posting no more than twice per day on Facebook to avoid being hidden in people’s status updates for overposting.

Bailey’s book, Outsmarting Google, gives his expert advice on search engine optimization. His follow-up, Outsmarting Social Media, is now available through Amazon.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

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