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About Facebook

facebook.jpgFacebook (http://facebook.com) is a social networking site where people form connections, both personal and professional. It was originally developed for college and university use but has expanded to include people from all walks of life. People can post status messages on their wall about what they are doing or thinking, share photos and videos, and comment on status messages or media of others in their network. Developers can use hooks into the Facebook system to build small games and applications that people can subscribe to; these allow users to engage socially with their connections, and they integrate with Facebook in a way that allows the applications to post information to the user's walls as well.

How do I use it?

After creating a Facebook profile, you can identify friends and acquaintances who also have Facebook profiles. Once they confirm your relationship with them, you will see each other's status messages in your activity streams. Organizations and groups can also create Facebook profiles (called pages), and you can "like" these to show your membership or interest (there will be a link on the group's page for you to formally "like" the group, which links you in a similar way as friending someone). As you develop your profile, you can allow Facebook to reveal more or less information about yourself to your friends, to friends of friends, and to the general public.

You can post brief updates about things you are doing, add photos identify other Facebook users who appear in them, read and comment on the updates of others, and even chat online with your Facebook friends. You can browse games and applications and add those that interest you to your profile. There are social activities, goal-oriented games, productivity applications, and apps that tie in to other social services you may use, like Twitter or Foursquare. Note that these applications will often add updates to your Facebook stream that can be seen by your community.

Why is it important?

Because of its sheer number of mainstream internet users, Facebook is one of the most important avenues for connecting to and communicating with people who might support or be interested in the work of your organization. By creating a Facebook page, an organization can create a hub for people to follow events and activities that you add, post their own messages and media related to their experiences, and engage with people at your organization as well as with other patrons. Facebook offers an array of advanced analytical tools for you to determine its effectiveness in your overall social media strategy. Other features allow you to integrate Facebook with your website or bring information from your website into Facebook.

Facebook Tips

  • Build a Facebook page for your organization. Fill out the profile and set up information feeds into the page so that it is not empty when people arrive.
  • Promote the page through other venues and encourage people to "like" your page.
  • Use Facebook to reach out to your network or to directly engage with your audience byproviding feedback to their messages.
  • Integrate your Twitter account with your Facebook account so your Facebook updates areautomatically posted to your Twitter account.
  • Become a resource for the museum community; in addition to posting information about yourinstitution, be sure to point to relevant content and resources elsewhere, and promote activities at other museums.
  • Use a casual tone in your Facebook communications. Engage with your audience with an appropriate, professional sense of humor.
  • Once you are comfortable setting up your page and posting, look into installing apps that can extend your presence.

Getting Started

Museums and Facebook

Listening in Facebook

See Also


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