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What I Learned About Facebook in a Minor Emergency

THIS GIRL NEEDS SOME MAKEUPIt was Sunday at 7 p.m. and I had just had a glass of wine (Madonna Estate 2005 Merlot in case you’re wondering) when I learned our website at work was knocked out, all our computers were down and one of our locations would have to be closed on Monday morning.  I started getting the word out on Facebook immediately and I learned a few things along the way. I’ll start with the Well duhs.

Well duh 1 - Don’t drink and Facebook. After a full day and a glass of wine I was not exactly impaired but I did grind my gears a little making the shift.

Well duh 2. Facebook is often the first place we hear news. The Powers That Be contacted me by phone and a Facebook message. Guess which one I received first.

Well duh 3. It’s really, really important to maintain interactions with your fans. The people who saw my initial posts are the people who correspond with the page regularly. If you neglect to inspire ongoing comments and “likes” from your fans, the Facebook algorithms knock you off their feeds.

MY DEPUTY LOOKS DEAD4. Not all your professional contacts tune into your page. I created a FB identity just for work and I assumed that most people who found me that way would “like” the organization I represent. Not true. Even with ample alerts on the organization’s page I found comments like “What’s going on with the website?” on my personal-professional profile (not to be confused with my personal-personal profile.

5. Multiple profiles are confusing. (See 4).

6. Crowd sourcing works. As I posted updates, helpful fans of our page sent me advice on how to do this more effectively (See 7 & 8)

7. Posting a note ensures that your message appears on all your fans’ profiles. You’ll find notes on the tabs above the “What’s on your mind?” box.

8. By using the @ sign in your posts, as in @YourOrganization’sFacebookPage, you can hyperlink to your page. That way when people share your post they share a direct link to future updates.

9. Working in the cloud means you can work from anywhere. Really. The people, passwords and photos I needed were all in my cloud files. Sweet.

10. Social media emergency response is a team sport. One message but get a team to spread it.

I started the morning as a minor emergency responder, propped on pillows, in my jammies, armed with laptop, dog and a cup of coffee. I looked forward to a coffee break in my own kitchen and a quick walk with the dog.

Seven hours later I looked at my dog and realized neither one of us had eaten or gone to the bathroom. The morning had been a relentless procession of phone calls, press updates and social medial conversations. I was spent, sweaty and still in my pyjamas.
My dog was cool. She sleeps in the nude.


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