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Social Media 101: Facebook Fundamentals

Facebook may seem complicated to the novice user, but in reality it’s a relatively straightforward experience. Find out about Facebook fundamentals with help from my fave personal tech expert – Carley from Digitwirl!

facebook fundamentals

Can anyone remember a time before Facebook?

The ubiquitous social network has half a billion members and counting, and it’s become the way to share photos, updates and videos with family and friends. But if you haven’t ventured in yet, it can feel like the Facebook phenomenon is passing you by. Well, I’m going back to basics and starting from the beginning in my new series for eHow called Socially Connected. We’ll break this social media juggernaut down step-by-step, and you’ll be “liking” it before you know it.

Facebook Tips for Newbies

Whether you’re a business owner who is just now realizing the power that social media can have to boost your business, a mom or grandma who mistakenly thought Facebook was just for the “kids” – or anyone else who is a little late to the game changing media platform that is – This video should help you jump in with both feet, and quickly learn why for most of us, Facebook is a totally necessary part of our everyday routines. I mean – what other site allows me to hear the latest news about a wildfire burning across town, a power outage on the other side of town, see pics of a friend’s new baby, hear updates on my cousins Hawaiian vacation, and see great deals from my fave brands – all in ONE place?? {Yep, those are all things that I found in my Facebook feed today.} One stop shop for all my news, entertainment, family and friend updates, and fun tidbits of knowledge. Love it.

Tell me – are you already using Facebook? Did you learn anything new in this new video?

Carley from DigitwirlDigitwirl is the weekly web show that offers simple solutions to modern day problems. In 3 minutes, Digitwirl brings busy women the very best time, money, and sanity-saving technology, and then teaches them how to use it, step-by-step. Digitwirl was created by technology lifestyle expert Carley Knobloch, who uses lots of technology to manage her busy life as mom of two and entrepreneur. Become a subscriber to get weekly show alerts and exclusive deals at, or follow Digitwirl on Twitter at @digitwirl.


Creative Facebook Photo App Creates Personalized Photo Books & More!

New PhotoPad App for Facebook: I am a collector of photos and memorabilia. I love photos, I have books filled with ticket stubs, letters and cards, menus and postcards, announcements for babies and graduations… You get the idea. Holding on to those moments in life are very important to me, and I really treasure all of my scrapbooks and albums. But now that life has changed, technology has updated, and most of my photos are digital – I love finding creative new ways to share them with friends. Which led me to this fun new app – It’s called PhotoPad, and you access it right from Facebook.

facebook photo app

“She glances at the photo, and the pilot light of memory flickers in her eyes.” – Frank Deford

This creative photo app for Facebook is super easy to use, and can make some really fun stuff – Use it to instantly convert the photos in your Facebook albums into photo books,  eCards, Postcards, and more. I used it for the first time this morning, and made a whole photo book, filled with pics of Abby. Very cool, right? Here’s how it works:

  • Get started: Log onto Facebook, then go to the PhotoPad Facebook page to learn more, or just click through directly to their Facebook photo app if you’re already logged in.
  • Loading: The first time I used this app, it loaded SUPER slow. I’m not sure if my internet was running slow, or if it always takes a little longer your very first time using it – but each time I’ve logged in after that initial trial, it’s been much quicker.
  • Choose a product: Ok, this part confused me a little. The first screen that comes up says, “Choose a heart,” and has a bunch of images to choose from. But, I couldn’t figure out what to do with that heart? So I just skipped it, and went up to the toolbar at the top. You can make an Instant Photo Book, which will autofill pages with a selection of your Facebook photos. Or, make a traditional style book where you add photos individually, a postcard, ecard, or other choices.
  • Pick a theme: This also confused me for just a minute… When I started the photo book, there were 4 choices of theme to pick from. BUT, don’t let that fool ya! When you get started, there are a ton more cool layouts, themes, backgrounds and more to customize your designs. These are all under the “Change Styles” tab in the toolbar.
  • Load your photos: This one is simple as can be, just click “Add Photos” in the toolbar, then choose which album you want to draw your pics from. Choose the photos you want to use, check the boxes, then they’ll load into your layouts.
  • Customize it: You can add stickers, text, shapes, borders, and all kinds of other fun stuff to make your cards or books your own. I added a few little flower stickers to my simple layout, along with some text to describe what the photos are all about. Took me only about 2-3 minutes to create my first couple of pages, and less than 15 minutes for the whole book.

And that’s it – easy peasy! When you’re all done, click the “Publish” button in the toolbar, and decide whether to publish it publicly, send to friends, or keep it private in your own collection. The app will store all of your creations right there in Facebook, so you can access them again whenever you want them. What a fun way to share photos from events like birthdays or weddings with friends and family, right? Love it.

Check out the PhotoPad app for yourself on Facebook today too!

If you try it too, let me know what you think of it! And feel free to stop by my Facebook wall and share some of your new cool creations – I’d love to see how you use this with your fave photos.

“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” – The Wonder Years

{Disclosure: I received compensation as part of a campaign with Living Your Moment in order to write my review. All opinions are mine and mine alone. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising.}


Is Facebook Really Charging for Status Updates?

No, not exactly. But – if you haven’t noticed it yet – there is a new option available to all business page owners when you write your next status update. It’s called Facebook Promoted Posts – “Promote your page posts so more people see them in their news feed.” Sounds great, right? But there’s a catch – you have to PAY to have those posts promoted. That does not sound so great.

mobile facebook use

Did you know… only 16 out of every 100 of your “fans” actually see your status updates?

If you haven’t seen the new update about Promotional Posts yet, you should soon. When you use Facebook as your page, and begin to write your status update, it will show you a pop-up bubble with the option to promote that post. If you click for details, it will then let you know that you’ll be paying for that chance to have your post seen by more of your own fans. This feature started as a test option, where personal users could pay to have their status updates shared more widely, but they quickly realized they would have better luck getting businesses to pay. I had a feeling that Facebook would soon start charging business owners more fees, but this was still pretty surprising. And personally, I think it’s a bad move – Here’s why:

  • First, Facebook said that it wants brands to act more like people – interact with users, not advertise to them. They even have a rule that when you create the large banner image for your Facebook page, you cannot promote sales or deals – because the goal is to have pages to create good content, not ads. So – they will prevent you from using the graphic on your page as an ad, but will now allow you to treat the status updates that you post as ads, by paying to ensure that they are seen? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
  • Why not just show all of my fans my posts anyway? If Facebook is serious about their stated goal of improving the user experience, then why do they hide my posts? When I like a brand or blog page, it’s because I’m interested in following their posts, and learning what they have to say. So why hide things from me that I chose to follow?
  • Right now, Facebook shows your post to a limited amount of your fans – the average is 16%. How do they decide who to show it to? Well, they look at whether someone has interacted with your page before, whether the status update is popular {lots of likes and shares means Facebook will show it to even more people}, and what the content is {picture, video, links, etc}. They do this with a goal of giving you only updates that will be interesting to you. So why would they do the complete opposite, and allow people to pay to show me status updates that Facebook would not have shown me in the first place?

But, this is the way it is now, so I have to adapt. We all do. And, from what I’m hearing around the web, there will be a lot more changes coming soon too. {Isn’t there always a new change coming to Facebook? Ugh.}  While they still guarantee that Facebook will never charge people to use it, they WILL be adding quite a few more features that they can charge business owners to use. I hope the next ones are better than this.

If I wanted to pay for an ad, I would. I shouldn’t have to pay to have my status shown to people who have already chosen to like my page.

Well, now that we know what this new Promoted Posts tool is, let’s take a look at how it works, so you can take advantage of it if you choose to. I mean, like it or not, working on the web means constantly adapting to new changes. So – here’s some basic tips on using the new Promoted Posts function on Facebook.

  1. Switch to use Facebook as your page, and click on the status update box, to start a new post. You’ll see a new button at the bottom of the box, labeled “Promote.”
  2. Click the drop down menu arrow, and you’ll see options to set your price, payment method, and other settings.
  3. Now, you can promote your post. You can also go to other previous posts {from the last 3 days only}, and add them to be promoted as well, within the budget amount that you have set up.

When the post appears in people’s newsfeeds, it will be labeled as sponsored. I’m not sure how bold the label will be, or whether it will appear more spammy looking to people. But – I can see the appeal to this option. We’ve all used Facebook for such a long time, that our eyes are trained to kind of ignore that side of the page where the ads are. Think about it – Can you remember any ads that you’ve seen lately? But you DO notice what’s in your newsfeed, so allowing brands to add their sponsored posts right into the stream you’re reading – right in between an announcement about your best friend’s new baby, and an upcoming graduation party for a niece, then the sponsored post is pretty darn likely to be actually looked at and read. This also helps with the mobile user problem – a growing percentage of people visit Facebook primarily from their cell phones, totally bypassing ads altogether. But now, brands have a new way to reach them.

What Facebook says about Promoted Posts

“Nothing has changed about how your posts are shared with the people who like your Page.” – A lot of activity happens on Facebook and most people only see some of it in their news feeds. They may miss things when they’re not on Facebook, or they may have a lot of friends and Pages, which results in too much activity to show all of it in their news feed. If you don’t promote your post, many of the people connected to your Page may still see it. However, by promoting a post, you’re increasing its potential reach so an even larger percentage of your Page audience and the friends of those interacting with your post will see it.

Facebook like button

Do you “Like” this new update?

Is this tool something that you’ll use to promote your own posts? As a user, do you think you’ll be bothered by these sponsored updates in your newsfeed? I’d love to hear some comments on all sides of this issue – I’m still trying to figure out what I think about it all. And, if you’d like to learn more, you can visit the Facebook Promoted Posts FAQ page, and a little more about Facebook advertising and it’s always changing form.

{Photo credits: First photo, second photo.}


There’s a {Facebook} App for that

So….. I want to know what you guys think of this? First, we went from shopping for birthday cards at a local shop, handwriting a heartfelt message – {or at least our signature!} – buying and attaching stamps, and usually remembering to do this all a week BEFORE the recipients big day, so that it would reach them in time. Then we started using ecards, which can still be really cute and personalized, right? Next, it turned into simply sending out an email that included a few birthday wishes. Now – we don’t know it’s someone’s birthday until we log-in to Facebook in the morning so that it can remind us of our supposed loved ones special days. You write a quick, “Hope your day is as awesome as you are!” birthday post, and call it good.

But now, there’s an app for that.

This free Facebook app will automate your birthday messages, so you don’t even have to be bothered with paying attention to those notifications on your homepage, or taking even 30 seconds of effort to tell someone that you care that they’re celebrating an important day. Does that seem super impersonal?

Or, is this the new normal?

Is it because at over 30, I’m clearly too old to know how things work these days? Or is this something helpful, to make sure you never miss any important days in your favorite people’s lives – by writing out personal messages to all of them, all at once, just once a month – and then letting them automatically post out to Facebook at the right time?

Yes. I signed up for the app.

Lol – I had to! I’m a social media junkie here, remember? So I wanted to check it out and see how it worked. Looks cool, and I do see how it could be helpful – but it seems so lazy. I want to hear YOUR thoughts? Share some comments – awesome, or awful? Will you use this? DO you use it already – if so, is it awesome? Chat with me here ladies….


Facebook Blast – Win an Amazon Gift Card!



It’s time for another event that is going to be a BLAST!!

A bunch of great bloggy friends and I have joined together again to put together a super fun giveaway event for you guys! It starts today, and runs through February 16th, 2012. Use the easy peasy Rafflecopter form to get your entries in – and if you’re feeling lucky, you can enter the rest of my great giveaways over in the sidebar!

Want to join our next giveaway? Sign up here – Makobi Scribe Giveaway!

Have fun & Good Luck!

[Read more…]


Facebook Blast Event – Join Today & #RockYourBlog2012



Join me in a totally cool new event – The Facebook Blast!

What is a Facebook Blast? You the blogger can join for only $1.50, and everyone links up just one social media account – Facebook. Then, the amazing Jennifer over at Sason & Pobi will provide the prize – a $100 Amazon code.

What do you need to do to join? 

  • Post about the event with the button linking back to this post. (Right click save the image)
  • Send  a PayPal payment to with your email address. After she receives the payment, she’ll send you the form to fill out. This way she won’t have to track payments at the end of the event.
  • You will get the instructions once you send payment.
  • Instructions on posting to your Facebook page can be found here.
  • Then schedule the giveaway post to go live on Feb 1 at 9:00 am EST to Feb 15 12:01 pm EST.
  • Easy peasy and super fun, right?

The More the Merrier!

You can sign up more than one blog if you have one – just make sure to post about the event on EACH blog you’re using to join. Jennifer will email you on the 30th to remind you about the event – but grab the button and code today when you sign up, to make sure you’re ready to go! #RockYourBlog2012 with me – and get signed up!


Dr. Seuss and the Facebook Updates

Found this on a friend’s Facebook page today…

So funny. And so true- Have you ever tried to contact someone at Facebook? You pretty much can’t. My favorite was when I had an issue, and emailed support about it. I received an email back saying, “Thank you for telling us about your problem. Your feedback is very important. We won’t be addressing this, but thank you for your time.” Well, that’s neat.

If I didn’t love Facebook so much I’d break up with it. Make sure to come say hi while you’re there – Sunshine and Sippy Cups on Facebook!

How do you feel about the new Facebook changes? Share in the comments!