I started my Facebook, intended as a business platform, with a heavy heart, and only because others said I must. I knew nothing so I must obey the experts: go out and be loud. Every marketing tools and everything about promotion looked distasteful to me. I longed for the old days – when school friends discussed my work near me, not knowing I was the writer.
But now, half a year later, most of my FB friends are no longer fake friends (to borrow my little son’s terminology). I have discovered they are all humans. They all have their dreams, their ideas, their interests. They have feelings and wishes. Ambitions and anxieties. Many have rich life stories too, and it’s so surprising how much they can give others.
Above all, they are social  beings who like, and need, to connect with one another. My writer friends are humans chasing the dreams. They need friendship, they need recognition. So yeah, I actively do whatever is within my capacity to help. I have about 2000 emails from Facebook saying that I have initiated my friends’ friendships. That’s right, I give them connections, and introduce them to groups. Good work, huh? I have created 2000 friendships out of 287 friends. (That’s right, not all 400 of my friends participate. I have a list of who don’t, and I respect their wish to be particular.)
Is this for business only? Wrong. You can’t believe how good I feel, each time I see them either joking, sharing, or deep in thoughtful conversation discussing ideas. Not all of the 2000 of course, but many of these friendships have flourished, with the friends finding the most comfortable corners where they feel they belong to, where they can be with each other, as real friends.  I can hear their laughter and their shouts of outrage across many walls, celebrating and commiserating.
I always attend every single Facebook event I’m invited to. Because it’s daunting to hold an event nobody attends. Do I  buy the product there? Not always, but I always invite my friends who will buy, and I can be counted to cheer up the host. I expect nothing in return, but so far, the other party guests – people unknown to me – always come to know that I exist. (I’m loud, yeah. I normally bring spectacular Aussie fireworks). Each time I end up getting many likes from strangers.
My friends are all free to share my wall yes, although so far everyone of them has the manner to ask me first before posting a promo. Now this has become easier, because for a week now Facebook has given me a free PROMOTE button.  This is a brand-new feature, and my friends are baffled because I am the only one among them who have  this. With the PROMOTE button, all I have to do is click this, and FB says all my friends will be sure to see my friends’ important posts. How time-saving this feature is, I don’t have to click “invite” one by one anymore, so from now “formal” invitation can be reserved for very special events. Today I was told, I’ve been given this button because my wall posts have way over 400 “likes“. And it isn’t a fan page – I haven’t created one yet.
I’m hoping in time all my friends will earn this button too, and they’ll share/promote for each other so all their FB-friends can see. One day soon, I hope the “united-friends-of-Ia” will have a Twitter-like effect. On Facebook. Hopefully.
On Twitter? I started a few months ago. I didn’t even know what a hashtag was, now I show newbies how to build Twitter followers. People start to notice that I exist and retweet my tweets – daily mentions supposedly reaching minimum 20,000 people. Again, mostly I tweet other people’s work (they say it does increase their sales, and many of them have become real friends too). But I love great quotes, I tweet them too. So friends’ promo and quotes side by side . (Come to think of it, on Facebook I have pics and posts side by side too.).
How will all that work for SYDNEY’S SONG when I’ll release it in September? Dunno. But I sure am having fun. Here, one of my tweet:  “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” -Dale Carnegie #quote