How To: Maximize Your Facebook Potential

Photo by Noemi Gonzalez Be a giver on Facebook in order to get some action back: give that oh, so ordinary status a "like" to grab people's attention.
Photo by Noemi Gonzalez

If you aren’t active on Facebook, you basically don’t exist in the social world. If you are too active on Facebook, you also don’t socially exist.

According to the Facebook Newsroom online, “there were 955 million monthly active users at the end of June 2012.”  Even with a networking pool this big, some people still struggle to make a splash and get even five “likes” on their content.

Follow these guidelines to learn to properly use Facebook to your social benefit both on and off the screen.


Visible social acceptance

The ultimate goal on Facebook is to gather an abundance of “likes” in a timely manner. You can best gauge your online acceptance rate based on how many of your friends stamp their “like” seal of approval to each of your posts.

A good numerical goal is to get at least ten percent of your total Facebook friends to engage with your post. If you are fortunate enough to have 400 friends, you should be seeing a minimum of 40 likes per status—assuming you’re any good.

To gain momentum as a Facebook superstar, you must also establish yourself as an active “liker.” With frequent contribution, you can network your way toward wide recognition in the Facebook world. Even if a status is average, give it a like. Do it for your own benefit. As your name starts to pop up, others will recognize you and they will begin to reciprocate.

Don’t overdo it. Liking sprees are acceptable only once or twice weekly.

Once you market yourself as a “liker,” your profile will get more action.

Get your heads out of the gutter.

With more traffic to your page, the more often you will achieve grandiose honor and be featured in the Top Stories.

Once you feel comfortable with your web presence, use the “timeline” function to your advantage.  Be that guy and “like” old pictures frequently and call attention to embarrassing pictures that were temporarily forgotten. This is risky, but the rewards can be plentiful.


Snub the sob statuses

Treat statuses with the same caution with which you would treat a paper for a class.

Plan statuses carefully and strategically time their release.

Know your audience and use peer review. If you really want to showcase your humor, present your rough draft statuses to your nonjudgmental friends before you publish them.

Adjust your schedule to hit the Facebook rush. Photo by Noemi Gonzalez Adjust your schedule to hit the Facebook rush.
Photo by Noemi Gonzalez

A healthy combination of lengthy and short statuses will help you to keep your friends entertained without stealing too much of their precious procrastination time.

However, keeping your friends entertained does not mean you should provide a daily soap opera status update rating about your current mental state, the temperature, your daily struggles or if you have a runny nose. Please spend your time on WebMD self-diagnosing your illness instead of on Facebook.

When you decide to update the world on what you have been doing, make sure you try to refrain from bragging. Tales of your European traveling and unique experiences are always nice material for others to creep on, but please make sure you stay humble.

And when you ultimately decide to post a new status recapping your recent experiences, choose your timing wisely.

Know when rush-hour procrastination traffic is at its busiest, and always post your prime statuses during these times. Typically the newsfeed freeways are most receptive to your posts between 11a.m., and 1 p.m. also from 8p.m. to 10p.m.  Sorry, princess, but if you want your posts to get action, you must be willing to alter your sleep schedule slightly.


Put your best angle forward

Although you cannot adjust your real physical appearance, you can certainly manipulate how you appear on Facebook.

Profile picture selection is to be handled with care. This photo is your primary opportunity to impress.

Generally speaking, do not make your profile picture a “selfie.” These are only okay if they appear professionally taken or were taken candidly by someone else. Please refrain from any of that Myspace-style close-up, duck-face nonsense. We have discussed this enough—but for those who still struggle to grasp the concept: DO NOT TAKE THIS STYLE OF SELFIE. Or any, for that matter.

Marketing senior Kelsey Lard stages her best "selfie" pose. Photo by Noemi Gonzalez Marketing senior Kelsey Lard stages her best "selfie" pose.
Photo by Noemi Gonzalez

Opt instead for a profile picture with two or three of your most attractive friends. Yes, you read that correctly. Make sure your put your prettiest friends at the forefront of your page—it will make you more attractive by association.

The same guidelines apply for cover photos. One suggestion is to use a Cover Photo that instigates nostalgia within a large group. Draw attention to themed school dance, your most recent family reunion or a Spring Break boardwalk shot. These never get old.

Again, posting time is crucial. Prime time to upload pictures is generally Sunday afternoons, midday during the week and Saturdays around 4 p.m. Upload and tag your photos as soon after the conclusion of an event as possible. The hare beats the tortoise when it comes to album uploading. Be the first to upload, and you will get the most traffic.


If you have something to say, say it to my face in a comment

Comments can be used to your advantage if they are well constructed and executed with the appropriate frequency. Generally speaking, wittier is better. However: proceed with caution.

Use minimal punctuation and shortened sentences to add zing to your comments. You want to be sure to comment on statuses and pictures with only your best material. Refer to inside jokes, point out flaws and typos on your closest friends’ statuses, and contribute relevant links and video clips to conversations. Find a healthy balance of serious contribution and hysterical sassiness.

Realistically, you cannot establish yourself as Facebook royalty without acting as a productive member of society. Commenting keeps you fresh and active in the community.


Be safe when you connect

Lord help us all: please disconnect your Pinterest and Instagram accounts from posting to your Facebook feed. There’s nothing that makes your Facebook friends more uncomfortable than to see which table centerpieces you want at your wedding; or what leg exercise you want to try.

Connecting your Twitter to Facebook can become overwhelmng for, well, everyone. Photo contributed by Noemi Gonzalez Connecting your Twitter to Facebook can become overwhelming for, well, everyone.
Photo contributed by Noemi Gonzalez








As a general rule of thumb: keep Twitter out of your Facebook. Connecting the two becomes an overload, and it kind of seems like you accidentally forgot to unselect the box that said “Connect to Facebook” and you don’t even realize your tweets are now publicized to 10 times as many people.

Through careful planning and strategic execution of statuses, picture albums and witty interactions, you can work to uphold at least some form of success in the social world. Everything seems to be going online these days, so why shouldn't your social life?


Reach the writer at or via Twitter @TheEmilyNichols

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