Who knew Facebook actually made their search useful finally?

10Sep09

Am I behind on the times?

When did Facebook change their search options?

If you hadn’t noticed you can now search individual’s status updates. Interesting for non-profits, but is it too invasive? I did a quick search on Physician Assistant and found a ton of recruiters (not who I’m looking to connect with) and then a few that talked about being a PA. Well what action do I take from here? Do I friend this person? Do I just make note of it in our database? (we have a social media tab so that we can track member usage)

My inclination is just to note it in the database, BUT is it worth the time? ROI on social media is hard, especially for associations, because these tools are so new and there is a lot of work to be done by hand (even if electronically).

I would friend a PA if I knew them, but I feel as though friending a PA out of the blue is a little weird. It comes off as invasive to me. What do you think about having someone from the association (you may or may not belong to) friend you out of the blue?

~Lynn

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3 Responses to “Who knew Facebook actually made their search useful finally?”

  1. One of the reasons I still use Facebook (as opposed to MySpace and, increasingly, Twitter) is because I don’t get a lot of friend requests from strangers, and the ones I do get are generally friends of friends. If I got a random friend request, I’d deny it, and if it happened too many times, I’d leave Facebook. I use FB to keep up with people I already know, not to meet new people.

  2. Me personally–and the dynamic I have with out members, which is basically I don’t know any of them at all except for the few I have “met” in our online communities–feel kind of like Cole does. I accept friend requests from members if they friend me (on my work profile–I know–bad me), but I would feel weird initiating. Is it possible to send a “fan” request as admin of the page? I could see maybe that would be ok–they may be excited to know you’re on FB if they hadn’t already known. Otherwise maybe send them a message saying hi just wanted to let you know we’re on Facebook and a plug for the group? I do this sometimes to members who post links to their blogs–I ask them if they’d be interested in being included on a blogroll when/if we do one and also if they’d be interested in contributing when/if we start a blog. The replies are always favorable.

    I would definitely log them into the database, though–if for no other reason than to some day be able to run reports listing how many members are on which social networks, what percent of total members are on, etc.

    I have the same dilema with Twitter–I constantly come across either members, students or non-members who are in the professions we represent in my keyword searches. If they are members I do usually follow them, and for the most part they follow back and sometimes express excitement or gratitude that we’re on Twitter. I have only had one member block me, which was a little weird!

    One of the people on staff tried something cool–I find a lot of tweets from people announcing they just graduated with their degrees in fields we represent. I sometimes forward these as an FYI to staff people, who in turn will send a “congratulations!” tweet or email. So far people have been VERY appreciative for the attention and good wishes, and seem impressed that we’re paying that close attention to them. Again, I’m sure there will be some who feel like big brother is watching, but for the most part they seem flattered.

  3. Cole – I find in the Baltimore theatre scene we also connect with people we know of, or have maybe shared a single email exchange with. There are many actors I’m friends with on FB that I’ve never actually worked with, but I may have asked them to come in to audition or something. It’s an interesting dynamic, but unless I know “of” them or know why someone wants to connect with me I deny the request.

    Maggie – I do the same thing on my work account. I friend any person I can identify as a PA.

    Emailing people out of the blue to let them know that we’re there is a little like cold calling to me. I prefer to inform them via channels we already use like blast emails & print publications. Though I do think that personal touch & inviting them is important. The trick is to fold that into what you already do.

    On Twitter it’s way different, I’ll follow anyone that mentions that they are a physician assistant (or related, PA student or pre-PA). Either they follow back, don’t follow and I’ve had at least one block I know of.I respect the fact that some people was to use Twitter purely for personal reasons (similar with Facebook). I also use my keyword searches & congratulate or wish individuals luck on their certification exams, etc. They seem really positive & caring about everyone is really the bread & butter of community building.


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