Social Media 101: Facebook


By AHRA Staff

March 2011–By far the most popular social media network in the world today, Facebook currently has over 500 million active users. It is a tool that presents a number of assets to healthcare professionals. It’s a great way to not only communicate with your customers about facility news and public health issues, but to see what they’re talking about, too. Think of it as another public relations outlet—a very inexpensive, yet far reaching one, at that.

Facebook is also a great way to reach out to potential employees and customers and keep in touch with vendors, associations (like AHRA), and industry news channels. Not bad for just one site.

If you already joined, great! If you would like to, visit Facebook’s site and follow the basic instructions. Of importance for many people are privacy concerns. While not unwarranted, Facebook’s settings are navigable. There are ways to protect your privacy and still use Facebook in a way that suits your needs without having to worry about your high school girlfriend stalking you. Below is a step by step list for how to protect your privacy on Facebook.

The more you put into Facebook, the more you will get out of it. If you join and interact with lots of colleagues, associations, vendors, and other groups/individuals, your network will grow and the ROI can be invaluable.  But if you remain closed off, you may only get a limited view of what can be a fantastic resource and networking tool.


Adjust Your Privacy Settings

Connecting

1. Visit your privacy settings page by clicking on “Account” in the upper left corner. Then select “Privacy Settings.”

2. Under “Connecting on Facebook” select “View Settings.”

3. Adjust various connection settings based on the level of involvement you want to have with other Facebook users:

  • “Search for you on Facebook.” This function allows friends and family find you in Facebook search results. You can set this as “Everyone,” “Friends of Friends,” or “Friends Only.”
  • “Send you friend requests.” This lets you receive friend requests. Being “friends” with someone on Facebook means that they can view your profile and you can view theirs. (Keep in mind that you can adjust what friends can and can’t see on your profile—see the Sharing Information section below.) You can set this to “Friends of Friends” or “Everyone.”
  • “Send you messages.” Facebook users can send each other private messages, similar to email. This adjustment allows you to decide who can send you these messages. You can set this as “Everyone,” “Friends of Friends,” or “Friends Only.”
  • “See your friend list.” This lets you connect with people based on friends you have in common. Your friend list is always available to applications and your connections to friends may be visible elsewhere, depending on what you select in this option.  You can set this as “Everyone,” “Friends of Friends,” “Friends Only,” or “Customize,” which allows you to single out individuals who can/cannot see who you are friends with.
  • “See your education and work,” “See your current city and hometown,” and “See your likes, activities and other connections.” If you choose to include any of this information in your profile (which are not obligated to do), you may determine who can view this information.  You can set this as “Everyone,” “Friends of Friends,” “Friends Only,” or “Customize,” which allows you to single out individuals who can/cannot view this information.
  • Keep in mind that your name, profile picture, gender, and networks are visible to everyone.

Sharing Information
You have many different options as to exactly what information you share on Facebook and exactly who can see this information.

1. Visit your privacy settings page by click on “Account” in the upper left corner.  Then select “Privacy Settings.”

2. Under “Sharing on Facebook,” you will see five different vertical tabs: Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends Only, Recommended, and Custom. The first four tabs are predetermined settings that determine what information, (such as your status, photos, posts, family and relationships, birthday, and contact information) is shared with whom.  The Custom tab allows you to make your settings even more granular.

If you are new to Facebook and want to start off with a low level of informational sharing, select the Custom tab. After selecting the tab, click on “Customize settings” below towards the left. Then go down the list of things you share (eg, posts, relationships, birthday), things others can share with you (eg, whether they can post on your wall, photos you’re tagged in), and contact information, and select “Everyone,” “Friends of Friends,” “Friends Only,” or “Customize” depending on your preference.

Under “Things I Share,” be sure to also click on “Edit album privacy for existing photos” to make sure that any photos you share on Facebook are only seen by the people you select.

Now that you’ve joined Facebook and tailored it to suit your privacy needs, become a fan of AHRA by clicking the Facebook icon below, then click  “Like.”  By “liking” AHRA, you’ll receive the latest AHRA updates in your Facebook newsfeed, as well as photos and event information.

“Like” us on Facebook!

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