It's obvious that Facebook is a pay-for-play marketing vehicle. You see about 5% of your friend's stuff and the rest is curated and targeted marketing. But don't give up hope, there are some strategies that still work on Facebook and don't cost you any money.

  1. Groups
  2. Pages
  3. Friending Everyone
  4. Friending Young Folks
  5. Sharing Good Stuff About Good Topics
  6. Being Honest and Transparent
  7. Cheering-On Other's Successes
  8. Empathizing with Other's Pain
  9. Seek Out Old Friends on Facebook
  10. UnLIKE All the Random Shit You Liked When You Were Happy About Facebook
  11. Above All Else: Stay Positive

GROUPS

I have used Facebook groups for years now. It's a fantastic way to build micro-facebook pages of friends and like-minded facebookers. There are public and private groups, and each has their purpose. I'm a member of about 10 facebook groups and this is where my favorite conversations happen. I've even started my own Private facebook group for single parents and people in relationship transition.

PAGES

Pages are the new reach tool. Start a page about a topic. Share great stuff to that page. Invite people to like/follow your page. Build an organic audience around a topic you care about. I think I constantly share to 6 pages that I've created and 3 that I am a member of. Pages allow for much more specific topic focus and lower advertising density.

FRIENDING EVERYONE

Facebook used to be for "friends." Facebook used to have intimacy in conversations. Facebook has changed and become a marketing platform. Everything you are doing on facebook is tracked, analyzed and used to target better (worse) ads to your news feed. By friending more people, you begin to ask facebook to show you more content from more people This squeezes out "some" of the advertising. AND the real benefit is you get to see how others (the young people are the most interesting to me) are sharing and using facebook.

FRIENDING YOUNG FOLKS

If you hear that the younger generations, that grew up with smartphones and facebook, are using social media differently, you might be missing out if you aren't friends with a bunch of them. What are they sharing? What kind of feedback are they looking for on facebook? Will they start liking cool stuff that you are sharing? Is there wisdom to be gained from a conversation between generations on facebook? I think the answer to all of these questions is yes.

SHARING GOOD STUFF ABOUT GOOD TOPICS

Don't just share to be sharing. Share stuff that resonates with you. Share to your pages and groups so you don't overwhelm your main "friends" with over sharing. If you share good stuff you will be surprised about how a conversation and new friendship can be sparked or reignited.

BEING HONEST AND TRANSPARENT

Share about yourself too. Show what you are thinking about, working towards. Ask for encouragement. Join in conversations. Be authentic in all your interactions.

CHEERING ON OTHER'S SUCCESSES

Everyone is doing the best they can at this very moment. If someone shares a personal victory on facebook, they are seeking your encouragement. Always give it if you can. COROLLARY: Never voice negative shit on facebook. Keep your politics and vitriol for private groups, if you must, but keep the negative comments and posts to a minimum. We've all got enough negativity in our lives and media feeds.

EMPATHIZE WITH OTHER'S PAIN

When people share difficult stuff on facebook they are really reaching out. Most of what we post about ourselves on facebook is the positive, happy, stuff. The WINS. When someone is struggling and is brave enough to share about it on facebook, letting down the facade of the uber-happy life, give them a boost. Let them know you are with them in spirit. Share about your own struggles. Empathize.

SEEK OUT OLD FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK

Sure you may not have liked all those "friends" from high school, but they are your tribe nonetheless. Go find new old friends. Go look at friend's pages that you haven't heard from in a while. LIKE something they posted. Start liking more posts to get those people's content to show up in your feed more frequently.

UNLIKE ALL THE RANDOM SHIT YOU LIKED

You know all those movies, bands, tv shows,  brands, products, you LIKED on facebook? Those all influence your feed. Go back and UNLIKE most of them. They are pushing out the "friends" from your feed.

BE POSITIVE

In our current time we need positivity to counter act the negativity in the media and going on around the world. Facebook should be a place where you try to share and like the good news not the bad news. Facebook really isn't a news channel, so if you're always the first to post about a new disaster, think about what you are putting into people's feeds. Share good stuff. Share about your good life. Always encourage others who are sharing and celebrating, as well as struggling. Be positive. Be more humanistic.

It's easy to transform your facebook experience. Get out there and engage with your friends, pick up new friends, and share about your wins and your losses. It'll change the way you related to facebook and the way your facebook followers relate to you.

John McEhenney

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

Sharing is nice for everyone.

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