Getting Noticed on Facebook by Beth Becker & Neal Rauhauser

By at June 2, 2011 | 5:27 pm | Print

Getting Noticed on Facebook by Beth Becker & Neal Rauhauser

Facebook is like any other medium; a picture tells a thousand words. If you’ve got a camera and an internet connection you can do a bang up job of presenting your campaign.

First things first, you need some photos. A professional portrait has its place, but in keeping with the unfinished feel and immediacy of social media you should really endeavor to get a good shot at an event every few weeks at a bare minimum. Be in focus, be in context, and make sure people will recognize your face. Any $200 point and shoot camera will do and adding a $30 Joby Gorillapod – a small tripod with flexible legs – will allow the full range of photographic activities needed without breaking the bank.

You need a place to keep photos that is probably NOT your campaign web site. Seriously, my day job involved managing lots of servers and a very high speed network. I could drop ten thousand high resolution photos into our data center and no one would miss the space or the capacity if the many people decided to look all at once. But I keep a Flickr account which I use for all my image hosting.

Flickr, more than any other service, has a solid mix of features, and unlike Photobucket it has no Rupert Murdoch paw prints on it. You can get an account with a hundred megabyte upload limit and no monthly usage cap for free. That upload limit is about thirty full sized images from a point and shoot camera, which should be plenty for a small campaign. If you find yourself overrunning that limit the $24.95 annual fee isn’t going to break the bank either.

So why are we doing this rather than using Facebook’s native photo handling? Simple – we’re going to reference the photo we need in a blog post, and when we share that blog post on Facebook we’ll have the option of picking from among the images found on the page with the blog post.

Every blog system of any size recognizes the more common photo sharing sites so that should not be a problem. Adding the photo is pretty easy, there’s just one tricky part. Open the photo you want, choose the Share This option, and choose Grab HTML. Here’s the trick – you only need the link to the static image, not all the HTML. Hunt in the dialog box for where it says

Why is this so important?  Two reasons.  One posting photos to your Facebook, to your Twitter via a service like [ Twitpic] and in your blog posts add color and community to your campaign.  It makes your campaign feel less robotic to the average citizen and more engaging.  Second, people love to see themselves in the spotlight.  Hint: when you post pictures that include people other than your candidate, make sure you list their names as well.

Beth Becker and Neal Rauhauser are the principals of Progressive PST, a social media consulting company that specializes in working with Gubernatorial, House and Senate campaigns.  They are also the co-founders of the Blog Workers Industrial Union.    212 642 2675


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