You have access to each Friend’s information and Timeline as they do yours depending on each Friend’s settings deciding who gets to see what.
Each of the social media sites allows people to interact in unique ways. The Facebook description below is about just one such approach. Because each one serves its members in a particular way, it is not uncommon for one person to belong to several social media sites. That means more potential exposure for anyone who wants to promote what they do through social media. Your primary social media tool should be your email, since that usually involves anyone who has already used your services or will use them. Without becoming a nuisance, you can connect with these people intermittently to let them know what you are up to by sending a link to a recent blog post you made, etc. From there, you can branch out to some of the social media sites through Sharing Icons or even developing your own Business Page on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Those are great places to offer specials, etc.
You are able to visit anyone’s home page. How much you will be allowed to see, is up to the owner of that home page. Often you need to become that person’s Friend in order to view their content. You can Search for Friends or browse your Friend’s Friend list. Better yet you can find out who Liked a post that you liked, or Commented on it, or Shared it.
Social media sites are pretty simple to use but very hard to wrap your head around. In Facebook, for instance, you open an account and start posting whatever you want to post, with the latest post showing up first and older posts disappearing down the page (Timeline). Then you ask someone to be their Friend as others ask you to be their Friend. Friend basically means that you both agree to let the other visit their timelines make comments, share, etc. Unless you are a complete party animal, you may want to be somewhat selective at first in how you choose Friends, especially with those you know nothing about. Designating someone as Friend doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re your friend. It’s just a FB designation for someone you feel ok about interacting with, mostly on a pretty basic level.
So let’s say that Facebook limits you to 5 Friends, which which it doesn’t. Your list of five Friends is different from each of your five Friends’ list of five Friends. Because each of your five Friends group of Friends is different from your Friend group and each others’ groups, the way you experience Facebook is different than the way your Friends are experiencing it and their experience is unique to them as well.. What a mess!
Your Newsfeed is unique to you including Posts from all your Friends. However, your Friends cannot see each other’s posts since they each have their own group of Friends unique to them. The diagram on the left shows you the makeup of your unique newsfeed. On the right, Friend A sees only their unique Newsfeed which includes you since you are one of A’s friends.
Then there’s the Newsfeed, or Home. Each of your five Friends and you are regularly making FB posts. Without visiting your Friend’s FB home pages, you can see some of what they are posting by clicking on the Home button in the menu bar at the top on the right, which brings you to your Newsfeed. Like the Timeline, the most recent posts are at the top and move down the page as new posts appear at the top. Unlike the Timeline it’s not just your posts, but some of your Friends’ posts as well. Which ones appear are decided by some mysterious cyber force. Reading your timeline is somewhat akin to reading the daily newspaper except that the news is being generated by your Friends and no two newsfeeds carry the same stories. Oddly, what your Friends post about can be pretty compelling, even addictive. Addictive means captive audience which is why social media is well worth the effort to learn your way around. What you see in the newsfeed is unique to you only. Since your Friends are reading posts in their newsfeeds that their particular group of Friends are writing, they’re not seeing your Friends’ posts and your not seeing their Friends posts.
Now, to make this really exciting, no one is limited to having just five Friends and some people have into the thousands! The problem is that regardless of the numbers you remain somewhat isolated from all those Friends’ Friends. What allows you to break through those barriers is Liking, Commenting and Sharing which your friends can do with your post and you can do with theirs. Once your post is Liked or Commented on they leave a fingerprint on your post that others, outside your circle of Friends can see. If someone Shares your Post, they can decide who they want to show it to. It’s at this level of interaction that the word-of-mouth process becomes really dynamic.
Liking, Commenting and Sharing breaks through the walls separating Newsfeeds.
If one of my Friend’s posts something and one of their Friends, not in my circle of Friends, comments on the post, then I can see that comment in the Newsfeed and if I choose, I can comment on the comment. I can also visit the commenter’s home page and learn something about them and perhaps invite them to be my Friend. Normally, if one of my Friends makes a post, then I can see it in my newsfeed, but my other Friends cannot see it in their newsfeeds. However, If I value my Friend’s post, I can share it and it will be seen in my Friends’ newsfeeds as well. Like and Comment also break through the isolation barriers. Like, by the way essentially means that you think a post is worthy of sharing, which often means that you really like it as well, but not necessarily so. Who you Friend and what you Like should not be taken as an accurate barometer of your personal tastes. Commenting allows you to be clearer about how you actually regard the post.
As I said, easy to do, hard to comprehend! The thing to focus on is what you post and how you interact. This is not a good venue for hard sell. You can post whatever you want, but unless it’s interesting to others, it won’t get Liked, Commented on or Shared and thus will be of little value to your business. If you are too heavy handed promoting your business you might get ‘Unfriended’ in a hurry. No one wants to see your commercials. Friends are pretty open to your accomplishments though as well as information they might find useful and in fact, your posts might have nothing to do with your business at all yet still draw people to your business. If folks become interested in you they might get curious about what you do.