IBOA International

The Independent Business Owners Association International, Inc. (IBOAI) is the advocacy organization for North American Independent Business Owners (IBOs) affiliated with Amway®. The IBOAI advises Amway on every facet of the North American business, from products and promotions to operations and business guidelines. The IBOAI and Amway are dedicated to partnering for success with your input, support and participation.

Social Media Tips Social Media Tips

Social Media Tip 1

If you're new to social media, start off with a whisper and test your way before striking up the big band. Try creating a MySpace page with some very basic information about yourself to create a Web presence, or register with Facebook and create a simple profile to start. Test out other applications like uploading photos or music, posting comments, and reviewing books. Once you're familiar with the site, experiment with it and have fun. Be social but be safe!

Social Media Tip 2

Whatever social media site you join, before you start inviting people get to know the site and what it offers. Facebook is full of diversions like games, groups, and other applications. LinkedIn offers groups, questions, and recommendations. When you do invite people to join your page, start with a few friends and family. Learn how to interact with them before you start interacting with colleagues or business prospects. Recognize the special nature of each site and how each group of members uses it, so you can make the most of it. Check out privacy and security settings for your comfort level.

Social Media Tip 3

What name, username, or "handle" should you use on your social media site? That's totally up to you, within the guidelines of the Amway North America Rules of Conduct. Some people use their name, while some use a play on their name. Some people use something intriguing or mysterious. If you have a common name like Smith or Jones, your options may be more limited - you can always combine it with a number or an interesting secondary word. Or do something off-the-wall - just make it unique for you. Remember, you can't use an Amway trade name or trademark in any part of it.

Social Media Tip 4

One of the first things you should add to your social media page is an "avatar" or photo. For many, a person without a photo (or a graphic of some kind) is an amateur and won’t attract many followers. The most appreciated is a recent photo. As you will see, photos can be straight portraits or imaginative casual shots; graphics can be business logos, cartoon characters, or app renderings of actual photos - just don't violate anyone's copyright or trademark! Remember, you can't use an Amway logo or product here.

Social Media Tip 5

Your social media page is your opportunity to tell the world about yourself. While you should be careful what personal information you publish for the world to take, you should tell those who want to interact with you a little bit about you. Some long-time social media mavens won't follow someone who doesn't include information about himself or herself - it's just good etiquette! On Twitter, you're limited to 160 characters, but you can be creative and descriptive and still tell others why they should be interested in you. Remember, you can't offer to sell products or sponsor anyone in this space.

Social Media Tip 6

If you manage more than one social media account, you can easily share the same message across multiple accounts. For instance, if you post something on Facebook, you can automatically post it on Twitter. If you post it on Twitter, you can simultaneously post it on LinkedIn. It's actually easy to post between Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and sharing posts saves you time. However, you should make sure that you want to share any particular post between accounts. Some accounts require you to share posts all the time until you change settings, some allow you to select when you want to share, and some make it easy to switch back and forth on the fly, as on LinkedIn.

Social Media Tip 7

A privacy setting on Facebook called "Instant Personalization" shared data with non-Facebook websites and was automatically set to "Allow." If you’re uncomfortable with this, go to Account > Privacy Settings and under Applications and Websites click the "Edit your settings" link, then beside "What you're using" either click "Turn off all platform applications" to disable it or click "Remove unwanted or spammy applications" to revise your list.

Social Media Tip 8

Facebook has recently changed its Privacy Settings page, simplifying how they show your current privacy settings. They have been rolling out the changes over the last couple of weeks. Read about the changes on Facebook's explanation page. On the Privacy Settings page, use the "View settings" link to see your Facebook privacy settings in detail and “Customize settings” to make changes. At the bottom of the page, under "Applications and Websites," use "Edit your settings" to view or change any privacy settings for non-Facebook applications and websites (see Tip 7).

Social Media Tip 9

Did you know that many of your Facebook friends may share one or more of their phone numbers online? To see if any of your Facebook friends lists a Land or Mobile number, while you're logged into Facebook go to "Account" (upper right hand corner) and drop down to "Edit Friends." Then look in the left-hand navigation list for Phonebook. Click on "Phonebook" to show all the friends and their numbers. If you don't want your phone number to appear on other friends' phonebooks, delete it from the Contact Information section on your Profile or change it under "Contact information" in your Privacy Setting.

Social Media Tip 10

Facebook Places is the newest check-in app, which lets you tell the world where you are at any moment. It was automatically included in Facebook’s latest mobile upgrade. For some, it's fun to trace out your whirlwind day. For others, it's a way to tell home invaders when you're away or intruders where to find you. If you like showing the world your movements, Facebook Places is active by default. If you don't like it, you can easily disable it: Take "Account" to "Privacy Settings", and then click on "Customize Settings." Scroll down to "Things I Share" and "Places I check in to," which should be set to "Friends only" by default - click on the arrow by "Friends only" and either select "Only me" (or "Customize" and then "Only me"). Beneath "Places I check in to" should be "Includes me in 'People Here Now' after I check in" - uncheck "Enable." Your friends may be able to tag when you're at a place, too. To disable this, scroll down from "Things I share” to “Things others share” and across from "Friends can check me into Places" click on the arrow next to "Enabled" and choose "Disabled" instead. Other popular mobile check-in applications unrelated to Places to be aware of are Foursquare and Gowalla.

Social Media Tip 11

You have probably noticed the appearance of ads on the right side of your friends’ Facebook profile pages. Often, a wide range of businesses and causes show up, but many of them come up again and again, sometimes not messages you appreciate having to read. Did you know that you can close an ad from your screen? If you see an ad that you find offensive or otherwise unsuitable, click the "X" in its upper right-hand corner. You will then be asked why you don't like the ad: "uninteresting," "misleading," "offensive," "repetitive," or "other" (and you will be given a little text box to explain what "other" means to you). You may also Report an Ad for violating Facebook's ad guidelines, in which case after investigation Facebook may remove the ad.

Social Media Tip 12

LinkedIn is the social networking site for professionals. It’s meant to connect people who know each other or are familiar with each other’s work. However, there are other ways to connect besides direct connections. For instance, you can ask a direct connection for an introduction to someone else with whom they are connected. Or you can meet people by joining Groups, the interactions from which relationships often spring. And, you can interact with people in the Answers section, answering questions and sharing your expertise - provide valuable answers and people may ask to connect with you. However, as always, be careful of those with whom you accept a connection.

Social Media Tip 13

One of the most recent changes on Facebook is to your profile page. It now displays information about you in a different, more engaging way that Facebook feels makes it easier to begin conversations with others - new people you meet or people you've re-met after a long time. For instance, it includes any photos that were tagged with your name. It also includes some basic information about you, like your occupation, where you live, areas of study, and so on. You can change some of this information (look for the "Edit Profile" button) to focus the attention of readers as you want, and you can highlight which friends or family are featured on your profile page, plus you can create new groups to feature, all as conversation starters. Learn more on Facebook's "Introducing the New Profile" page.

Social Media Tip 14

It’s easy to "like" a page on Facebook, and it's fairly easy to unlike that page individually. However, what about if you want to review all the pages you've liked or if you want to unlike several at a time? For instance, what if you don't remember all the pages that you've liked and want to see if any are out-of-date? Or what if you know there are several you want to unlike, but you don’t have time to hunt them down individually? Log in to Facebook and using the left-hand navigation links, click on "Edit Profile" and then "Activities & Interests." On the right side, look for the link at the bottom that says "Show Other Pages" and click it. A page of your current likes should pop up, showing a button for "remove page" (which means "unlike") next to each. Learn more in the New York Times article, "How to Unlike Pages on Facebook."

Social Media Tip 15

Before you begin social networking - or even if you’re already an active networker - take a look at Amway’s new "Using Social Media for Your Amway Business," guidelines to using social media. They will help you make the most out of your social networking efforts and help you abide by Amway's IBO Rules of Conduct while doing so. You can even download this pdf document for convenient referral.