Utilizing Social Media to Network

Social media is not just for venting political beliefs or goofing off. If you’re smart about your approach you can leverage social media strengths to achieve your professional goals.

Social media is not just for venting political beliefs or goofing off. If you’re smart about your approach you can leverage social media strengths to achieve your professional goals.

Don’t sell it

Photos of social meida icons
Social media is a place where people go to learn and connect. It is not your personal sales funnel. It’s a place for leisure, connecting, and learning. You can develop your profile as a thought leader and industry professional. It’s important to frame your posts as an offering for the public good, as opposed to a direct sales call.

Utilize the Network

Social media is the place to network. Utilize LinkedIn’s introduction feature to meet folks in the industry or companies you’d like to work. Again, even on LinkedIn, the objective should not be a hard sell. Frame your introduction request with an effort to bring something to the table.

Consider learning as a major objective of spending time on Social Media Platforms. Follow folks who will contribute to your professional development. Goof off, ok we all do it, but goof off partly by looking at inspirational work.

Portfolio Networks

Utilizing social media technologies as part of portfolio platforms is becoming more mainstream. People will be looking at your work, so be sure that your pieces are up to the quality that you’d expect to see from others. Look, they’ll always be better designers or more skilled tacticians in whatever field. Put up your best work and have it tell a story.  These platforms are not just galleries of work, they’re social platforms. Solicit feedback and give it.

A few portfolio websites to be aware of:

A little thing called usability

There is no surer way to establish the intuitiveness of your work than to have someone else use it. You can take the usability very far (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usability_testing). If you’ve got the time and resources to do this, great, but most of us don’t commit to true usability testing. And, if you can’t, then have a friend click around a bit in your own portfolio website and/or show them your portfolio and get some responses.

Add value (and avoid the rant)

If you like to rant, social media can be an excellent platform for it. Ranting, however heartfelt, also leaves a trail of potentially off-putting comments and assertions. If you must express yourself in ways that might seem untoward, create a new account that is strictly for your professional life. Creatives are welcoming and by nature open minded… being a part of the culture may require a shift in your communication style. Employers are looking at social media to get a grasp of who you are.

Get on the local train

Local is huge. The ability to travel to your client easily and have some face time makes a big difference to many people. Look the part. Does your town have a vibe? Is there a way you can incorporate that into your online persona. Connect with local networking groups (both online and in-person) and participate.

Emulate your heroes

Take some time to analyze how the people you follow utilize social media.

  • What do they post?
  • How often do they post?
  • When do they post?
  • What’s the length of their contributions?
  • What does their profile picture look like?

Determine what works for you and why. Then do that.

Facebook JavaScript SDK

Want to make your website or web app more engaging? Consider utilizing Facebook’s JavaScript SDK to personalize and socialize your audience’s experience. In this article I’ll break down Facebook’s JavaScript SDK documentation to explore how to integrate the data in Facebook with your page or app.

Why use Facebook Data?

Facebook for developersThe Facebook open graph api is a method to integrate Facebook data into your website or web app. This is good because you can personalize your website experience for your audience. Utilizing the SDK is also useful as a method to have folks login in. It’s a super convenient method of authentication and according to Facebook’s documentation increases conversions.

The documentation can be a bit overwhelming. I’ve tried to break it down for you here.

What can it do?

Facebook JavaScript SDK (Software Development Kit) is one way (of many) to interact with (i.e. get  from and post to) the data in Facebook.
Their main quick-start documentation can be found here: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/javascript/quickstart

JavaScript LogoFacebook offers a few main categories for integration.

    1. Social Plugins
    2. Facebook Login
    3. Facebook Graph API
    4. Dialogs
    5. Game and Page Tabs

Social Plugins

Social plugins are easy-to-use bits of code that you plug-in to your webpage. Things like adding a like button or a embedding a page/post into your site are made very easy with just a small amount of web programming knowledge.

This page will guide you to adding social plugins on your site: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/

Facebook Login

The Facebook Login allows you to establish a connection with Facebook. Want to serve up someone’s name and birthday? You’ll need to login first.

Account Creation: people to quickly and easily create an account in your app without having to set a password.

Personalization: Facebook login lets you access information which would be complex or arduous to collect

Social: Highly retentive apps let people connect with their friends in order to enable shared in-app experiences.

Some advantages of utilizing the Facebook Login include:

  • Real Identity
  • Cross Platform Login
  • Offers Another Signup Option
  • Granular Permissions
       Offers people control over what they share
  • Gradual Authorization – you can re-request information later or request partial information to further enhance the experience.

Login ReviewLogin with Facebook Graphic

Apps may ask for the following permissions from any person without submitting for review:

If you want more information, you’ll need to submit your permission for review.
Permission Review Request URL: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/facebook-login/review

While in developing your Facebook Login experience, anyone listed in the Roles section of your app’s dashboard will be able to grant any valid permission without approval from Facebook.

Facebook SDK for JavaScript

With the Facebook SDK for JavaScript you can make calls to the Facebook Graph API.

The Graph API is the way to read and write to the Facebook Social Graph.

The graph is a low level HTTP-based API (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_API). What that means basically is that you get or post the information using a program that has an HTTP library. One example of this would be a browser (e.g. Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari).

The Graph API is named after the idea of a social graph that consists of:

  • Nodes – the “things” such as a User, Photo, a Page, a Comment
  • Edges – the connections between those “things,” such a as a Page’s Photos, or a Photo’s comments
  • Fields – info about those “things” such as a persons birthday, or the name of the page.

The Graph API is HTTP based, so it works with any language that has an HTTP library.

Most Graph API request require the use of access tokens which your app can generate by implementing Facebook Login.

Almost all requests are passed to the API at graph.facebook.com – the single exception is video uploads which use graph-video.facebook.com

Each node has a unique ID which is used to access it via the Graph API.

GET graph.facebook.com

GET graph.facebook.com

The Graph API has multiple versions available to access at any one time. Each version contains a set of core fields and edge operations. You can make a call to a specific version by prepending the version identifier.

GET graph.facebook.com

The easiest way to understand the Graph API is to use it with the Graph API Explorer, a low-level tool you can use to query, add and remove data.



Dialogs, Games, App Tabs

Facebook SDK for JavaScript Allows for dialogs that let people perform various actions like sharing stories.

Facilitates communication when you building a game


an app tab

Facebook JavaScript SDK Tools

The Explorer

The explorer is a way to “play” around with permissions, and equally important see how the data is passed to JavaScript.


The Console

The console is a place to put your code to test it.


Getting Started with the Basic Setup


The Facebook JavaScript SDK doesn’t have anything to download or install, simply include a bit of JavaScript in your HTML and it will asynchronously load the SDK into your pages.

   window.fbAsyncInit = function() {
     appId      : 'your-app-id',
     xfbml      : true,
     version    : 'v2.8'
(function(d, s, id){
    var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
    if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;}
    js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
    js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js";
    fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
   }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

If you set status to true in the FB.init() call, the SDK will attempt to get info about the current user immediately after init. Doing this can reduce the time it takes to check for the state of a logged in user if you’re using Facebook Login, but isn’t useful for pages that only have social plugins on them.

You can use FB.getLoginStatus to get a person’s login state.




Trigger a Share Dialogue:

Facebook Login:

Call The Graph API

Using Frameworks

Facebook Reference

Connecting to Social Media APIs

Connecting to APIs makes for a better experience


As I have spoken about in the past, the social media modality triggers deep aspects of our psychological nature. Through social media you are exposed. People know what you’ve posted and what you like. You know how many of your friends, and what friends, like a product or idea. It activates cognitive biases like in-group favoritism and the consistency principal.

This is good for the owners of social media platforms. Clicking into cognitive bias is addictive. This fact is not lost on these owners. They utilize web technologies like JavaScript AJAX to display in new posts without the visitors to the site having to take any action, a la the endless news feed. That constant (re)inforcement of in-group and consistency principals combined with the Zeigarnik effect (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeigarnik_effect), where folks are inclined to finish an uncompleted task, makes for an extremely compelling case for adding social media elements and techniques to your content.

This is great. Utilize social media in your messaging and you too can tap into this amazing marketing resource. The only problem is that Facebook and Twitter and all other social media platforms are doing it on someone else’s website. Visitors are not clicking on your buy now button if they’re on the facebook.com domain.


Social Media Platforms are Sharing Too


Luckily for us it is to the advantage of social media platform owners to share their content. They do this through a standard web development mechanism called the application programming interface (API – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_programming_interface). As per Wikipedia, “an application programming interface is a set of subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools for building software applications.”

Whoa, what does that mean? APIs take the content from web services and break it down into discrete pieces. For example, you can connect with the Facebook’s Graph API and get information about users on facebook.


As facebook describes it on their overview page (https://developers.facebook.com/docs/graph-api/overview) The Graph API “is a low-level HTTP-based API that you can use to query data, post new stories, manage ads, upload photos and a variety of other tasks that an app might need to do.” That’s a long way of saying that you can get (literally using the GET method) information from Facebook through http. HTTP is most commonly utilized in a browser. The webpage you’re looking at was delivered to you via HTTP (look at the start of the location in the location bar at the top of your browser… http or possibly https (s is for security)). That means with a browser you can see information from the Facebook Graph API. You can also get this information via programming languages like PHP, JavaScript, etc. Check out the reference here: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/graph-api/reference/.


That’s a lot of information to grab from Facebook and other platforms have APIs as well. You can take information from one API and mix it with another to create new ways to interact and consume with content.

Social Media meets Social Psychology

Using Social Psychology in Social Media Marketing - Half Full Using Social Psychology in Social Media Marketing - Half Full

Utilizing cognitive bias to help frame your messages

Psst…  I’m going to tell you something that folks have been taking advantage of for years.

How you frame a message sometimes has more impact than the message itself.

I’ll tell you what I mean.

We are influenced by what social psychologists call cognitive biases (note the plural). You, me, your great-grandmother, the guy down the street, the person you last talked to on the phone… everyone has cognitive bias. Marketers have been using cognitive bias to influence you for years. It’s time you took some of that power to shape your own social media messages.

There are hundreds if not thousands of cognitive biases. Let’s identify a few and give some examples of how you might incorporate them into your campaigns.

What is a cognitive bias?

First off let’s get our minds around exactly what a cognitive bias is. Wikipedia defines cognitive bias as:

A cognitive bias refers to a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. Individuals create their own “subjective social reality” from their perception of the input.


Whoa, what does that mean?

Well put more simply, a cognitive bias is the tendency for folks to filter messages through their experiences and belief systems. For example, folks see the above glasses as half full or half empty? How your audience answers that question might indicate how receptive they might be to one type of message or another.

As a side note, utilizing cognitive bias in one’s social media campaigns necessitates  a well thought out persona of your audience, but that’s a talk for another time.

Examples of Cognitive Bias

Ok, let’s jump in with a few examples of cognitive bias and how you might use it in your messaging.

The Endowment Effect

This is the fact that people tend to ascribe more value to things merely because they own them.

Ways you might use it in your messaging:

  • Find ways to offer ownership in your campaigns.
  • Ask questions.
  • Encourage sharing.
  • Encourage participation.
  • Encourage audience to invite friends to participate.
  • More?

This next one is related…

Loss Aversion

It has to do with the idea that the pain of loss is almost twice as strong as the reward from a gain.

  • Discover your customer’s challenges and reservations, and alleviate their concerns up front.
  • Risk-free trials and money-back guarantees are one way to deal with loss aversion.
  • Remove the fear of loss from the equation.

In-group favoritismWorking out cognitive bias

This refers to how we favor members of our in-group over out-group members. For example, people will seek to make more internal (dispositional) attributions for events that reflect positively on groups they belong to and more external (situational) attributions for events that reflect negatively on their groups.

To use it in your messaging…

  • Create tiers or levels of engagement.
  • Reward your audience by giving them a special status.

Consistency Principle

People will change their opinion to confirm with their previous statements or actions.

To use it in your messaging…

  • Have audience contribute or approve a message.
  • Have audience share message or better have them create their own message in line with your goals.
  • Try to have your audience make a public commitment.

We’re just scratching the surface

There are MANY cognitive biases. This is just four. To give you some idea of the depth of this research see the list below.

One more thing

People are smart and they don’t like being taken for a dupe. If someone notices that you’ve been trying to pull their strings it will be a significant turn-off. That being said, we’re all wired the same way. Utilizing techniques related to cognitive bias could make a big difference in the affect and effect of your message.

A list

Ambiguity effect   The tendency to avoid options for which missing information makes the probability seem “unknown.”Anchoring or focalism   The tendency to rely too heavily, or “anchor,” on one trait or piece of information when making decisions (usually the first piece of information that we acquire on that subject)
Attentional bias   The tendency of our perception to be affected by our recurring thoughts.
Availability heuristic   The tendency to overestimate the likelihood of events with greater “availability” in memory, which can be influenced by how recent the memories are or how unusual or emotionally charged they may be.
Availability cascade   A self-reinforcing process in which a collective belief gains more and more plausibility through its increasing repetition in public discourse (or “repeat something long enough and it will become true”).
Backfire effect   When people react to disconfirming evidence by strengthening their beliefs.
Bandwagon effect   The tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Related to groupthink and herd behavior.
Base rate fallacy or base rate neglect   The tendency to ignore base rate information (generic, general information) and focus on specific information (information only pertaining to a certain case).
Belief bias   An effect where someone’s evaluation of the logical strength of an argument is biased by the believability of the conclusion.
Bias blind spot   The tendency to see oneself as less biased than other people, or to be able to identify more cognitive biases in others than in oneself.
Cheerleader effect   The tendency for people to appear more attractive in a group than in isolation.
Choice-supportive bias   The tendency to remember one’s choices as better than they actually were.
Clustering illusion   The tendency to overestimate the importance of small runs, streaks, or clusters in large samples of random data (that is, seeing phantom patterns).
Confirmation bias   The tendency to search for, interpret, focus on and remember information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions.
Congruence bias   The tendency to test hypotheses exclusively through direc testing, instead of testing possible alternative hypotheses.
Conjunction fallacy   The tendency to assume that specific conditions are more probable than general ones.
Conservatism or regressive bias   A certain state of mind wherein high values and high likelihoods are overestimated while low values and low likelihoods are underestimated.
Conservatism (Bayesian)   The tendency to revise one’s belief insufficiently when presented with new evidence.
Contrast effect   The enhancement or reduction of a certain perception’s stimuli when compared with a recently observed, contrasting object.
Curse of knowledge   When better-informed people find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed people.
Decoy effect   Preferences for either option A or B changes in favor of option B when option C is presented, which is similar to option B but in no way better.
Denomination effect   The tendency to spend more money when it is denominated in small amounts (e.g. coins) rather than large amounts (e.g. bills).
Distinction bias   The tendency to view two options as more dissimilar when evaluating them simultaneously than when evaluating them separately.
Duration neglect   The neglect of the duration of an episode in determining its value
Empathy gap   The tendency to underestimate the influence or strength of feelings, in either oneself or others.
Endowment effect   The fact that people often demand much more to give up an object than they would be willing to pay to acquire it.
Essentialism   Categorizing people and things according to their essential nature, in spite of variations.
Exaggerated expectation   Based on the estimates, real-world evidence turns out to be less extreme than our expectations (conditionally inverse of the conservatism bias).
Experimenter’s or expectation bias   The tendency for experimenters to believe, certify, and publish data that agree with their expectations for the outcome of an experiment, and to disbelieve, discard, or downgrade the corresponding weightings for data that appear to conflict with those expectations.
Focusing effect   The tendency to place too much importance on one aspect of an event.
Forer effect or Barnum effect   The observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. This effect can provide a partial explanation for the widespread acceptance of some beliefs and practices, such as astrology, fortune telling, graphology, and some types of personality tests.
Framing effect   Drawing different conclusions from the same information, depending on how or by whom that information is presented.
Frequency illusion   The illusion in which a word, a name or other thing that has recently come to one’s attention suddenly seems to appear with improbable frequency shortly afterwards (see also recency illusion).[37] Colloquially, this illusion is known as the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.
Functional fixedness   Limits a person to using an object only in the way it is traditionally used.
Gambler’s fallacy   The tendency to think that future probabilities are altered by past events, when in reality they are unchanged. Results from an erroneous conceptualization of the law of large numbers. For example, “I’ve flipped heads with this coin five times consecutively, so the chance of tails coming out on the sixth flip is much greater than heads.”
Hard–easy effect   Based on a specific level of task difficulty, the confidence in judgments is too conservative and not extreme enough.
Hindsight bias   Sometimes called the “I-knew-it-all-along” effect, the tendency to see past events as being predictable at the time those events happened.
Hostile media effect   The tendency to see a media report as being biased, owing to one’s own strong partisan views.
Hot-hand fallacy   The “hot-hand fallacy” (also known as the “hot hand phenomenon” or “hot hand”) is the fallacious belief that a person who has experienced success has a greater chance of further success in additional attempts.
Hyperbolic discounting   Discounting is the tendency for people to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs. Hyperbolic discounting leads to choices that are inconsistent over time – people make choices today that their future selves would prefer not to have made, despite using the same reasoning. Also known as current moment bias, present-bias, and related to Dynamic inconsistency.
Identifiable victim effect   The tendency to respond more strongly to a single identified person at risk than to a large group of people at risk.
IKEA effect   The tendency for people to place a disproportionately high value on objects that they partially assembled themselves, such as furniture from IKEA, regardless of the quality of the end result.
Illusion of control   The tendency to overestimate one’s degree of influence over other external events.
Illusion of validity   Belief that furtherly acquired information generates additional relevant data for predictions, even when it evidently does not.
Illusory correlation   Inaccurately perceiving a relationship between two unrelated events.
Impact bias   The tendency to overestimate the length or the intensity of the impact of future feeling states.
Information bias  The tendency to seek information even when it cannot affect action.
Insensitivity to sample size   The tendency to under-expect variation in small samples
Irrational escalation   The phenomenon where people justify increased investment in a decision, based on the cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the decision was probably wrong. Also known as the sunk cost fallacy.
Less-is-better effect   The tendency to prefer a smaller set to a larger set judged separately, but not jointly
Loss aversion   “the disutility of giving up an object is greater than the utility associated with acquiring it”.(see also Sunk cost effects and endowment effect).
Mere exposure effect   The tendency to express undue liking for things merely because of familiarity with them.
Money illusion   The tendency to concentrate on the nominal value (face value) of money rather than its value in terms of purchasing power.
Moral credential effect   The tendency of a track record of non-prejudice to increase subsequent prejudice.
Negativity effect   The tendency of people, when evaluating the causes of the behaviors of a person they dislike, to attribute their positive behaviors to the environment and their negative behaviors to the person’s inherent nature.
Negativity bias   Psychological phenomenon by which humans have a greater recall of unpleasant memories compared with positive memories.
Neglect of probability   The tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty.
Normalcy bias   The refusal to plan for, or react to, a disaster which has never happened before.
Not invented here   Aversion to contact with or use of products, research, standards, or knowledge developed outside a group. Related to IKEA effect.
Observation selection bias   The effect of suddenly noticing things that were not noticed previously – and as a result wrongly assuming that the frequency has increased.
Observer-expectancy effect   When a researcher expects a given result and therefore unconsciously manipulates an experiment or misinterprets data in order to find it (see also subject-expectancy effect).
Omission bias   The tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions (inactions).
Optimism bias   The tendency to be over-optimistic, overestimating favorable and pleasing outcomes (see also wishful thinking, valence effect, positive outcome bias).
Ostrich effect   Ignoring an obvious (negative) situation.
Outcome bias   The tendency to judge a decision by its eventual outcome instead of based on the quality of the decision at the time it was made.
Overconfidence effect   Excessive confidence in one’s own answers to questions. For example, for certain types of questions, answers that people rate as “99% certain” turn out to be wrong 40% of the time.
Pareidolia   A vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) is perceived as significant, e.g., seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, and hearing non-existent hidden messages on records played in reverse.
Pessimism bias   The tendency for some people, especially those suffering from depression, to overestimate the likelihood of negative things happening to them.
Planning fallacy   The tendency to underestimate task-completion times.
Post-purchase rationalization   The tendency to persuade oneself through rational argument that a purchase was a good value.
Pro-innovation bias   The tendency to have an excessive optimism towards an invention or innovation’s usefulness throughout society, while often failing to identify its limitations and weaknesses.
Pseudocertainty effect   The tendency to make risk-averse choices if the expected outcome is positive, but make risk-seeking choices to avoid negative outcomes.
Reactance   The urge to do the opposite of what someone wants you to do out of a need to resist a perceived attempt to constrain your freedom of choice (see also Reverse psychology).
Reactive devaluation   Devaluing proposals only because they are purportedly originated with an adversary.
Recency illusion   The illusion that a word or language usage is a recent innovation when it is in fact long-established (see also frequency illusion).
Restraint bias   The tendency to overestimate one’s ability to show restraint in the face of temptation.
Rhyme as reason effect   Rhyming statements are perceived as more truthful. A famous example being used in the O.J Simpson trial with the defense’s use of the phrase “If the gloves don’t fit, then you must acquit.”
Risk compensation / Peltzman effect   The tendency to take greater risks when perceived safety increases.
Selective perception   The tendency for expectations to affect perception.
Semmelweis reflex   The tendency to reject new evidence that contradicts a paradigm.
Social comparison bias   The tendency, when making hiring decisions, to favour potential candidates who don’t compete with one’s own particular strengths.
Social desirability bias   The tendency to over-report socially desirable characteristics or behaviours in one self and under-report socially undesirable characteristics or behaviours.
Status quo bias   The tendency to like things to stay relatively the same (see also loss aversion, endowment effect, and system justification).
Stereotyping   Expecting a member of a group to have certain characteristics without having actual information about that individual.
Subadditivity effect   The tendency to judge probability of the whole to be less than the probabilities of the parts.
Subjective validation   Perception that something is true if a subject’s belief demands it to be true. Also assigns perceived connections between coincidences.
Survivorship bias   Concentrating on the people or things that “survived” some process and inadvertently overlooking those that didn’t because of their lack of visibility.
Time-saving bias   Underestimations of the time that could be saved (or lost) when increasing (or decreasing) from a relatively low speed and overestimations of the time that could be saved (or lost) when increasing (or decreasing) from a relatively high speed.
Unit bias   The tendency to want to finish a given unit of a task or an item. Strong effects on the consumption of food in particular.
Well travelled road effect   Underestimation of the duration taken to traverse oft-traveled routes and overestimation of the duration taken to traverse less familiar routes.
Zero-risk bias   Preference for reducing a small risk to zero over a greater reduction in a larger risk.
Zero-sum heuristic   Intuitively judging a situation to be zero-sum (i.e., that gains and losses are correlated). Derives from the zero-sum game in game theory, where wins and losses sum to zero.[69][70] The frequency with which this bias occurs may be related to the social dominance orientation personality factor.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases