by Bud Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Note to Readers: This is part of my Amazon Vine Voice reviews.
I was very excited when Bud Smith’s Facebook for Business in 10 Minutes (SAMS Teach Yourself, 2011) became available through my Amazon Vine gig. I’ve wanted to get my business Facebook account going and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that while reviewing his book. I’ve been putting that task off because I expected it to take hours, but if I could really do it in ten minutes, all the better. So, book in hand, I sat down at my computer and started.
Smith begins with a solid introduction to Facebook and a nice offer to explore the online edition for FREE for 45 days as part of the purchase. I know a lot about Facebook–I have a personal page–so I skimmed the overview first chapter to get to Chapter 2–Setting Up a Business-Friendly Profile Page. Turns out this chapter was mostly about getting onto Facebook, though I did learn you can’t have a business Facebook page (what used to be called a ‘fan page’ and is now simply called ‘Facebook Page’. Who forgot to mention that was confusing when they made that decision?) without attaching it to a personal one. That explained a lot about my past FB set-up failures. I hurried onward and arrived at Lesson 3–Finding and Installing Apps.
Which is where I discovered two nasty habits of Smith’s. First, he finds it difficult to stay focused on FB for business. He keeps wandering into the personal FB territory. For example, he starts his discussion on Apps with the personal page. I angrily explained to the chapter pages that this was supposed to be about business, but as I got into the book, I realized this was probably because FB for business doesn’t exist without being the stepchild of a personal page. He even warned me–“Installing apps on your business fan page is a bit different and is covered in Lesson 7.” That brings me to the second nasty habit: Smith introduces an idea and then says he’ll cover the steps later. Same thing happened with Places. This jumping around takes half my ten minute allotment before I even get started.
And about that ten minutes. I guess you can sign up for a Facebook page in ten minutes, but each task takes much longer. Smith begins each with a thorough discussion, including how it relates to the personal FB account before even introducing the business FB steps. Maybe this is important because of the critical differences, but it ended up confusing me. My guess: readers who spent a lot of time setting up personal accounts will find this less confusing, but I’m just speculating. I only spent about an hour setting up my personal account. To be honest, each STEP in this book took about an hour. I found the descriptions not as thorough as I needed and a bit confusing. Adding apps , creating tabs and claiming my Place–I never did figure these out (though that could be me). I think I got on the wrong page, mixed up between the personal mother page and which of my three business fan pages I needed to be on to accomplish the task.
My conclusion: Facebook is a good business tool, but still awkward for that purpose. I get lots of visitors to my business blogs and websites from FB so I know it works. I wish they’d allow businesses to sign up as account holders. That’s not Smith’s fault. He tried to write a book to maneuver these minefields. For that, I applaud him. Despite the many ten minute increments (more like hours) I spent getting a rudimentary page established, if not for Bud Smith, I wouldn’t have my business FB page at all.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.