Archive for September, 2010

Facebook Page Group or Profile, which one do you choose?

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 | Social Networking with No Comments »

A few weeks ago, I went through and did some Facebook maintenance.  As I was going through, I decided to leave a lot of groups.  I was getting lots of messages from them and I never actually went in and looked at most of them.  So, I cleared the clutter and left only a small amount that I’m really interested in.

Facebook is a great place to get your business noticed.  You can gain huge visibility and fill the trust bucket for your potential clients easily.  For most coaches, it can a big business and trust booster!  Too often, I find myself explaining the difference between a Facebook Page, Group and Profile.  So not only do I want to quickly cover the differences for you, I’m also going to give you some things to think about so you can decide  which one will work best for you, as a coach.

Before I get into the differences, you need to know a few things.

1)  Does your target market mind sharing with people that they are interested in your particular topic?

2)  Is your target market more interested in discussion or learning?

3)  Would your target market prefer to read at their leisure or receive information by e-mail or both?

4)  Is your target market conversational, but only in private?

Facebook GROUPS

So, if you think of Facebook groups like google groups or yahoo groups, it’s pretty much the same thing.  The only difference is you can’t share files.  The very huge disadvantage of a group is that the conversation is limited to the space provided for the group.  So, all members need to physically go into the group to keep up with the dialogue.  You can send a message to the group to stimulate conversation, but no one will see the updates unless they click through to the group.

For coaches, I usually only recommend using groups when you have a group of people who do not like to speak openly about the topic you work with.  Career coaches and many life coaches run into this.  Their target market doesn’t want to be “public” about their exploration of the topic, for fear of losing their job etc… If this is the case, then a private group where only those you invite in can be members is the best way to go.

Is there a wall? Yes

Is there a Discussion Forum? Yes

Is it Private? If you choose so, you can make it invite only

Does Google Index? No

Can you e-mail members? Yes, you can e-mail all members of a group

Is there a cap on members? Yes, you can’t have more than 5000 members in a group

Facebook PAGE

A Facebook Page can be set up as a business profile or a person profile.  Depending on whether or not you are the face of the business, you can choose accordingly.  Pages are open to the public and indexed by google (so choose your title with that in mind).  The great part about pages is that everything you post on your page wall shows up in your followers feed.  So, people will get notified when something new is added.  Then they can easily access it and join in the conversation.

I recommend pages to coaches if they are looking to gain exposure for their business.  You can create discussion on your wall and then carry it to the discussion forum if you wish.  You just have to remember that the whole world can see these pages, so try not to start conversations that require personal answers.  This is a great place to share resources that pertain to your topic.  You can also create events for your business and e-mail all your followers about what’s going on with you and/or your business.

Is there a wall? Yes

Is there a Discussion Forum? Yes

Is it Private? No

Does Google Index? Yes

Can you e-mail fans? Yes, you can e-mail all those who “Like” your page

Is there a cap on members? No

Facebook PROFILE

Your profile is the first thing Facebook gives you.  It comes automatically the moment you set up your Facebook account.  There’s a big debate among marketers as to whether you should use your Facebook profile for business or JUST use the business page and keep only your TRUE personal friends on your profile.  This is a very personal choice.

There are some great advantages for opening up your profile to business contacts.  First of all, it allows you to become “friends” with people so you can easily see what they are up to.  With a page or group it’s very one-sided where you put out information and they respond.  If you are “friends” with someone, then you see their updates in your feed. You can easily see what’s going on in their world and jump in with your own two cents.  It’s also easier to start a conversation with an individual via their wall or a message.

The great part about the new Facebook profile is you can choose who sees your posts.  If you group your friends, you can open your posts only to specific groups.  You can also open them up to specific individuals.  You can choose who sees each individual wall post at the time you decide to add it.

Being friends with someone also allows you to send individual private messages.  You can’t send to more than 20 people at a time and you don’t want to do this too often or can be seen as spamming to Facebook.  So, use it wisely but this opens you up to a much more private and personal conversation with people.

Is there a wall? Yes

Is there a Discussion Forum? No

Is it Private? Depending on your privacy settings.  You have control over what is seen on your wall and can allow “everyone” access to all things your friends post.

Does Google Index? Only when you post to “everyone”

Can you e-mail? Yes, you can e-mail up to 20 people at a time.  Don’t do that often though.  You can also e-mail groups and individuals.  I wouldn’t do every day or you’ll be seen as a spammer…use it sparingly and wisely.

Is there a cap on friends? Yes, 5000

My personal philosophy

Personally, I don’t have any groups, because I don’t want to continually e-mail people to remind them there is a group to go look at.

I have a business page (http://www.facebook.com/coachesmarketingsource), which I direct potential joint venture partners, clients or other business people to all the time.  In fact, it’s what I link to on all my web activities.   Here I post resources about my topic, share what my joint venture partners are up to, ask questions and e-mail followers about my company.

I use my personal profile as a personal space..  I do accept friend requests from people who would be potential clients or great joint venture partners.  I also accept friend requests from family, personal friends,  former classmates, and former acquaintances I’ve lost touch with.   I’m very picky so I don’t hit that 5000 friend cap.  All of my “friends” are people I really truly would like to get to know better.

That’s a lot to digest, so if you have any questions or comments, please leave them and I’ll be happy to respond.

Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert

Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert