With over 39,000 fans today, Jon Loomer struggled to create a Facebook page.
It was the winter of 2011 when Jon understood the value of a page but didn’t think his consulting business needed its own. He had a personal profile and encouraged his would-be fans to follow that profile and interact on public-facing wall posts.
Facebook explains following: “When you follow someone, you see their posts in your news feed. You automatically follow people you’re friends with. You can also follow the posts of people you’re interested in.”
Jon enabled interested fans to follow him — and he shared everything to friends and followers.
He blogged about the struggle of sharing the same information, and in some cases too much information, to everyone.
“[My friends] never said as much, but I’m betting they’re annoyed by my daily posts from my blog… I know I’m annoyed when my friends use their personal Facebook only for promoting themselves… I’m going to tire my friends out. And I may already be reaching that point.”
Kristi Hines recollects friends unfriending her because they didn’t care for her business posts; and followers unfollowing her because they didn’t care for her personal posts.
“This is why it’s good to have a profile and a page. People who want to see your personal side can connect with your personal profile, and people who want to see your business updates can connect with your page. It gives your followers the choice of what they want to see from you, and it gives you the ability to have an outlet for everything you want to share on Facebook, personal and professional.”
“Plus, having a page means you can take advantage of Facebook ads for promotions. With your profile, you only have organic reach to depend upon. Organic reach on your personal profile can be stronger than a page, but a page using Facebook ads can reach a much broader audiences beyond your current followers.”
Tamar Weinberg deleted her page two years ago because it was painful to maintain two presences.
I also had a page at the time and sometimes wrote the same thing on both the page wall and my profile wall. I couldn’t differentiate the two because of overlapping audiences and brand confusion — and deleted my page.
Freelancers, consultants, and solopreneurs should have a separate page for their brand, Tamar tells me, if they derive 100% of their income from that brand. I didn’t. Income came from multiple places. Tamar suggests if you don’t need that page, then use your profile and share to followers.
“While this puts me more in the public eye than I would have previously been comfortable with,” she says, “I actually welcome people knowing that I am more than just a professional.”
“My updates are both personal in nature and broader-reaching. For the latter, I make my updates public. This gives all my followers insight into what I’m comfortable sharing about my life. Since my personal brand is not my primary business, I don’t post publicly as frequently as others whose livelihoods rely on consistent posting and branding.”
Jon and Kristi needed that consistency for their businesses.
So did Tara Coomans, who is unconvinced every solopreneur needs a Facebook presence for their business unless they need advertising or connections to other business pages.
“Let’s face it, Facebook is becoming more and more of a waste of time for businesses that aren’t advertising because fewer people are seeing organic posts in their feed. Organic posts are competing against advertised posts in the newsfeed real estate and paid posts win.”
“Since my income is not completely derived from my brand, I am not worried about missing out on advertising opportunities and analytics. I savor the quality interactions I have with people. I don’t need the quantitative metrics that show how many people viewed my post or how much I paid for my visibility.”
Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, agrees with Tara that Facebook success is not dependent on a page.
“For some, yes. For others, no. It depends on the goal for the brand and why they are on Facebook. There is no silver bullet strategy when it comes to social media, and sometimes less can be more.”
Follow Jon’s page at facebook.com/jonloomerdigital.
Follow Kristi’s page at facebook.com/kristihinespage.
Follow Tara’s page at facebook.com/taracoomans.
Follow Tamar’s profile at facebook.com/tamarweinberg.
Is one better than another?
If you’d like tips on creating a new Facebook page, Kristi can help you get started here.