3 Reasons Facebook Trumps Twitter for Business

social media viewpointsHave you built a loyal following on Twitter but question the value of Facebook for business?  Have you tried and abandoned your Facebook account?

If so, I can relate.  I was there.  My first attempt at using Facebook for business was a big flop.  For the longest time I focused most of my social media marketing efforts on Twitter.

But now my tune has changed. Facebook offers far more opportunities for businesses.  I predict that in the near future, businesses of all stripes will soon declare Facebook as their number-one social media target.

In this article I’ll demonstrate why your business needs to invest heavily in Facebook.

My First Facebook Experience: A Waste of My Time

I got my social media start on Twitter, not Facebook.  Twitter is an amazing social media tool.  In fact, I invested countless hours growing and nurturing my 24,000+ followers. I was pretty convinced I could just use Twitter for business.

Then someone I respected introduced me to Facebook.  I recall the email.  My friend Ann Handley from MarketingProfs asked me, “Are you on Facebook?”

I thought it was just for college kids.  But since Ann was there, I quickly signed up.  To my great surprise, many of my personal friends were there. It was cool to connect with old college buddies and get a sneak peek into their lives.

But immediately I ran into a problem. I wanted to use Facebook for business and my personal friends wanted nothing to do with my business. Facebook was fun for personal reasons, but I struggled with the business side of things.

So I set up a Facebook fan page to promote my book.  I started rejecting friend requests on my personal profile from strangers and asked them to become fans of my Facebook page I had for my book.

It quickly became a pain to manage a personal profile and a fan page. In fact, some pretty high-profile people (like Darren Rowse) were dumping their Facebook personal accounts because of this very conflict.

I decided to simply feed my Twitter updates into my personal Facebook profile and my fan page.  I went back to using Twitter as my primary tool.

I had determined that:

  • Facebook is mostly for personal connections: My wife found enormous value sharing pictures of our kids and updates of our whereabouts with friends.  But I couldn’t do that because I had a bunch of business peers (and some strangers) as friends.
  • Facebook is a time suck: I spent a lot of time on Facebook and frankly accomplished little.  At least on Twitter I knew I could strictly talk business.
  • Everyone who mattered to me focused primarily on Twitter: I knew it was wise to keep investing my time in Twitter.  My growth of followers was steady and my traffic from Twitter was great.

Then I Saw the ‘List’ Light

The strength of Facebook is its amazing breadth of capabilities.  The weakness of Facebook is ALSO its amazing breadth of capabilities.  There are so many options and settings that most people don’t realize what Facebook can do.  Count me among the former clueless.

My turning point came when Mari Smith introduced me to two little features that rocked my world: friend lists and privacy settings.

Facebook allows you to set up an unlimited number of lists.  But it gets better.  You can decide precisely what people in lists can and cannot see with a few privacy settings.

For example, I set up lists called college, personal, church, business, fans and so on.  Then I went into the privacy settings and made sure the ‘fans’ list had no access to photos of my kids, my personal contact details, etc.

Here’s how this works…

You can go under your privacy settings (click on ‘custom settings’) and declare specific personal items only be viewed by certain lists (see below images).

Here I chose custom privacy for displaying family.

Then I selected my "Specific People," typed in the name of my personal list and clicked "Save Settings."

The result is my family is now only seen by people who are on my personal list.

When I get new friend requests, I can classify people to one or more lists (see below).

Here I have assigned a person to my 'Fans' group.

This was huge.  Not only could I restrict what people had access to, I could also selectively share with specific lists.  For example, I could let my friends know I was on an airplane to New Jersey crafting this very blog post (with my new iPad), and know with confidence that strangers had no clue I was out of town.

Here is an example of a post only my close personal friends saw.

Facebook Page Redux: Getting it Right the Second Time Around

All along I was treating my Facebook page like Twitter.  I thought that by simply posting updates I would build a loyal following.

I was wrong.

When we launched the Social Media Examiner Facebook page, I was determined to push the envelope and see what Facebook could do.

This time around, we created a custom landing tab with a welcome video from me.  I asked people to become fans in the video and encouraged them to comment on our wall.

Here's our welcome tab…

We set up a tab introducing our Facebook teamYes, we have a team managing our Facebook page.

We put together an editorial guide.  It included some clear guidelines such as:

  • EVERY single wall comment gets a reply.
  • Break news or discuss controversial industry changes.
  • Delete anything that is self-promotional.
  • Post an interesting link to someone else’s article each day.
  • Make sure to post a link to our daily articles AFTER our email updates go out (to ensure email folks get the news first).
  • Regularly ask interesting (and sometimes fun) poll questions to get our fans engaged.
  • And a LOT more.

The response from our readers was immediate and it was incredible.  In the first few days we had 1000 fans.  After just a few months we exceeded 9000 fans.

And these folks are active.  They post questions, support each other, reply to our questions and promote our articles.  A vibrant community was building right before my eyes.

Almost overnight, Facebook became the number-one source of traffic on Social Media Examiner.

Why Facebook Over Twitter?

#1: Facebook is communal.

Unlike Twitter, Facebook makes it very easy for group discussions.  Twitter is primarily a one-to-one or one-to-everyone tool.  With Twitter you can’t easily interact with two or three people at once, for instance.  And you certainly can’t easily see what others have had to say about a post.

But Facebook has grown to over 500 million active users for a reason.  They make it really easy for people to connect at a human level.  And Facebook knows what its fans are interested in.

For example, if you frequent a fan page, Facebook knows you care about that page and shows you popular posts and discussions from that fan page in your live feed, above others.  If done right, this is marketing gold!

When your Facebook page shows up in the live feed of your fans, it encourages rapid discussions and a chain reaction.  When your fans engage in those discussions, it shows up on their walls.  Their friends discover your page and your following grows.

In this regard, Facebook is like blog comments on steroids.  When people interact with your brand, you are building community.  This moves people from passive observers to advocates.  And that’s a powerful marketing weapon.

#2: Facebook pulls people to its site OFTEN.

Part of the brilliance of Facebook is how it taps into some of our innate human desires.  Every time someone posts something on your wall, tags you in a picture or tags your wall, you are notified in some way.  For most people, this is an email with topic like “Joe Smith commented about a picture of you.”  Or it’s a little red number at the top left of the screen when you are in Facebook.

These little mechanisms are intentional ways to get you into Facebook and interacting.  It’s almost impossible to ignore these cues.  If you’re like me, you’ve been conditioned to check Facebook almost as often as you check email.

Twitter doesn’t have the same systems to pull people back.

This is a huge advantage of Facebook and a primary reason you need to be there.  The more people connect with others on Facebook, the more this grows.  The upside is huge.  This is why Alexa ranks Facebook as the second most frequented destination in the world, just behind Google.

Your customers, prospects and fans are already there A LOT.  And when they arrive, they’ll likely see your page updates if you’ve figured out a way to get them to engage with your Facebook page updates.

#3: Facebook reveals powerful social proof.

This one is a brilliant move.  If you click the Like button on an article (inside or outside of Facebook), something amazing happens.  The next time one of your friends goes to that page, your name is displayed as someone who likes the page.

This is powerful.  “If John Doe (whom I respect) likes this page, then maybe I should take another look?” is the thought that might go through the mind of a reader.

But wait, it gets better.

If you use the “Like Box” feature on your website, Facebook displays the pictures of familiar faces that are also fans of a page.  For example, if some of your Facebook friends are fans of Social Media Examiner, you’ll see their pictures if you scroll up and look to the right of this page.

This is amazing social proof because it only shows people you know.  That increases the likelihood you too will become a fan.

So What’s the Business Advantage?

Now let me connect the dots.  With 500 million people on Facebook, chances are more of your customers are active on Facebook than any other network.

Remember the benefits early movers had with Twitter?  Think of Comcast, Ford, and Zappos and the early mover advantages they gained.

Now think about Facebook.  Businesses are just now figuring out how to use Facebook. This is your chance to connect with your customers and prospects in a totally new way and build powerful advocates.

Investing in Facebook now is the equivalent of purchasing real estate in downtown New York just before all the other businesses move into town.

Facebook is also investing in helping businesses succeed.  Beyond their powerful and granular advertising, they’re extending the Facebook experience off of their site with features such as the Like Box and the Like Button.  This is just the beginning of what’s to come from Facebook.

So what are you waiting for?

Your Action Plan

Here are a few simple things you should do right now…

Has Facebook become your new favorite social media site? Are you using it for business?  Do you have any tips to share?  Do you disagree?  Let’s talk.  Leave your comment in the box below.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, and host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. He also authored of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. Other posts by »




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  • http://twitter.com/fiend4house Zach Marburger

    Well said, the fact that Facebook puts a name to a face, lists interest and in short is more personal, makes it easier to connect with your customers, fans, etc. Not to mention your not limited to 140 characters in doing so. Twitter and FB are two completely different animals, use at your own risk :-)

  • http://www.certifiedsocialmedia.com Al Lautenslager

    First I agree and really like the perspective presented here and endorse. I explained something like this to a prospect/client and I got an interesting question that I would like your perspective on and the question was, how do you reconcile allowing some to see all of your content and others to see only part with the whole concept of “transparency” in the social media world?

    Al Lautenslager – Author, Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Al,

    Transparency does not mean you live in a glass house. Your personal life should not necessarily be open to strangers (unless you’re okay with that).

    The privacy controls facebook offers means you can use one network for business and pleasure. You should remain transparent about your business relationships and opaque about your personal ones (in my humble opinion).

  • http://capsurz.com Mari

    Thank you for building a strong case for using Facebook for business, Mike. Would you please clarify whether in “getting it right (your) second time around” you abandoned your personal FB profile and now only concentrate on your Social Media Examiner Facebook page? Without the luxury of a team to manage all aspects of social media for us, efficiency is key to our social media strategy.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Mari,

    I did not abandon my personal Facebook account at all in the process. I still use it, but not in the same way I use the fan page.

  • http://twitter.com/almamckinley Alma McKinley

    Hi Mike,

    Just starting out on the social media scene and I love all the emails and great articles. This was another spot on post. Keep ‘em coming.

    Alma

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thank you much Alma! It’s folks like you that keep us going!

  • http://www.mysocialmediava.com Kathy Colaiacovo

    You are so right about the Lists – having properly setup lists can help you manage and communicate more effectively with your contacts. It takes a bit of time setting them up especially if you have a lot of friends, but that investment will pay off with efficiency in the end.

  • http://www.denisewakeman.com DeniseWakeman

    Excellent case study, Mike. I’m glad you emphasized the list feature as I have found that to be the most useful for me in targeting profile updates as well as direct messages.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and insights!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Good point about the longer character length!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Kathy,

    Yes, you are right it can be a pain to apply everyone to lists, but it is worth it for sure!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Denise!

  • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young

    I appreciate the in-depth brief here. I’ve been a twitter fan for a while, and do fairly well there. I’m still not as comfortable on facebook – it still feels like there’s too much learning curve for me right now. After this, though, I can’t ignore that curve any longer, it would seem.

  • http://twitter.com/yuvtara Yuval Rabin

    Nice article, I wonder though if FB is as good for B2B…I do not know if Twitter is that good also…

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Yuval,

    Have a look at Facebook.com/intel and I think you’ll find your answer. They are B2B.

    BTW, we are B2B as well.

    Mike

  • Gilleansm

    1) Love Social Media Examiner. I have my own blog and recommend that folks wanting to know more about social media check you out. I would love to feature your cool icon/safari hunter boy on the page as branding.
    2) Love this article. Sometimes I have to delete your articles as I get too behind on my email. But I try not to do such a criminal act as I miss out on great info.
    3) About this article. I follow the logic of growing awareness but can you share a percentage of sales growth that relates to obtaining 9,000 fans? I would hope that these fans would want to ask for your help with their social media problems/questions.
    4) How do you turn Facebook fans into blog fans/followers?

    Again, thanks so much for your great information.

  • Chris Dorris

    Mike! Hugely valuable! You’re saving me boatloads of time. I’m JUST preparing to launch my Business Page, and all your emails have been spot on relevant and so useful. Thanks, Man!

  • jakeandtay

    Good stuff!

  • http://www.take-care.me Yossi Pinkas

    Mike,

    Nice article, yet I can’t figure out hot to build a reasonably-sized fan community on FB.
    I havebeen posting the same posts on FB and Twitter, and in 4 months I’ve reached nearly 500 followers on Twitter, while on FB my page has only 42 fans, most of them friends I had before on my personal FB account.
    I can build a nice landing page but how will people find it? Twitter seems much better in this aspect.

  • Frank Daley

    Michael, tell me why, when Facebook had the chance (of course, it still does but the water is muddier now) it didn’t change the “Fan” page to the Business Page.
    “Fan” page sounds like something for Brittany Spears, not business. It sounds hokey, contrived and misapplied for Business.

    What’s the diference between the two or are they the same thing with different names? Did Facebook just make a too-early decision on the name?. What’s the matter with calling the business page — the Business page (what a conept!)reserving the Fan page for bands and show biz things?

  • http://writespeaksell.com jeannettepaladino

    Well, folks, a problem is time. I have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, but I had to make a decision about priorities. Where was I going to focus my time? My primary social media outlets are my blog and LinkedIn where you can also make direct connections and build relationships. Your operative word, Mike, was “staff.” Without a staff to monitor these sites 24/7 you can become totally overwhelmed.

  • Bill Lord

    This is what I love about Social Media Examiner, the real life experiences in your articles that everyone can relate to. It makes for a more interesting read, and as usual great tips! Thanks.

  • Sandy

    Thx for the article. I have a note on my To Do list that tells me to learn more about and experiment with FB lists. Your article just made that task easier. So far it’s been personal and ministry only, which I was comfortable using the “everyone sees everything” approach with. I’d like to create a business fan page and build that as well, but that would definitely NOT be an “everyone sees everything.” You just took some of the mystery out of the process.

  • http://www.interviewangel.com Brent Peterson

    Hi Michael,

    Let me first thank you for your very helpful articles. I recently discovered your site and it is a wonderful resource for any professional. Keep up the great work. I concur completely with your experience using Twitter. I feel I got hit by an anvil the other morning and finally realized Facebook was the ideal platform for customer engagement for my small business. I know I have a long way to go in that space. Facebook Lists is indeed the way to manage the whole privacy issue. If you have time, I wrote a blog post the other week on my Facebook Lists discovery titled… Is Gen X Afraid of Facebook? http://bit.ly/c8bhvq

    I do feel there is a lot of hesitation from people to use the business and networking features of Facebook. But that will change as more and more people recognize (and know how to manage) the incredible opportunities it offers.

    Thanks again,
    Brent Peterson

  • http://virtualmissfriday.com/ Michelle Dale

    I never used to like Facebook, until the fan pages came along, then it brought a whole new purpose to it. I am not one of those people who plays “Guess The Drink” or “Which Celebrity Are You Like” and I rarely ahhemmm “poke” anyone. But my fan page I love to bits, and since then Facebook has gone way up in my estimation. Mixing business with pleasure is never any good, and it was way to easy to do that on FB before, but you posted a solution! Thanks Mike.

  • http://www.myaspergers.net/ steveborgman

    Michael, how do you ‘selectively’ share a status with a certain list only?

  • Susan

    Using my personal FB account still concerns me. Too often I’m alerted by a friend that I need to go doublecheck my settings, otherwise FB will share some personal information with a third-party company. Until I know my personal pictures and information is secure, beyond list management, I’m keeping my current profile to myself.

  • http://www.myaspergers.net/ steveborgman

    Another question for you, Mike: is it possible to mix two angles of a business into one fan page? For example, I have a blog dedicated to personal growth and development, another one devoted to my private practice, and a third one devoted to my specialty niche within private practice. I’d like to be able to make one fan page for all three, or to just use my current personal Twitter page using your tips: will my main marketing identity get too watered down if I do that?

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    3 Reasons Facebook Trumps Twitter for Business. Great post Mike. Im a huge fan of lists, and FBML allows you to do some pretty snazzy stuff.

    My start was in reverse…first FB then Twitter and for few months the only way I was able to drive traffic to my blog was via Facebook, and it was good :-)

    Twitter gave my blog some special oomph tho…so Im afraid I am about to state the obvious, but both platforms occupy slightly different and important SM space.

    Im NOT an advocate of having an account on ALL SM platforms, but these two are A MUST.

    Thats all the emphasizing I will do for the day :-)

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    Im sure Mike will have an insightful response to this. In the meantime, my take is that your marketing strategy will depend on what you are trying to brand…your business(es) or you.

    If your fan page is focused on YOU (the brand) then the 3 disparate businesses are simply part of who YOU are and what YOU do (there I go emphasizing again lol).

    If you are trying to create a separate brand for each business devoid of a personality then Im afraid 3 fan pages would be necessary.

    There is of course the middle ground. Create a fan page for yourself (and things you do) and later as individual businesses “take-off” create an individual page for each business.

    Thats my 2c…hope it helps :-)

  • Pam Brossman

    Thanks for reminding me about the list feature and privacy. I knew from Mari that these features were there but forgot to take the time to set them up. Also I need to focus more on my fan page as mentioned. I tend to hang out on my personal profile and forget about my fan page and that needs to change. Thanks for sharing Mike this was very helpful. Cheers Pam

  • http://www.garrettira.com/ Garrett Ira

    Great article. I appreciate the part about Facebook lists & privacy settings. I think people are afraid to put certain content out on FB if it’s irrelevant to a certain percentage of their audience, but privacy setting are a great way to make sure that people from very different areas of you life see what you want them to see and vice versa.

    I also agreed with the broad message of the article. Facebook trumps Twitter in a number of areas for businesses and especially for individuals. Twitter’s learning curve is greater, which is why the number of inactive accounts has been reported as high as 80%.

    Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.divinecommunicationstrust.org.uk/ DiviCommsTrust

    Another great article! I have a fanpage but I got lots of my friends to join it initially because I wanted the vanity url…which I have now. I post my blogs (when I actually blog!), other articles relevant to my sector etc, but still finding it difficult to engage with fans. I want my personal an business page seperate but will create the lists and see how I can leverage both to do better….thanks.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks for your support Gillean!

    We are a publisher with nothing to sell except our occasional events. However Facebook was instrumental in getting nearly 2500 people to come to our last summit. It was a huge ROI.

    Your last question might just need to be a future blog post.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    My pleasure Chris

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    See the part in my post about having an editorial guide Yossi

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Frank, Facebook did precisely that when it got rid of the fan designation. I know call them Facebook pages, but pretty sure Facebook calls them business pages or some similar label.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Yes, this can be true when you have a big audience like we do. But you don’t need to make it complicated. I venture to guess more of your business clients are on Facebook than LinkedIn, they just use it for personal.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thank you Bill!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Brent and I’ll have a look at your article

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    I totally hear you and the key is really having a plan for your page

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    To the left of the share button is a little drop down menu that allows you to ‘customize’ who you share stuff with. You can type in the name of a list.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    To customize your privacy settings go under the account menu and select the privacy settings option. MIT is super easy

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    I am with Dino. Have multiple Facebook pages for each biz.

  • debbiehemley

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the post.

    I seem to have changed my facebook tune, too. For a while I was of the mindset that a blog was the hub of a social media strategy but I’m now of the opinion that facebook fulfills that role in a much better way.

    Why? Well, I like that you can include a link to a post with a short message about it. I like that you can post links to blog posts you’ve come across and think others would enjoy reading too. I like that you can push out the posts on your own blog, etc.I like too that I can communicate with a large number of people across facebook and that it’s personal and far-reaching at the same time. I like that you can post video links, photos, etc.

    I think facebook is very well suited for business. I like the informality of it and the way in which it has a good pulse of the people within your networks.

    I guess you could say that I’m a facebook fan page convert. I just haven’t adapted yet to the “liking” a page vs. becoming a fan of it. But it’s just a case of linguistics and I suppose I’ll change my tune about that, too.

    Best,
    Debbie Hemley

  • Livvie

    Mike, thanks so much for explaining (in detail) how to use the list and privacy settings. This will make a huge difference, like you demonstrated, it what you can post, where you post it, and who sees what. It takes Facebook to a whole new level. Thanks again!!

  • Ken

    Kia Ora Mike,
    Well that was an eye opener. I have had my facebook page for a while to keep in touch with mates, but for business had started a whole new page then added a fan page for my business (still working on it). recently I have being looking at closing the second one down & how to transfer the business fan/like page to my original as want to keep the business name.
    So that is what I am looking to do now then go back over this to learn how to create those lists. Just never realized you could do this.
    well better get to my blog.
    Ken

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Welcome to the club Debbie :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Really my pleasure!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Yes indeed you can do cool stuff with Facebook.

    You might find this article useful:
    http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-customize-your-facebook-page-using-static-fbml/

  • http://www.proservicesks.com Frank Woodman Jr

    I must say that reading your comments on facebook made more since to me than any article I’ve read so far. I’m going to have to rethink my position on facebook and with your thoughts and ideas in mine I’m sure my second time around using facebook for business will work.

    For, like you, I had not had much luck trying to make my facebook page a good business tool. But in reading your article I can see that your points are well taken and with just a little work I’m sure that facebook can now be what I though it should have been right from the beginning.

    Thank you so very much for your incite.

  • Leeana

    I couldnt agree more Michael. I have made a rule of no friends/family on facebook due to not wanting to have my personal and business lives intertwined. I have seen my kids use the groups feature but never actually thought about doing it to separate my business from my social life. I think its important to be sure these aspects of life are kept separate, or at a minimum, you have control over it. A friend cussing on your business page meaning no harm, could harm. Thank you for explaining this so well.

  • Leeana

    When Mike said ‘staff’ I automatically thought admin/friends/family who you can have help you. I have my son as admin, he is 18, and he is always on FB, yet if I am swamped with work, he just checks the business page for me, might make little replies to others comments, he basically just shows ‘we’ are there, and anything that needs much more attention, he tells me and I get onto it myself ASAP. I think it can be easily done without expense or actually having ‘staff’ to help keep the page active.

  • Leeana

    If having 3 fan pages for business, couldnt you do a type of cross promotion by using the @ feature when your posting? That way you could have it also posted to the other 1 or two if its relevant? I am still fumbling with many things on FB, but wouldnt this mean the primary post would go to all fans of that page, yet still show as a post on the wall of the other 1-2 pages?

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Great idea!

  • rdsieber

    Here’s a question for Mari:

    Does your book have instruction in setting these FB innovations up? I attended the 2010 SM Summit and liked your stuff very much. I will be ready to set up my FB pages after I return from trekking in Borneo. I feel that I will need some in-depth help – reading this while on the trail is all rather confusing for this newbie!

  • http://annieinthesun.blogspot.com/ AnnieintheSun

    Because Facebook is more like a forum and less like texting-on-the-fly, it encourages connectivity and more of the social element of social media. I find it has a lot less static and more opportunity for self expression and brand-building. One feature I love about Facebook is the ability to share image-previews when I’m link sharing. I’ll Tweet and enjoy following other Twitterers, but right now the new discovery is in how people are building their Facebook pages and engaging there. However, sometimes Facebook does pose the problem of keeping personal (friends/family) separate from business networks. (Like trying to post a comment here…I can only do from my personal Facebook profile, hence I’m using my Twitter ID.)

  • http://www.lindalorenzo.com Linda Lorenzo

    I have a personal facebook page, a group page for my neighborhood and a business page for my 365 Things project. I keep my personal comments separate from the other 2 pages. I have put my personal page into lists i.e. high school friends, work friends, etc but am not sure why you would want to have your fans (likers) on that page even as a list when they should be on your business page. I would worry that you would accidentally contact the wrong group, I just think it easier to do separate pages for personal and for business.
    P.S. I can hardly wait to try the customizing – what a cool article, thanks for your great help.

  • http://writespeaksell.com jeannettepaladino

    Thanks for your response, Leeana. I’m the lone wolf in the family embracing social media and my friends have as much trouble keeping up as I do. I guess a VA is next.

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Awesome post, Mike!!! Thanks for the props. Heheee — I love that you’re posting all kinds of content to different lists on Facebook. I’d love to see more peeps doing that. I think Friend Lists are one of the most overlooked (unknown?!) features of Facebook.

    (Btw, you can have up to 100 lists with up to 1000 people on each list; friends can be in multiple lists, and friends never know which lists they’re on. Fan Pages can also be added to Friend Lists – not for publishing content, rather for filtering the News Feed. …. fodder for another post here. lol!)

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Hi there – thanks for asking. Yes indeedy, Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day has detailed instructions on how to maximize your presence on Facebook with all these features.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gonzalo.tataje Gonzalo Tataje

    Great case study. Thank you… I find all your posts very helful. I already started making some changes (creating lists and personalizing privacy settings for each one).

    It’s really important to keep your personal life and business separate. That way your friends get the info they want about you, and your prospects get the info they want from your business (or for theirs).

  • http://www.facebook.com/gonzalo.tataje Gonzalo Tataje

    It’s cool that you mention that. Having lists is also a good idea, so you don’t annoy friends that don’t speak your language.

    I keep my Fan Pages in different lists so I don’t accidentally send a personal post (or a nutrition tip) to the U2 fan page :D

  • http://twitter.com/entrepreneur_mn Entrepreneur Fund

    I have never been a fan of Twitter, just because of how limiting it can be. The versatility of facebook and how more depth your conversation can be makes it a way more valuable marketing tool. Also, twitter doesn’t even come close to the same amount of traffic.

  • Kathy

    Am I correct in presuming that if I create a FanPage/Business Page, I will have to use a different email address from my personal page?

  • heidimarshall

    Excellent article! My twitter following is about 5 times my facebook following but I get more traffic from facebook.

    Thanks for the tips on how to grow facebook even more.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    That would be incorrect… You can tie the two together :)

  • Laurel Cavalluzzo

    I have a small marketing consulting practice, and the lightbulb for Twitter went off months ago. It is such a great tool for making one-to-one connections. And, I have had some magic happen from writing good blog content. But…. for my Facebook business page, where I operate in a small, segmented B2B world, I have struggled. (I have kept trying, but struggle.) I love the clarity of ideas presented in this article, and will try this as a case study to see if I can get it right…. this is a big inspiration for me. Thank you!

  • http://www.sonicrampage.org/blog Pearsall

    Facebook just calls them ‘Pages’ now

  • http://twitter.com/phather Carl Persson

    Thanks so much for this article. Opened my mind to FB potential!

  • Mel Lester

    Thanks for the helpful post. I just recently set up a Facebook page for my business. Your advice for separating it from my personal profile is great, but I’ve had feedback from clients who said they wouldn’t want to become “fans” of such a page for fear of getting a bunch of unwanted friend requests from other fans. Have you encountered this concern? If so, how can I alleviate their fears?

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Mel, I think that is an unfounded fear. I have never had that happen.

  • http://purposelydifferent.com/ Chris Cree

    Count me as one of those who has gotten more business value from Twitter than from Facebook. The last few months I’ve found myself playing catch up on Facebook.

    One of the challenges with Facebook is that there is just so much there and so many different ways for businesses to tap in that it’s easy to just superficially tap into several rather than putting some focused effort into just a few of Facebook’s features. Unless businesses focus their efforts they see limited results. Oftentimes less is more.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Chris – I concur fully! That’s why businesses who figure things out now will be way ahead of their competition on Facebook. I just saw a Toyota commercial totally focused on Facebook on primetime TV last night. The big guys are coming quick

  • http://www.SunnySaves.com Sunny

    Thanks for the info on privacy settings! I have a somewhat related question though in regards to FB fan pages: is there a way to comment/share in the status feed as your business and not from your personal account? If you delete your personal account will your biz fan page become the default? Thanks! Sunny

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Thanks for the info on how to use lists creatively, Michael. I had just organized my peeps into lists last week, and I did it mainly to help me keep friends from various eras of my life categorized. Now I have a better idea of how to be strategic about who sees what. -Laura (FB page: @bloggingbistro)

  • http://www.colthart.com Bruce Colthart (@bccreative)

    Great article (and site) Michael – exactly the kind of analysis and ideas I need to to see how my graphic design business can benefit from Facebook. My business Page is set up and instead of rushing in to “decorate” it, I’m going to take the time to plan (with this article in mind) and then act.

  • G. Wade Jenkins

    Very informative and it was nice to know others get caught up in the numerous choices for social networking. But I think I’ll keep a seperation for now and use Linkedin for my professional connections and keep the facebook as personal. Granted there is a lot of info available to friends, family, associates and others… but I’ll just stay above board all all levels and I don’t live a secretive life so it’s all good!

  • http://drivingonlinesales.com/ Wynne

    Michael – this is an exceptional article on how to market small business in a practical using facebook and fan pages. This is one of the best articles I have read on the subject.

  • Info

    I feel that Facebook is much more valuable for our locally-centered bricks-and-mortar business than Twitter. On Twitter, many of our followers are not local. Since we do not sell products online, having a follower in Iceland, doesn’t add to the bottom line. Also, the point you make about it being easier to connect with multiple people who comment on a post as opposed to Twitter’s one-to-one or one-to-all mode echoes exactly what I observed about it.

  • Dayna P

    Great article and posts. I have 3 FB pages, plus my personal page and have been stumped on how to manage them all and control which one I am posting to. For example, if I find an article on the web I want to post on a business page, it often winds up on my personal page… and then I might also like to cross-post (share) between them, but I have not found a function for that. I’ve tried Hootsuite, but it fails to stay connected to FB so has been useless to me. Any thoughts?

  • Dean

    Mike,

    I have been a long time user of LinkedIn, but am new to FB & newer to Twitter. I am looking to integrate my worlds (2 businesses, friends, family, politics, etc) yet manage who gets to see certain “parts” of me. That is why this article grabbed me but I am running into trouble trying to implement. 1. I thought you can only have one FB account? 2. You mention lists and 9000 fans in a short time but read in FB’s help section that lists are limited to 900? Can you help a neophyte? FYI; SocialMedia Examiner is outstanding!

    Regards,

    Dean

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Dean, you can only have one fb account and lists are related to that personal account. I am talking about fb pages for business

  • Dean

    Michael,

    Now I understand. I might have taken the wrong turn when you alluded to both personal and business in the article. So you can have a FB account with list and all…seperate from a page for your business? I thought I read on the FB FAQ section you could only have one or the other? Suffering from information overload as I chew through the learning curve. FYI; planning on attending your summit and have shared the opportunity.

    Regards,

    Dean

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Cool Dean! Looking forward to seeing you there

  • Fisherstudios

    We used Facebook on a project at the USOpen for DirectTV. Our multichannel/multi court coverage was enhanced by viewers posing questions, getting unique video/still content and commenting on one another’s posts. This was a huge boon to marketing for the product, which is very unique in the broadcast market.
    With only one event complete it’s almost hard to envision Interactive TV without this as both an integral part of the programming itself and the promotion of that programming

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Very interesting. Would you email me as I would like to learn more. Mike at socialmediaexaminer dot com

  • http://blog.promodirect.com Business Ideas

    Thanks for writing this post about Facebook. I was always uncertain about using Facebook for business & genuine audiences.

  • http://www.veritas-consulting.co.uk/ Health and Safety Consultants

    Yep using Facebook as a business page inviting those to like and share with friends including a chance to WIN! a case of wine. works really well… use twitter as well. http://www.facebook.com/veritasconsultinghttp://www.twitter.com/safetymatters

  • Rakiya_rahman

    This is really good. I learned alot here, thanks.

    Raks

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jackie-Thompson/100002250861236 Jackie Thompson

    Thanks so much for all this valuable information. I had tried to avoid the whole FB thing for as long as I could, preferring to keep my personal life, private! I can definitely see the benefit of having a FB page for my business though, just glad to know there is a way to keep them entirely separate!

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  • http://www.shanelaing.com Shane Laing

    Great article Mike! I wish I had come across this sooner, i’ve learned some of the things you’ve mentioned here the hard way.

    FYI – I have my own blog site and recently implemented a great wordpress plugin called wordbooker that brings comments from my blog to my Facebook page. If I make a blog post, it also places the blog post on my facebook wall & then retrieves the comments from there into the comments section of my blog! I’ve found it very useful for attracting visitors to my blog that started out as casual fans on facebook.

    Just thought i’d mention it in case anyone was interested. Thanks again Mike for the excellent article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Corina-Popescu/1311014561 Corina Popescu

    If you are interested, I have found a great tool to automatically share your mass messages on facebook:
    http://www.facebook-sharer.com

    I did not purchased it yet but if anybody tested it, please let me know.

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  • john moroz

    Just getting started BUT why am I reading comments which are three years old.?









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