Whether we like it or not, Facebook is still the largest social network out there. I saw a quote somewhere recently that its membership is larger than the memberships of all other social networks combined. Whether that’s true or not, it is still massive, and as a blog or business, we all need to have a presence there – if for no other reason than to keep an impostor from claiming our names there!
I’ve seen a lot of people bemoaning the fact that Facebook is preventing their posts from reaching their fans. Barely a day goes by that people aren’t posting requests to “lke this post if it turns up in your newsfeed so I know it’s getting through” – that’s a con, by the way. Facebook clearly shows page owners how many people see each of their posts, and a request for you to like a status is just a rubbish attempt at increasing interaction on a page. Everyone seems to be really fed up with Edgerank, and feeling like nobody sees their posts unless they pay to advertise them.
Here’s the thing though: of course they want us to pay; it’s advertising! You wouldn’t dream of taking out an ad in your local paper or on a billboard without stumping up some cash; Facebook has the potential to reach twice as many people as those two combined, and to target your advertising – so why shouldn’t they charge for that?
I know a lot of bloggers and businesses have tried to get around Edgerank by setting up a personal account, calling it their blog or business name. People think they’re terribly clever in doing this, but here are three big reasons you should have a page rather than a personal account:
1. If you use a personal account, your posts still don’t show on everyone else’s timeline, but you don’t have access to Insights to see how many people have been reached. With a page, you can see which posts have performed better, which have had the most engagement, and exactly how many people have seen your post.
2. In order to get your updates and information, people would need to add your personal page as a friend. Not only does that mean they have to send a friend request and wait for you to respond, but more importantly it means the flow of information goes both ways. If your business is “friends” with Joe Bloggs up the road, you, the faceless, impersonal business whose profile picture is your logo or a photo of your premises, now has access to your friends’ personal updates. Their baby photos, their complaints about their mother in law, their confessions about what they got up to last night. A lot of people aren’t comfortable having a business or blog as their “friend.”
3. Most importantly: Facebook is not stupid. It is cracking down on personal accounts that do not appear to be people, in fact I’ve known more than one person whose real name has not been accepted by Facebook as it doesn’t seem real enough. If your account name doesn’t seem real enough, Facebook will catch up with you – and many people are saying they will delete these accounts. If your account was deleted, what would that mean for you? All those connections, gone in an instant.
And that’s not even mentioning the complete pain in the bum it is, to log out of your “real” Facebook and then login to your business Facebook!
The basic fact is that yes, you do need a presence on Facebook, and no, you can’t cheat by making that a personal account rather than a page. Your only choice in this is to play by the rules Facebook makes. It’s not the end of the world, though; I’ve a post planned for later this week to show you how I consistently have a page reach of at least six time the number of fans on my page. Watch this space!