Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Friend or Fan?

Facebook.  We all love it, we sometimes hate it, but the reality is Facebook has changed the way we interact with each other and surprisingly the way we do business.  There are so may discussions we could have around how Facebook can help your indie craft business, but I am going to start with the most basic one today.  What type of page do you create?

This topic is sort of a pet peeve of mine and writing about it will probably help explain to several people who have recently "friended" me, why I have not accepted.  I have a rule and it is as simple as this.  I don't "friend" a business.  Set up a business/fan page and I'll "like" you for sure, but sending out a Facebook friend request for a business is a no no in my book.  Here's why:

When you become friends with someone on Facebook the other person has access to your personal profile.  Let's role play here.  Say Queen City Craft decided to set up a Facebook page but went with a personal page where I have to "friend" people to get my followers.  I do some promotion to build my following and someone named Beth decides to become friends with my QCCB page.  After she friends me I now have access to her personal profile page because she told Facebook that we are friends and according to her settings her friends can see her wall posts, photos and info page.  She will get my updates, but I will also get hers.  Beth realizes this and decides to stop being friends of QCCB.  She is bummed because she wants to stay connected to QCCB, but she doesn't want QCCB to know all about her Friday night adventures.

The flip side of this is setting up a business page instead.  In this situation QCCB sets up a business page and people "like" it by clicking a button instead of having to send out "friend" requests.  There are several reasons why a business page is better:

  1. You will build a bigger and better fan base
  2. People will be "like" you more often than they would "friend" you because of privacy concerns.
  3. You have the ability to promote your business with ads
  4. Business pages come with built in insights so you can have visibility to how engaged people are with your brand page.
  5. More robust marketing tools
If QCCB set up  business page instead of a personal page this means Beth could "like" the QCCB page which allows her to stay up to day with what QCCB is doing because whenever they post something to their wall it will show up in Beth's news feed.  The biggest difference here is that what Beth posts on her own Facebook page is NOT seen by QCCB.  QCCB would have no access to Beth's page.

I encounter this situation all the time.  I have several "friend" requests right now in my inbox from businesses and I feel terrible because I just can't "friend" them back.  In some cases we are actually friends in real life, but I can't break my rule.  I don't "friend" businesses.

What can you do?  If you are still thinking about whether you should get your indie biz on Facebook the answer is YES (I'll go into more of that later).  When you decide to make the leap please consider setting up your Facebook page as a business page instead of a personal one.  If you have already set one up and want to switch you may be hesitant thinking you will lose your current following.  My advice is DO IT!  Create the fan page and post it on your current page, message all your "friends" telling them to jump over and "like" you on your new page.  Leave it up there for a while until you see people making the switch.  It will be well worth it.  I promise.


  1. I've been wanting to set up a page...thanks for the insight!

    btw...the QCCB was great! I loved all of the new vendors...and all of the old ones too!

  2. Great insight Kacey. I have all of the above. I have my personal FB page which is just for actual friends. Really. I say no to people I don't know or don't like. Then my business has a friend page too, and I allow anyone who has a few common friends. Then I have my business page. I was hoping to let my business Friend page dwindle, but I get a few requests every day. Now I have over 500 people on the store friend page and fewer than 100 on the business page.

    So I'm going to think about your advice. I might send everyone a message to jump over to my business page and let the store Friend page lapse.

    I now have three FB pages, three blogs and an online store. Do you think that's enough?? Ha Ha, just kidding. Even a Gemini like me gets a bit overwhelmed.

  3. Stacey - thanks for the feedback on the show!

    Liza, it might help to consolidate them instead of trying to maintain both. It might also help if people are confused between the two since the Pine Street Artworks friend page is promoting Small Equals which might be confusing to some people.

    These are just my guidelines based on what I have seen work in the past, but people should do what works best for them in the end.

  4. Kacey, I'd love to consolidate but don't know how to. FB wont let me change the name of PSAW to Small Equals. What I have started to do is refuse new friends, I direct them to the business page. In a couple of weeks I'm going to email all PSAW "friends" and tell them to switch over to the business page.

    I can well imagine that people are confused. I am!