Benefits [Risks] Of A Facebook Fan Page

Benefits [Risks] Of A Facebook Fan Page And Fans

For folks wondering why they might even need a presence in Facebook, this gentleman does a pretty nice job describing the benefits of Facebook Fans… but please read on for some cautionary thought on the subject as well:

Big Brand Behavior

Let’s add some context & relevant caution for those wondering how they might prioritize Facebook Fans… taking valuable time and also our own brands into consideration.

Some suggest a Facebook Fan Page is of even greater importance than one’s own site or brand. This is mostly due to Facebook’s enormous registered user count, but more recently some have added that proof is in the behavior of a few large brands. Proof based upon brands that run Facebook Fan Page URLs AND NOT primary site URLs in their TV ads. Why do they do it? For starters, it’s likely large brand name companies are assured consumers can find their sites online; however, out on the open web voluntary connections and/or subscriptions may or may not have occurred to a degree they had hoped. In Facebook, Fan Page connections offer both an unprecedented access to personal information and, possibly due to ‘the nature of intent’ in social environments, a more trusting consumer. While the intent of the average Facebook visitor is social and not necassarily ‘looking to buy’, the belief may be that a social environment is more prone to participation. Apparently, games & contests can be very successful. And hey, when friends are doing it… there’s always that herd mentality thing.

As marketers [ourselves], can we blame the big brands? After all, with more personal information and trust there’s benefit. BUT, in lieu of big brand name recognition, should we lesser brands sacrifice any long term potential engagement [i.e. direct traffic & subscriptions] for an environment that is neither ours nor in our control?

What’s More Important, My Site Or My Facebook Fan Page?

Let’s also bring forth some sobering thought on social networks, marketing online and our brands as a whole. If you’ve followed Kinetic Knowledge over the years, you know our position: it’s a priority to establish an independent brand with content that’s in your control, now and far into the future! We strongly encourage social network visibility, participation and then we also recommend caution and understanding.

Social Networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are incredible options for visibility, but their control over the environment and status as ‘the brand’ suggests they may be best leveraged as important tools. Remember: social networks retain a right to change and, essentially, do whatever it is they please with your content and presence. MySpace’s rapid decline only supports the fact that social networks can loose their audience, so we must always factor that possibility into how much time/ effort/ money we invest where. When used to their maximum capability, modern sites can push content to an unlimited number of different places [i.e. search engines, social networks and certainly Facebook] all capable of driving traffic back to our own brand. In the event personal time to fully participate is a challenge, auto- feeding content from your site offers – at least – a current social network presence.

History Screams For Caution!

Ultimately, the potential benefits of a presence in Facebook for your business are obvious; in many cases they’re proven BUT the environment is neither ours nor in our control… so, we feel it’s best to be careful with content and to always focus on our own long term brand first! Facebook and other social networks second.

PS: Admittedly, we’re a little ‘old school’ and possibly even skeptical SOCIAL networkers around here.

Changing Facebook Privacy Settings

Facebook Pages | Kinetic Knowledge  I recently found a great article and tutorial on using your Facebook privacy settings and thought it would be a valuable topic to review.

  The article comes from a site called AllFacebook.  It’s not a new resource, but I found their article entitled, “10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know“, highly informative and easy to follow. Facebook is probably the most confusing space to use when it comes to personal and business messaging.  It’s the place where all your worlds collide – friends, family, colleagues, old love interests – you name it, they are all there.  Facebook offers a bevy of privacy settings that make it easy for you to fully manage the interface.  You can show as much or as little as you like of your personal space.  

  Here’s an overview, visit the article link above for complete details on how to achieve each task:

  1. Use your friend lists – Create groupings of friends based on personal preferences
  2. Remove yourself from Facebook Search Results- Remove your profile page from publicly showing in the Facebook search results
  3. Remove yourself from Google – Remove your personal profile from displaying in the search engines
  4. Avoid getting tagged in photos and videos – Define who can see tagged photos of you
  5. Protect your photo albums – Hide photos on an album by album basis
  6. Prevent your relationship status from being viewed – Control who can see your basic information
  7. Protect against published application stories – Take back control from your installed applications
  8. Make your contact information private – Choose who can see full details
  9. Avoid embarrassing wall posts – Control who can see your posts and who can post to your wall
  10. Keep your friendships private – Turn off your friends visibility to others

  While these settings will keep you fairly protected, there is no way to keep all photos or videos from being visible if posted by your friends.  Your best call in the world of Facebook is to use good judgement.  Don’t forget you are creating a public profile and a history for all future employers and clients to scrutinize if they so choose!

  Need help with social networking?  Call or email us to find out how you can automatically push content from your blogs to your social network profiles!

Does Exposing Business Content To ‘Facebook Friends’ Constitute Spam?

Facebook Pages | Kinetic KnowledgeDoes Exposing Your Business Content To Facebook Friends Constitute Spam?

  A client recently brought something to our attention on ‘Facebook Usage’ and we felt compelled to investigate. The usage relates to exposing business content or unsolicited commercial communication to your ‘Facebook personal profile or wall’ where your activity is visible to friends. Her concern was whether or not that’s accurately defined as spam. Ultimately, if it’s spam, are there consequences?

  To be more specific, we’ve been pushing our blog posts to both friends and also to our fans. With friends we justified this because we feel our content is [mostly] educationally based; however, if this constitutes spam we’ll be the first to admit we have been guilty AND we’re going to STOP!

Define Spam

  According to Wikipedia Spam is defined  as  “…the abuse of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-mail spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam, junk fax transmissions, **social networking spam**, and file sharing network spam.”

  And I repeat, that includes the abuse of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages … including **social networking spam**.

Why Do Social Networks Care?

  The success of a social network depends on how well they insulate their users from abuse. For a social network to remain relevant, they need a thriving user base.  So, defining & preventing spam makes a great deal of sense. If registered user identities and activity are shared with marketers too freely OR if the environment becomes overrun with unsolicited spam, it’s unlikely those users will NOT stick around. We’ve said it before: “FREE services are BOTH provider & user loyalty FREE!” In other words the social network will bear the cost of invasive marketing spam by losing its’ capital – the *social* user. No more social users, no more content and no more social network!

  Twitter, for example, is a great example of a network that many business people use [or possibly abuse] for marketing purposes. We business folks can currently use Twitter to generate search indexing visibility and also to drive back links to our primary web presence. And in doing so, rather than purely to add & share value, are we undermining it for users who entered for the social value?

  In Twitter’s case, maybe or maybe not, but clearly Facebook is concerned.

Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

  A quick review of Facebook’s ‘Statement of Rights and Responsibilities’  shows the following:

3. Safety – We do our best to keep Facebook safe, but we cannot guarantee it. We need your help to do that, which includes the following commitments:
1. You will not send or otherwise post unauthorized commercial communications (such as spam) on Facebook.

4. Registration and Account Security
2. You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain. 

12. Special Provisions Applicable to Pages
1. Pages are special profiles that may only be used to promote a business or other commercial, political, or charitable organization or endeavor.

14. Termination – If you violate the letter or spirit of this Statement, or otherwise create possible legal exposure for us, we can stop providing all or part of Facebook to you.

  Ultimately, this pretty much answers the usage question. The Fan Page is setup so that participants or ‘fans’ can authorize us as a business to send marketing communication; whereas, the spirit of a personal profile is social, for friends, family AND NOT unsolicited commercial marketing communication.

  Because Facebook retains the right to terminate your personal profile, our advice would be to ONLY point your business blogs feed into your Fan Page.