(image via WikiCommons.com)

Let’s say you are Dorothy and your grand entrance into Munchkin Land made you an instant celebrity. What do you do to convert your 15 minutes of fame into a devoted fan base?  After all, an experience like this is a golden opportunity to maximize exposure and cultivate your personal branding. Who knows where this adventure could lead (book deals, movie rights, Dancing with the Stars…)

All these munchkins are curious about you, and they Google you. They find very little, but they do discover your Facebook profile (because Facebook always trends in top search results.)  You have a choice to make: do you accept all these Facebook friend requests of people you don’t know?  You don’t want to be rude, naturally.  And they might be able to help you – you have a long journey ahead of you after all. And they seem genuinely interested in you and the (yellow brick) road on which you are about to embark. But do they really need access to the same personal information and posts as, say, Auntie Em?  Probably not.

This is where Facebook Pages come in.  
Pages are not just for businesses – as a public figure, you can create a Fan Page for yourself, using your name and likeness.  Here’s the difference:

    • You Facebook Profile is essentially your personal, private life.
      This is what Facebook gives you when you set up your Facebook account.  Your Profile is where you connect with family and friends and where you share photos, videos, and snippets about your life. You can set privacy settings to protect as little or as much of your information from the public (and even friends) as you’d like.
    • A Fan Page is a public page, offering an invitation to others to follow along and get to know the professional you.
      Anyone can “like” your page to receive your posts and information in their newsfeed that you share on your public page.

Since Facebook requires every personal Profile be your real name (they are sticklers about insuring every profile / user on Facebook is an actual person) you can set the Page to your real name too, or you can do what Dorothy does, creating a Page that is indicative of her public personal (let’s say, Dorothy of Oz) and keeping her personal identity aligned with her profile (Dorothy Gale.)

Think of it this way:  Profiles are WHO YOU ARE: family, friends, personal stuff, occasional cross-over of business or public persona items.

      • This is where Dorothy might vent to her friends about that vile Miss Gulch and her attempt to have Toto taken away after he bit her.
      • This is where Dorothy might check-in at The Haystacks writing, “musings on rainbows and wishes on stars #poetrymood.”
      • This is where Dorothy might share a selfie she took of herself outside Professor Marvel’s Fortuneteller wagon

Public Figure Pages are WHAT YOU DO: business related thoughts, editorials, commentary, videos and promotions (this is also the platform for running advertising.)

      • This is where Dorothy might post a status update of her pending visit to OZ and let her followers know when she reaches Emerald City.
      • This is where Dorothy might announce via Facebook Live the details of her forthcoming tell-all book and schedule events of her book signing tour.
      • This is where Dorothy would share backstage snapshots after visiting the cast of Wicked on Broadway or a #castreunion selfie with the original characters #sundaybrunching.

So, why is it important to establish a Page?  Why not just open up your Profile to anyone who wants to be friends and carefully curate what you post there?  You can do that, if you aren’t selling anything (which is against Facebook policy). It’s also a bit cumbersome to have to go through the friend request process.  Most importantly, Pages offer perks (like analytics, post scheduling, audience targeting and (what has become essential to be seen on Facebook) boost posting and advertising options) that Profiles do not have.

And then there are Groups. Facebook Groups are essentially chat rooms – a community-building center that can be open or private and allows for conversation and cross talk. These are especially helpful when offering a VIP service, for membership organizations, or fan clubs.  And now, Facebook created a link option from Pages to Groups.  For example, a performing arts school might have a public Facebook Page, but then have several private student groups based on selected major, course study, or class year.

Confusing? Don’t let the tornado blow you in circles – at the center of the social media cyclone is your core purpose:  what is your message, what are your goals, what is your story, and how does that relate to your audience?
Let that be your guide to determine what platforms you’ll use and what content to post. And remember, you don’t need magical ruby slippers, just start where you are and grow from there. You’ve always had the power, my dear, you just need to learn it for yourself.

Find this post helpful? Share it with your friends! 

Do you have a public profile on Facebook? How do you determine what content gets posted there?  How does it support your business or project publicity? Leave a comment and share your challenges and success with Facebook Pages and Groups.

Until next time…!

Melissa

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