Should Public Figures Use The Facebook Subscribe Button On Their Personal Profile or A Designated Business Page
by Jo Shaer, on April 25, 2013
Back in March, I was writing about the potential for the new Facebook subscribe button. The guidance from Facebook is that, if you are a business or organization you can only use a Page because that will let you engage with other Facebook users and offer tools like ads and insights which help you manage and track engagement. However, if you are an individual who wants to share your updates with a larger audience, you may want to use a profile with subscribers. Public Figures can use a profile with subscribe, a Page, or both.
Having said that, if you are a business owner who is a public figure, you have to be very careful not to fill your personal profile with advertising - even if your business shares your actual name. A photographer who was using his personal profile as his business page got caught out with this recently. You are allowed to share business orientated content with public status updates via your subscribe button but not continual advertisements and promotions.
Public Figures and The Subscribe Button
The truth is that, if you want to market yourself effectively as a public figure, you probably need both a personal profile AND a business page. There is a blurring of the entities because people buy from those that they know, like and trust and by sharing a bit more of yourself through your personal profile, you can help to build a relationship with potential customers. However, if you want to keep your profile timeline personal and private, don't switch on the subscribe button.
If you do switch on the subscribe button, it also allows you to keep control of the number of your actual friends - you are only allowed 5000 interactions of this nature and that figure includes both the people you have accepted friend requests from and the number of other Pages that you personally have liked. You can have as many subscribers as you like, although you are limited in the number of personal profiles that you subscribe to 5000 personal profiles.
Facebook guidelines say that you should only accept friend request from people that you do actually know and that everyone else who wants to see your updates should become a subscriber. If you don’t see the Subscribe button on someone’s timeline profile, it means that they haven’t allowed people to subscribe to their public updates.
However, you will see the Subscribed button at the top of your friends’ timelines even if you haven't allowed people to subscribe to you and you can use the button to fine-tune what updates you see from them in your news feed.
How to switch the subscribe button on and off
Click the arrow next to Home at the top right of your Facebook page and then select Account Settings from the drop down menu. Next click Subscriptions and you will find the settings to control whether or not people can subscribe to your page and who can comment on your status updates.
If you don't want someone to subscribe to you, you will need to block that individual address.
What happens when you subscribe to a personal profile
If it has been activated, this button allows you to set how much you want to see and hear from someone - public figure or friend. So you can choose to see:
Remember, these updates will only be the Public updates for that person. Some fans are interested only in the content that public figures regularly produce so they can keep their knowledge up to date, they don't care about recent trips or fun status updates and the subscribe button allows them to hear the important stuff without clogging up their newsfeed with banalities. You can select what type of updates you would like to receive:
Types of content
Comments and Likes
Music and Videos
How to unsubscribe
If you change your mind and decide that you want to Unsubscribe, you need to hover over the Subscribed button on that person's timeline and then click Unsubscribe. If you're friends with that person, hover over the Friends button and uncheck 'Show in News Feed'. You can also unsubscribe by clicking next to a post you see in your news feed and selecting Unsubscribe.
How to build your reputation via Subscription
It allows you to be strategic - making status updates that build value and encourage people to engage with you. But you can also drop in status updates that make people curious about your business page so they go check that out too. Remember, these will be public status updates on your personal timeline so don't irritate your friends by doing this too often.
The subscription figure is a public facing stat, making it a whole new marketing channel but it is not a substitute for your business fan page because it is the fan page that gets indexed on Google, as well as giving you access to ads and insights.