Facebook – Marketing Partner or Monster?


We have had some local press coverage here of late – which kind of went viral and national quickly – about a couple of local high school teachers who learned the hard way that Facebook profiles are not the best places to put your ‘better-kept-private” pics. It has led to some pretty heated discussions around town and online about whether they should be stood down.

In today’s paper, the editorial comment indicated that:

Facebook has morphed from a useful form of communication into a monster.

I don’t think Facebook is the bad guy in all the negative press it’s received of late.

Facebook has definitely ‘morphed’ but it has done so in the areas of business communication and networking. I have received business directly through my Facebook business page and speaking engagements from my Twitter profile.

Accessing social media has become a niche market for virtual assistants and many of us provide these services to clients who don’t want a profile per se but would like to leverage the power of social media for their business. I have set up a few Facebook business pages for clients who have neither the time nor inclination to do so themselves.

Most of the major news agencies have Twitter accounts and/or Facebook pages, so despite their editorials, the power of social media is clearly not lost on them either.

Google ranks both Facebook pages and other social networking sites so not having a profile means – given most people look online for services these days – you’re missing out on business.

Facebook has changed its terms of use a number of times in the last six months to more accurately reflect the changing face of Facebook with better privacy controls and you can lock off your profile to the absolute bare minimum if you wish. Their privacy policy clearly states:

You decide how much information you feel comfortable sharing on Facebook and you control how it is distributed through your privacy settings.

The onus has always been on – and should always remain with – the user to change these settings. One would hope that if you’re a head of department at a prominent high school or an IT teacher you would at least have the skill to change the defaults.

Social networking – Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Google Buzz, LinkedIn – is here to stay and is a viable business tool. Just because it’s called “social” networking doesn’t make it any less so.

If you are in business you ignore it to your detriment. Your online presence is absolutely essential to business and is working at marketing your brand 24/7. Not having a business page on Facebook in the 21st Century is akin to not having a Yellow Pages ad in the 20th. Some of my clients have in excess of 5,000 fans on their business page. Where else can they market their service/product to potential clients who have already indicated a desire to know more about their business simply by fanning their page?

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop, http://www.execstress.com/


  1. Diane says:

    I agree whole-heartedly Lynn. Like you, I provide Social Media Marketing services to many clients and one of their first questions is about privacy over their personal account. I train them on where and how to set their privacy options and then leave it to them to decide. Most are adamant about keeping their personal profile and professional biz page separate and I truly feel the same way.

    However, I choose to monitor who I am connected to very carefully in my personal profile in keeping with how professional “friends” will find my site, BEFORE I invite them to become a Fan of my Biz page.

  2. execva says:

    Absolutely Diane! Thanks for your comments. Watch for my follow up blog which touches on just what you mention about monitoring your ‘friends’ too! 🙂

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