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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

Friday, Nov. 6, 2009

Friend or Fan

By Sherri Collins

Editor, Pet Product News International

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You have to have heard the refrain by now--social media’s ever-growing hallelujah chorus singing the praises of constant connectivity. It’s hip, it’s now, it’s wow and its reach is going far beyond the personal to encompass business in all its forms. It’s getting to the point where if you don’t have a Facebook or similar page or don’t follow various Twitter feeds, you’re totally out of the loop. I have a Facebook page, but it’s for personal use only. Fortunately for me, the magazine’s Facebook page takes care of the business side of my life, allowing me to keep the two appropriately separate.

But what are business owners--especially retailers such as you--to do when their business and personal lives are closely intertwined? How much of each should crossover to the other? How do you keep your Facebook business persona from becoming too personal or too formal?

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing offers three excellent answers to those questions.

His first suggestion is if you don’t already have a personal profile, you can open Facebook Business Account. According to Facebook’s Help Center on Business Accounts:

Business accounts are designed for individuals who only want to use the site to administer Pages and their ad campaigns. For this reason, business accounts do not have the same functionality as personal accounts. Business accounts have limited access to information on the site. An individual with a business account can view all the Pages and Social Ads that they have created, however they will not be able to view the profiles of users on the site or other content on the site that does not live on the Pages they administer. In addition, business accounts cannot be found in search and cannot send or receive friend requests. (Click here for more info).

If you already have a personal profile, Jantsch recommends adding a Facebook Fan Page, which enables a businessperson to “create a business-only page with a great deal of functionality.” A bonus is that fan pages are viewable by non-Facebook users. As there is a link between your personal and fan pages, Jantsch points out that privacy settings need to be revisited and updated to ensure that personal information that is inappropriate for business doesn’t end up on the fan page. His privacy tips include using the Friend List features, protecting your photos, not sharing who your friends are, selecting choosing who can see your contact info and carefully controlling your wall settings.
Lastly, you can keep both the personal and fan pages strictly for business, as Jantsch does. He notes that the crossover and interaction between fans and friends is probably high. By keeping everything business oriented, you can accept both friends and fans of you/your business without worrying about being too personal.

Whichever method you choose, you will be better equipped to take advantage of the social media phenomenon. Join the chorus—Pet Product News International is already a part of it. Fan PetProductNews.

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