Here’s another tool for you to add to your thought leader arsenal. You can now add a FOLLOW button on Facebook personal profiles. Formerly known as the “subscribe” button, the thought was that it would be a great solution for journalists and others who didn’t want the responsibility of managing a Page, but still wanted to share “some” things with the public. As a public figure or just a person who wants to maintain some level of ‘privacy’ (and not connect with every Tom, Dick, or Harry they went through puberty with), it allows you to interact with possible fans or acquaintances without having the full-on responsibility of managing a Facebook Page. Of course, you can always convert your profile to a Page, but this is a nice alternative. There are also way more benefits to having a Page rather than having a profile, such as fan/friend limits, custom tabs and apps, and promoted ads/sponsored stories. But it’s a nice alternative nonetheless that deserves consideration.
What does the ‘Follow’ button do?
By adding the Follow button, it allows people who subscribe to your profile to see your public updates in their news feed, without you being “friends” with them. It also is a good tool to start establishing yourself as a thought leader in a particular industry without bombarding your friends with self-promotion or stuff they may not care about.
IMPORTANT: This means you need to customize the audience on your posts that you want to keep private or only share with a few people so that they go to just your friends or a specific smart list. You can do this on a post by post basis or set up a default list in your privacy settings.
Why would you want to add a Follow button vs. having a Facebook Fan Page?
If you are strapped for time and already find social media to be a time-suck, then this alternative is for you because chances are you can barely keep up with the one profile you currently have, let alone manage two instances of Facebook. Plus it keeps everything in one place. You don’t have to worry about duplicating content and boring or annoying people.
Adding a “Follow” button to your Facebook profile
Adding the button to your profile is easy.
- You can click on this link which will take you to Facebook to turn the feature on or;
- You can go into your Account settings and click on Followers (in the left nav) and then check the appropriate boxes. See image below.
(You’ll notice that I don’t allow people to search for me and that’s because I quit Facebookfrom a personal perspective last year when they rolled out Timeline. P.s. I have no regrets about that.) You’ll want to make sure you edit whether or not you want people to be able to comment on your public posts (more than likely, yes) and whether or not you want to be emailed every time someone does.
Adding the “Follow” button to your website
Well, it’s name has changed from “subscribe” to “follow” in case there is any confusion. You can configure it through Facebook Developer plugin tools just like you would configure a ‘Like’ box or ‘Like’ button for your website.
The Follow button lets a user follow your public updates on Facebook. (aka subscribe)
Check out the developer’s link here: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/follow/
What do you think? Is this an alternative for you?