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Facebook: Reporters Going With Pages Or Profiles?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Matt Stephens, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    Without outing anyone's specific pages, I'm just wondering how many folks on here have built one and what the best route has been for you?

    I've noticed a growing subscriber number on my personal Facebook profile. It's not a lot, but it has doubled in the last month, despite having extremely strict privacy settings to make it somewhat hard to find me. That being said, noticing there are some subscribers, I've started posting more updates under the "public" setting. Mainly stories, whether they're mine, co-workers or other outlets.

    I had always been against this idea in the past, but now am thinking, "why not?" I'm getting more comfortable with the thought of making myself a reporter account to help interact with readers and get information out to them just like I do on Twitter, except Facebook obviously reaches a lot more people.

    For those who have, which route did you take: page or profile? I know that the way Facebook is setup today, there's not a load of difference between the two if you're just using it as something to interact with readers, but it's the whole "like me" vs. "subscribe to me/friend me" semantics that has me on the fence on which to choose. I've seen people have either and with great success.

    Any thoughts? Has one worked for you better?
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    If you're trying to be a public figure, do a page. Have people "like" you. It's not a good idea to use a normal Facebook profile for work purposes. Use your regular profile to keep in touch with friends and family, and post photos, but leave the work stuff out of it.
  3. Can anyone explain how exactly the pages work as opposed to the personal profile? We have a company page, and we use it to post stories and interact with people. I'm assuming the page you're talking about would be the same thing, but would be "my page?"

    How do people "subscribe" to your updates? If they like it, they see the page's updates in their feed?

    I should probably know this, but I admittedly have disliked Facebook more and more with every change over the last few years.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    If you like a page, the updates appear in your news feed.
  5. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member


    I'm with you on getting annoyed with all of the changes. Some of them have been just me reluctant to change and they eventually become something I like. Others are just bad.

    The way pages work, especially since the switch to Timeline format, is basically like you said. It's very similar to a profile now, except it's used more for companies rather than a person (I actually believe it's against Facebook's TOS for a company to have a Facebook profile. It has to create a page).

    I'd use it as my Facebook reporter persona. Posting stories, photos, breaking news, asking opinions, etc., like I do on Twitter. But this way if someone searches me on Facebook, I'll actually show up, and not have to use my personal profile for that. I do want to keep them separate. That's my space (pun intended).

    As for subscribing to your updates, users can find people on Facebook now that they're not friends with and select the "subscribe to public updates" option without sending a friend request. For example, none of my status updates are public, based on the security settings I chose. But if I wanted one to be public, I'd just have to select that option before clicking post (there's a settings drop down on your status bar so you can change it on the fly). Posting a public update will have it show up on your wall for the world to see if they search for you, but also will fall on the news feed of those you're not friends with, but subscribe to you.

    I know folks who just use their personal profile and post public updates, others who make a separate personal profile, but just so people can add them as friends to subscribe for news and others who have "fan" pages.

    There's benefits in each, I suppose, but I like the idea of making a page so that only those interested in high school sports news, minor league baseball, or whatever I'm covering, will get it. That way it doesn't clog the news feed of my friends from high school who don't care.
  6. Okay, makes more sense. I'll have to start a page for myself, since I've never used my personal Facebook profile to draw traffic to my company's site. Like you, I'd rather not flood my actual friends with news most of them don't care much about.

    Two separate accounts, basically. Kinda sucks and was hoping to avoid that.

    That was one of the reasons I thought Google+ had a chance to be really popular. You could pick and choose which circles you wanted to share stuff with. The only problem was that you couldn't EXCLUDE certain circles from seeing your public updates. So I couldn't have a public Google+ account that looked like my Twitter from the outside, but also served as a Facebook for my "Friends" on the inside. Anyone know if they've changed that? Haven't been on Google+ since July or August.

    To me, that's how you merge Twitter and Facebook into one working profile that serves both the business and personal needs. You allow public updates to be "hidden" from certain people. Friends aren't subjected to the public business updates, and the public followers can't see the personal updates. Then I could have everything all rolled into one account.

    Of course, that wouldn't change anything from an employer standpoint, because no one's ever going to use just the one platform... Ugh.
  7. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    Google+ took a big step back when it locked out Google Apps accounts, IMO. I liked it at first, but my profile was created my CSU Alumni Association E-mail since we use GMail. Everything was working fine until one day, Google decided it wasn't going to allow Google Apps accounts to work with Plus and gave ZERO recovery or converging options, locking people out. I can still find my Google+ profile, but literally have no way to access it. It's not worth the trouble of trying to create a new one and I know a major media company that had the same trouble, so it's choosing not to focus on that route.
  8. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    I have my personal Facebook account for friends and family and set up a work account "Podunk Sports Page"...we have fill ads that promote finding that on Facebook and use that as a way to communicate with readers and link stories from our website...I'd consider it quite the success in the two years I've been doing the work side of that equation. Plus, you get some other quick ways to contact people.
  9. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Pretty much the same here. I have a personal page for friends and family, but I make it a point to keep it off-limits to readers. My paper has its own page where we post stories, and there's a separate one for sports where I've been encouraged to create a sports bar-like atmosphere. I also use it when I live blog games or promote something that's in the next day's paper.
  10. CA_journo

    CA_journo Member

    Our paper has a Facebook page. My personal one can't be searched for and I've made sure basically no one outside of my friends can see anything. I used to add readers who searched for me on Facebook at my last job, but now putting up that kind of privacy wall is my way of leaving work at work. The people who do manage to find me are put on a list where they basically can't see anything I post. Our work Facebook page has been awesome, and as others have said, it's been a great way to get sources on general issues.

    I'm just a weekly sports editor. I'm not really famous enough/vain enough to create a Facebook page, I guess.
  11. Bradley Guire

    Bradley Guire Well-Known Member

    Whatever you do, make sure your employer has your password to any social media you use. C'mon, what's the harm to let them take a peek?
  12. Anyone know of any pages for writers that have had good success with a personal Facebook page? Would love to see examples of the types of things they put on their personal pages to draw interest. Preferably someone who's not already nationally famous, but is on the way up and has built a solid Facebook following.
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