Larry BraunerI’m not at all thinking about quitting Twitter or stopping to recommend it. Twitter is a valuable social media tool that I wouldn’t want to be without.

There are, however, many reasons I prefer Facebook over Twitter, and have switched my primary social media site from Twitter to Facebook.

Facebook vs. Twitter

Here are 16 reasons I like Facebook more than I like Twitter:

  1. Easier for Group Discussion - Facebook discussions and neatly threaded and hashtags are unnecessary.
  2. Rich Functionality - Facebook supports applications, events and instant messaging. Facebook also enables photo, video, link, page and event sharing.
  3. More Powerful Lists - Create as many Facebook lists as you like and use them to manage both communication and privacy.
  4. Better Private Messaging - No automated direct messaging on Facebook. Therefore, your private messages and updates are more manageable.
  5. Less Spam Abuse - Facebook fights spam more effectively than Twitter.
  6. News Feed Optimized for Relevance - Facebook uses edgerank to prioritize our Top News feeds. Optionally, we can choose to view Twitter-like Most Recent News, as well.
  7. True Networking Site - We can create deep online connections with our friends, and we also discover friends-of-friends. Facebook messaging  is a good alternative to email, too.
  8. Website Traffic - In 2009 when I focused on Twitter, I  received 7,834 visits from Twitter with average time on site of 2:10 minutes. Not bad. However, in 2010 when I turned my focus to Facebook, I received 5,134 visits with average time on site of 3:07 minutes and a larger number of blog comments. Facebook visitors tend to engage more than do Twitter visitors. That’s better website traffic.
  9. Less Incentivization - Twitter has become very much about follower counts. People typically follow with the expectation of being followed back and unfollow if that doesn’t happen. Fans and friends on Facebook are much more authentic.
  10. Real People - Facebook is mostly used by real people, while Twitter is mostly operated by robotic software called bots.
  11. No 140 Limit - Facebook allows more than 140 characters per status update,  more than a 160 per bio, and more than one website link per account.
  12. Much Greater Membership - I’m more able to find the people with whom I want to connect on Facebook than on Twitter.
  13. Members Visit More Often - Facebook members are said to log into Facebook more often than Twitter members into Twitter.
  14. Easily Manage Multiple Business Accounts - I can manage multiple Facebook business pages without logging out and back in, and without using third-party desktop clients.
  15. Business Pages are Mini-Websites - Facebook business pages are mini-websites with a landing page and additional pages.
  16. Off-site Integration - Like buttons and like boxes extend the reach of Facebook to blogs and other websites outside the Facebook domain.

FacebookI could list many ways in which I find Twitter more useful than Facebook, but I’ll save that comparison for a different occasion.

Please take a second or two to “like” my Facebook page, and a few more to leave a a brief comment. :-)

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Larry BraunerI assert in Why Should I Like Your Facebook Page? that until you determine “what’s in it” for your Facebook page’s fans, you’re not ready to launch your Facebook page. You’ll only succeed by accident, if at all.

I’m ready to assume that your Facebook page already offers a lot of useful information, a way to subscribe to your web content, online customer service, news about events, contests, juicy gossip, entertainment or other perceived benefits that make it worthwhile for people to follow.

How Do I Get Fans for My Facebook Page?

FacebookNow, you’re looking to get fans for your Facebook page.

Perhaps you don’t yet have a strong web presence, and you’re trying to grow your Facebook fan base from scratch.  Your Facebook page deserves fans, and you’re asking yourself, “How can I attract people who’ll ‘like’ my page and become my page’s fans?”

There are lots of ways to get Facebook page fans, including Facebook ads, which I do not like. I’m sharing with you methods that can help you easily grow your small business or solo entrepreneur Facebook page fan base, in the hope that you can succeed without making the Facebook page building process more difficult or complex than it needs to be.

My Top Ways to Get Facebook Page Fans

These are the top ten ways that I’ve grown my Facebook page fans:

  1. Feather Your Nest - Ask 25 close friends or family members to help you reach the 25 Facebook page fans you need to obtain your custom Facebook page name, helping your page appeal to prospective fans.
  2. Your Facebook Friends - If you have few Facebook friends, ask each individually to “like” your Facebook fan page. Tell them that you’d love for them to join you there. If you have hundreds or thousands of friends, you can use the “Suggest to Friends” option to invite them. Be sure to add a personal message in the invite. Many people ignore Facebook page invites, so don’t expect more than 5% to 10% rate of acceptance.
  3. Your Email Lists - If you have email lists, invite contacts to visit and “like” your Facebook fan page. Be personal and friendly in your message. Use Edit Page >> Marketing >> Tell Your Fans. Don’t spam.
  4. Everyone You Meet - Tell everybody. Put your Facebook page link and Twitter handle on your business cards and in the signature of your emails.
  5. Link to Your Page - Link to your Facebook page rather than your Facebook profile from all the social networking sites you join and from your blog site or other website.
  6. Blogging About Your Page - Use your Facebook fan page to promote your blog, but make sure that you also use your blog to promote your Facebook page. At the end of posts, ask readers to subscribe to your blog and to “like” your Facebook page.
  7. Ask Your Friends to Help - I’ve asked some of my Facebook friends to suggest my Facebook page to their Facebook friends along with a message of recommendation. If you try this approach, you may find it to be highly effective, just as I have.
  8. Fan Page Events - I’ve added hundreds of Facebook page fans by holding events on my Facebook page. 4+ Day Blog and Website Promotion Event and Social Media Party and Facebook Fan Page Event Going Viral and Attracting Hundreds Already describe my most successful Facebook event.
  9. Facebook Widgets - I have a Facebook fan page widget on each of my websites, making it easy for site visitors to “like” my Facebook page and stay in touch.
  10. Engage Your Facebook Fans - Your posts must be made visible to your Facebook page fans. Read How Facebook EdgeRank Affects Your Visibility. Engage your fans, primarily by asking questions. When your fans comment on your status or “like” it, they’re sharing it with their Facebook friends.

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day, Nor Was My Facebook Page

Accept reality. It will take time to get a large number of Facebook page fans, but if you add just three new Facebook page fans per day, you’ll have 1,000 fans in less than a year. By adding five to six Facebook page fans per day on average, I was able to add 2,000 new fans in the past year. You can do it too!

New blog subscribers and Facebook fans are welcome — and if you think that others might benefit from advice for getting Facebook page fans, please share this article with them. ;-)

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Larry BraunerNetworkedBlogs is a Facebook application, which syndicates blog content and networks blogs to help them gain followers and readership on Facebook.

What blogger would not want to tap into Facebook, the networking giant, to grow his or her blog? That was the allure of NetworkedBlogs for me.

NetworkedBlogs Facebook ApplicationNetworkedBlogs has simplified my Facebook syndication to a small extent. However, despite building a large presence on NetworkedBlogs, integrating my blog with Facebook in this manner has resulted in few new readers.

Here are seven reasons for my disappointment with the NetworkedBlogs Facebook application:

  1. Many of my NetworkedBlogs followers are following my blog only because the NetworkedBlogs application asked them to do so at the time they followed another blogger’s blog covering the same topics. They have little interest in reading my blog.
  2. Only a small percentage of users visit the NetworkedBlogs Home Page regularly or at all to see their NetworkedBlogs News Feed. Many users don’t even realize the importance of the NetworkedBlogs Home Page. NetworkedBlogs needs better instruct users, so that users will get more out of this potentially useful Facebook application.
  3. I, like most bloggers, post at most a few articles per week. However, the top blogs on NetworkedBlogs are group blogs with many articles per day, thereby dominating the News Feed on the NetworkedBlogs Home Page. NetworkedBlogs needs to adjust its algorithm to compensate for the disproportionate number of articles generated by group blogs.
  4. Moreover, on the NetworkedBlogs Home Page, the News Feed is not sequential. Instead, it gives the highest-rated blogs priority, just as the Facebook News Feed gives priority to the most relevant posts, based upon each post’s Facebook EdgeRank. Because most people follow top blogs on NetworkedBlogs, they’ll infrequently be shown less popular blogs. Networked blogs needs to modify its algorithm to display a greater number of lower-rated blog posts.
  5. People tend to follow many blogs they have little interest in reading. This too diminishes the usefulness of the NetworkedBlogs News Feed and its perceived importance, as well.
  6. Facebook greatly limits that which the NetworkedBlogs application can do on our behalf. NetworkedBlogs cannot create user notifications as it had been able to in the past. Therefore, NetworkedBlogs needs to be extra creative in order to increase user engagement with the application and its content.
  7. NetworkedBlogs users, including myself, aren’t proactive enough to compensate for the shortcomings of the NetworkedBlogs Facebook application. How we can use NetworkedBlogs more proactively and productively will be the subject of a future article, which I plan to call The NetworkedBlogs Challenge.

Before you comment on this post, please “like” my Facebook page and follow me on NetworkedBlogs. ;-)

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Larry BraunerThe main problem with Facebook groups is a problem that all online networking sites and offline networking groups face, insufficient engagement.

People find it easy to join a networking group but difficult to show up or to participate online or in meetings.

Facebook Groups Especially Problematic

FacebookOne very serious limitation of Facebook groups is that posted content doesn’t appear in members’ news feeds.

This limitation doesn’t apply to Facebook pages and profiles. However, positioning and visibility of Facebook page and profile content on users’ news feeds is subject to Facebook EdgeRank.

Since content doesn’t appear in members’ news feeds, group members can only learn of new content or read that content if they happen to visit the group’s page.

Partial Solution to Facebook Groups Problem

Fortunately, this problem is partially offset by an important feature of Facebook groups. Moderators can send newsletters to group members that are delivered directly to their Facebook inboxes. Group newsletters can inform and help to increase participation.

Too many group creators use their group’s newsletters to spam members. Spamming members makes newsletters ineffective and kills any chance of getting members to participate. My advice is to keep members’ interests in mind when you mail them, not just your own.

Please don’t forget, you can broadcast newsletters directly to your members’ inboxes provided you don’t have 5,000 members or more, so limit the size of your membership.

That’s all I have to say about the problem with Facebook groups until you leave a comment. ;-)

And if you’re new, please take a few seconds to subscribe.

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Larry BraunerYou post updates on your Facebook profile, page or group and want your friends, fans or group members to find them in their Facebook news feeds — and hopefully comment on them and recommend them to their friends.

Ever notice that much too often your posts don’t have the effect you desire? This result can occur for a variety of reasons:

  • Few Eyeballs - The quantity of your friends, fans or members is small to begin with, and since few check their news feeds regularly, your posts go unnoticed.
  • Relevance - Your posts are irrelevant or simply fail to resonate with your audience. They don’t appeal enough for people to engage them.
  • Passivity - Many people lack the assertiveness or the focus to react to your posts or share them, even if they enjoy them.
  • Low EdgeRank - Facebook buries your posts so far down in people’s news feeds, that they’re in-effect invisible. Facebook computes and uses EdgeRank to assess the relative importance of posted content. A high Facebook Edge Rank leads to visibility, while a low Facebook EdgeRank leads to obscurity. Your posts are competing with others, and a relatively low EdgeRank keeps them from appearing.

FacebookAs Jason Kincaid explains in EdgeRank: The Secret Sauce That Makes Facebook’s News Feed Tick on Tech Crunch, three factors influence the EdgeRank of your content:

  1. Relationship, i.e., your relationship with your potential audience as perceived by Facebook. The more you interact with Facebook users, the higher the EdgeRank of your posts, and the higher your posts appear on their walls. Facebook rewards you for building personal relationships. Invest time reading, commenting on and sharing other people’s content.
  2. Engagement, the extent to which people engage with your post. A strong interaction will drive up your Facebook Edge Rank. Of course, someone has to see your post and react to it in the first place. This can lead to a Catch-22 situation. If necessary, send a message to some of your good friends in order to get the ball rolling. By the way, the most engaging posts are status updates that ask questions.
  3. Time Elapsed - Over time your post loses EdgeRank, which makes room for newer posts to appear. No one post gets to hog the news, so keep your creative juices flowing.

Facebook values relationships between its members and engagement with member content. Give Facebook what Facebook values, and your EdgeRank and visibility will benefit. Use Facebook for pushing your ads or agenda, and your EdgeRank and visibility will suffer.

Please leave a comment, subscribe, and “like” my Facebook page. :-)

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