Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


Facebook: Profiles vs. Pages and the ART of Giving Back

The Facebook situation is fun if your just doing the social thing, but for writers and business folks, Facebook provides opportunity to share a message. And used well, it can stir a great following for that message.

But first and foremost, Facebook is social.


That’s why anyone using it must have a profile. (Only one to a customer, please.) The profile is the social face of the person. And that section has benefits and rules connected to it.

For instance, on a profile, a person “friends” other people. You friend them and they accept you. So you have a little community of happily cohabitating friends that connect with others as well as each other. When you take a picture of one of these friends, you can “tag” them in it and a notice goes up on their board that you did. They stop whatever they are doing and run over to your wall to check out the picture you took of them.

Cute. Studly. What’s that thing hanging out of your nose?

Anyway. I digress. The point is, you can make a status report or post a note or photo and tag your friends to inform then that it is there and includes them. They’ll come look. No really. They will.


Pages are different. Being for businesses, nobody can friend them. Sad and lonely place to be. They can be liked though and a whole lot more than just the profiles. See profiles can only add 5,000 friends, but page likes go up and and up. I’m not even sure they have a limit. So as your business grows, so can your outreach.

In the “voice” of your page, you can post on your own page. You can “like” other people’s pages. You can even post on those pages you’ve liked. However, you can’t friend anyone. So you can’t post to anyone’s profile, even if they like your page. You can’t comment on any profile at all.

One is the loneliest number …

There are benefits to pages though. A page establishes a writer as professional. Once published, those books can become part of the timeline and also tabs on the front page. Second, pages offer statistics that you can’t get with your profile. I can see at a glance how many people have liked me, how many have visited my page, and how many have liked or commented on anything I’ve said.

The other stat that I’ve recently noticed makes it clear that Facebook isn’t showing all of my page postings to all of those who liked my page. For instance, the last post on my page was an announcement of yesterday’s blog. Only 20 people saw it. Not that 20 people visited the link. The post only showed up on the feeds of 20 of those who have liked my page. The other 147 went along without knowing that I posted anything.


Typing on a computer keyboardSo here is some Über-important things you can do, for me and any of your Facebook paging buddies.

  • Like their page. A page-owner can only invite you once. If you choose not to like their page, you withhold essential encouragement for no good reason. Liking doesn’t hurt. Doesn’t cost. Doesn’t fill your feed with spam. It just encourages your friend.
  • Like any posts that you see from their page. Again, unless it disagrees with your moral fiber – and I totally get that and won’t chat about politics for that very reason! Yikes! – there’s no good reason to deny your friend the little click of a mouse key. And what do they get when you like a post. BIG! It doubles the amount of people who see the post, giving them a better chance of getting out their message.
  • Really want to be a good friend? Share their posts. Sharing the ones they post from their profile is fun, but it doesn’t help their business. Sharing posts from their page means SO MUCH! When a page owner has their posts shared, Facebook decides they deserve more attention and shares their following posts with more people.

Didn’t realize you had such power at the tips of your fingers did you? Use the power for good, Luke!

By the way, you can find me at


RSS Feeds – Sharing Your Message

Diving off the boatIf you’re like me, you’re wishing the captain on this cruise through cyberland hadn’t abandoned ship off the stern. Without a map or navigator and having no clue how to steer this baby, I’ve been feeling my way through the swampland.

You remember those old cars at Six Flags? You just thought you were steering them, but really, they kept going until they hit the metal brace in the center of the path that redirected them. (Sorry for bursting your childhood memories of the first time you drove a car!)

That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling this past year as I’ve embarked on my new career. I’m computer savvy, right? I can do this … um … I think …

But RSS feeds completely discombobulated me. I wanted faces on my blog to show how many people followed it. I didn’t put compute that folks clicked the link to follow and then never returned. Not that I don’t appreciate the follow – those are just flat-out encouraging! 🙂 The feeds, though, don’t stand up on stage and say, “Here I am.” Instead they work in the background actually driving more folks to the blog.

BOY ON SCHWINN BIKE DELIVERING PAPERS 1955This is the way it works (as best I can figure.) RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” Syndication being the sharing of your message. I know I’m getting really basic here, but I needed to understand every stinkin’ piece of this to wrap my brain around it. I add the RSS feed to my blog. Mrs. Readsalot happens by and reads my post deciding she wants to read more of what I share. She clicks the RSS link and chooses how she wants to receive the new postings. Then when I post again, Mrs. Readsalot will automatically get my next brilliant writing.

Reminds me of when my brother had a paper route and I had to get up early on Sunday morning and blacken my hands folding the news and stuffing them in little plastic sleeves. None of that! Not even hurling them across the handlebars of my balanced bike!

Putting an RSS feed on my site here at WordPress merely required me to add it in my widget page. Totally easy. I could even do it before I knew what it was. But the beauty of it is that every time I make a new post, those who have suscribed to my blog received my post on their “reader.”

When I link to an RSS, it asks me where I want to read it. I have a google account, so my reader is a google reader. I can also choose to collect feeds to my igoogle front page or my yahoo front page.

The bathroom isn’t an option, though.

So as a blog writer, RSS feeds are totally unobtrusive – no smiling faces – although I can find info about how many folks have connected that way. And the value is enormous because it puts my message directly into the “hands” of folks who want it.

As a blog reader, it is also invaluable because it brings me the latest feeds from blogs I’ve enjoyed and found beneficial in the past. I don’t read everything every day, of course, but having the most recent posts sure helps to keep up with my online friends, changes in the publishing world, and general news that I’ll often miss.

Your turn: What was the last blog you clicked the RSS feed on? You haven’t? Well try it! My RSS button is near the top of the right column!