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Thursday, April 22, 2010

If you have gone on Facebook in the last couple of days, you may have noticed some changes.

Facebook is heating up the competition to penetrate websites outside of the Facebook platform by adding a number of gadgets / widgets / tools that can be added to a website, they have created pages from the interest section of your profile and they have replaced
Become a Fan” with “Like” for business pages on Facebook.

What does this mean for the business owner or organization with a “page” presence on Facebook already? Confusion. What does this mean to your consumer / client / target audience?

What should you do about all of this? Wait patiently for the dust to settle.

To illustrate the potential mess, consider my coaching business, True Azimuth, LLC. I have a website, a
coaching blog and a Facebook Page. All are integrated nicely. When someone goes to my website
or blog I encourage them to become a fan on Facebook. When someone goes to True Azimuth’s Facebook page, they can see a feed from my blog integrated on the page.

Now I have a new Facebook Page for True Azimuth, LLC (which I can’t control – at least at the moment) that was
created from the employer listing on my profile. True, I could have chosen not to create the page – I am currently the only employee of my coaching business. But what happens to BIG companies with thousands of employees on Facebook? You guessed it – it only takes one employee to create the company page! What a mess – more on this later.

Now “Like” comes along. Facebook developers have changed “Become a Fan” with “Like” – a move which I thought I liked. But then they added these website gizmos to the mix – more things to “Like.” And guess what?
None of these are connected!

So, say I add the inline code to both my blog and my website to allow people to “Like” them. A person comes to my blog and clicks “Like” – that does not mean they are now a Fan of my business on Facebook – they just “Like” my blog. Same thing with my website. If a person “Likes” my website, that doesn’t mean the “Like” my blog or my Facebook page.
The result: complete marketing mayhem and utter chaos!

Thrown in with this mix is the ability to feed news from your website into the Facebook News stream of people who “Like” you. If you have a website, blog and Facebook page, it could easily mean your target market gets up to three duplicate messages if you have a consolidated / integrated web presence like I do.

Add to this these new pages created from Facebook profiles and you have a cluster of a mess to sort out.

My solution? I am waiting for this dust to settle before I jump into Facebook’s newest gadgets. BTW – you should be doing that anyway – meaning your social media strategy and your web presence strategy should be built on a solid marketing plan that you review and update annually – keeping you and your business from making impulsive, jump-on-the-bandwagon decision.
(That is what I coach my business clients to do)

What is your solution? Do you like Facebook’s new “Like”?