The F Word

f People are fun. The very reason to write a five word blog post is to see what comes back. You certainly all had opinions. Did you see Being There? You should.

Facebook is a sometimes useful part of some people’s and some company’s social media presence efforts, and can be very effective in building business relationships and providing a useful outpost where people might connect. It functions reasonably well. There are many useful ways to use it to create meaningful relationships.

I’ve said it before. You don’t have to touch every conversation. You can choose where you build a presence.

I opt not to use a Facebook fan page. I think a page about me is silly and somewhat redundant and pompous.

I never wrote that Facebook fan pages were bad. I never wrote that you shouldn’t have one. I never wrote anything. Several of you supplied your own opinion justifying why YOU had one. Good on you.

This isn’t a joiner’s club, friends. This is business (or community, or whatever you want it to be). If you’re in the “you’re only cool if you’re using all the hottest toys” camp, bless you. Have a ball with that. I’m in the business camp. And a fan page doesn’t enhance my business, my relationships, or anything else I do with my time.

Your mileage may/will/should vary.

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  • Meg

    Ha — I love it when you write posts I can actually HEAR you saying.

  • delta40


    No reason to pile on why.


  • Carissa O'Brien

    I love the discussions you provoked today…and that you knew exactly what you were doing. It certainly incited some passionate responses, on both sides of the camp. All in all, Facebook has value and I'm still evaluating what it will bring to my business. In the meantime, I prefer to focus my efforts on other channels that more directly enable me to build valuable relationships. I'm a big believer of focusing on your core strategy and eliminating the extraneous stuff that amounts to nothing more than distraction. Thanks for making us all think bigger than ourselves.

  • Jason Keath

    Did you at one time think it would enhance your business?

  • SaraKate

    This about sums it up right here: “Your mileage may/will/should vary.” Again, very well said.

  • Lynette F. Cornell

    The way Facebook is currently set up, Facebook fan pages are pretty useless as far as I can tell. But then again, a lot of things are useless on Facebook (i.e. nearly all the apps that keep cluttering my friend feed).

    However, Papa John's Pizza, Southwest, and STA Travel use their fan pages really well in promoting contests, deals, and other like things that their fans might be interested in. Perhaps, you could have used your fan page network to promote your charity head-shaving. Or maybe you did. I don't know. STA is especially great in that they have videos and use their contests to encourage user engagement.

    On a much smaller scale: An independent jewelry maker uses the fan page for her company Perpetual Sunshine Creations to let fans know about new pieces for sale. I found out about her when I saw a friend had become a fan. It's a variation on word-of-mouth advertising, I think.

  • Chris Brogan

    No. I did it because I felt guilty that I couldn't add more friends on FB. Instead I've just deleted a few hundred folks to make room. : (

  • Siobhan bulfin

    oh poor you that you had to justify your original 5 word post. I thought it splendid and bang on:)

  • Coree

    Hey Chris…I, personally, don't know enough about FB fan pages to give the pros vs cons. And I do appreciate the fact that YOU are not a follower or “joiner” of the newest thing just to be part of the newest thing.

    But, here's one thing that I have to say: you mentioned on Twitter that you're amazed at how much people let your decision have an affect on their decision to use social tools. I think people are just trying to do the same thing as you (at least I speak for myself) and find what would be best for their building their business. Because you run one of the top ranked and most popular blogs out there, people do look to you for your experience…Guess that comes with the territory.

    I held off on creating a fan page for pretty much the same reasons you mentioned…it seems senseless and pompous…but, because other more experienced bloggers have recommended it I was weighing it out. Think I was just curious as to why you thought it was senseless. I usually do what I want anyway, but your insight would be cool. ;)

  • Melissa

    A Facebook fan page is simply another tool in the belt. Some people will want to use it – some people willnot.

    It work best for B to C businesses. I don't feel pompus about our page – then again it doesn't have my name on it, but my company name… maybe that makes a difference.

  • zitagustin

    Carissa – right on. I like what you have said about CORE strategy. Many folks don't have a strategy at all. They just do what everyone else is doing without thinking about what is right for them or for their business. Thanks for mentioning that!

  • ChrisDonaldson

    Well said.

    Yeah – 'Being There' is frickin' awesome. One of my faves. The last full film appearance for Peter Sellers – who was nominated for best actor.

    I like to watch.

  • Gina Kay Landis

    Yeah, I created a couple of pages and then they just sat there. I'm in the business of real estate, not product supply, which I think suits the pages better (though I do have a page for my XanGo distribution biz, which actually… well… let's just say I drink the stuff but don't attempt to build a robust downline right now).

    At any rate, FB pages can or can't make sense, depending on one's business, presence on FB etc.. For me, the jury's out on using the page(s) as a hefty business tool. And I frankly feel odd “inviting” people to “become a fan” of my FB page. Just feels different than simply asking people to do business with me because I'll treat them well.

    Just my opinion, yanno.


  • Honeybee Consulting

    HA! Well-spoken. I laughed out loud (literally) yesterday when I saw a tweet that said you were full of yourself. Assuming that this is because you opted out of your FB fan page, I submit “WTH??”

    I use a fan page for my burgeoning business, as I'm doing all I can to attract clients, etc. (don't think I could ever do one for me, PERSONALLY … and seriously, who the hell am I?) But I digress. My reasons are my own and I don't need anyone else's endorsement for them. I'm doing what works for ME.

  • MtnDweller

    Facebook works really well for us (Mountain Dweller Apparel) because we are a lifestyle brand but I can see how it doesn't work so well for a single person. If it feels redundant and stale then drop it. Its good to trim away some of the social network fat a little.

  • franpro

    Of course you know that you are always free to change your mind about a FB fan page, or anything else having to do with social media.

    THAT kind of makes it more fun.

    The Franchise King
    Joel Libava

  • Tamia

    This post and the one that preceded it don't seem to be about Facebook Pages specifically (which is what a lot of people are addressing), but more about doing what works for you personally.

    In any case, this left a huge cheesy grin on my face. Thanks.

  • Pranav Bhasin

    I do echo your sentiment that facebook fan pages are somewhat redundant for most businesses. I created one with a lot of enthusiasm for lifeblob and it is just sitting there without adding much value to the overall business.

    However, I do see some of the brands using facebook pages very well in combination with their advertisement on other media to drive user engagement, provide information and get valuable feedback. I think they do serve a very valuable purpose in these short-term kind of campaigns but may not be as valuable for a really long term customer engament.

  • ValerieStevens

    Amen darling AFreakinmen!!! There's a reason you are only one of 6 blogs I'm subscribed to!

  • Richard Reeve

    Each and every time I try to find a way for facebook to be useful I come up empty handed. After a dozen or so attempts, I find the spacing between each return to be spreading out further and further. But I'm truly psyched so many people are absorbed there…(make all sorts of room for pulling the end runs…)

  • Gerard McLean

    Simplify and focus. About time we heard that from Social Media.

  • Gerard McLean

    Adding to my previous comment.. You should come to Ohio more often… :-)

  • John Carson

    Hey Chris,

    If it wasn't called a “fan” page would you feel different? Maybe the implications of hungry hordes of people clamouring for autographs is the sticking point.


  • Stuartfoster

    I'm debating a similar move. However, I don't know if I would be able to maintain the current build up of good will that I have been doing on both my blog and facebook. May just end up axing it though.

  • Rebecca

    It's not about you… and yet your previous post was about why *you* deleted *your* page. (That was your response to commenters). If it's all about the community, and not about you, why not give people useful and valuable information?

    This follow-up post is again about you, not on what's useful for your community. It's your blog and you're free to write about whatever you want, but don't posit that it's not all about you when it so very clearly is, at least in this instance.

    There's a difference between “It's not about me,” and “It's about you.”

  • Ritsa

    So was the facebook fan page yours to delete? I'm a fan of yours Chris, but not on facebook. I agree that what you do here is not about you – it's about the community we've built. But surely a Chris Brogan fan community on facebook was about you…

  • Ray

    Less is more: good to know it's not an entirely outmoded concept.

  • Brandon Mendelson

    Agreed. Since your post I'm looking into deleting my Facebook page Chris, I thought it was a good decision.

  • kellywissink

    If you are online to do business, your business strategy should be “it is not about me”. Well said, Chris!

  • ChrisDonaldson

    The fun thing about the 'Being There' reference is that everyone thinks that the main character is a genius, when in fact all he does is say things that are obvious (“A garden grows in the Spring”, for example.) Everyone interprets such simple sayings based on their own perceptions; the politican thinks this is a metaphor for economic cycles, etc. So by the end, the man is considered to be a mystical messiah (insert religious references here).
    It seems that Chris' simple statement provoked such great response exactly because of all the baggage people brought to the conversation. We didn't really want to listen to what was being said as much as we wanted our opinions to be heard. An interesting lesson there, perhaps.

  • Jeff Shuey

    Love the reference to the Peter Sellers' classic movie “Being There” and i agree with you. If people have not seen it — they should.

  • Kevin Williams

    WELL SAID. If more “marketers” and “social media experts” took that approach, then this wouldn't even be a debate.

  • FriedaBabbley

    I did watch Being There and it's a top 10 favorite. It's relativeness has come up in many things these last few weeks, so, interesting that you should bring it up.

  • Chuck Smith

    Your five word post was succinct and thought provoking. Take this for what you will, it made me think about my presence and my audience. That is what I read your blog for. A few words from Chris that make me think about what I can implement.

    Thanks for that!

  • Jamie Favreau

    I agree about it being all about YOU. I am not sure if I ever got notoriety I would want one either. I don't think that is my style. Unless it had a BIG Winged Wheel or something on it. Just because I wear the Red Wings on my sleeve.

    I don't think I would want one either.

  • Frenchy

    Love this post. I am a regular reader but this is the first time I have commented on this blog. I just can't help to express myself after reading this post, and I just want to say, “Haha! This entry is simple but says a lot !”.

  • Lara Dalch

    A little late to the conversation here…all I have to say is, Chris, you're a class act. Thanks for that. :)

  • John Lynner Peterson

    Story – well told – remains central in all media!

    Change HAPPENS! We have other models to help tell stories using the mantra – Produce Once, Publish EVERYWHERE!

    Good stories inspire action!

  • jlbraaten

    So you're saying you won't mind if someone claims your facebook url this Saturday? Lol I kid.

  • Plurk Layouts

    nice post… :)

  • theCount

    I love it when you smack the Hornets nest with a big stick and all those indignant social media hornets come out fighting. Hats off to you Chris you were the first social media “Guru” I “followed” and you will probably be the last one left when all the other so called experts finally disappear up their own asses:

  • Aronado

    I am going to make a fffffffanpage right now dammit! Just to prove you wrong!! LOL..
    ehhh if they don't like it they can F themselves.

    peace out

  • zaneology

    What's a Facebook Fan page? Just kidding. I'm just glad you're typing stuff..and people are reading what you type….makes the world a better place.

  • Matthew Snodgrass

    Well put, Chris.

  • the sharper image review

    As irony would have it, it seems that deleting the Facebook page was good for business. :-) Do you think you have started a movement – considering the traffic and attention received as a result of your Facebook exodus?

  • Michelle_iMediaWorks

    Chris –

    Love the brevity and simplicity of how you express what many of us are thinking and feeling! Ditto – it's not about me. Brands should take a lesson…when its about others (e.g. Target's Bulleye Charity Vote), then conversation from the heart and soul naturally come through and valuable engagement between real people happens.

    I believe that each of these channels, whether its the Web site, blog, Facebook Fan page or group, Twitter, etc. should have a distinct role in communicating and engaging the community. If you've got a compelling need and the channel is the right medium – then go for it. But if you don't have a specific purpose, then creating spaces to pay homage, in my opinion, are a short-lived waste of time and clutter what social media is all about – Passion + Sharing = Community.

    Hope to meet you in person at next week's #140conf in NYC!

    Michelle Batten

  • viclogic

    Hmmmm. I was thinking of it – having a fan page on facebook. Earn lots of fans to gain more popularity. But wait, you have a point there. You really don't need it. But for some people their, this is a nice idea to socialize more. It's good as long as it is serious – no one can laugh.

  • Andre Natta

    absolutely perfect.

  • Scott

    Chris, thanks for making the important point that your commentary on element of social media… biased or not, pompus or not, informed or not… is directed by their contribution or not to the world of business! This is your space…”maintain the flow”!

  • Michael

    I am sure Facebook fan pages have worked for some but I can totally see your point.

    thanks for sharing and keep up the great work.