Initially there was the Facebook persona profile and, since that was all we had, businesses jumped in and made the best of using this not so ideal business tool.

Then came business pages and again businesses embraced them and in many cases tried to separate business and personal with this approach.

With the recent overhaul of the personal profiles another kind of use has been created – one that may have some business folks moving back to the personal profile.

Facebook subscribe to public

Public personal vs. Page

The subscribe function introduced recently allows Facebook profile owners to offer the ability for people who are not friends to subscribe to receive updates that are marked public. Now, couple this with the fact that Facebook has made it much easier to share with selected groups and you’ve got the makings of a nice business tool that is actually more suited for celebrities, authors, experts and independent business owners than a Facebook page.

How to manage the subscribe function

If you want people to subscribe to your public updates you must first turn this function on here. Once you do so you then must use the public setting to mark who can see an update. Of course, you’ll want to pay attention to that setting and make sure you only use it for things you want public.

Facebook claims that a tool, which would allow fan page owner to convert fans to subscribers of the personal profile is in the works. High profile Facebook employees, including founder Mark Zuckerberg appear to have done this migration already.

The new look is coming to all personal profiles this week

Facebook Cover

No matter which approach you take, get ready for an entirely new look on your personal profile. Facebook claims all profiles will be switched Oct 14th. (Want to switch yours today – here are the instructions)

Two big changes, the cover photo and the Time Line, offer the business user a better tool.

The cover photo is one dominating image that could be used very effectively by an expert wanting to showcase speaking for example.

The new view also presents the public information in a what I think is a more user friendly manner.

Get that cover image ready

Here is Facebook’s official information on the Cover image.

Expect designer types to have a blast hacking this image into some pretty cool things, but for now know that you need to look for an image with a width of 833px and a minimum height of 310px. Facebook makes it easy to position an existing image of most any size as well, but images that are already large in size will show better.

You can upload new photos or simply choose a photo in one of your Facebook albums to act as your cover photo.

MyFBCovers offers some simple ways to create custom cover images and cover collages made up of images of friends.

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Great article, thanks for posting it! Everything that may be making people anxious about security for their personal Facebook pages works great for Business Pages. Having people be able to subscribe without even “befriending” your page is a great feature for businesses!

  • Valerie

    Nifty new features. FB is creating a micro industry for designers. So much to keep up with!

  • Couple all this with the way that FB has been making it harder for page updates to reach Fans and it’s compelling. 

    However, I liked it when I was able to separate my Personal & Professional selves. I know I can choose the circles, or lists, or whatever you call them and use that to do it. Just another change to get used to.

    • I think this is aimed more at the independent business person – there are advantages and disadvantages to the fan page.

  • Carmen Sognonvi

    When I heard about the “Subscribers” function, that was my first thought too: This is exactly what business pages need to get any real value out of Facebook. I was hoping that they’d roll this function out to pages too, but I haven’t heard of any plans to do so.

    Interesting that you may be able to convert your page into a personal profile and use the Subscribers function that way. I wonder if this is means Facebook is gradually going to eliminate business pages altogether? And will businesses now be allowed to set up profiles? That could open the door to a lot of friend request spam.

    I have to admit that I’m putting less and less time into my business’s Facebook page these days. What’s the point when Edgerank allows only a tiny sliver of the fans you worked so hard to get, to see an update from you? Feels like a futile exercise sometimes.

    • I don’t think business pages are going away anytime soon, because Coke and McDonalds types need that functionality that is purely a brand.

      It will be interesting to see how some independent business folks view this though

  • There is still the problem of the 5,000 friend limit – I guess there is no limit to subscribers, but what about the ability to advertise? 

    • That’s right there is no limit to number of subscribers and currently no ability to advertise

  • Frank


    Thanks for this valuable update.
    I am a personal coach (my business=me) and have been hesitating to start a fan page for a long time because I couldn’t seperate the private and professional me.
    What would you recommend these days to independent professionals: keep a profile or start a fan page? 

    Thanks for you reply

    • Heather Turner

      Using a personal page for business is still against Facebooks terms of use, so would recommend against it. 

  • chatmeter

    I am interested to see how these feature pan out. It seems like the subscription feature is like a twitter feed. This could be a better tool for businesses to keep their followers up to date.