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Facebook Subscribe – a Game Changer for Coaches, Speakers, Authors and Public Figures

You may have noticed that little button show up on your Facebook profile that says "Subscribe". If you are like me, you may have glanced and said, "I don't get it" or perhaps "I don't have time to figure that one out". You are not alone!

There were a lot of other changes that popped up at the same time, and this one got little press coverage. However, it is a BIG DEAL for celebrities, athletes, speakers, coaches and any individual one who is a public figure or wants to be one! Actually, this one little feature can be a game changer in the way a public figure uses Facebook.

Prior to Facebook Subscribe, as a public figure, you could only accept 5000 connections to your personal profile. Those connections include both friends and pages you like. So once you hit that limit, you had to create a fan page. The problem is that now you had to administer two things, a profile and a page. Often your clients would want to connect with you personally, and not with your page. It was harder to create relationships with your page likes than it was your friends.

That just changed.

Facebook just broke out a new feature. It's something you've gotten all along with your friends. You've always been subscribed to your friend's updates. Now you can click on the Subscribe button to filter what you see from each friend. Tired of their Farmville updates? You can filter that out but clicking on the subscribe button.

OK, so that's not so new. But what is new is that now you can subscribe to hear what celebrities, journalists, speakers and public figures have to say without becoming their friend. You simply click on the subscribe button on their profile and their public updates will appear in your news feed.

(If you don't want non-friends to subscribe to your public updates, then you can turn it off so the subscribe button disappears.) To turn on Subscribe follow these directions.

So why is this a game changer?

Well, you don't necessarily need a page anymore to break through the 5000 connection limit for your profile. More people can follow your public updates and feel intimately connected to you without you having to create and administer a page.

When is a page still valuable?

You want to move to a page when you need multiple people to administer it. Or for using custom tabs and applications. A page you can promote with ads and sponsored stories. And you get detailed metrics on demographics and fan activity with your page. So if its just you getting started, using your profile with the subscribe button is the best option. Once your business grows beyond you, you want to conduct advertising, or you want to start adding in fancy apps, then you will want a page.

Now, if you are afraid of having too much information in your news feed and thus are wary of subscribing to peoples updates, here's how to avoid that problem. You sort them into lists and save them to your favorites. Facebook created a great little guide for that. It's called Creating a Subscriptions List.

Lastly, you need to optimize your profile to get found by subscribers. Fortunately, Facebook has put together a short tutorial that shows us how to Optimize Your Profile for Subscribe.

If you are a public figure, coach, consultant, celebrity, author, or perhaps you want to be, then go ahead and turn on subscriptions and subscribe away!

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