This post is about how I think about these pages, and it also highlights some relevant tea-related pages. If you use facebook at all, you may find this post illuminating. And, if you are one of the readers of this blog who own or runs a small business, website, or even a blog, you will hopefully find a little useful business advice hidden in here as well.
Image courtesy of Fasticon.
What is the point of a page?
Businesses use pages for promotional purposes, and for managing their online presence. A page provides a "public face" for the business. Businesses that think of facebook pages strictly as a marketing vehicle are missing one of the primary benefits of having such a page: the page allows a business to receive feedback from customers and the general public, and interact with these people in a casual manner. Which leads into the next point:
For individuals running websites, pages can separate work relationships from personal ones:
I sometimes worry that I offend some people because I do not always add people back on facebook, when I receive friend requests from people I have business relationships with. Although I have added a number of tea people to my facebook, I do not always do so as a general rule. This is nothing personal, I just don't want to end up with more than the obscene number of people on my friends list, and I also want to keep some degree of separation between the friends I know face-to-face, who know much about my personal life, and the people I just know in the context of business, work, or blogging about tea, who do not and may not want to know these things.
Having a page for your blog or business, even if you are just one person, can help to maintain this separation. And then, you are still free (as I often do) to add individual people on facebook if you want to do so.
What you "like" influences the world:
Although it seems like such a casual think, "liking" a page influences the word in a small way. For one, it subscribes you to that page's posts, which will place them in your feed. But also, you are now counted in the supporters of that page, which will be displayed both on your profile and on the page itself.
When a page has more supporters, it becomes more influential, both because it has a greater ability to distribute information, and because with additional fans comes brand recognition and legitimacy. For a business, likes or fans have a tangible cash value, and Facebook capitalizes on this fact by making money from organizations advertising to receive more fans.
Casually or carelessly liking pages enables you to be counted in the support of a business or organization. Think carefully before liking a page: do you want to support this business, website, blog, or organization?
I recommend being careful about liking, but also being generous with it. I like lots of pages...I want to support my friends, and any business that I come into contact with that I think is a good, honest business with a mission I support, and organizations working for causes I support.
Some Tea Pages:
In case you want some tea pages to like, I have a few recommendations. This is by no means a comprehensive listing:
- RateTea's Facebook Page - I run this page; it mostly posts updates and highlights random pages from the site; the material here is generally NOT the same as the twitter account, and I tend to post less often.
- Life in Teacup, the page for the blog and tea company run by Gingko Seto, focusing on Chinese teas. This is a fantastic blog, and a fantastic company, if you are not currently aware of it.
- World of Tea, a blog run by Tony Gebely; note, there is a separate page for Chicago Tea Garden.
- Tea For Me Please - The page for the Nicole's blog Tea For Me Please.
- Upton Tea Imports' Page - I could not possibly list all tea company pages, but I do want to list my favorite one. I particularly like how Upton uses facebook, highlighting new teas and interacting with fans/customers as well.
- Adagio Teas' page - this page is a little more fun and off-the-wall than the average facebook page, and is also worth checking out.
Apologies for the pages I inevitably missed...if you are listed in my blog's sidebar, or regularly read this blog, have an active facebook page, and want to be listed, please comment or tweet at me, and I will be glad to get your page listed as well!