Facebook Subscribe for startup C-level executives: good idea or bad idea? Why?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

1. Got Content Worth Subscribing To?

“Setting up Facebook Subscribe for your C-level executives can be beneficial if your C-level executives are willing and able to publish great content. Not every piece of content needs to be about the business, but every piece of content needs to be “good” enough to have potential customers (aka your subscribers) read it. If you can’t publish PC content, then you shouldn’t make it public.”

Lucas Sommer, Audimated

2. Resource-Light and Personality-Heavy

“When a company is starting, most of the early adopters and evangelists care as much about supporting a business and founding team as they do about getting a great product. Allowing fans to Subscribe to the C-level team (which is the whole team, really) is a great opportunity for folks to see what it really takes to build the business. Seeing behind the curtain should create even greater affinity.”

Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

3. Subscribe to Facebook’s Subscribe Feature

“Facebook’s Subscribe feature is fantastic for C-level executives. First, this feature helps C-suiters expand their reach on the world’s biggest social network where people are regularly and deeply engaged. Second, using the Subscribe feature enables you to stay in touch with people who may be strangers or acquaintances, without needing to Friend them beforehand; they can Subscribe instead.”

Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

4. It’s Definitely a Good Idea

“As a startup executive, you are the face of your brand. You must define yourself and project that brand image to your target audience. Social media is an effective and inexpensive way of doing that, where you can reach a mass of audience virtually overnight.”

Richard Lorenzen, Lorenzen Capital

5. Bad Idea for Privacy Reason

“I see it all the time — those people who forget to protect their posts and control the audience who can view their updates, photos, or app activity. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook has it, but she works for Facebook and she uses the Subscribe feature fine. However, many C-level execs could possibly have inappropriate information that not everyone should see (like customers), like party pics!”

Lane Sutton, Social Media from a Teen

6. Facebook Is Pretty Risky

“Facebook Subscribe is an awesome option, if used wisely. Be smart about the information you put on there, and you can gain significant exposure and social media attention by taking advantage of this free service. Never underestimate the value you can get via social media.”

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

7. A Good Idea When Maintained

“Facebook Subscribe gives executives the ability to share certain content with their audience and gives followers additional insight into the person behind the company. It’s also a great way to build upon the executive’s personal brand. However, it’s important to actually share content on a regular basis if you’re going to allow subscribers.”

Heather Huhman, Come Recommended

8. Almost Never a Good Idea

“Hopefully, your executives are very busy people — if they’re C-level in a startup and have time to breathe, let alone publish the level of content that a good Facebook strategy requires, I’ll be very surprised. There are exceptions: some people can generate good content easily, but unless your execs are in that category, it’s better to focus on a company page.”

Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

9. Use Their Name, Not the Company’s

“Whether people are C-level executives or not, employees do not stay with companies forever. A Facebook Subscribe for a C-level executive is a good idea if the person is representing their name and not the company’s. That way, when the executive leaves the company, any future career or personal activities will not reflect on the company.”

Nancy T. Nguyen, Sweet T

10. Good for Founders in Tech

“Facebook Subscribe is a great tool for founders of tech startups, and C-level executives, who can take care with privacy settings and publish unique content. It helps breach the barrier of 5,000 friends which has hit many of the more high profile C-level executives and startup founders alike. Great for building an audience.”

Christopher Pruijsen, Letslunch.com

11. Experts Are Not Spokesmodels!

“No! You spend countless hours creating your brand identity. Your executives are experts in their field, but they aren’t spokesmodels. Your CFO is great at numbers, but he is not the face of the brand. A CMO is amazing at creating ads for teen hair dye, but your target customer may not think a 45-year-old mother is hip. Use the correct channels to build your brand and it will pay off.”

Nikki Robinson, Gloss and Glam