Over the last year I’ve taught a few workshops on writing and being a writer. Inevitably I hear the same question in each class, and surprisingly it isn’t, can you even tie your own shoes, but I digress… The question is—should I create a Facebook page or use my profile?
The answer: I have no clue. I barely know you. Stop staring at me like that.
Okay, the real answer is similar: You tell me what works for you.
Yes, it is that simple.
And far more complicated.
Confused? Good. Marketing yourself as a writer is a confusing world. You can ask anyone for advice, but that doesn’t mean what works for them will work for you. That being said, I do have a few pros and cons for the fan page versus the profile.
Ability to schedule posts: Yes, you can schedule posts if you use a third party software, but the ability to do so directly from Facebook is only available on a fan page.
Insights: Learn about those who view your page, when they view it, and what they interact with.
Ads: This is my favorite part. You can create an ad specific to your target audience. Don’t know who your target is, research! Let me give you an example, 84% of romance readers are women, age range of 30-54. Now if I was creating an ad, I would pick women who like books (you can get more specific) in that age range. I could even go as far as to target women who’ve LIKED a particular author or book. Can’t get better than that. And you pick the cost of the ad.
Tabs: You can make tabs for new pages like a website. I have a newsletter signup form (using mailchimp), a page for giveaways, and an events page among others.
Shop Now button: I have a button on the top of my page that says shop now. It takes people to my amazon author page, and all my available books. Quick and easy. You can create a button for most any call to action.
LIKE ME: For people to see your page without you boosting the post (which costs cash) they have to have LIKED the page.
Impersonal: The fan page can feel a little impersonal, if you let it. You need to put effort into cultivating your fans. You need to be as open and genuine on that page as you are in real life. Or if you suck in real life (I’m totally sure you don’t. Really. Don’t you look pretty today…), you should keep that suckiness under wraps. Which is great life advice too. So you are welcome.
Easily Ignored: I tend to ignore requests to LIKE someone’s page, and yet, I am willing to be ‘friends’ with anyone. You might be different, but I am guessing based on the response of my own friends to LIKE my page that that is true. I am also less likely to read a post from a fan page.
You already have one: No mess, no fuss.
Most engagement: Again, it might just be me, but I tend to engage with a post by a profile more than I do a page. It might contain the same information, but I trust a profile more. Which makes me an idiot, but you knew that already (see my inability to tie my own shoes comment earlier).
Friends are better than fans: If you can turn a fan into a friend, then you have won the marketing game. Fans are wonderful. I love people who adore me. Not sure why, other than it is awesome. But a fan is 2D. I don’t know them. A friend, on the other hand, is someone I can engage with at any time.
Newsfeed: It’s just not the same on a fan page. I love my newsfeed. I love knowing about other’s perspective. Yes, I am FREAKING NOSEY. Always have been.
Opening yourself up: Using your profile opens you up to anyone you accept as a friend (and sometimes, depending on your settings, to anyone in general). Now I don’t have a problem with that. I am the same on either my profile or page, though I am more active on my profile.
No Ads: You have to have a page to create an ad.
I suggest you create a fan page, just to see how you like it. If you don’t, just delete it. It can’t hurt, and it might make you famous. Remember to remember the little people when you are. (Yeah, I’m pretty short).
Do you have a Facebook fan page? If so, link it in the comments and I’ll LIKE you. Or give us your profile link and I’ll friend you.
I also wanted to give a shout out to all the veterans. Happy Veterans' Day! Thank you for your service!