For those indie authors who wonder how to reach those elusive readers, I came across this post - http://socialmediajustforwriters.com/4-sure-fire-ways-to-generate-engagement-on-facebook/ – the best I’ve seen – explaining the difference between a Facebook profile (personal) and a Facebook page (professional).
A Facebook profile is for people. A Facebook page is for products (books!), services, nonprofits, and businesses.
Having a Facebook page will enable you to promote it, announce your readings, and inform your readers of upcoming workshops you’re giving. Technically, writers can’t promote their wares on their Facebook profiles
Even so, I struggled with some of the concepts.After several experiments, the author – Frances Caballo – came to the conclusion that:
• On your Facebook profile, personal information trumps beautiful images. Profiles are for friends and they want to hear about your life, your travails and your accomplishments. They also want to help so don’t forget to solicit their feedback.
• Information about your specialty or niche will perform better on your Facebook page, not your profile. I’m a writer who specializes in social media. I love to post about books, libraries, social media marketing, and authors. However, those types of posts work better on my Facebook page where my fans expect me to write about social media and as writers themselves, appreciate quotes by writers. So keep professional interests on your Facebook page and keep personal information you’d like to share on your Facebook profile.
• The image posted was beautiful, but it wasn’t personal. It wasn’t a picture that I’d taken on vacation or after a day at the beach. If that had been the case, more of my friends would have left comments. Images in and of themselves, despite the beauty they capture, won’t generated the engagement you’d like to have on your profile.
• Facebook users love to laugh. Whenever I post an image that’s hilarious, whether it’s on my profile or my page, the engagement goes up. This is true for both your page and your profile; something truly hilarious that isn’t offensive may trump everything else, except for your profile when you ask people for their help.
I agree that photos and images are postings that attract comments and likes. A good photo or humorous image and hitting ‘like’ is quick and simple. But in this article, the author also pushes the personal - Facebook profiles are all about sharing one’s drama, struggles, parties, promotions, and other personal items. And this is where I have a problem.
I am happy for people to know about me as an author, but do they really need or, more importantly, want to know if I have a cold, had chicken for dinner or my granddaughter was cheeky? My friends will, I agree; my family probably already know as I talk to them, but do my readers, followers and people who ‘like’ me want to know? I’d be interested to know your opinion.
As a reader I want to know what about my favourite authors: something of their interests and what excites them, but not personal and intimate posts. I want to know a lot about what they are writing, what the theme for the next book might be, and what inspires them. I am also more interested in the struggles they are having with writing rather than anything in their personal lives. Is that just me, being a fellow writer, or am I being too ‘out-of-touch’ in today’s world?
So this is where Facebook doesn’t work for me. You must have a personal profile to have a Facebook presence – okay, so far so good – and if you ‘like’ a business page (which I have done) you would expect to receive updates according to your setting. Unfortunately, that also means an author not only has to spend time commenting on their personal page but also on their professional page, which takes them away from what they do – write books.
Yet anything posted on that business page does not necessarily appear in your personal news feed. Sometimes it might and sometimes not. I have a friend, both personal and on Facebook who updates here personal profile with interesting news. She is also an author. I have ‘liked’ her professional page, but rarely do I get any updates from that page. I wondered if it was my ineptitude and somehow I didn’t have the correct settings. It appears not.
Another article by Stephanie Chandler - http://authoritypublishing.com/social-media/social-media-for-authors-how-to-use-promoted-posts-on-facebook/ - tells us Facebook deliberately controls the number of people who see the posts on your business page. The only way to overcome this problem is to spend money and pay for Promoted Posts.
What do you think?
Do you want read personal updates about people who you ‘like’ on a business page? Shouldn’t that sort of personal information be just for friends and family – people you know? Are your readers also your friends? What is the difference between a friend and a Facebook friend? I don’t like to share my personal with the wider world out there in cyber space who I don’t know, but thousands, even millions of people do. So much for the GCSB debate! (But that’s another story).
What would be the factor that would attract you away from the personal profile of an author to the professional page of the same person? If I put my writing information – and I don’t mean hard sell: that doesn’t work in anybody’s world – but a link to my blog, for example. Would you follow that link more if it was on a professional page rather than my personal profile? According to this article, yes:
Facebook friends want to hear about the highlights of our lives, and not have to click a link that take them to a blog post. Do you agree?
Seems to me that social media, which is constantly highlighted as THE way to connect with your readers, is not all it’s cracked up to be, but then I’m old-fashioned like that. I want people to read my stories, not the story of my life today in one-sentence updates. So, I still have the problem – how do indie authors find their readers?