Week 3: Develop Your Online Presence – Facebook

Lecture

Love it or hate it, Facebook is a huge part of today’s social media world, and it’s a place every writer ought to have a page, if only to stake their claim and establish their name. Happily, it’s a site that’s easy (and actually quite fun) to develop further when you’re ready.

So, the basics. Decide how you want to stake your claim. You have a choice: you can create a Page (for professionals) or a Personal Profile for individuals. Have you written a book? Some writers like to make a page in the name of the book itself, and write posts that are illuminate the book’s content. This is a Page for professional content.

Most writers, however, simply use their name and create a Personal Profile. They post on topics that are interesting and relevant to them and their writing. As always, be consistent if possible, and use the same name you’ve used on your blog, your Twitter account and your website.

How Pages are different from Personal Profiles (timelines):

Profiles (timelines) represent individuals and must be held under an individual name, while Pages allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook. You may only create Facebook Pages to represent real organizations of which you are an authorized representative.

In addition, Pages are managed by admins who have personal Facebook profiles (timelines). Pages are not separate Facebook accounts and do not have separate login information from your profile (timeline). They are merely different entities on the site, similar to how Groups and Events function. Once you have set up a Page within your profile (timeline), you can add other admins to help you manage the Page. People who choose to connect to your Page won’t be able to see that you are the Page admin or have any access to your personal account.

if you have already created a personal profile and want to switch it to a professional page, you can do so by following the information HERE. By doing this, you can save all the contacts you had as an individual onto a new professional Page.

You can also link your Twitter account to your page and, when you update Twitter, your page will automatically be updated on Facebook. This can work well if there’s a limit to how much time you have to maintain these various spots on the internet and your Twitter followers are not (in the main) the same as your Facebook friends.

You have the choice of having your tweets go to your Facebook page, or vice versa – i.e. your Facebook posts can go automatically to your Twitter account. Since tweets have to be limited to 140 characters and need to be more carefully crafted than a Facebook post, you might want to tweet first and have those tweets show up on Facebook. Information on how to link your twitter account to your Facebook page can be found HERE.

And a quick word about notifications…Facebook can drive you crazy with constant notifications via email. You can turn these notifications off by going to your Notification Settings.

Lastly, a couple of thing to remember. Firstly, you do not own the content on your Facebook page. Someone I know had a business Page that had the same name as another person’s business. The other business complained to Facebook, and my friend’s page was instantly taken down. Facebook did not respond to their enquiries and, as far as I know, the site and all its information was lost. Therefore, it may be best to only post material that is already on your website or blog. That way, if you lose the Facebook content for any reason, you can re-post without too much trouble.

Secondly, know that Facebook is using all and any information it gets when you use their site. Everything is stored and used to market products to you.

And lastly, as with any other social media site, it’s best to think about your endgame before you start. What is your goal for your Facebook profile or page? Common wisdom is that the best idea is to drive traffic to wherever you intend to sell something – your website, if you plan to sell things on your website. You can drive traffic from your Facebook page to your blog or website, and give readers a reason to sign up for your blog or newsletter. As they sign up, you begin to build your platform. When your book is ready for sale, you’ll notify those people.

NB. We’ll talk more about how to get people to sign up for your blog or website newsletter later but, for now, think about what you ultimately want to sell your readers, then offer them something similar – scaled down – in the meantime. For example, if you’re writing a book on developing and marketing a brand, you can offers free tips on the same.

Checklist

Answer these questions:

1. What are my goals for my Facebook account? Who is my target audience? (Ideally these will be the same as your goals for your blog and Twitter account.)
2. Do I need a personal profile or a professional page, or both?
4. What information can I post that will be enriching, illuminating or entertaining to my target audience?
5. Go to Facebook and sign up for a personal profile. If you already have a one, start a page for your business. Click around, see what the tabs on the side look like (more on those later), and send some friend requests to people you know. (FYI, Facebook isn’t like Twitter where you can follow anyone. Only send friend requests to people you know.)
6. Link your tweets to your Facebook, and see what happens next time you tweet!