Facebook Presence Needed for Authors?

Do you really need to be on Facebook? Yes and no.

I recommend concentrating first and foremost on your own website/blog. This is the web presence you have the most control over; it is the most predictable place to establish as a hub or base of online operations.

As Facebook continues to “tweak” their algorithms, many of your carefully-crafted posts will be lost in the sea of posts scrolling past on the newsfeed for most of your followers. That said, there are several reasons why it may be important to have both a personal profile and an author page on Facebook.

First, 72% of Internet users use Facebook. As of a year ago, the population of Facebook outstripped the population of the world’s largest countries. Even China.

If you want to establish your online reputation, build name recognition, increase exposure and awareness, being on Facebook is a must. Furthermore, Facebook users are among the most highly engaged, interactive users of any social media platform.

But do you need a Facebook profile and a fan page?

Profile or Fan Page

Maintaining either one is time-consuming. To be an effective part of your author platform, any web presence you establish needs to work for you – if you’re a slave to your social media presence, you’re not going to spend time writing your next book, and that’s counterproductive. If you establish, then abandon, a social media presence, your fans may start to worry that you’ve died. Or they’ll feel neglected. Or worse, they’ll be bored.

Your Facebook profile is more personal than a fan page, but it can serve as both. If you turn on the Follow feature, anyone can follow your public posts without seeing the ones you set to Friends or to a restricted audience. From Facebook:

When you add someone as a friend, you automatically follow that person, and they automatically follow you. This means you may see each other’s posts in News Feed. When you follow someone who you’re not friends with, you’ll see posts that they’ve shared publicly in your News Feed.

fb-follow-button

You may have reasons to maintain strict privacy there, or you may simply feel less comfortable sharing personal posts with acquaintances and the general public. Randy Ross goes more in depth on the pros and cons of each approach. Although he seems to advocate a hybrid profile/follow approach, Randy Ross has a Facebook fan page.

Your Facebook fan page, if you have one, should be updated frequently. Take advantage of the high engagement rate among Facebook users – the greatest of any social media platform today – and have fun interacting with your readers. Let your personality shine, have fun, but don’t leave success to spontaneous, sporadic posts. Don’t forget that you have a page. It may take some time to build a good following, but be patient. According to Jane Friedman, “most writers abandon their [Facebook] efforts too quickly, and assume failure.” She writes: “Facebook (and most social media) is excellent at building awareness and comprehension in the community of who you are and what you stand for. Over time, you become more visible and identifiable, because you show up consistently.”

Your Turn

Are you on Facebook? Why, or why not?

Do you have a fan page? What works best for you when it comes to getting people interested in your fan page?

If you’re a reader – not necessarily a writer – do you look at your favorite authors’ pages on Facebook? Do you prefer to Follow them on their profile or to Like their fan page? What keeps you coming back?

HollyJahangiri

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at http://amazon.com/author/hollyjahangiri. For more information on her children's books, please visit http://jahangiri.us/books.
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7 thoughts on “Facebook Presence Needed for Authors?”

  1. I’m not on FB anymore. In my experience people there are not interested in the depth and type of connection that is the essence of blogging. Different social media appeal to different personalities, so I don’t take it personally… but it was too much extra work for me to keep both a FB presence and a blog going. Would love to know if other bloggers have had a similar experience.
    Ally Bean recently posted…F Is For Froot Loops, For SureMy Profile

    1. I like the hybrid approach, myself. I feel I neglect my page, and that most of the people who follow me there are already friends who fell for my plaintive appeal to “Please follow my Facebook author page so I don’t feel like a dork for making my own ‘fan page’!” You can definitely spread yourself way too thin if you try to do it all.

  2. Interesting. Facebook has an amazing presence, even though mainland China blocks it. What a percentage jump it will get if China ever allows it’s citizens to use it.

    1. What a world, eh? I can both understand why they block it (let’s be honest, any parent can understand why an authority figure would block it) – and imagine myself as a revolutionary who won’t be blocked from Facebook! 😛 And to bring parenting back into it, I’m having to beg my son to CONSIDER (maybe – much against his will) to set up a Facebook account to keep in touch when he moves. LOL I didn’t even block the darned thing! But he gets it… it’s not always healthy.

  3. Are you on Facebook? Why, or why not?

    It’s funny, I was one of the very few people I know (yes, I know myself lol) who did not have a facebook page. Until recently, that is. But I only signed up for a friend who I was helping on a project. I haven’t gone back since signing up however.

    Do you have a fan page? What works best for you when it comes to getting people interested in your fan page?

    I don’t have a fan page. Not actually sure why I would need one. My writing isn’t really something I’m doing to get published, right now.

    If you’re a reader – not necessarily a writer – do you look at your favorite authors’ pages on Facebook? Do you prefer to Follow them on their profile or to Like their fan page? What keeps you coming back?

    I don’t really look for my favorite authors on Facebook. It’s strange, but I never actually thought about doing that. Usually, I find the authors have their own websites, if I want to get information about them.

    Always, I find your posts very informative! Thank you, Holly.

    1. Thanks, fim! Really appreciate your taking the time to answer those questions! I think Facebook would love for us all to think that we can’t LIVE without it, but that’s not the case. Does it make it EASIER to build readership? Maybe. Probably. Is it absolutely necessary? Probably not.

  4. I have a personal FB account and an author page and readers have connected with me on both. I also joined a few groups on subjects/places that I am interested in or wrote about. I think this has helped in a roundabout way to give my books more exposure. I have to admit, I do like connecting with like-minded people on FB and it’s a great way to keep in touch with family and friends – sometimes simultaneously.

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