This series of blog posts endeavours to give tips to the freelance publishing world on quick, simple ways to give your online presence that professional edge, to make you really stand out from the crowd and be remembered by your contacts and potential clients.
Part one is about the difference between having a Facebook User account, and a Facebook Page, and why every freelancer, particularly freelance writer, should give their online presence that professional edge by creating a dedicated Facebook Page.
In the last couple of years, many writers, both published and un-published, have started engaging their readers through social media – mostly Twitter, and Facebook. Whether they’re using it out of necessity, for the fun of it, or because their publisher told them they had to, as a reader I have actually been delighted by the amount of writers that have gotten online – because I can get information about their books straight from the source.
One of the goals of Creatives Unite has always been to make it simpler for writers venturing online and not knowing where to start to be able to easily find any advice they might need to both engage their audience and promote their work more readily, since it’s expected of them now.
And one of the main things I don’t see authors doing is engaging their readers with a dedicated Facebook Page. Most believe that signing up with a personal Facebook User account will suffice, and I think by not getting into Facebook Pages they’re missing out on a bunch of free opportunities that will take their online presence to the next – professional – level. Here’s four reasons that I think every writer, no matter how big or small they are, should get a Facebook Page.
1. Facebook Users can only add 5000 friends; Facebook Pages can have unlimited Likes.
With a Facebook Page, you can have unlimited “reach”. One of the authors I was exited to follow, and thus friend requested on Facebook, was Kevin J Anderson. Soon after sending the friend request, I received a message from him, saying that Facebook has maxed out his friend list, and he couldn’t add any more.
When you reach your maximum friend request limit on a personal Facebook account, you will have to turn readers – fans – away.
If you have a Facebook Page, there is no limit to the number of readers who can follow your Facebook updates.
2. Facebook Users are personal; Facebook Pages are brands.
You are your own brand, and from a marketing perspective, that’s the way you can present yourself to your readers. It’s more professional, tech-savvy and controlled. It also means that you can separate your personal user account, through which you may want to add family and old school friends, from your fans and readers, who don’t need to know all the details of your personal life.
3. Facebook Pages carry more authority and can be “verified”.
Just like verifying your identity on Twitter, Facebook Pages can be verified as official pages. Just look at JK Rowling’s Facebook Page:
The little blue “tick” next to her name means that the page is managed by her, or her marketing team, and that it will contain the most official and up-to-date news about her and her books. She also has 2.5 million Likes; a number that could never be achieved with a personal Facebook User account. Bear in mind that there’s (currently) no way to request your page be verified, but that Facebook will do it automatically for Pages that have a significant number of likes.
4. Your Page doesn’t have to be managed by you.
You are able to add administrators to manage any Facebook page, or you can manage it yourself. Perhaps you have some wonderful fans who will keep conversation flowing on your behalf on your Facebook Page? Make them the administrators of your Page. Perhaps you have a webmaster who looks after your website, who can manage your Facebook Page as well? Perhaps you have a family member who’s extremely tech-savvy, who’s also interested in looking after that side of things for you. The point is, you’re not on your own when you consider yourself a brand.
Convinced? Awesome. So, how do you get a Facebook Page anyway?
1/ Sign into your regular, personal Facebook user account,
2/ Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/,
3/ Select “Artist, Band, or Public Figure”, and set your Category (to “Author”, if you’re a writer, or select one of the other category names for the most appropriate one if you’re not),
4/ Type your full name in the Name dialog box, agree to the terms & conditions, and select “Get Started”.
From there it’s a matter of following the on-screen prompts, which are quite helpful. If you try it out and get stuck, feel free to comment on this post with what portion of the process you’re stuck on, and we’ll give you a hand.