Friday, July 1, 2011

Facebook: Profile vs Page

In the comments section of the How-to-Social-Media yesterday, I saw someone reference "scrolling down to see vacation pics." They were talking about a Facebook profile page--where people can request and be approved to be your friend. But if we're talking about building your online brand, we're not talking about a Profile page.

Most people have a Profile page to connect with friends and family. It is NOT the type of page you want to set up as your "author" or public page.

If you're setting up any sort of public page: for your book, for you as an author, or any other sort of professional type thing, you want to set up a Facebook Fan Page. The differences:
  • People just click "Like" to gain access to a page; they don't have to be approved the way you would a friend request on your Profile page.
  • Your content should be related, although it doesn't have to strictly revolve around, the product or service you set the page up to promote. This means no personal pictures, no vacation uploads from your phone after your third mai-tai.
And Fan Pages, like a Profile Page, have some of the same tools to make your life easier:
  • You can import a personal blog, so that when the blog updates so does your Facebook.
  • All the same types of content is supported--you can add photos of, say, your book cover or a video of a reading or signing.
  • You can link out to your website or to a buy link for whatever you're promoting.
  • There is a "Wall" section where you and your followers can interact publicly, as well as messages where you can communicate privately.
Go here: to create your Facebook Fan Page--BUT WAIT.

Make sure you're doing so at the right time. If you don't have a book out in the next year (similar timeframe for other products: if you're not launching within a year, don't jump the gun), you probably don't want to start promoting it now--potential buyers will get fatigued. Twitter is a better, lower-commitment place to start if you're a couple of years out (we'll get to more on that).

Over the next few posts, we'll be talking more about Facebook, how to use it, and what its future looks like for commercial use. Stay tuned!!


  1. Thanks for writing this. I haven't jumped into Facebook yet, but I'm pretty active on Twitter. I'm looking forward to more Facebook posts!

  2. This is perfect timing! Our group blog were just talking about setting up a page this week. Thanks for the info!

  3. Oh my gosh I was just wondering about this the other day...thanks!

  4. Great thing about Fan pages they can be used in a variety of ways. And I love the fact that it can be customized to such extent that it can look like anything that users prefer. The power to make a page on Facebook lies on their owners.

  5. This is great because ubpubbed writers are told to get those FB pages up and in order early on--except I never use mine, and there's the problem of public vs. private accounts (you're not supposed to have more than one account on Facebook). A fan page is the best way to go, and I couldn't agree more that you need to do it at the right time.

    Now I'm off to go delete my useless "public" Facebook account.

  6. I'm so glad you clarified this. Like Sierra, I've been hearing for years that from the moment you write your first 4th grade homework assignment on "What I did on my Summer Vacation," you should be promoting yourself on Facebook. Since I dislike the awful FB spam and invasion of privacy, I've been maintaining a presence while holding my nose. Maybe I can finally delete the whole thing.

  7. Great post. Facebook can be a great business tool if used correctly. Many businesses start one with high hopes, but soon get frustrated with it or simply get too busy to properly maintain. If you're serious about social media looking in to a social media company to do the work for you isn't a bad idea. Just make sure you do your research and find someone with standards in line with yours.

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