Facebook can feel overwhelming, especially when one is learning the ropes. Do I need a page or a profile? Or both? How do I get the most benefit from my time? Facebook is constantly making changes, can I trust the platform?
These are questions I found myself asking a couple months ago when taking the plunge back into Facebook. To answer them, I took a class by Lisa Hall-Wilson, and found out not just the answers, but a depth of information that has served me well.
This is why I’m excited Lisa accepted my invitation to come and share a bit of Facebook wisdom with all of you.
Take it away, Lisa.
Did Facebook Change Something? 5 Tips For Page Owners to ‘It’s All Good’
I hang out on Facebook a lot, and I hear the same things from my writer friends over and over. Do I need a page or can I use my profile? (I answered that here) 2) I don’t know what to post now that I have a page.
People like to point fingers at the Zuck. If Facebook would just stop changing things I could figure this out. Really? Facebook changing things isn’t the heart of the issue. Most of the changes are cosmetic and don’t alter the way people use Facebook, or why they hang out there. Most of the changes actually make a lot of sense in terms of preserving the user experience. (Don’t throw anything – I’m totally serious.) Some changes are clearly for monetary gain, but FB is free. You don’t have to advertise to be successful, and as long as that remains the case the rest is just the price of admission.
Writers – write.
So – do what you’re good at. Writers and authors make a living by conveying our thoughts and feelings (whether through non-fiction or fictional characters) to others and hopefully evoking an emotional response. Facebook is no different. And then it doesn’t matter what Facebook changes.
Connecting with people on Facebook doesn’t have to be hard, but it will take practice. You will have to experiment and some of those experiments will fail. Facebook is the slowest of all the online social media platforms to build a tribe or community on, so be patient.
Give yourself at least 8 months, a year is better, to build an audience on Facebook. Yes, it’s THAT slow. If you’re not consistent, if you post sporadically, if you annoy people, that timeline only grows longer.
I put most of my effort into building a tribe on my profile because I’m a journalist as well as a fiction author. I have a page, but I don’t spend a lot of time there. I also administrate the WANA Intl page. The photo below got a dozen likes on my page (less than 400 fans). The same photo on the WANA page got over 170 shares. Size matters, so don’t get too discouraged. Success is measured differently based on the size of your page.
Here are 5 content tips from my upcoming class Steering Through The Facebook Winds Of Change to help you plan for successful page administration. **Note: Many of these strategies will also work for those using a profile exclusively to build platform on Facebook.
- Be aware of your writer/author brand. A like is considered an endorsement on Facebook, and people have lost their jobs over a simple like – so be very aware of what you’re liking and commenting on with your profile or your page. If you’re a children’s author, it might not be wise to like your favorite erotica author’s page. And this has nothing to do with how you spend your personal time or your likes and interests – you’re building an image. Make sure it’s the one you want to convey.
- Think like OZ. Remember the great and powerful wizard of OZ behind his curtain with his big voice? I know – when Dorothy pulled back the curtain everyone was disappointed. But, pulling back the curtain is what fans are looking for from their favorite authors. They want a glimpse into the writer’s life. Where do you get your ideas? What does your office look like? What makes you laugh? What movie did you just watch – what did you think of it? If your readers pulled back the curtain what would you want to show them?
- Give commentary. When you share a photo or a link, explain (very briefly) why you’re sharing it. Writers are thinkers. Share your personal insights even if they seem oddball. Journalists do this with news items – brainstorm how you can do this with your topic or genre. Let your voice shine through, and let fans see your humor, your passion, etc.
- Use Facebook the WANA way. The WANA way is relationships first – before self-promotion, before selling anything. Always provide value. Always. Be helpful. Be open. Be charitable. Share links from other authors, even if they never share anything of yours. Show up and join the conversation. Be authentic. Don’t spam!
- Use status updates to demonstrate you’re a good writer. Don’t waste your time blowing your own horn telling people how great a writer you are. That’s such a turn off. Crafting well-written, well-thought status updates will attract people to what you have to say, and to your blog – and maybe even your books, better than spamming the world with BUY MY BOOK!
I hope you found those tips helpful. Of course, there’s so much more to it. In my new class running May 4th and 18th, we’ll cover the 12 areas every page owner should focus on, best practices for driving traffic to your website and for better edge rank, and I’ll send you a list of resources to help you when you’re on your own. PLUS, 8 people will receive a live critique of their page with tips on how to improve. Learn more here. As a bonus for Gene Lempp readers, use the code Lisa20 to receive 20% off.
Lisa Hall-Wilson is an award-winning freelance writer for the faith-based market in Canada specializing in interviews, profiles, social justice initiatives, Facebook administration, press releases, print and web marketing copy. She writes dark fantasy novels, blogs Through The Fire, and is a social media instructor for WANA International. Find her at lisahallwilson.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/lisawilsonwriter