Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.
Every once in awhile I receive some questions regarding professional Facebook pages. You see, there are a lot of rumors surrounding the professional page, and many will claim that it’s self-sabotage to switch over (from personal to professional pages). But I entirely disagree.
So let’s take some time to dispel the top 5 Facebook myths when it comes to using the site for marketing and promotions.
Myth #1: The Professional Facebook Page is bad because it only shows your updates to 1/3 of your fanbase.
This isn’t necessarily true. Your fans have the power to choose how often they see your posts. If they want to view every post, they can select that option. If they only want to view the most popular posts, they can opt for that one.
But let’s get to the bottom of this myth. This statement is making the assumption that all of your posts in your personal profile are seen by ALL of your friends. This is not true. Go to your personal Facebook profile and think of a friend that you haven’t heard or seen much of lately. You know, one of those people that you wonder if maybe they’ve unfriended you. Now go look them up. Chances are, they’ve been posting quite frequently! But you haven’t seen their posts. Why? Because not only do you have the power to filter your feeds, Facebook sometimes selects which posts you view on your news feed and also which posts appear on the little scrolly thing in the upper righthand corner of your account. And sometimes, you don’t see updates at all.
In other words, not all of your friends are seeing your posts, just like you aren’t seeing all of their posts. So the argument that you are losing views by switching over to a professional page isn’t a solid one. No matter where you house your professional Facebook presence, you aren’t going to reach all of your followers.
Myth #2: You have to promote (which means spending money) any posts on your Professional Facebook Page that you want to gain traction.
This is absolutely untrue. The promotion option helps, certainly, and it guarantees that your post will reach all of your fans. But it is also possible to go viral without having to shell out any money.
I mentioned this last week on the blog, but I think it’s worth saying again.
A few weeks ago, I ran a promotion on my Agent Facebook Page. I offered to give one-liner feedback in exchange for the participants liking my page and sharing the post. I did not promote this post outside of Tweeting and Facebooking about it.
During this promotion, I went from 650 followers to 750. But my post was seen by 1,503 people. This means it was seen by all of my fans, and then some. It was shared 86 times and saw 145 comments.
A few days later, I posted something else (not contest-related) and that was seen by 1,909 people!
I didn’t pay a cent for these posts to be promoted. So it shows you what old fashioned word of mouth marketing can get you.
Myth #3: Facebook is targeting and bullying those who use Facebook professionally.
Again, this is not entirely true. Remember, Facebook was not created for small businesses or marketing and promotions. It was originally created for students to be able to easily connect with one another (you needed a .edu email address to create an account). It has grown to accommodate users of all ages and vocations and even businesses and corporations. However, its primary target market will always be the user who is connecting with friends, family, etc. So any time Facebook seems to bully its corporate side, remember that it is doing so to protect the average user.
This is why businesses are encouraged to create a page instead of a personal profile. A business page separates the relationship between business owner and guest/customer in a way that protects both parties. I mean how annoying would it be if you had to add “PNC Bank” as your friend instead of just being able to “Like” their corporate page?
So, if you have any ill feelings towards Facebook’s treatment of you as an author, please put it aside. They’re doing what they believe is best to protect the average user and prevent what could easily become a constant sales-pitch zone.
Myth #4: Facebook is being mean when they try to charge money for things.
Facebook is a business, much like your author career, and in my opinion they’ve done a good job of keeping it free. But just like you don’t give away all of your books to your friends and family, Facebook shouldn’t have to keep everything free. They need to be able to make money, otherwise they will stop striving to make it a better user experience.
Myth #5: Facebook sucks. Google+ is better.
To those who sing the Google+ love song, I ask: Would you ever delete your Facebook account? No. Why? Because that’s where everyone is.
You may prefer Google+’s structure and usage system better, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast. Facebook met a need at the right time and continues to be our #1 social media site.
So does it suck? No. Personally, I’m grateful it exists. I know it has helped me grow my agenting platform, and I’m sure it’s helped you in your author career, too.
When I can say the same thing about Google+, then is the time to weigh which one I prefer.
But for now, if you don’t like Facebook, then don’t spend your time there. It’s as simple as that.