Facebook Guide

Facebook is a social media site used by many people to keep up with their friends, share articles, and post statuses and other media. While it can be used in this personal way, it is also a great website to use as an author to promote yourself and your books, interact with your readers, and keep your readers up-to-date with signings and readings. Facebook can be user friendly, but here is a comprehensive guide about how to set up a professional Facebook page for you or your book and how to best utilize it to reach the audience you want.

Differences between a personal Facebook profile and a professional Facebook page

There are a lot of differences between a personal Facebook profile and a professional Facebook page. While personal profiles can be used to keep up with friends and share personal information, pages provide a space for professional updates and connections and help the user reach their intended audience. It is against Facebook terms and conditions to promote yourself on a personal account as anything other than a person (i.e. a business), and doing so could result in a permanent ban.

Likes vs. Friends

On a personal Facebook profile, you “friend” other users to have access to their personal information and receive updates on your newsfeed. With a professional Facebook page, instead of “friends,” you have “likes.” Personal Facebook users will have the option to “like” your page, which means updates you make will show up on their newsfeed. As a professional page, you won’t have “friends,” but rather fans who will be able to “like,” “share,” and “comment on” your posts and updates. You can respond to them from your business page.

Tagging

While using a personal profile, you can “tag” other personal users who you are friends with statuses, photos, and videos. As a professional page, you will not be able to tag personal users for privacy reasons, but you can “tag” other businesses and be tagged by other businesses. This increases your visibility to personal users all over the site, whether you get tagged or are tagged. Tagging in relevant posts can help users find your professional page easier based off of information they search for, and will help you draw a bigger audience.

Privacy/personal information

Your personal Facebook page may often be filled with personal life updates, family photos, or other personal things you may not want strangers finding. With a professional page, you have the option to share only things pertaining to your professional life and your books. It also protects the privacy of those who have “liked” your professional page.

Your options and deciding what’s best for you

At this point there are two options you can choose: you can either convert your personal Facebook to a professional page, or you can create a separate professional page that will co-exist alongside your personal account.

Converting your personal page to a professional page

This option means that your personal Facebook account will be gone. This option will delete all your photos, any posts on your wall, etc. (though when doing this, it will give you the option to download all of that information to your computer). The only things Facebook will keep are your name and profile picture. The pros of this option are that it will convert all of your Facebook friends into people who “like” your page (more on that later). If you did not want a personal Facebook page to begin with, this is a great option! You can revert back to a personal account, but only through a special request that Facebook will need to process. It is best to think of this process as permanent. Check out this Youtube tutorial on how to do this, as well as the official Facebook page on how to do this.

Creating a separate professional page

This option means in addition to your personal Facebook account, you will manage a professional page as well. This option will require you to switch between both accounts. You can keep your personal account going with your personal information. However, it can be tricky for some people to switch between the two! In later sections, there will be directions on how to switch between using your personal page and your professional page, so stay tuned.

Options when creating a professional page

When creating a personal page, some authors choose to create an author page, while others choose to create a book page. One is created for you as an author, and the other is created for a specific book or book series you have written. Both are great options and provide different advantages!

If you have published more than one book, or are interested in publishing more than one book, an author page may be the best option for you. This page covers you as a professional: the writing you have published or are going to publish, updates on events and appearances you have coming up, and any other information you would like to share as a professional.

If you are not interested in creating an author page, consider instead setting up a book page. This would be a professional page dedicated to one of your books or a series. This page should give updates focused on this book or book series only, such as upcoming readings or signings, any new editions, articles, reviews, etc.

How to set up an author or book page

To set up an author or book page, you need to have a personal Facebook page (even if you are going to convert it). Below is a step by step guide on how to set up your page.

  • Go to “Pages.”
  • Click on “Create a Page.”
  • Pick your categories.
    • If you are choosing to go with an author page, choose “Artist, Band, or Public Figure” and select “Author” from the “Choose a Category” drop down menu. Enter your name.
    • If you are going with a book page, select “Entertainment,” and choose “Book” or “Book Series” from the “Choose a Category” drop down menu. Enter the book or book series’ name. Then click “Get Started.”
  • Setting up your page: The next couple of steps will help you set up your page to choose your target audience, as well as help people find you.
    • About: “Tell people what your Page is about…” What you put here depends on you. If you’re making an author page, say a bit about you as an author, and if you’re making a book page, say a bit about the book, as well as yourself.
      • Website: You will have the opportunity to enter more than one website on the “About” tab of your page, but for now, the website you put here will be the one to show up on the left side of your profile, under your photo, as one of the first things people viewing your page will see. You can put a link to your personal website, a link to buy your book, or any other link you would like to put.
      • Choosing a unique Facebook web address: Choose something easy to search and find. Use your name or the name of your book if possible!
    • Profile picture: Add a picture of you or your book. You can change this any time, but it’s also one of the first things your viewers will see.
    • Add to favorites: This is an option just for you. Adding your page to your favorites will add it to your personal Facebook accounts favorites, making it easier to access.
    • Preferred page audience: Filling out this page will help Facebook users find you based off of their interests.
      • Location: This will target your page to people in a specific location. For example, if your book is about or set in the Richmond area, choosing that area on this option will help advertise it to people in the area who may be most interested in your book.
      • Age: If you have a specific age range you would like to reach, this option will help.  For example, if you write YA novels, choosing a young adult audience in this section will help you reach people in that age range.
      • Gender: If you are writing more towards a targeted gender audience, choose one of these options.
      • Interests: This is the most helpful part of this section. Choosing what interests you would like to be associated with your page (e.g. writing, fiction, memoir, etc.) will help your page reach your target audience through these interests. These are more specific to you and your books, and will connect you to the readers who would be most likely to read your books.

And you’ve done it! You’ve set up your page. From here you can edit more things, like your “About” tab, as well as begin to use it.

An important note: if you have chosen to create a new page while keeping your personal page, it is important to pay attention to which account you are using. To switch between accounts, choose the downward facing arrow on the far right of the top bar. This will open a drop down menu that will give you access to settings as well as the log out button. There will be a section called “Use Facebook As” and will list all your pages, including your personal account and your professional page. Make sure to click on your professional page. This will allow you to use Facebook as your professional page. If you do not, you will continue to use Facebook as your personal page, meaning anything you post, share, or comment on will post and share to your personal page.  

How to best utilize an author or book page

How to best use your professional page is up to you. There are a lot of techniques and methods that work for each individual. Here are some tips:

Making posts

Making posts is the key action to gain “likes” and therefore interest. Keeping updates on appearances you’ll be making, new editions of your work, articles you’ve written, articles you find interesting… in general, making posts to keep your readers active and engaged is key! Facebook is a social media site, so having a chance to interact with readers, and for them to interact with you, is a unique experience your professional page can provide you.

Sharing

When you make a post, your readers will have the chance to share it to their own newsfeeds. This will help the post reach your readers’ friends, family, and acquaintances which will help you gain exposure. You also have the option to share others’ posts, which can help form connections and generate interest.

Tagging in posts

Users have the option to tag in their posts or photos. Type the @ symbol, followed by a name of another professional page (e.g. @Brandylane Publishers). The benefits of this lie in exposure; if you tag a company or other professional page, you not only get their attention, but get their followers’ attention as well. It can draw people to your page and ultimately help in the success of your work. Remember, you cannot tag personal pages as a business page.

Creating events

Facebook events are a great way to let people know about your upcoming readings and appearances. To create an event, click on the “event” tab on your professional page and choose “create event.” As a professional page, you can share this event with the people who have liked your page, but cannot directly invite individuals to this event, which you can do with a personal account. However, the people who like your page can invite their friends, and you as the creator of the event can follow who was invited, who is going, and update the page with information including venue or time changes, cancellations, etc. A suggestion: if you still have your personal account, share your professionally made event to your personal page, and invite your friends and family!

Glossary

Like

“Liking” is a gauge of how many people like your work, and are following your page for updates. When someone “likes” your page, it will show their friends on their personal account that they have “liked” your page. The amount of “likes” you have will show on your page. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a lot to start off with. These will come in time as you establish your Facebook presence.

Share

Sharing means you will essentially repost something someone else has posted. People will have the option to “share” your content, just as you will have the option to “share” the content of others. As a professional page, you can share from other professional pages. You cannot share personal accounts’ posts for privacy reasons.

Friend

As a professional page, you will have “likes” instead of “friends.” Friends are connections you have made on Facebook, either professional or personal, of people you know in real life.

Hashtag

Hashtags (# the pound symbol) are a tagging and cataloging system for Facebook to sort interests, and help people find content similar to what they’re looking for. This is much more useful on Instagram and Twitter as opposed to Facebook, so use sparingly.

Newsfeed

Your newsfeed is your home page, where you will see updates including statuses, photographs, events, or any other updates the people you follow or are friends with make. To get to your newsfeed, click “Home” on the blue bar at the top of the page.

Status

This is just another way of saying post. A Facebook status is a Facebook post, and can be a photo, video, or just text post.

Tagging

This is when you use the @ symbol to create a hotlink or send a notification to another professional page (e.g. @Brandylane Publishers). This @ symbol won’t show up in the post itself, but it’s important you use it when typing out your post!

Timeline

This is your page’s profile. People can post on your timeline (though you can change this in privacy settings), and anything you post or share will show up on this.

Comment or email brandylanepr@gmail.com with questions!