Welcome to day 1 of my ‘How To’ blog series for authors! I’ve been wanting to make these tutorial posts for a while now and while they’ll be ‘old’ information to some, I know more than a few authors who will find them useful. I’m hope you’ll be one of them.
Before I start, let me say I’m no expert. I just spend a lot of time online and know my way around a few sites and programs so everything you see here will be my experience with these sites. I’m sure others have given their take on the subject better than I will and you’re free to look those up. For these ‘tutorials,’ it’ll just be my interpretation of what I’ve seen and done.
I’m going to start the series with the one social media site everyone is probably using but some aren’t taking advantage of some of the special features it has to offer.
Facebook seems to be everyone’s go to site for social media. It has a user base of millions and reaching readers is as easy as posting a link to your page. But did you know there’s a difference between a profile page and a fan page?
Everyone who signs up for Facebook has a profile page. This is the page where you add ‘friends’ and everyone shows up on your newsfeed. This is standard issue and everyone who friends you will see whatever it is you post.
A fan page, or a business page as its also called, is a completely different sort of page. When I joined Facebook I started my fan page and directed everyone who ‘friended’ me over there and began posting exclusively from that page. Seeing my ‘LIKES’ grow gave me a small gage of how many readers were finding me and Facebook was nice enough to send me weekly reports on how many readers were interacting with me.
One of the things I like about the fan page is I’m able to publish posts in advance, which saves me time during the week. If I know I need to announce something three days from now, I can schedule the post and it will automatically go live without me having to do anything.
To do this, just make your post as usual, but look along the bottom of the text box in the lower left corner. See that icon that looks like a clock?
Click on that to get scheduling options.
From there you can set the date and time you want the post to go live. I sometimes do this for special events I want to remind readers about weekly. I can go in, write my posts and set them weeks in advance and not have to worry about them again. This is one feature on the ‘fan pages’ that I love and it made my use of the site much easier, but then Facebook did the unthinkable…
They reduced the number of people who could see my posts and asked me if I wanted to ‘pay’ them to boost my exposure. This changed the whole dynamics of how the site is used. I for one don’t want to pay just to be seen, especially when readers have taken the time to come to Facebook and click that LIKE button because they want to see my posts. I have nearly 2,000 ‘fans’ on my page and on average, my posts are seen by less than 100 of my readers. To reach all of them, I have to pay.
Which has caused me to re-think the use of the regular ole’ Facebook profile….the one where you collect ‘friends.’ The problem most people have with the profile page is Facebook cuts you off at 5,000 friends, which is what made the fan pages so attractive to begin with, but now they’ve added another new feature…the ‘follow’ feature.
When your friending capabilities have reached the max, readers can still ‘follow’ you. Your posts will show in their newsfeed but you won’t be able to see any of ‘their’ posts. You have to be a readers friend in order to see what they’re posting.
Clicking on your ‘friends’ tab will show you how many readers are following your page. I’m sure many don’t know about the feature so its a good idea to remind your readers of the option. The page will also show you who ‘you’ are following, assuming you’ve followed any.
I haven’t spent much time building my readership on the profile page. I didn’t think I needed to, not with the fan page, but as Facebook changes the rules nearly monthly now, I’ll be spending a bit more time over on the regular profile. You can still set post up in advance but unlike the fan page, the profile only lets you set them up in advance for ‘that day’…not days in advance. Its still not a bad option. If you need to run out but need to announce something later on, this option will save you a bit of rushing to get back in time. But with everything else on Facebook, don’t get too used to the function. I’m sure once the “powers that be” see it working to our advantage, they’ll throw a wrench into the cog and mess the whole thing up.
Have you found other useful tools on facebook to make using the site easier? If so, post them in the comments. I for one would love to learn what it is and how to use it.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be tackling Hootsuite (a social media hub), Rafflecopter, Pinterest, Scrivener (writing software), Production Schedules and Mailchimp (for maintaining mailing list for newsletters). Next week, I’ll be talking about Twitter and Tweetdeck…how to send posts from facebook over there automatically and how to manage all those readers with the use of lists.
If you’d like to receive the Twitter tutorial, and the others I have planned, directly in your email inbox, just add your email address to my list and my blog posts will come directly to you.
About Lily Graison
Lily Graison lives in the foothills of North Carolina with her husband, two high-strung Yorkies, more cats than she can count. First published in 2005, she is the author of over a dozen published books in the Western, Contemporary and Paranormal Romance genres.
When not writing, Lily can be found at her sewing machine creating 1800’s period clothing or participating in civil war reenactments and area living history events. When not portraying a southern belle, you can find her at a nearby store feeding her obsession for all things resembling office supplies.
To see the dresses Lily has created, visit her Pinterest page.
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