Monday, May 10, 2010

Face to Facebook

by Austin Camacho

I try not to talk marketing TOO often here, but I've gotten this question several times in the last few weeks and thought I'd post a response here for all my fellow scribes. One typical email said:

My publisher is pushing me (and rightfully so) to make better use of Facebook, but I find I'm reluctant to do a big promo push when I have so many personal contacts and communications on my profile (young family members, church friends, etc.). I know that I can do an "Author Page" (like a fan page, although it doesn't have to be called that), but I think maybe I should have an Author Page, and Author Profile, and then a whole separate profile for personal contacts and family networking, etc. Do you have any advice?

I understand this conflict concerning Facebook. I mean, everyone who reads Make Mine Mystery knows what to expect, but on social sites people might expect just to hear about your family and pals. It's all networking I guess, but I think it’s good to separate “social” networking from “business” networking.

I personally have only one Facebook page -!/profile.php?id=594201666 - but as you can see if you visit it, there is very little there about my personal life. My page was created primarily as a marketing vehicle although I hope it’s a friendly one.

Authors who really ARE social on Facebook should establish a separate author fan page. Your profile and postings should be oriented to your writing, and it’s a good place to keep people up to date on your writing career.

Each Facebook page should be established based on a different email address. After you set up your Author page you should send a notice to all your friends at the original page suggesting they become a “fan” as well, at the new page. I would also suggest that you place restrictions on your original Facebook page so that no one can access the information unless they know your email address. That way, strangers who are looking for you on Facebook will flow to your fan page, and only actual friends will be checking out your personal page.

When you have free time, you can go to the profile of each of your fans and friends and message their friends with something like, “We have a friend in common – XXXX - and I’d like to be your friend too.” I did that until I got to 500 and now have people finding me (I currently have 658 friends.)

Just be sure on your new page that you work in some personal stuff that’s writing related: how you feel about the manuscript you’re working on now, who you met that inspired you, etc. Even on your writing site, people want to know YOU, not just your stories.

And if any of you have different (or better) advice, please share a comment.


Jean Henry Mead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jean Henry Mead said...

Facebook fan pages are great for getting feedback and selling books, but saying it's a fan page, unless you're famous, isn't the way to go. A dear friend, who thought I wasn't going to survive a recent bout of pneumonia, set up a fan page for me (probably as an online eulogy) and Facebook is ignoring my requests to change the name. So here's my page, for anyone who likes writing advice, quotes and "rocks":

Jean Henry Mead said...

Morgan Mandel said...

I've been on Facebook quite a bit lately, since everyone in the world seems to be on there.

I have a regular page, plus a fan page. I do post more personal or fun stuff on the regular page, but it's still for everyone to see. Facebook is a way for people to get to know you better and perhaps by making that connection might want to read your books.

I use the fan page more for advertising my events, etc. Since I recently started it, I don't have as many followers on there.

Morgan Mandel

Unknown said...

I've got only one page, and I hope to keep it that way. I spend enough time on Facebook; if I want a life or time to write, I have to break away from it from time to time.

But be careful. I thought I was, not clicking on links provided by people I don't really know, for instance, but I picked up a nasty virus that mis-directed my searches and caused me other fits and pains, and it masked itself and hid itself from my virus protection system, Webroot. I tried updating my definitions -- wouldn't let me. I tried downloading Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool -- it wouldn't let me. I tried downloading SpyBot -- it wouldn't let me. Finally, just as I was about to take the laptop to The Geek Squad, as a last ditch measure, I tried downloading Norton's new system. It worked. And then I decided to try Norton's Power Boost, which sped up my computer and put me in touch via phone with Norton's virus squad. They warned me about Facebook and recommended I do a full scan every time I use it. What a pain!

I don't surf porn sites and only frequent sites I've used for a long time. Still, Norton found two Trojans -- no, not the condoms -- and one virus.

Facebook, are you turning on me?