Authors on Facebook: Profile Pages vs. Fan Pages

I must confess. Up until today, I had a profile page on Facebook. It wasn’t the same as my personal account (I’m not that 2005), but it was still an account for the individual with the name “Smart Author Sites,” not the business “Smart Author Sites.” Finally, today, I made the migration. Yes, I’m now a business with a fan page.

Here’s why I did it, and why all authors should create fan pages on Facebook:

  1. You don’t want to mix business and personal. Your personal Facebook profile is for family and friends. On it, you can share pictures of your kids, stories about trips to the supermarket, etc… Your professional Facebook page should be used for the purpose of marketing yourself and your book(s). Keep your personal life out of it.
  2. You don’t even have to accept “fans.” When you have a personal profile on Facebook, people request that you “friend” them. If you do, you get bombarded with their personal information on your wall. In short, you don’t really want to friend most of these people. But with a professional page, people don’t “friend” you. They simply become your “fans.” You don’t have to do anything to allow them to do that, and their posts, updates, etc… don’t appear on your page.
  3. You can add “like” buttons. On your website, you can have links through which people can “like” your professional page on Facebook. When they do, their liking of your page appears on their status update. This allows all of their friends to see that they like you, which only spreads the word further in the Facebook universe.
  4. Fan pages show up on search engines. As a professional author, you want as many people to find you as possible. With a professional page (which has no privacy settings), Facebook is free to share the information on your page with the search engines. Because personal profiles need to remain private, personal Facebook pages can’t show up on search results. By having a public page that people can find through many channels, you’re increasing your visibility.
  5. Professional pages have no fan limit. If you’re lucky enough to get 5,000 followers (and don’t we all wish we were), Facebook would actually cut you off at 5,000 friends. But with a business page, you could have an unlimited number of fans. So why limit yourself?

See? You should all do what I did: take the plunge and create a professional Facebook page. If you’ve already done so, please share your tips and ideas here on how to make it work.