Sunday, August 7, 2011

Why I Created a Facebook Fan Page

About three years ago, I received a phone call from an old BYU friend named Ronald.  He told me that I really had to get on Facebook and see all the pictures he posted.  I told him I'd think about it.  I had been out of touch with my old buddies, and I was hesitant to join another "Classmates."  A year later, I finally relented.  I joined Facebook.  I got in touch with many old friends.  It was almost like reliving my former childhood.

This is what Facebook has been known for, and it is its main attraction.  But that's not all Facebook can do.  You can also create your own Fan Page.  I had resisting doing this for almost a year, worrying about my friends saying, "Oh, that Mel!  He's so vain!"  But then something clicked this week as I attended the monthly Press 53 Center for Creative Writing Publisher's Group Meeting.

If you're serious about wanting to get published, you need a Facebook Fan Page.  The typical private profile just doesn't cut it.  How does a Fan Page work?

First off, you do need a private profile.  That's where you post all your "private" and intimate stuff.  Then with the profile, you can create a Fan Page.  All you have to do is scroll to the very bottom of the Facebook page and click on "Create a Page."  Their instructions help you through the rest of the process.  Your private profile becomes an administrator of the newly created Page.

A Fan Page is just like a private profile, except for the following differences:
  • A Fan Page is entirely public.
  • Anyone can post on your Fan Page, though you have the power to delete posts.
  • Instead of Friends, Fan Pages have "Likes."  That is, people come to your Page and Like you.  The Page cannot Like them back, though it looks like you can remove people.
  • You cannot send Messages through your Page.
  • A Fan Page comes with extra features, such as paid advertising (where you pay for ads to appear--I'm not doing that until I have something to sell) and Like buttons you can put in your blog (look--I have one now in the upper right hand corner!).
  • You can assign other Administrators to your Fan Page and they will have the same rights and privileges that you have.
 But why create a Fan Page?  Why can't you do it all with your private profile?
  • A Fan Page provides a place to put your "Public" stuff, while your private profile remains "Private."  That is, now with my new Page, it'll be much easier to keep the two separate.  If I want to talk about my breakfast or my odometer readings, I can do that with my private profile and only my chosen friends can see.  My book and music stuff can be moved to "Public" where everyone can see.  (In fact, I've taken my private profile off of Facebook's search.  A new person searching for me will see the public Fan Page.  When I see that person Like my page, I can decide whether or not to invite them to be my Friend on the private profile.)
  • A Fan Page is the perfect place to put all that annoying stuff like "Buy my books!"  I don't have any books to sell at this moment, but I do have all my blog posts showing up on my private wall.  Once I get 50 fans, I'm going to turn off the feed to my private profile.  Then my Friends can choose whether or not they want to be annoyed with my blog posts and upcoming solicitations.  They will see all that stuff if they Like my Page.  If they just want to be friends, they'll continue to see my private posts, and they won't think I'm some crazy Amway-ish person.
  • A Fan Page invites open discussions.  Supposedly you can add discussion threads.  (I haven't looked into those yet.)  Plus I already mentioned that anyone can post on your Page.
So, if you're already on Facebook and you're an aspiring writer like me, you should also consider creating a separate Fan Page.  Prepare yourself today for what's about to happen in a year in your future career.  :)

No comments: