These could be your fans

You’ve never used Facebook before, but everyone keeps saying it’s so good for your online presence as an author. But you don’t really know the first thing about it. This post is for you.

There is a profile page and there is a Fan Page. This post is meant to help you distinguish between them.

When you go to facebook.com, it will prompt you to sign up. All you need is a name, email address, and birthday. Your name should be your real name (or you might be able to get away with your valid pen name) because Facebook will delete your account if they find out that your profile is not a real person. You have to give your birthday only because they want to make sure you’re twelve years old or older–you can select not to display your birthday to anyone in your privacy settings. Your email address has to be your valid email address, but it doesn’t have to be the main one you use. You can set up Facebook to email you whenever someone writes on your wall, sends you a message, etc.

Congratulations. You’ve created a profile. You do not have to add anything else to your profile, but you’re certainly welcome to. If you are concerned about privacy, then don’t put a photo of yourself or tell Facebook anything you don’t want people to know. It can’t invade your privacy if you don’t offer up your secrets. Everyone who joins Facebook automatically gets a profile. But not everyone has a Fan Page–you have to create one yourself.

The real way to get fans isn’t from your profile. It’s from your Fan Page. Your Fan Page will have all the content you want to give away about your book, you as an author, your other projects. Remember to be transparent without losing your privacy. Here, you should add a photo of you or your book. You should add tabs to display exclusive content. Make the wall a platform for conversation among you and your fans. (To create a Fan Page, after you log in, go to facebook.com/pages and click Create Page in the upper right.)

“A Fan Page is searchable in google. A profile is not.” –Cindy Ratzlaff

A Fan Page looks like this: http://www.facebook.com/plainketchup

Your friends are connected to your profile. Your fans are connected to your Fan Page. You get friends by searching their names in the search bar, clicking request friend, and waiting for them to accept (they may also search for you and request to be your friend). A friend is someone you have allowed see your whole profile page. You can change your privacy settings so that only friends see your whole profile, friends of friends, or everyone. (Friends is recommended.) You get fans by accumulating people who have clicked the “like” button on your Fan Page. You do not have to invite or confirm their fan-ship. You can, however, invite your friends to also become fans by clicking “suggest to friends” under your picture on the Fan Page. Here is another post I did on how to best use your Fan Page.

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