Monday, February 24, 2014

Facebook: What Does Your Page Say About You?

By Laurie Epps

As writers it's vital that we have a presence online, and we've already talked about the nuts & bolts of social media are: a blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Today, we're going to talk about Facebook more specifically.

To guide us, my mentor created a wonderful book that we're working through called 
Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers.

Edie's number one question that people ask her is: Should I have a Professional or Personal page on Facebook? The answer is: it depends.

The personal page is the foundational page you must open one to have any other page on Facebook.

 There has been a trend that advocates opening multiple accounts with your different email addresses on Facebook. You should know that this a violation of the Facebook User Agreement. If you fall into the trap and do it, you'll run the risk of being banned from Facebook permanently.

Why Stick with a Personal Page?

  • Probably most of your friends are there already.
  • Many people will add a friend before they'll like a page.
  • It's personal, so it feels more like a relationship and not just business.
  • Chances are you have less than 5,000 friends. Although I have over 700 friends, which is hard to manage, according to Facebook, 5000 is the magic number. Once you have 5,000 friends = Fan Page.
  • With a fan page, you can pin something to the top of your page for up to seven days.
  • Facebook is starting to create guidelines to create guidelines about cover photos on your page. The general rule is to try to stay away from hard-core marketing.
Timeline (personal profile page) Cover photos may NOT contain:
  • Price or purchase info, such as 40% off or Download it at our website.
  • Contain information, such as web address, e-mail, mailing address, or other information that's intended for your pages "about" section.
  • References to user inference elements such as like or share, or other Facebook features.
  • Calls to action, such as 'get it now' or 'tell your friends.'
Privacy Concerns:
  • If you haven't joined Facebook, I encourage you to do so.
  • Facebook is a tool. In and of itself, Facebook isn't good or bad. Used effectively, Facebook can be an excellent tool for keeping in contact with your public.
  • That being said: your profile basic information should be set to public. You want people to be able to find you. On the flip side, you don't want them to know every aspect of your life. Edie recommends that you set personal pictures and posts to the Friends only setting (& not friends of friends).
  • Also, it's important to keep all location services set to OFF. I can't think of a single reason why every person you've ever met in your life needs to know every place you're at every second.
  • With all these precautions, and a strong password, you should be safe on Facebook.
Which to Choose: 
  • There really isn't a right and wrong answer. A lot of it depends on you, and your audience that you're trying to reach. There keeps being changes made to Facebook, and frustration with Facebook is almost a social media cliche.
  • Edie is keeping her focus on her personal page, which makes sense because she is a professional mentor to a number of people (myself included). At the moment, my attention is a bit divided. I've been trying to juggle a presence on both pages. My professional page has nothing about my kids, it's strictly about writing. However, I confess, I need to trim down my pictures on my personal page as well, and a list of other tweaks.
Connect Activity:
Take a half an hour on Facebook to see:
  • What catches your eye on Facebook?
  • What types of posts are you attracted too?
  • Which posts are you most likely to interact with?
Now, let's get even more specific:
  • Which professional pages do you look at? Why?
  • What types of posts attract your attention? What is it about them that you like?
Note: If you really don't look at professional pages, there's your answer. You probably shouldn't have one for yourself.

As for personal pages:
  • What catches your attention?
  • Why do you chose to visit someone else's profile often?
  • What kinds of statements do you like to comment on?
Join us next week, we'll be talking about creating dialogue with your readers.

Can't get enough on social media? Check out Edie's column about Social Media Mondays at: 

Laurie Epps is a senior at Anderson University majoring in Creative Writing. Already Laurie is most published as a feature article writer, essayist, and poet. A seeker of beauty and world traveler, Laurie hopes to grow into a career in travel writing illuminating the many stories that make us human despite our differences. Currently, Laurie also has a Thoughtful Thursday column dedicated to the fine art of poetry.

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