First off, if you saw my last blog post, you’ll have noticed I talked about making a Facebook page work for you. Now I'm going to tell you maybe you shouldn't do a Facebook page. So what the hell, Dan? Why are you being so contradictory? Are you high? Forgetful? A clueless moron? Let me explain. If you’re trying to build a platform, it’s a great tool to use to stay connected to your fans. One of my favorites. I see a lot of people, though -- writers mostly -- who are using the “official” Facebook page in a way that actually hurts them. Or at least wastes their time, which could otherwise be directed at more writing or even a screenful of amateur porn. Hey, I don't judge.
*Special note for clarification/disclaimer/sensitivity training - This actually applies to more than just writers, it can apply to anybody; I just happen to see writers do this the most in my particular timeline.
A lot of people think that to build their audience, they need to be everywhere. "Look, everyone. Find me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, Digg, Stumbleupon, Instagram, Vine, Reverbnation, Last.fm, Vimeo, Myspace, DeviantArt, Flickr, 43 Things, Foursquare, Goodreads, Yelp, and someone send me an invite to Ello." The thing is, the reason other people are on those networks is TO BE ENTERTAINED. If you don't have time to manage all those networks, you're not going to be very effective on any of them. You will suck, basically. Hard.
It's too much work to handle all of them. The reason for that, which I explained in my last blog post, is that you don't have the time to build up every one of those networks. Having a presence on social media is not a matter of posting the link every time you write a blog or put out a product. You have to provide something of value and you have to do it consistently. More than that, you have to engage. People want interaction. Have you ever seen a Facebook page that posts all the time but they never have any comments? It's awkward. It's no fun. It makes it seem like they don't know what their audience likes and they're just throwing shit out willy nilly.
You don't want to be those guys. Or that guy. Or that company. Whatever. You get what I'm trying to say.
I get dozens of invites to like my friends' pages on Facebook every week. Why should I like your page, especially if we don't interact much through our normal profiles? If all you're doing is inviting everyone on your friend list, you are likely to piss people off. Do you think I really want to like your new dog grooming salon in Somefuckingwhere, Ohio?
People don't want to like your page unless it's interesting. Maybe they'll do it to be nice, but do you really want people to like your page out of pity? If that's the case, you're never going to get more than a handful of likes from people you already know. That's not how you build an audience. People don't want to like your page at first because you are not seen immediately as having something of value to offer. When you're inviting me to a brand new page on Facebook, I have no idea what value you are going to bring me. You need to provide me with something I am going to want to see in my feed. It's a give and take relationship. I'm giving you my LIKE. What are you giving me? Because of this, most people feel like they are the ones doing YOU the favor, when it should be the other way around. You are there for your fans/customers/clients/cult members, not the other way around.
Why should I like a page if you're just going to post the exact same thing on your normal profile?
Remember, you have to give people a reason to like your page other than, "Help me out, bruh." If you're only going to post an occasional link to your blog post, which I'll already see on your normal profile, I don't want it. Get it out of my face. You're just clogging up everyone's feed by doubling up your same content.
Post often on your official page and only share the good stuff on your normal page. If you don't plan on posting often (at least once a day, whether that's a post, a photo, sharing something, etc.), don't make a Facebook page. You don't need one. See how that works? Chances are you'll be posting MORE stuff on your normal profile, so why wouldn't I just follow you there instead?
Provide something of value.
I really can't stress this enough. If you're going to have a Facebook page, it needs to be a conduit from you to your fans. If you're just posting links to your products, you're basically being a dirty rotten spammer. One who needs to read a sales book or two or three. If you just post links and then no one ever sees you again, your page will be a graveyard of links no one wants to read because there is no interaction. Your page must be alive in order for it to work. If you don't have time to build a relationship with people on there, don't bother. Share the links on your normal profile and be done with it. Think about the pages you like to follow. What do they give people that keeps them interested? What turns you off when others do it?
If you want to increase your reach, start with value and consistency. If you don't want to allocate the time in order to make your page a worthwhile one to follow, redirect your effort into a blog, especially if you're a writer. Your fans will thank you, they'll be more likely to read your other stuff, and you'll have more time on your hands for Nintendo.
But it makes me look more official.
Make yourself look more official by actually being official. "Act as if." If you want more people to discuss your art, give them a reason to discuss your art.
Don't just post links to your shit. I can't say that enough. That's lazy. If you're lazy on your page, you are probably lazy with your art. That's how people will view it. They'll smell through your bullshit right away. People can tell when you don't care about them. Drive-by links that prompt people to do something without giving them a good reason to don't work anyways. You're like those kiosk vendors during the holidays. You're basically the online version of someone saying, "Come buy this thing you probably don't want."
And remember that fans have varying tastes. Taking care of those tastes is easy. Post links to your material. Pose questions, take polls. Interact. Post quotes or funny stuff. Post videos. Be awesome to follow. And quit just posting the same thing to both profiles. Choose one or the other. Treat this like a business. You have to show up. Don't just pop by whenever and unlock your doors for an hour. You will fail.
Do you have an official page? Post the link below, but ONLY IF YOU CAN TELL US WHY WE SHOULD LIKE IT.