Social Media for Writers: The difference between Pages, Profiles and Groups on Facebook

What do you use on Facebook to promote yourself as a writer? In this post, I explain the difference between profiles, pages, and groups, and my preference.
Early on in this series I talked about
Facebook in social networks to start using, and I mentioned Groups and Pages in
my post on how to promote yourself using Facebook. Something I wanted to talk
about in this post is the difference between a profile, a Page, and a Group,
since I know this is something a few writers have trouble with if they’re not
too familiar with Facebook.
I’ll start with a profile, since this is
probably what people are most familiar with. Your profile is your account. When
you log in on Facebook, that’s your profile. You add friends, post things on
your Wall, like things on your timeline and comment your friends’ profiles in
memes.
I know some writers use their profile to
promote themselves as a writer, but I’ll be honest: this is never something
that appealed to me. My profile is for me and my friends and it’s private. I
don’t want to add a bunch of strangers who like my books so they can see photo
records of my life since 2009 and find out all about my friends and things. I’d
just like to keep it private. Personal and private.
This is why I have a Facebook Page to
promote myself as a writer.
Now Pages are totally free to create and
offer a lot more in terms of the ability to promote yourself. There are plenty
of guides on Google if you’re not sure exactly how to create a page (but it’s
via the little ‘Pages’ flag icon on the left hand sidebar) and they’re super
easy to put together. It’s similar to a profile in that you add a profile photo
and header image, and there’s a Wall for people to post on, and you can share
photos and create albums.
The difference is that people will Like
your page. They’ll see all your updates and posts but you won’t be following
them to see any of their updates. Which, if you’re accumulating a pretty hefty
following – even about fifty people you only ‘know’ because they read your books
would start to become difficult to see clogging up your timeline.
Pages are also great because they offer
private messaging, and you can respond to someone as your Page, rather than
with your personal profile. Plus you can create events – like if you’re hosting
a book signing, or a book launch party, or a webchat. You can also easily add
links to your website (or blog!) and contact info, if you want to.
If you search for a company on Facebook,
you’ll probably find their Page. You won’t find an individual’s profile. It
might be an idea to take a look at a couple of author Pages or even just a
company’s Page to get an idea.
Next up is Groups. Now these are different
AGAIN because Groups tend to be for your personal account – but you can be in a
Group with people you don’t know and communicate with them, but you don’t have
to Friend them – so your account will still stay private outside of whatever
you post in the Group.
There are Private Groups, where you have to
request permission to join (and an admin of the Group will grant you
permission), or open Groups, that anybody can join. If you set up a Group, you’re
automatically an admin. You can add other admins, too. Admins can alter the
Group settings – and as I mentioned, give people access if it’s a private
Group.
I joined up with some Wattpad writers for a
big collaborative project called The Cheaters Club, and we have a private Group
to talk about the project amongst ourselves. We also have a separate private
group for fans and readers.
The difference with Groups and Pages are
that Groups tend to be more collaborative. There tends to be more communication
going on and more interaction between people. On a Page, they’re interacting
with you. In a Group, readers will also interact with each other more.
On a Page, the first thing you’ll see are
posts made by the Page. Your posts. Then you can click to view posts made by
everyone, so whatever other people have posted on your Wall will show up too.
On a Group, however, posts will normally
just show in chronological order, regardless of who posted them. (Although
there’s usually a pinned post tagged at the top of the page, that will stick
there.)
I’ve gotta be honest here: when it comes to
using Facebook to promote yourself, I think a Page is the way to go. It’s got
enough distance from your profile that you’re not sharing all your personal and
private information, and it’s more straightforward than a Group, and much
easier to manage. Plus, Groups are more limited. Yeah, you can add photos and
events and all the rest – but they’re not as easy to navigate, and it can take
a while to get into the swing of a Group and feel part of it.

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What do you think? Do you have a preference
when it comes to promoting yourself on Facebook? Let me know in the comments!

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