Do you need a business Facebook Page or can you get by with just a personal profile? That depends on your goals. In my last blog post, I wrote about the advantages of having a Facebook business Page and the pros and cons of using your personal profile to promote your books. It doesn’t have anything to do with Facebook’s terms of service (I am hoping Facebook isn’t watching), it has to do with the tools that are available on each page to help sell your books.
If you have a personal profile you would like to convert into a business Page, there are six considerations you should look at first.
All Things Considered
- Do you have friends and family on your personal profile? If you do, you’ll want to set up another profile with a different email address and form of your name and keep that profile private. Don’t open it up to the public. Friend only people you know. If you convert your present profile to a business page you’ll have to reconnect with family and friends because that profile will disappear. Be sure and make a list of all those you want to reconnect with before you go through the conversion process. Let them know you are converting your personal profile to a business page so they will know why they became a “fan”. When you convert your profile to a Page all your friends become fans and the dynamic changes.
- Do you have Facebook Groups you want to maintain connection with? If you do, you’ll have to reconnect with them again with your new personal profile. Once you convert your profile to a Page you will no longer be able to participate in groups except those you set up yourself from your new Page. Depending on the group, sometimes this will involve an email or message to the group administrator to let them know you are going to use a different profile to gain access to the group.
- Does a business Page fit your goals? Some authors are not interested in using Facebook to sell books. A page does take more care and feeding than a profile. Once you move people from friend to fan, the interaction paradigm changes. Many authors are not ready to interact as a public figure. It requires a change in how you approach Facebook content. Engaging is now about author to fan, not friend to friend.
- Do you have the necessary marketing and copywriting skills to succeed on a Page? This is the one that trips up a lot of authors. As I mentioned in my first post, there is a big content shift when you move from personal to business. You will want to become familiar with the basics of selling online, how to produce engaging copy, and how to set up your new Page so it is optimized for selling. I’ve created an online course to help authors learn how to sell with social media (and it’s not about yelling “buy my book”). You can find out more information about it here. If you’re serious about selling your books with social media, there is a learning curve involved.
- Your personal profile now becomes personal. Your new personal profile should be private. If you don’t use Facebook to communicate with friends and family, you can just let this profile be an outpost—it is there so you can connect with groups. You are not required to post on Facebook to maintain a personal profile. You will, however, get notifications from all your groups through this profile.
- Do your research. I highly recommend researching your options before you attempt to undergo a profile conversion. You should feel comfortable and informed before you start the process. Start with a goal—why do you want a business Page? You don’t need one if you don’t intend to use Facebook to sell your books or run Facebook ads at some point. Weigh all the pros and cons and be fully aware of each step of the process before you start.
Even though I highly recommend every author have a Facebook Page because of the reasons I stated in my last blog post, I know a Page is not for everyone. Social media can be a powerful sales accelerant when used correctly. But if you don’t make an effort to educate yourself on how to use it well, it won’t produce much of a return. You need a commitment to develop your skills first. Once you make that commitment and invest that time, you’re on the road to selling more books and building loyal fans with social media. Additional help on all these considerations and more can be found in Facebook’s Help Center. Start here.
As always, you can start a conversation on Twitter @cksyme or on my Facebook page here.
I am also offering a free tool with killer tips for selling more books on social media if you want more info on the subject.