I received my first book contract in January of 2009 and was already known as an author on social media sites. How? The moment I started submitting my first book to agents and editors I started marketing myself as an author. I had people emailing me to find out when my first book would be released. I got to know authors, editors, and publishers. I had fans before I had a book out.
To build my friend count on my page in the beginning, I added people who I thought I would have things in common with. I joined groups which is one quick way to find new friends. I "liked" my favorite authors (who I wrote similarly to) and chatted on their pages. I got to know their readers. Their readers wanted to be friends with me. I only sent out friend requests to the first few hundred friends. After that number had been reached, I let people friend me and stopped sending out friend requests and waited for people to start requesting to be my friend. I quickly learned that the more I posted, more friend requests came in. Also, people wanted to get to know me as a person and not just as an author. I was amazed to see the days that had 20 to 50 requests IN ONE DAY! Social networking did wonders for my career in the beginning. These are the same people who buy every book that I have released. I love them!
I hit my first milestone of maxing out facebook's friend limit (5,000 people) last year. I needed to do something but didn't like the idea of starting a fan page. I don't like to think of people on facebook as my fans but friends instead. An "author" page seemed less personable to me. But... I didn't want to be limited by facebook. To avoid this issue, I signed up for the author page. People quickly began liking my new page. I get friend requests on my regular facebook page nearly every day. I can't approve of any more friends right now so I refer those people to my author page. Some like the page. Others don't and it is okay.
Here is what I like about using the regular facebook page:
- People interact more on my regular facebook. My friends post on my wall, email me, comment on my status updates. I don't know if this seems less formal to people, there is a big difference with the people talking to me.
- More people add me as a friend on my regular page than they do "liking" my author page.
- When I only had the regular facebook page, my life (and promoting) seemed more manageable. I have to keep both pages updated and interesting.
- I can join groups with my regular page. By joining groups, I am able to meet new people often.
What I like more about the author page:
- I don't have a limit on my author page. One of the wonderful things about being an author is that I get to meet fabulous people. Most of those people come from facebook. With an author page, I get to meet as many people as I want. A few hundred people have "liked" my author page. Only about a hundred of those people are the same people on my regular page.
- As I mentioned in my adventure story above, I get to refer any friend requests to my author page because I can't accept any more people on my regular page. I usually post similar updates on both pages so people on my author page doesn't lose out on the information.
- I can't like any more author pages on my regular page but I can with my own author page.
- I get information such as who is looking at my page and what posts people are interacting with. Demographic information isn't available on a regular facebook page.
As you can see, I find some good and bad for each of the ways to socialize on facebook. If you have any questions please leave a comment or email me! Also, you can "like" my author page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wendy-Ely/159969607422152