In this week’s marketing installment, I’ve decided to share my experiences with both Facebook fan pages and personal Pages. This information was first posted in the yahoo group Marketing For Romance Writers. It had such a good response that I thought that it would be good to share the information for all of you.
So, if you are thinking about joining Facebook, and don’t know whether to have a personal page or a fan page, then read on about my personal experience and opinions about each. Hopefully you’ll have enough information by the end of the post to make the decision that is right for you. enjoy!
I have both the fan page and personal (author) page. I created the fan page once I hit 4000 followers on my author page. I’m rather unusual in that I get 2-3 friend requests per day, so I knew I had to do something. My page was growing way too fast. Here are the differences between the two pages from what I can see.
1) An author page has a 5000 friends cap, while a fan page is limitless.
2) You have to approve friend requests on an author page, on a fan page people “like” you, so it is more passive. When a personal page “likes” your fan page it shows up under your “likes.” When a fan page “likes” you, it doesn’t show up under the number of total “likes.”
3) You cannot send friend requests via fan page.
4) A fan page has metrics, so you can track how many people visit your page, what demographic they are from, and what they clicked on. You can also see which of your updates people are interested in and which people ignore. You can track the time of day you do your status updates, and see when your followers are most active on Facebook.
5) You can’t see/write on other personal page walls as a fan page – not even if they like you. You can interact with other fan pages and write on their walls.
6) If someone “likes” your fan page, you don’t see their status in your news feed. You do see other fan page’s updates in your feed. I think of it this way – “fan pages interact with fan pages, personal pages interact with personal pages”
7) You can’t play the facebook games or give stuff to people as a fan page.
8) You can send global emails and events as a fan page to all of your fans. It’s more difficult to send global emails as an author page. I think you can do events, but I’m not sure. I’ve never done them because I personally find them irritating.
9) You can have pages within your fan page, which I don’t think you can do with a personal (author) page. This makes it much easier to showcase your work and gives your page a website feel. You can also set up a “landing page” which people see who haven’t liked you yet. Once they like you, they can access stuff on your fb page. This is a good marketing ploy. Companies use it all the time in conjunction with coupons and freebies.
10) You can’t interact in facebook groups with a fan page. You can with a personal page.
Having said all of this, I can tell you that if I didn’t come close to maxing out on my personal (author) page, I never would have created a fan page. It feels less personal and more like an entity. If people don’t interact on my wall, I have no idea what they are up to. It’s hard to make that personal connection that they talk about in social media books. This isn’t a big deal because I can just use my author page to see them, but I’m at the point now where I can’t friend new fans with my author page, so I’ll never be able to interact with them in that way.
I heard that once you hit 5000 followers on your personal page, you don’t see any more friend requests (I don’t know where they go, or if these people get an autoresponse from fb). So I stopped friending people at ~4400. When I get friend requests I tell them the situation and direct them to my fan page. I don’t update my personal page unless I have a release. I just use the personal page for groups and to write on people’s walls. I try to have 99% of my activity on my fan page so no one feels left out. I also want my fan page to be the first thing people see when they search my author name on fb.
I didn’t try to convert my personal page to a fan page, because I heard horror stories of your Facebook account getting all messed up in the process. I know as a Facebook user, I get annoyed when people switch me over without asking. That 5000 limit on a personal page is for both fan page “likes” and friends, so for every fan page I like, I can’t accept a friend request, if that makes sense. When people convert personal pages to fan pages, the friends end up being on both, so the same person is taking up 2 “friends” spots in my total of 5000. It’s not a big deal if you have 200 friends, but if you are pushing 5000…it’s becomes an issue.
So, I just created the fan page and announced it. Currently I have 4400 people friending my author page on fb and about 10% of that like my fan page. From what I can tell, this is normal when asking people to switch over themselves. Also, when I notify friend requests that I have moved to a fan page, I get about 10% conversion, which makes me wonder why some of these people wanted to be my friend on fb in the first place.
How about you? Do you have a personal page or a fan page? What do you see are the advantages or disadvantages to each? Tell me about it in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!