I received the above frantic message from an author this week looking for help. Unfortunately there wasn’t much I could do because I don’t have the Zuck on speed dial. The author, in hindsight, had a few ideas on why that happened but bottom line – they had over 5000 friends and several hundred followers and now have to start all over again.
Lots of authors love to hear me give them permission to use their Profile to build platform on Facebook because they don’t want to have to pay for ads, because using a Page to build platform can be very slow going, and they might not have anything to sell – yet.
But here are a few cautions for those who prefer to use their Profile:
1. Facebook says you can’t use your Profile for personal gain. You can’t make money from it. Be cautious posting to a Profile the way you would post to a Page. You can promote your own work and the work of other authors as much as you want on a Page, but on a Profile you must remain human and interact with people – a lot!
2. If you have or are approaching the 5000 friend limit, you should strongly consider converting that Profile to a Page. You can backup all your data before the swtich (because you’ll lose it all). What data? Photos, messages, status updates, etc. When you convert your Profile to a Page all that makes the transfer are your friends and followers.
3. Facebook can and will suspend various privileges and put you in Facebook jail for friending a lot of people you don’t know. Technically, you’re only supposed to send a friend request to people you know IRL. If too many people report to FB that they don’t know you outside of FB, you’ll get your wrist slapped.
4. Spam reports are very very bad. I’ve had authors report that just one spam report about a link or a comment has gotten their link privileges suspended for a week, a month, three months. And sometimes this is beyond your control – somebody sends a spam report by accident or they’re a troll, but this can be devastating. Avoid unnecessary controversy.
5. Remember that you can’t use groups with a Page only a Profile, and for some people groups are the best source of traffic for their blog. Don’t be a spam bot. Observe the posted rules in each group, be a helpful contributing member of the group. Kindness begets kindness.
6. DO NOT force invite people to an event that’s actually a book launch. If people leave that group, do not force add them again. Stop worrying about numbers. 100 fans who love your work and will tell all their friends about you is more profitable than 1000 fans who don’t care.
How have you seen authors abusing their Profile on Facebook?