Those of you who know me, must be saying what? Renée is giving up Facebook? No, that’s not the case – I still believe in having a Facebook fan page, but there are some issues that I want to address…
Facebook For Your Business
As I said above, I still believe that indie authors should have a Facebook fan page. If nothing else, it gives you a place to advertize yourself, create back links for your author page and/or blog, and it makes you look professional (hey, even bigwig authors are now creating Facebook fan pages). If you need a refresher about what a Facebook fan page can do for you, read about it on the Promoting Your Books page.
Facebook For Personal Reasons
Here’s where I get to the crux of my post. I believe in how Facebook has set things up, at least from the standpoint of creating personal and professional pages. Your personal page, in my opinion, is for your family and friends. And here’s where I’m sure I will differ from some, especially those of a younger generation. I think it’s a stretch to say that I’m friends with someone I don’t know, other than that we’ve connected on Twitter or my blog, but I’ve never talked to you on the phone or skyped with you, or even better, met personally. As a former counselor, I believe it’s very difficult to create relationship (which is the crux of friendship) with others just through social media – for the most part, you have to meet someone, talk to them, relate with them on many levels to truly be friends with them. Again, I realize there are exceptions, and I’m sure some of you will disagree, but please don’t blast me in the comments about how wrong I am :). We can agree to disagree…
I also recognize that the term friend is going through a redefinition, if just in social media. That’s okay. But lately I’ve noticed something odd in my personal Facebook profile. I’m supposedly friends with over 200 people, most of whom I’ve never met. Many I know little about, other than that they are authors. I friended them out of guilt – in other social media outlets, I’ve said hey, I have fan page, would you like it and they do, and say hey, will you return the favor? Only they don’t have a fan page, just a personal profile. Initially I let guilt dictate that I should friend them. But then my news feed fills up with posts about their family, anniversaries, and so on…but I don’t even know them!
My Facebook Rules Going Forward
It’s time for me to put up some boundaries around my Facebook personal profile. I am happy to like your professional page, and would appreciate the return favor. But as for my personal profile, here are my thoughts:
- if I don’t know you, other than that you’re an author, I more than likely won’t be Facebook friends with you
- don’t ask me to reciprocate likes when you don’t have a professional page – get one and I’ll like it, but don’t ask me to be friends with you
- it’s nothing personal, I just want my personal page to be for my family and friends
- if I unfriend you, it’s nothing personal, I’ve just determined I have no idea who you are – if you want to connect, do so through my blog, Twitter, or Facebook fan page
PS – I’ve noticed this type of behavior on LinkedIn as well – asking someone you’ve never met to connect with you there. The difference is that LinkedIn is professional in nature, and as an author, I don’t mind connecting with other authors there. However, I have been asked to connect with some whom I’ve never connected with anywhere, on Twitter, Facebook, my blog, or wherever. Those I turn down. I have to recognize you from somewhere, otherwise it’s just spam to me.
Thanks for understanding. What are your thoughts on Facebook?