To engage readers, use a Facebook Profile—Not a Page

facebook profile vs. pageWhen I created my platform, the consensus was to separate the personal from the professional by creating Facebook Fan Pages, which is what I did. I have a Profile  (personal) Page and an Author’s Page,. Most people use a Facebook Profile Page to exchange information, make Friends, and check up on what others are doing; on the other hand, businesses and people who have something to sell use a Fan Page.

My Profile Page has 211 Friends and an untold number of Followers. Since on average a Facebook user has 130 friends, I am slightly above the curve, but far from the 5000 maximum. My author’s page has 99 Fans. (I suspect most of this audience comes from my contact list and are people who are already Friends on my Profile); my book page has 197 Fans, most likely resulting from a giveaway promotion on my Website for those who “liked” my Page.  (Scroll to bottom of blog to see the promo).  The numbers are not high, and that is a problem, but the lack of comments is more problematic than the number of viewers each post gets. I believe that the low responses result not from poor content, but from not reaching the right type of fans. As an experiment, I posted a link to my blog on both my Profile and Fan pages. The Profile had 12 “likes” and 25 comments, while the Fan Page had only 28 views and only one “like.”

I Googled to find ways to promote a Fan Page, and then tried most of the suggestions, stopping short of buying a $10.00/day Facebook ad asking people to “like” my Page. I feared that even if the numbers were to increase, it would not mean that I would get increased interaction with my Fans. For this reason, I am hesitant to cough up the dough. I am not being myopic, I just don’t see focusing on something that is not working for me.

As I searched other indie authors, I noticed that many only have a Profile (not a Page), and not a lot of engagement. Others are successful in using a Fan Page to connect with their tribe. Michael R. Hicks, Author has 2,797 likes (Fans) and 189 talking about his postings. He uses the Page to give his readers access to him and his writing process—and info about his cats. The feel of his Page is more like that of a Profile–very interactive and human. Seeing his success makes me wonder if I should persevere with the Page, or perhaps get a pet  to attract Fans.

As I struggled with this dilemma, I read that  Jane Friedman only uses her Profile. Then, I read a guest post on Ms. Friedman’s blog by Lisa Hall-Wilson 5 Reasons to Use a Facebook Profile (Not a Page) to Build Platform.  She presents strong reasons for why a Profile is a better option: more personable, more visible, simpler, can have unlimited followers, and allows via a plugin for you to automatically share your WordPress post to your Timeline (or to your Page).

Since most of my post are not commercial but instructive, I decided to try using just my Profile and not the Author’s Page, but I will retain the Book Page. In preparation, I placed each Friend into a Facebook list, including the Restricted List. Those on the Restricted list don’t know that they have been placed on it nor can they see anything of mine except the posts and profile info I choose to make public. Now when I post on Facebook, I merely have to decide whether to post to members of a list or to everyone (public). If I do that successfully, I can separate the personal posts  from the public ones and hopefully, garner more interaction with my readers.


Do you have a Profile or Page? Are you happy using it? Do you have recommendations? I would love to hear from you. Please comment.

About The Author

Jane V. Blanchard

Adventurer and Author, I was born in Hartford Connecticut and now live in Sarasota, Florida.