Friday, January 02, 2015

Promo Friday: Why I Deleted My Facebook Author Page Yesterday

Yesterday I deleted my Facebook author page (not my personal page), though it may still be up for a number of days while Facebook waits to see if I change my mind.

The short story: I deleted my Facebook page because I wasn't reaching enough people to make it time and energy efficient to maintain it. There was also very little engagement there, which, people often forget, is the point of social media.

The long story:

First Off, The Difference Between A Facebook Page And A Profile


Facebook pages are used for professional reasons. Pages are Liked not Friended. At the time I set up my author page, people who weren't part of Facebook could find it with an Internet search. I was interested in it because I wouldn't be posting to a finite group of people within Facebook but to the entire Internet. I saw the page as a place to post information about publishing, events, and maybe do a little literary salon-type stuff, discussing reading, for instance.

Facebook profiles are personal and far more social. Lots of pet and kid pictures there. Profiles are Friended, not Liked. People may post work-related information on them just as they would share work-related information with personal friends. My writer friends will post on their profiles that they've made a book sale, have a new cover, or will be making an appearance, just as they would tell that information to their friends if they met them in the store, at church, or got together with them in a social situation.

The Famous Facebook Formula/Algorithm

Facebook doesn't send out every post made on a professional page to every person who has liked it. The story goes that Facebook doesn't want individual users overwhelmed with masses of posts on their newsfeeds/walls, making individual professional posts less effective because the receivers are...ah...overwhelmed. So it only sends page posts to a percentage of the people who have liked the page. I've read that it's 17 percent of the total, I've read that it's less. The Likers in that percentage are supposed to be those that have interacted with the page, meaning, presumably, that they are more interested in the page and more likely to act upon any information they receive from it.

And What Does This Have To Do With You, Gail?

Well, if you are Target and have in excess of 20 million likes, 17 percent is still a lot of people getting your posts. If you are a mid-list writer with 116 likes, 17 percent is only 19 people. Facebook kindly let me know how many people I reached with each post I made. For whatever mysterious Facebook reason, more often than not I was reaching far fewer than 19. I was generally coming up with unique content for that page, even if it was links to reading. I don't do automatic broadcasts of this blog to all my social media platforms to avoid hammering away at people who are connected with me in multiple ways. So, to get back to the short story I was telling you at the beginning of this post, maintaining that page wasn't worth the time and effort.

Additionally, there was very little engagement there. I have some kind of interaction with someone on my personal page nearly every day. I get some retweets and follows on Twitter every week. I get more +1s on Google+ than interaction on that Facebook page and when I post to Google+ communities, I usually see a bump in my blog stats. Everything does better for me than that Facebook page did.

To Conclude

I can do what I was doing at the Facebook page at my Facebook profile, and I can use the kind of material I was posting at the page here at the blog. Though my Facebook profile is only available to my friends on Facebook, I have far more friends than I had likes at that page and far more engagement. I like Google+ and Twitter where I actually see content I'm interested in. That was impossible through the Facebook page.

So I'm thinking there's nothing to lose and plenty to gain in terms of time and energy from dropping that Facebook page.

If you had liked me on Facebook, you're now welcome to friend me there.

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