What is a fan page on Facebook? A fan page is the only way for entities like businesses, organizations, celebrities, and political figures to represent themselves on Facebook.
Creating a Facebook fan page for your blog can be anxiety inducing, especially if you’re trying to keep your real identity separate from your blogging identity. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated once you see how easy it is, you’ll wonder why you waited so long. First of all, let me tell you that it’s okay to be logged into your personal Facebook account when you create your fan page. When I made my first one, I was terrified that my last name, personal profile, or other information would be linked to it. After setting it up and testing it from my son’s profile, though, I learned that I was worried for nothing.
If you set it up with a different email address, it will be much more difficult to manage because of all the logging in and out. Second, while some people like to set up a regular Facebook profile with their blog name, it’s better to set up a fan page. That way your fans can like your blog without having to add you as a friend, and the page functions will be easier to control.
How to make a Facebook fan page for your blog?
1. Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php to get started. You’ll see a screen like this (click any image to view larger):
2. Click on Brand or Product in the upper right box. You’ll be prompted to choose a category.
3. In the category drop down, select Website.
4. Type in your blog name under the Category drop down box, check the box to agree to Facebook’s TOS, and click Get Started.
5. You’ll be asked to provide some basic information about your page. Fill in a description, your website URL if you have one, and choose a unique Facebook URL for your fan page. You’ll also be asked if your page represents a real business, product, or brand no worries if yours doesn’t! It really depends on whether you consider your blog a business or brand, but answering “no” is fine if your blog is just a hobby.
6. Next, you’ll be prompted to upload a profile picture. If you have a logo, this would be a good time to upload it. If you don’t, feel free to skip this step you can always add a picture later.
7. Add your page to your Favorites. This option will place a link to your fan page in the left sidebar when you sign into Facebook. It’s totally optional, but makes it really easy to find your page later!
8. You’ll be taken to your page, which has the admin panel across the top. Feel free to explore the various settings and options. There are all kinds of prompts to help you understand what to do.
9. You’re all done! There are some other things you’ll need to do, like mentioning your Facebook fan page on your blog, with a link or button so people can go like it, but other than that, your fan page is all set up and ready for you to post.
Why create a Facebook fan page?
You already read and comment on others’ blogs and share some of your own posts on your personal Facebook page. Is creating a separate page worthwhile? It offers capabilities that a personal page doesn’t, and lets you use the “networking” part of “social networking” to engage new readers. A few of the perks:
No limit on fans. A personal page caps your friends at 5,000 not usually a problem for purely personal use, but an issue when your blog starts to take off.
More statistics obsess over work with. Fan pages offer analytics that let you see which posts are most viewed and shared, along with basic demographic data about your fans. You can use these just like WordPress.com,, stats, to help you create blog content that speaks to your readers.
A place to share one off thoughts and links. Those quick ideas or links that you’d like to share, but wouldn’t write a whole post about? Now they’ve got a home. Ditto for things readers want to share with you, but which don’t necessarily have a place in your comments. Expanded conversations. Sure, you want to foster engagement on your blog and maintain a lively comment section. But if you want to foster other conversations, Facebook’s discussion tools give you a place to do that. Maybe one of your knitting blog readers wants a sock pattern that you don’t have. It might be odd for them to ask in an unrelated post, but they can ask on Facebook and get several responses and you get a great idea for a sock post, which ultimately brings more people to your blog. Win-win!
When your best friend Sue follows your blog’s fan page, all her friends see that and they’ll come check you out now that you have Sue’s imprimatur. You can also comment on other friends’ and blogs’ content as your blog instead of yourself, generating more exposure. Rather than waiting for people to discover you, you’re actively making connections among those likely to become readers. A fan page also gives you a place to share your blog posts and related content without feeling like you’re spamming friends and family; you can more easily keep your personal life and blog life separate.
We’re not shilling for Facebook here, though. Creating a fan page isn’t a non stop path to viral success, and there’s a notable downside: it’s work. If all you do with your page is sharing your blog posts, it’s not going to get you very far. A successful fan page needs a content plan, just like your blog does, along with regular tending. You’ll also have lots of readers who don’t use Facebook, and building a vibrant community there could leave them out of interesting conversations. Maybe you don’t use Facebook, and don’t want to totally fine, concentrate your time and energy on mediums you enjoy spending time with.
Still, if reader growth is a goal, fan pages have a role to play. If you’re already a member of Facebook, adding a fan page for your blog can be an effective way to supplement your other activity in the blogosphere.
Your blog has a fan page. Now what?
As the old social networking riddle asks, “If you build a Facebook fan page and no one likes it, does it still grow your traffic?”
No, it doesn’t. (It’s a pretty crappy riddle.) Your page needs (1) content and (2) fans.
To start with, share a few of your blog posts to the page, and add a little “Hello!” message so your company isn’t sitting on cardboard boxes when they come for tea. Now, start rustling up fans with those most likely to like you: your friends, family, and existing readers. Share the link to your new fan page on your blog tries announcing it in a text widget if you don’t want to dedicate a post to it, or just add the Facebook Like widget and invite your existing Facebook friends to like the page.
Now that the fan ball is rolling, you can leave that to grow organically as fans like and share your content… so you’ll need some of that. You’ll want to share new blog posts to the page (you can set up Publicize to do that automatically), but that shouldn’t be all, if the fan page does nothing but promote your posts, there’s little point for anyone to follow it. In addition to posts, you’ll want to add other content, like: Other bloggers’ posts, there’s nothing like sharing the love, and promoting others’ good work ultimately brings people to you, too. Random, funny, interesting, or provocative links. Your fan page becomes valuable when you curate, helping fans weed through the swampland of the internet to find the goodies. Links and posts with great images are especially shareable.
Questions. If there’s one thing people enjoy doing on Facebook, it’s sharing opinions. You might not want to run a poll on your blog, but asking questions on Facebook is a good way to get people to engage and to get feedback on what your readers are interested in.
Status updates. Are you on round three of the DIY project you’re planning to blog next week? Are you headed to the movies to see the next film you’ll review? Did you just spend 15 minutes trying to remember the word “conundrum”? To keep fans up to date and share blog related glimpses into your life. You don’t need to do all of this every day; doing that is a good way to drive fans away, as you flood their Facebook feeds. But posting a few times a day, with a mix of blog posts and other related content, turns your fan page into a supplement to your blog another place readers can come for good content.
In the end, building an engaging fan page helps you as a blogger, you’re not creating an alternative to your blog, you’re creating a feeder tool that funnels your readers and post content. May be you’ll realize that the last few links you shared would make a great roundup or post topic, or conversations with fans will open new avenues of thinking.
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