Do I need a Facebook Fan Page?

Facebook Fanpage: Lisa Call - Textile Paintings

Lisa Call – Textile Art – My Fan Page on Facebook

What is a Facebook Profile?

Before you can decide if you need a fan page let’s go over some basics of facebook profiles and fan pages.

When you first sign up on facebook you create a user profile. User profiles are for individuals only and each individual can only have 1 facebook profile, or so say the facebook terms of service and there’s a lot of evidence that they fairly strictly enforce those rules (a google search will turn up many incidences of facebook disabling accounts).

The facebook profile is the normal thing you see where you have a wall on your profile tab and you see your friends updates in the newsfeed on the home tab. When we “friend” someone with our profile it is by mutual agreement that we can see each others profiles and updates. I can’t see your profile if you don’t want to be my friend.

This is where we all talk about our cats and dogs and what we had for breakfast and the world is a better place as a result.

What is a Fan Page?

A fan page is a facebook page for businesses, institutions, organizations and people that have fans, ie public figures, writers, musicians, artists, etc. Basically anything that isn’t a person just looking to chat with friends. Technically they are really just called pages (vs profiles) but we seem to all call them fan pages.

As you can see from the photo above the fan page looks pretty much just like a profile page. Except there is no “home” page where you can see your fans’ updates. There is just the fanpage, which is the wall.

How a fan page is different than a regular user profile:

  • Facebook pages are public. This means search engines can index it (ie more people might be able to find you via google – never a bad thing I would think). It means people not on facebook can see it.
  • You can track metrics on pages. Things like pageviews, photo views, etc.
  • You can create a discussion board on a fan page and you can create events (like facebook groups).
  • You can create social advertising for your fan page. This means you can pay money to have your fan page appear in facebook ads, targeted to your selected demographic.
  • When someone becomes a fan of your page, you still can not see their profile. It is a one way sharing. To see their profile they have to become your friend instead.
  • You can have multiple pages but you are limited to a single profile.

One bummer is that when people comment on a fan page it does not appear in the notification feed. So you have to go and check your fanpage for comments. This is a bit annoying so just remember to check your fanpage to see if you have comments.

How I use my Profile and Fan Page

I use my facebook profile to talk about what it’s like to be an artist. The day to day stuff happening in my life. Some of it is directly art related (studio goals, misc art adventures) and some of it is not so much because I’m more than just an artist. Although because I use facebook mostly for art I don’t use it for super personal things.

[If I wanted to put family photos on facebook but still keep a more professional image I could use permissions and lists and only let my family and close personal friends see those updates. I might do a tutorial on how to do that later if there is interest.]

Mostly I use my profile to build a community to support me in my day to life adventures as an artist and a software engineer. My facebook page was the first time my work friends and colleagues were introduced in more detail to the whole me. I don’t talk about art and mindsets much at work so it was a bit weird at first to write about those things knowing the people at work were reading them. Now everyone at work knows I’m an artist also so it’s pretty cool.

Recently I’ve been posting about my efforts at improving my health. In April and May I was on a quest to do yoga 21 days in a row without a break. The encouragement (and accountability) from my friends was a huge help.

Some of this off topic stuff some my art fans love to read and some people not so much, as they just want to see the art and read about art.

So enter the fan page. Here is where I write about my art more. I kinda view it as a mini blog for people that have proclaimed to love my art (and a big thank you to all of you that have done so!) My status updates on my fanpage appear in my fans’ newsfeeds along with the updates from their friends.

In this way I have something for everyone: Become my friend to see the whole me, become my fan to enjoy my art. And even better: do both!

It is About You

Chris Brogan has deleted his facebook fan page. His single comment was

Because it’s not about me.

With my artwork, it is about me. And your artwork is probably about you.

Art History is a history of individuals. It’ll always be about us. Although interestingly, by creating the fan page I feel a bit the opposite of what Chris is saying.

Now with a fanpage people can enjoy my art without having to read about my efforts to go 21 days with eating refined sugar (which I completed today – it was super easy).

It is about me – I’m keeping my page.

Fine Print

And finally, here’s a little tidbit in the fine print of the facebook terms of service that might help you decide if you want to create a fan page.

All personal site features, such as friending and messaging, are also for personal use only and may not be used for professional promotion. If you add a user as a friend, for example, this person will be invited to be a friend of your profile and not your Page. Using personal site features for professional promotion, or creating unauthorized Pages, may result in your account being warned or disabled.

Technically, if you sell art from your regular user profile, or even promote it, you could be in violation of these facebook rules, which they seem to take rather serious.

Now What?

If this has you thinking you need a fan page – what next?

You can click here to create one: Make a Fan Page

Coming soon will be a tutorial on creating a fanpage (I recommend you click on artist or other public figure on that first page) and how to find it from your profile. Today’s post was getting too long to cover everything so stay tuned if you need more information before jumping in.

I invite you to friend me and become my fan at:

Lisa Call Facebook Profile
Lisa Call – Textile Paintings Fan Page

as a bonus – I’ve created a fanpage for MakeBigArt.com also. I’ll be adding the discussion board to this fanpage in the future so we can have a conversation about thinking big about our art. You can become a fan here:

MakeBigArt.com fanpage

 
—lisa
Thinking Big about Art

 

22 Responses to “Do I need a Facebook Fan Page?”

  1. Roberta says:

    Thanks. I’ll watch Twitter for announcements of further articles on this. Since I’m just starting to try and figure FB out, and am building a page as I type, this was helpful.

  2. [...] first blog post, Do I Need a Facebook Fan Page, can help you decide if a fan page is right for [...]

  3. Lisa Call says:

    Roberta – super glad to have been of help!

  4. Lisa Call says:

    And yikes – ignore the ugly colors here in the comments – I’ll be fixing this up when I fix this theme to work with the new nested comments feature of wordpress.

  5. Nice post! I have to admit I’ve thought about one but I’ve been lazy. But since I’ve made my Facebook entirely personal (even stopped putting in my e-mail sig line) I need to do this!

    Thanks!

    Charlotte

  6. Lisa Call says:

    Thanks Charlotte. I can definitely see that (the profile mostly being personal). When I first started with facebook it didn’t quite seem so cool but as more people I know in person joined up it has really been very cool to reconnect with people. I’ve got lists with my personal friends so I can keep up with them.

  7. Tracy Wall says:

    Congrats on the launch Lisa!
    And thanks for your insight and info on the whole Profile vs. Fan Page deal. I’m still trying to find my niche with both, but getting clearer.
    Looking forward to more here, too!

  8. My Fan Page has been an invaluable source of buzz for me. I use it to promote exhibitions an show new work. I also update the “fan base” either with text or video. It is a major weapon in my arsenal of marketing. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zachary-Brown/90098050007

  9. Lisa Call says:

    Tracy – thanks – clarity – great stuff – I find the more I work on these things the clearer it all becomes.

    Zachary – thanks for sharing your link for us to check out and see how you are using your fan page.

  10. Really interesting concept, another facet of marketing your work and gaining a following, I like the idea and look forward to the next article on how to create a Fan Page. Thanks for the info.

  11. Well I never read the fine print! (I don’t think I did TOO much promoting on my personal FB.)
    Thanks for the article!
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jesse-Rigamonti/36595646151?ref=ts

  12. Susan Atwell says:

    hey!
    whats the BIG idea?
    you think you’re really BIG stuff dont cha?
    (sorry I couldn’t resist!!)
    glad to see you are officially getting out there to BIGGER and better things! ( pardon me …. your “uplevel” is showing!!)and it looks good!!
    Congrats to you.!!.. you can count on me to be along for the ride!!

  13. Lisa Call says:

    Thanks Mark – thanks for stopping by.

    Jesse – I suspect no reason to worry about the fine print. But always good to know what we really signed when we signed up!

    Susan – funny. And thanks – I’m excited!

  14. Hello Lisa,
    I too struggled with the fan page issue, but created one a few days ago and I have over a 100 fans- some are family, friends and students. But I post about my artwork, upcoming workshops and what’s happening in my studio. My Facebook profile is about my other stuff – family, friends and everyday life. I like the separate – personal life and art life.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Alease

  15. Nancy Wylie says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Thank you so much for sharing all this! I got this from a post from Alyson Stanfield about Twitter, which I’m not on, but followed the link to here. My son helped me get on Facebook and do a fanpage. I still have some questions though.

    When someone becomes a fan,you can’t see their profile, but can they see all the personal stuff you write on your wall such as “our cats and dogs and what we had for breakfast” or just your profile?

    If I post something about my art on my fan page, does it also show up on my friends pages/walls? If not, do I need to post the same info on both places? I don’t want to over do it with my friends, but most of my friends are also fans.

    Also, how do you let people know you have a fan page after you’ve invited your friends. Is it just word of mouth after the initial invite?

    Now I am worried about the selling of my art thing! How else do we let people know we are professional artists with out mentioning that we sell our work?

  16. [...] Blog « Do I need a Facebook Fan Page? [...]

  17. Lisa Call says:

    Alease – congrats on the 100+ fans!

    Nancy – good questions – I’ll answer them soon – must get back to the studio tonight.

  18. Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for the info. I had just recently added a fan page on Facebook, and am still trying to figure out how it works. Other than friends I invite to become a fan, any other suggestions on promoting my fan page more?

    Also, when I started my fan page, I added the LLC on the end of my art biz. I’m thinking I should not have added the LLC, because it is not on my website, or my blog, or my FB group that I started. Shouldn’t they all coincide, or does it not matter? I tried to delete the LLC, but it won’t seem to let me edit the title of my fan page.
    If you have any suggestions, let me know. Thanks for the info!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/edit/?id=111033966139#/pages/Sedona-AZ/Sedona-Giclee-Studios-LLC/111033966139

  19. Claudia says:

    Thank you Lisa, great info, I didn’t know that you can’t promote your art on your facebook profile, but it makes sense. I am seriously thinking of making a fan page now, even thought it creates more work, updating, blogs, facebooks, etc., arg! Looking forward to reading more of your great information.
    You are an inspiration.

    Love and peace
    Claudia

  20. Nancy Wylie says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I would still like to know the answer to my questions above. I hope you have the time to answer. Thanks!

  21. Lisa Call says:

    Nancy – I keep a running list of questions that people ask. As I’m working on a sustainable business model I can’t promise to answer them all in a short time frame but I will get to them eventually.