June 21, 2009 by Lisa Call
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
Thinking Big about Art