Actor + social media maverick Tony Howell shows us how ditching your Facebook Fan Page for your profile can be more effective, easier + smarter. Friends, fans and industry contacts want to follow your real life, and this simple shift can deepen those connections + give you more credibility as an artist.
It’s time to align your offline self with your online presence.
Facebook is for people – one billion to be exact! Its mission is to make the world more open and connected through free sharing. Since Facebook was founded in 2004, artists have been taught to draw a line between their personal and professional lives through Fan Pages. I have to disagree with this early social marketing strategy. Pages on Facebook are really intended for Businesses – they largely fund the platform. I recommend Profiles for artists – they are free and most effective.
This Thanksgiving, I invite you to kill your Fan Page and reap the harvest of an improved Facebook Profile.
You are multi-talented and multi-faceted – but as Dallas teaches, “A confused mind says no.” You really only need a Facebook Page if you have a business (or post an exorbitant amount of pet photos). You confuse people when you ask them to “like” your Fan Page – they already like you and are your fan by being your Friend! Until you organically garner THOUSANDS of engaged followers, a Fan Page is ineffective; likely a waste of your time and energy – possibly even money. You can secure an official Facebook Fan Page when you need one – but perhaps that is when your fans are creating Pages for you!?
As creative artists, our work is our life. I believe we should share ourselves online as fully and truthfully as we do in our work offline. Refocus your social marketing on your Profile. Your online fans want to engage with YOU. They want exclusive access. They want to be your Friend – not just be another Like on a Page. Embrace your power and position as a public figure! Channeling your efforts to your existing Profile will increase your visibility, create opportunities and make your Facebook presence easier to manage. This refocusing strategy dramatically increased my engagement and created real career momentum. I invite you to try it out. I believe it will work for you, too!!!
Because Profiles are for people, you can really leverage your existing industry connections. When employers search for you, imagine the instant credibility and trust from hundreds of Mutual Friends – not to mention the marketing economics of bringing a significant fan base of Followers! Make it your goal to reach the 5,000 Friend limit. As your presence and power grows, you will show up on the News Feeds of your most industrious contacts – and have the influence to reach out to more VIPs!
You can easily (and retroactively) set up Boundaries, Restrictions and Blocking for your Profile in the Account Settings. To start, examine your definition of a Facebook Friend. There are spammers and identity thieves out there – so you really do need to define a policy. My policy is that we must have several Mutual Friends to be Friends on Facebook.
If Friending makes you uncomfortable, you could simply set up Followers for your Facebook Profile in the same Account Settings. This way, Fans can access your public updates (one way connection) without being Friends (two way connection). I highly recommend this. Followers only add clout and attract further interest. This way, you’re not managing both a Page and Profile – your Profile becomes a Fan Page by simply authorizing Followers!
Facebook governs what, where and how often your posts are displayed. In addition to being well connected, you need to be engaging! Think about your content strategies – your posts are now for a global and public audience. Control and strategize the posts you share on your Profile. Share content that represents your best and truest self – but that others will find interesting and want to pass on. The Share is the new Like!
I’d suggest you begin to find this content’s voice by modeling your icons or community leaders. For example, ask yourself “Would Rachel McAdams share this?” Beyond that, choose an ideal audience for your public posts. Dallas calls this person your Marketing Magnet. I call this person your ideal future collaborator. Ask yourself “Would Steven Spielberg share this?”
If you already have a Fan Page, see how many of the Likes are from your existing Friends. I’d suggest you kill this Page by telling the audience that you’re simplifying. Invite your Fans to be your Friends and Follow your real life!
Truth is – they probably already are!
Utilizing your Profile for career purposes makes Facebook easier to manage. Growing Friends and Followers on your Profile will boost your credibility and trust. This will attract interest and opportunities from the people that you’re actually targeting – and your social presence will be much easier to manage! You’ll feel empowered, efficient and effective. That would make me give thanks!!!
I’d love to hear your questions or concerns in the comments below!
Tony Howell is a master of creating momentum online. After turning a tweet into a 90-minute meeting with Broadway’s leading Director/Choreographer, Tony founded Creative Social Media to teach his proven system for increasing visibility and creating opportunities. Tony is currently on tour with EVITA, but also enjoys teaching social marketing and networking to creative artists around the world.
For more information about working with Tony, visit www.getcreativesocialmedia.com.