The Social Media Advice You Never Hear: Why You Shouldn’t Bother With a Facebook Page

March 26, 2012 · 28 comments

Want to take your social media efforts to the next level? Check out How to Create a Freakin’ Fabulous Social Media Strategy.

Last week I spent an hour chatting with an author about the Facebook page she was using to promote her book. Our convo was supposed to be about ways to get more “likes” on her page — and I’ll share those ideas with you in a future post — but we ended up talking about something entirely different.

We ended up talking about why she should DELETE the page.

frustrated over social media

Frustrated over your Facebook page? Here's an idea: DELETE IT.

I know what you’re thinking: GASP! Not have a Facebook page? But that’s the Holy Grail of promotion! Every publisher wants to see you have a Facebook page! Every literary agent! Every author who has any sort of platform has a Facebook page!

But that’s just the problem. Too many of us create a Facebook page or a blog or [insert whatever social media channel you've begrudgingly adopted] because we think we’re supposed to — rather than because it’s the best way to sell books or create a community or raise awareness of our cause.

This author (who I adore, by the way) was focusing on how to get more “likes” on her page, and her big idea (and she’s not the only one with this idea) was to try to get friends from her personal profile to migrate over to the fan page. That would increase her “like” numbers, sure. But would it help her reach her ultimate goal: to sell books? No. Her profile friends all already know about her book, so having them “like” the fan page doesn’t really do her any good.

What I’m saying here is this: sometimes we get so caught up in the social media frenzy that we lose sight of whether these tools are actually helping us reach our true goals.

A symptom of getting caught up is trying to be everywhere, on every social platform, rather than choosing one or two or three that will work for you. Because if you’re spending time on a Facebook page that’s growing so slowly that it probably isn’t helping you sell many books, you’d be better off taking that time and using it on, say, Twitter, or whatever tool works best for you.

Don’t create a page or a blog or a whatever because you feel like you have to. Do it only if it will help you reach your goals, and if that time will be BEST spent by growing that page.

I realize this is easier said than done — especially if having a platform includes a Facebook page has been beaten into you by the blogosphere. But once you realize that giving up your page might actually be the SMARTER move, your guilt will begin to fade away, and success will take its place.

I’m writing about this partly because I’ve been there. I created a Facebook page for my business, Socialexis, about two years ago. I mean, c’mon, every company needs a Facebook page, right? Especially a company that revolves around social media!

So I updated the page with social media tips and announcements about my latest products. It grew to several hundred “likes” before growth stalled, and I knew that to get over that hump, I’d have to put more effort into the page.

That’s when I re-evaluated. I realized that most of the people who were following the page were already friends with me on Facebook or readers of my blog or followers on Twitter. And those other avenues were actually better ways for me to connect with new people — more effective for building my community and selling my products. In other words, every minute I spent on my Facebook page took away from those more effective efforts.

So I hid the page. I hid it rather than deleting it just in case I changed my mind and wanted to bring it back to life. (Tip: This is a good way to ease yourself into saying goodbye to your Facebook page if you’re just thinking about it.)

And guess what? I haven’t missed it one bit.

Neither have any of you. Shockingly, no one has complained because I don’t have a Facebook page. But I have gotten compliments and seen success because of the growth of my blog and made new, career-boosting connections via Twitter.

And THAT’S what’s going to help me reach my next goal.

Which social media profile can you ditch TODAY so you have more time to focus on what matters?

Share this article:



Join our newsletter to get more ideas and tips!

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy March 26, 2012 at 9:07 am

I have been thinking about this for a long time – deleting the page. I know it helps get my name OUT THERE, but I think it is absorbing too much time and it changes my priorities. I think I’ll HIDE and take the first step! I really enjoy your thoughts!

Reply

Alexis Grant March 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Awesome, Judy! Let us know how it works out for you.

Reply

Donna Pyle March 26, 2012 at 9:52 am

Alexis, I couldn’t agree more. I have not seen one single benefit from having a separate Facebook page for my ministry. But like you, Twitter and regular FB page interaction has grown exponentially. Awesome post!

Reply

Alexis Grant March 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Donna — Yes on Facebook profile! I think that’s sometimes overlooked for marketing purposes, but it can be really effective.

Reply

chantal p March 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I deleted mine 4 years ago and haven’t missed it one bit!
Plus, people who really want to read my blog find me, ask me, talk to me
back to basics, keeping it personal.
love it

Reply

Andrea March 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Nice post on prioritizing!

I could take something from this, even though I am not in the social media business. :)

You’re right! It’s better to have no page than one that is half-looked-after, or one that drains your other efforts.

Reply

Dust Bunny Mafia (@DustBunnyMafia) March 26, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I just ditched Google+ due to reading this article. I quickly jumped on the bandwagon, yes bandwagon, when I could get access, setup a page for my dust bunnies and my personal profile only to realize today that I never use it. I’ve updated both pages about twice in say 6 months time.

Therefore people can find the Dust Bunny Mafia on facebook, twitter and on my website/blog http://www.dustbunnymafia.com

Reply

Ruth A. Douthitt March 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Great advice! I started one because a friend suggested it, but don’t use it much. I have been blogging now more than usual. However, I do use my book’s Facebook page more regularly to post pics of reading events and updates on the sequel.

But I just might end up hiding my Athor FB page since it doesn’t do much but house all my tweets.

I’ll seriously consider it. Thanks!

Reply

Alexis Grant March 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Let us know what happens, Ruth!

Reply

John H. Carroll March 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm

agree with the point of not wasting time on it and focusing on likes.

However, Quite a few people have contacted me on facebook to let me know they like my books. I use it to update those people on things that are going on with my writing. When I stopped worrying about likes and popularity, it stopped sucking up my time.

I think the key is write (or whatever your business is) and have the facebook page as a minor marketing tool rather than give it more value than your true work.

Reply

Janice Hardy March 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I JUST this morning posted about how I was considering deleting my Facebook page. What a great post to stumble upon this afternoon.

Reply

Misti March 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I deleted G+ not long after I joined and then only recently Pinterest, and I am particularly glad to get rid of Pinterest since it is the latest, hot thing—and even their new TOS is still not any good. I only use FB for friends/family and don’t really advertise it on my blog, though I have had blog readers find me and I accept their friend request generally.

Twitter, I came late to the game, but I find it very valuable and interesting.

Reply

Dana Sitar March 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm

I’ve been on the fence about the Facebook page for my book series, which has felt mostly like an unnecessary task on top of my FB profile. I agree with the points you make and will probably be deleting the page soon. I’ve had a lot more success focusing my efforts on growing blog readers and Twitter followers.

I shared your post in our Indie Author FB group, because I think a lot of authors’ book or author pages are probably overkill. You might be interested in the responses, most defending the need for a page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/smashwordsauthor/376807939018523/?notif_t=group_activity

Reply

Alexis Grant March 27, 2012 at 11:48 am

Thanks for sharing that, Dana — Great conversation. There certainly are a lot of good arguments FOR a page, but I think sometimes we create one blindly, just assuming it’s the best choice for us… and sometimes it’s not.

Reply

Heather Rae March 27, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I’m pretty sure this was precisely what I needed to read at the moment. I’ve struggled with my Facebook page for a while now — I don’t want to put time into figuring out how to get more ‘likes’, yet I haven’t been quite sure what to do with it. Funny thing, I never even considered deleting (or hiding) the darn thing. I much prefer my personal FB page, and the majority of my blog readers already get my blog posts in other ways. I’m going to seriously consider getting rid of the darn thing! Thanks for your thoughts on this.

Reply

Alexis Grant March 27, 2012 at 11:29 pm

A personal page can do wonders! Let us know what you decide…

Reply

Linda C. Thomas March 27, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Alexis,
This post is so timely. Last week, I decide to put a pause on Facebook. I felt, I was compromising my integrity.
Thank you wise one for reminding us to listen to our own beat. By the way, I enjoy Twitter.

Cheers.

Linda

Reply

Alexis Grant March 28, 2012 at 8:19 am

Love your take — listening to our own beat. So important!

Reply

Cassie Hart March 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Great article! I do have a FB business page and don’t plan on deleting it any time soon, but I have been wondering about another social media platform: Pinterest. I keep reading about how businesses should be on here, but I have yet to understand (1) how it will help me and (2) how the heck I’ll have time to keep up with it! I’m already on FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I’ve found FB to be helpful, but mainly in the local sense as I’m part of a entrepreneur networking group and have made many new contacts, and garnered a few new projects. Twitter is a wealth of information…I’ve been turned on to many, many useful articles through this medium. So while I felt the pressure to join Pinterest for a while, I told myself that between my work and keeping up with the kiddos (I’m a wahm so balancing work/family is delicate these days!) I’m involved in enough–for now. :)

Looking forward to more of your articles!

Reply

Jaimee March 29, 2012 at 11:07 am

Facebook pages are still extremely valuable for businesses, but it’s next to useless if you don’t promote using Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads allow you to target the right people who can like it so you can grow. It’s still a lot cheaper than using Google Ads.

Reply

Shawndra Russell March 29, 2012 at 11:40 am

I feel the EXACT same way about Facebook. All I do is put links to what I am already posting on my blog and Twitter, which are my two favorite (and for me, most effective) social media outlets.

My question is, what do you think about people NOT hiding their Facebook pages, but having it there as another way for people to find you, like a placeholder, but not necessarily worrying about growing your likes or using it as an interactive tool? Heck, I could even post something that says, “I will no longer be posting new information to Facebook, but please come visit my blog at ___ and tweet me at _______ where I am active daily!”

Thoughts?

Reply

Jarm Del Boccio March 31, 2012 at 9:19 am

Such a good and insightful post…thank you, Alexis! I do have a social Facebook account, but since I am not yet published, I will think twice about a page.

Reply

Lorraine Roe March 31, 2012 at 11:59 am

Ooh, interesting. I toy with the idea, but still treat my FB page like a blankie. But thanks for giving the green light to dropping it.

Reply

Rebecca Fyfe March 31, 2012 at 7:37 pm

My experience has been different than yours. My blog’s readership has grown through my Facebook page. My blog has several sub-blogs. The blog is about health and fitness and how I lost over 145 lbs of fat. I then created a healthy recipes blog, linked to my main blog and then also created a blog of inspirational interviews with other people who have lost a lot of weight. The great thing about my Facebook page for it is that it has been a simple way to pull all of those blogs together into one place. Yes, a lot of followers of the Facebook page are also on my main profile’s friend list, but there have been hiundreds of new “likers” of the page as well. And some of them found me through Facebook and then went on to follow my blog on my blog page or on Networked blogs as well. My blog’s Facebook “likes” far outnumber my blog’s “followers.” And I find I can occasionally “share” inspirational quotes that I find or ask the occasional question of my “likers” and create a more personal and immediate connection with them that I could with just my blog.

Reply

Julie Hedlund April 2, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Interesting. I just started a Page a few weeks ago. I have almost 200 “likes” but a lot of them are the same people that follow me elsewhere. I haven’t read into it much yet, nor have I decided what, if anything, I am going to use the Page for. So I just put my blog posts and other interesting articles I come across there for now. Perhaps I, too, will reevaluate its worthiness at some point in the future…

Reply

Nikita Cat April 7, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Just the other day I tossed my personal FB profile into the Litter Box, and covered it up (Deleted it, for all you Humans in Rio Linda).

No-one noticed it was gone, not any of my 90+ friends. :-D

Daddy Kiril has a profile, that’s enough.

Plus he has reactivate his Twitter so his blog posts, from his blog, and my & Elvira Mistress of Felinity’s posts from our blog, get Tweeted, and he can act as our Liaison to the Twitterverse as well. :-D

Ain’t I smart for a 14 yr. part Maine Coon, or what? :-D

Reply

Joyce Lau July 15, 2012 at 10:39 am

People can sense, and reject, a sales pitch a mile away.
Social media is great if you are genuine user. For example, you really like to post on Facebook or Twitter. You’ve always enjoyed writing your blog. And you give back by participating — reading other blogs, leaving comments, linking back to people.
You’ve built up an audience over the years — and now you introduce your book to the people who already enjoy your interests and witty personality. That works.
What doesn’t work is someone who doesn’t particularly like social media, but opens accounts because he/she feels the need to. This person has nothing interesting to say and doesn’t interact well online. But suddenly, his friends and family get a barrage of “here’s an article I wrote” and “hey, did I say I’m writing a book?” and “go to the Kindle and download my book now”!
I know a writer like that. All he ever Tweets are his own articles – it’s infrequent, and only about him, and he never bothers promoting or even mentioning anyone else.
Now that is inefficient.

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: