This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at www.jenniferhudsontaylor.net.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Facebook is the Wal-mart of Social Networking

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Today I'm deviating from my typical book review or author interview to bring you some news of another avenue. I've been trying to spread the word that I didn't delete any Facebook friends. My FB acct has been disabled and I'm left to believe a virus may have tried to hijack it because FB will not return my emails and their phone system is set up to not allow you to talk to anyone. 

I've spent a couple of years trying to build up my networks and platform on FB only to have it wiped away in a day. Why would I do that again? I wouldn't. So I'm changing strategies. 

The problem is, Facebook is the Wal-mart of the Web, and so I cannot dismiss it as an avenue or tool to build part of my marketing platform as an author. With over 500 million FB users, I'd be crazy not to invest something into FB--even after my disaster of an experience there. I still hope my original acct will be restored. In the meantime, I've created a new FB account. 

Why is Facebook the Wal-mart of social media? 
It's the one-stop social network site where you can get everything. People like going to FB to get updates on family, friends, targeted news, to follow people of interest such as favorite authors, musicians, politicians, celebrities, religious leaders, etc. There are tons of social network sites to join, but none of the less popular ones have all my family. Some family members are on MySpace, others are not. None of them are on Shoutlife, only me. Some of my family members are on Twitter or LinkedIn, others are not. But they are ALL on Facebook. And they all ACTIVELY use Facebook.

As an author I cannot afford not have a FB Page since everyone's on FB! Find my new FB Page here. FB is where I find quick news from family members, and I get to see their latest photos. FB is where each individual can have their own personal place to share news in their life and to connect with people that are important to them, if they can get occasional news about my writing and book releases, they are okay with that and they don't have to go out of their way to find me on my blog or set up a seperate RSS feed. For these reasons, I must keep an FB page.

So what is different about my strategy? 
I'm not going to spend time networking as much on FB as I once did. I'm going to put more of my efforts into Twitter and my blogs. My blog posts will no longer go to my FB profile, only my FB Fan page. Why is this? Why do I even need an FB Fan page? Because it has more functionality like a website, people can join it who do not actually know me, but are interested in my writing. There are no limits to the number of fans a person can have, but there is a limit on the number of friends. Also, I can only email up to 20 friends at once, but a FB Page allows me to send out notices of events and announcements to all my fans at once. This is truly a blessing to me. (Update: This is no longer the case.)

I hope my FB Fan page will be a different kind of ministry to reach people who need to be uplifted, inspired, and who simply want to connect with me about writing, books, the publishing market, history, and God's Word. Instead of my blog being an additional resource or extension from my Facebook acct, I want FB to be an extension of my blog.

The way people think of the word "fan" is changing. It doesn't mean what it used to mean. In the Facebook world, it really means a professional businesss page on Facebook.

What are the changes to my blog?
I'm going to try and blog more during the week. Instead of Mon, Wed, Fri, I'm going to try blogging everyday, Monday - Friday. I need to offer more to my readers. This got me to thinking--what would you like to read on a blog? What would bring you back? What would encourage or entice you to load my blog into your RSS Feeder, join my FB Page to get my posts, or join as a Blogger follower? While I would love to give away a gift everyday, I can't afford it. Therefore, whatever I provide will have to be in the form of information. If I spend all my time writing blogs, I won't have time to write novels, so it must require a limited amount of time. It should be interesting and fun.

My target audience is people who enjoy historical Christian fiction--writing it and reading it--YOU. The things that you all have in common is Christ, a need for faith-building and inspiration, a love and enjoyment of history, reading romance and mystery. You have certain authors you enjoy, historical movies, favorite time periods, you like to learn about things. When I considered this, I realized you might enjoy some trivia on Tues and Thurs. 

So here is my new blog schedule:

• Mondays
Writing & research tips (occasional info on the publishing industry)

• Tuesdays 
Trivia on historical authors and books, including many of the classics

• Wednesdays
Book reviews & author interviews (includes contests and giveaways)

• Thursdays
Trivia on historical events, inventions, famous people and places

• Fridays
Faith devotions, Carolina history, and news and updates

I could offer a gift at the end of the month for whoever gets the most trivia questions correct, but keep in mind, only those who are the first to answer each trivia question correctly will be counted.  

Please offer your ideas and suggestions. I'm interested to know if the trivia on Tues and Thurs might be of interest to you. I'm especially interested in how to preserve FB connections with fans who have joined my FB page, but who aren't FB friends or who I don't have any other interaction with other than through FB--in case I ever get disabled again--or any of YOU have an acct that gets disabled. Please share.

Update: I no longer use this schedule or post trivia. As I signed new writing contracts with my publisher, I could not keep up with this blogging schedule.

3 comments:

Hi Jennifer! I have to agree about the Facebook/Wal-mart analogy. I don't mind Facebook. I actually like it a lot better than I ever liked MySpace.

I have thought about setting up a Fan page for my writing and my business. Thank you for clearing up some questions I had about having one.

I've known a lot of people recently who have had some virus issues with Facebook. I hope you can get it cleared up soon!

Jen

Jen,

I have a love/hate relationship with FB. I'm so disappointed over their nonexistent customer service I don't know what to do. But at the same time resent the fact that I can't just ignore it. FB is THE place meet and communicate with people.

It's the latest craze for all the businesses. I'm responsible for maintaining a FB page for the company I work for. It's just exploding!

But I'm also learning to put more of my efforts into other things.

That's a great analogy about facebook. It kind of feels like the big warehouse stores too. But it's more like Costco. You can't find anyone when you need them and you have to "buy" their packaging with very little to no customer service.

I do enjoy facebook, I use it for both personal and professional reasons, but sometimes the limited ways to work with it get frustrating as does the bazillion games. I feel bombarded with all the applications even though I turn them off or hide them consistently, I'm constantly looking for ways to rid myself of those applications.

Enjoying new and old friends though. I hope they keep improving the customer service and find ways for those of us who don't want to play the games or throw snowballs...
:-)
Angie