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October 2012

Reporter: Linda Attaway

Linda AttawayLinda Attaway loves promoting Christian fiction and authors through reviews and interviews on her blog (Mocha with Linda) and Facebook, as well as Christian Fiction Online Magazine and Wordsmith Journal. She also enjoys proofreading and editing. Linda lives in Texas with her husband and two teenagers and serves as her church’s Care Minister.

Presenter: Bonnie Calhoun

Bonnie CalhounCalhoun is the owner/director of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance (CFBA) and of Christian Fiction Online Magazine (CFOM). Bonnie won ACFW’s Mentor of the Year for 2011 and her debut book, Cooking the Books released this year from Abingdon Press.

Workshop 31: All About Facebook

Facebook ImageBonnie Calhoun opened her ACFW conference workshop All About Facebook with a caveat: “The rules are constantly evolving.” The latest redesign has made clearer distinctions between Profiles and Pages. Authors should consider the pros and cons of each before deciding which they will choose.

Profile: For Individuals


  • Personal interaction
  • Mobile updating
  • Ability to solicit friends
  • Unlimited subscriptions (independent of friends)
  • 5,000 friends limit
  • Doesn’t appear on search engines
  • Lack of analytics

Page: For Businesses/Public Figures


  • Appears on search engines
  • Website feel
  • Add multiple administrators
  • Tracking and management
  • Ads and sponsored stories
  • Host discussion boards
  • Can’t target posts to specific lists
  • All content is public
  • Can’t see profiles in Newsfeed
  • Major work to get “likes”

Facebook’s new algorithm has changed the manner in which posts are viewed.  Comprised of Affinity plus Recency plus Popularity, Edgerank determines a post’s visibility in a news feed.

  • Affinity: Amount of interaction with folks (shared comments, visits to your Page/Profile)
  • Recency: Freshness of the post. Folks on the West Coast often don’t see early morning posts. They have been crowded out by newer posts.
  • Popularity: Posts with links, pictures, videos, or questions that prompt a response boost popularity.

“The simple truth is that Facebook Pages are not being seen as often in the news feed,” as they were before the new algorithm, Calhoun said. However, she still recommends having a Page because it increases brand awareness and showcases brand personality. Additionally, Facebook ads, which are extremely targeted and economical, easily boost fan base. 

For authors with only a Profile who want to differentiate between what the public sees and what their family sees, Calhoun suggests creating a list (on the left side of the HOME screen) for family. Before posting an update, click the Public  button to the left of the post and scroll down to click on the desired family list. Only that list will see that post. 

Subscriptions are set up by clicking Subscriptions under the profile picture, then Allow Subscribers. Settings will appear to edit permissions for comments and notifications. Clicking Ignore on a Friend Request automatically makes that person a Subscriber unless you block him.  Subscribers see public updates only.

Hints for navigating Facebook

  • Security: Set Facebook to a secure connection (Click Home in upper right corner of screen. Select Security, then Secure Browsing, then Edit. Check Browse Facebook on a secure connection when possible and then save.
  • Stay hacker free: Don’t play games. Don’t accept apps that are not industry-wide (e.g., Twitter, Klout).
  • Multiple site posting: Use HootSuite to post simultaneously on multiple sites (blog, Twitter, Facebook). Posts may also be scheduled in advance.
  • Set parameters: Like daily word count goals, determine daily time limits for social media.

Calhoun’s expertise and willingness to share resulted in a Q&A session that spilled into the allotted free time.

Computer image courtesy of Pixomar/


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