Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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June 5, 2015

Are You Sharing Too Much Of The Wrong Thing on Facebook?

Lisa Hall-Wilson


Photo from Pixabay

Facebook is my happy place. I hang out there a lot – I get paid to hang out on Facebook. One of the questions I’m asked the most is how much of your own content and how much content from others do you post?

There’s not really a one-size fits all answer because different audiences like to see and engage with different combinations of content.

Posting only your own content can make you appear narcissistic or one-dimensional (aka boring). Only posting content from others means your fans never see your writing skills. However, leaving gaps where you don’t post anything for days means Facebook won’t show your content to anyone. You need balance.

Profile vs Page

Facebook Jail

Photo from Pixabay

If you’re using a Profile (where you’re asked to Friend someone), be very careful asking people to buy things directly, posting picture after picture of your book cover, repeatedly posting about whatever boxed set you’re a part of. Facebook users have little tolerance for seeing the same content and they will report you for spamming.

Then you’ll be shut down without appeal (and I’m hearing about this a lot). You’ve been warned.

On a Page (where you’re asked to Like or Follow), you can post a lot more promotional content without penalty from Facebook, but your reach will be throttled if you’re directly asking people to: like, share, comment, buy, click here, etc. Be creative.

When Posting Links To Your Own Content

Make sure you craft a really great hook that will convince people to click through to your blog. With every link to your own content, ask yourself: what value is this content offering and would I click through on this hook? The image that appears with the link is super important, as is the post title. Edit accordingly.

Sharing Content From Others

Remember that each piece of content needs to have a purpose; know what you want it to do for you. You’re not posting this content to get clicks to a blog you don’t own, right? You’re adding value for fans or friends, so use it to get a conversation going.

Let people know why you’re sharing this content. Did it make you mad? Encourage you? Make you laugh? Ask a question to get a conversation going. Remember your brand. Unless you write about cats, or you’re posting a picture of YOUR cat, maybe don’t share cat pics.

Curating Content

Where do you find great content to share? I have two main ways I curate content. I create Interest Lists on Facebook so I can scroll through posts when I need something to share. I have the same strategy on Twitter and G+.

I try to set aside a chunk of time to curate links for the Pages I administrate and schedule them to appear throughout the week. I just find that’s a better use of my time. I always give credit and tag the original poster when I can. They would probably prefer I share it directly from their post, and when it’s timely I will, but I’m not breaking Facebook etiquette doing it the other way either.

How much of your own content do you share? How much of the content you post on Facebook is created by someone else? What ratio of your own content vs curated content works for your Facebook audience?

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About Lisa

Lisa Hall-WilsonLisa Hall-Wilson is a freelance journalist and writer, and columnist. She writes dark fantasy fiction, and helps writers learn to enjoy Facebook as much as she does.

Lisa is teaching a live webinar called Using A Facebook Profile to Build Platform on June 10 from 7-8:30 US Eastern Time. WITS readers can use the code Lisa20 for 20% off the regular price.

Find Lisa on Facebook at

24 comments on “Are You Sharing Too Much Of The Wrong Thing on Facebook?”

  1. These are all great tips, Lisa. Thank you for reminding us to check out the balance of personal/professional/sharing posts we put up on Facebook. We writers can use all of the help we can get!

  2. I use my profile page and I'm careful to "not promote" too often, but I did not know FB would shut me down if reported as spam. Good to know. FB doesn't allow one to run ads from profile pages, and I can't from my business page because it was created long before I became an author so the content has nothing to do with my books. Any suggestions?

    1. You're not to receive any financial gain from using a Profile -- that's what Page's are for. So, people love to use their Profile because their content is seen by more people, but if your 'friends' report you for spamming (and this has been happening to a lot of authors lately) FB can shut down your Profile for violating their terms of service without appeal. You're allowed to have as many Pages as you like, only one Profile and you're supposed to use your real name on your Profile. I posted this last week to help authors who are using their Profiles to connect with readers to stay out of trouble. http://lisahallwilson.com/2015/05/28/are-you-playing-facebook-roulette-with-your-profile/

      1. LIsa, does your upcoming class show how to switch the profile page and business page? I used to get a pop up asking me if I wanted to do that.

        1. Converting to a Page from a Profile is pretty easy Jon Loomis posted a tutorial a couple of years ago. Just know that you can't undo that change. Your friends become fans but your content won't transfer. No, the class I'm teaching is going to help people use their Profiles without getting shut down.

  3. Interesting post, Lisa. Once I get on FB I tend to stay way too long, sharing and following up on blogs. Like this one that I'll share. 🙂 Finding balance seems to be the key. I need to work on that part more.

    1. Facebook is the most addictive of all the social networks. A lot of people spend way too much time there. Good opportunity to practice discipline. lol

  4. I love this. Too often, the writers I follow include so many cat/dog photos or personal items that I just tune them out. I enjoy the informative/funny writing blogs and links to good, solid content and that's why I follow the ones I follow. And the ones whose books I buy.

  5. Great tips, Lisa! I'm just developing my facebook page for my blog and this post came at the perfect time!

  6. Lots of suggestions I'm going to follow, Lisa. FB is still so very much a mystery for me, like the closed box with no one knows what within, that game shows like to make contestants stick their hands into. I seem to get the yucky stuff.

    Pardon the convoluted grammar. I'm under the weather, and will only make it worse if I try to edit. Sick writer= over the top writing.

  7. Interest Lists on Facebook? (Twitter and G+). Say what? I never knew you could do that? Um, now to figure out how. Where exactly would I find an interest list page Lisa? Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks girl! 🙂

    1. Karen, go to your Home screen and on the left margin scroll down until you see Interest List. You can add any Pages or public Profiles you want to any Interest List you create. You can choose to keep that list private or allow people to subscribe to that list.

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