Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hosting a Facebook Party as Multiple Pages

Facebook author parties are a huge deal these days - and with good reason. They can be fun for the reader with giveaways, special content, Q&As as well as great promotion for the author. But if you're an author with a pen name and you actually follow Facebook's policies (which I recommend, btw, because FB is not a kind master), FB makes it difficult to host these without giving away your real identity or confusing readers.

Why does this matter? Let's pretend, for a minute, that we wanted to do a YAtopia Facebook party with all our past and present members. Let's also pretend that Sarah Nicolas is a super-secret pen name that I, for whatever reasons, don't want anyone to know about (it's not). I would need to be able to add both the YAtopia Blog page and the Sarah Nicolas page as hosts of the event so they can post and make changes.

To avoid confusion, let's start with two definitions:

Facebook Profile: Sometimes called a "personal profile." This is the one that has "friends" and is the default for when you sign in. A profile is the Facebook home for a real person. This is my Facebook profile. (Fair warning: I don't friend people I haven't met IRL, though I am pretty open so feel free to follow me, but I won't accept your friend request)

Facebook Page: Sometimes called a "fan page." This is the one that has "likes." A profile can own multiple pages and multiple profiles can be admins for a page. According to Facebook, a page is not a person, it is a business, cause, idea, organization, etc. This is my Facebook Page. This is my other Facebook Page.

To put it simply: Samuel Clemens would have a profile while Mark Twain would have a page.

Remember it this way:

Profile = Friends (seven letters in each word)
Page = Like (four letters in each word)

These distinctions are important. This is why I've bolded page and profile in this write-up. Even if it doesn't make sense to you, trust what I've typed.

So here's how to make multiple Facebook pages hosts of a single event. It starts off pretty simply. Yes, it's a long and convoluted process but ... Facebook, am I right?

Warning: This is going to be a very "nuts and bolts" type of post that you may not be interested in right now. But, trust me, you'll thank me some day. :-)

1) Make sure you are using Facebook as one of the pages you would like to host the event. To do this, click on the arrow at the top right of the site and click on the page name.

Note: Ella Vines is a client, not me :-)

2) Create the event.

Go to where you would normally add a new update, and click on "Offer, Event +" then click on "Event."

Add in all the information about the event. If you only want that page as a host, you're done now. But if the event is hosted my multiple authors, here's where it gets tricky.

Note: In this example, I've created an event from my Aria Kane page.

3) You may notice now that you cannot "invite" anybody or add any hosts. Because, if you'll remember, a page is not a person. To do this, you will have to go back to step one and "use Facebook as" your profile.

4) Now find the event. This is easily done by visiting your page (without changing what you're using Facebook as!!). You can find it in the stream or under the "Events" tab.

You'll notice that you can now RSVP and invite people. After you've RSVPd for your profile, the "Edit" button will appear.

Now you'll want to add hosts.

5) You'll notice that you cannot add a page you don't manage as a host. However, you can add a page that you manage as a host, by typing it in the "Hosts" field. You may want to do this if you have a page for your book or a group that's hosting the event. For example, if I were to throw a YAtopia blog party, I would add "Sarah Nicolas" and "YAtopia" as hosts.

In this example, I've added my page for Sarah Nicolas as an additional host.

If you want to add a page that you do not manage as a host (for example: If I wanted to add Kate's page as a host), proceed to the next step.

6) This is where everyone gets frustrated: at the time of this posting, you CAN NOT add a page you don't manage as a host. End of story. There is no way around this. Don't despair, hope is not lost. Here is what you have to do...

First, you must add a profile that manages that page as a host. (I'm picking on Kate because her profile name is the same as the name on her author page so I know I'm not outing anyone. :-) However, this is frequently not the case.)

In the example below, I've added Kate's profile as a host.

7) Kate can now add her Kate Brauning page as a host by following steps 4 and 5. If Kate wrote under the name J.K. Bowling and had a page to represent that pen name, she could also add that page as a host. If she also has a page for her (imaginary) pen name Robert Balbraith, she could add that one too.

I know I'm harping on this, but it needs to be understood: I cannot add Kate's pages as a host. She must do this herself.

8) This step is totally optional and depends on what level of secrecy you keep your pen names at. Now that your page is a host, you can remove your profile as a host by clicking the "x" next to it. This removes your real name from being displayed as a host, but you can still have full edit rights to the event.

So, theoretically, if Kate didn't want anyone to see her name alongside her super-secret JK and Robert pen names, she could delete "Kate Brauning" profile as a host and still have access to the event.

9) On the day of the event, if you want to post as your page, you will need to use Step 1 again to "use Facebook as" your page.

Um, so there's my highly detailed, complicated description of how to do this annoying thing on Facebook. Please share and remember this post in a few months when you find yourself screaming at Facebook (been there) because it won't let you do what you want to do.

Hope it helps.


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  4. Will the event appear on the newly added host page (event section, timeline etc.) and be seen by their user base exactly as their other events that they themselves created?

  5. How can I remove a page as a host (added by another admin who is not an admin anymore)?

  6. Or how can I change the order of host appearing on the screen (our name doesn't appear now at all on pc - on mobile it says X and one other). We are the main host and would like to be seen as the host.

    1. That's what I am trying to figure out! It stupidly never lists the event creator (originating page) first!