I'm probably going to get a little heat from this post, but I figured I'd write it because I've been on facebook and other social networks since most of them began and I've learned a few things by watching and reading posts written by other authors. And, this post really is just for authors, not for people who use social networks like facebook and twitter for personal enjoyment.
Most author posts are enjoyable and interesting. They help you find out about their books and tell you where you can purchase them. Other author posts are about personal things, where authors discuss the things they love, from pets to food. One male author is always talking about his love of cupcakes...to the point where I've had to go out and get a cupcake after reading his posts. The one thing all these authors have in common is they always post something readers and fans will enjoy. Some talk about the charities they are involved with, which always interests readers.
And then there are other authors who mistake facebook for personal pages. They rant about their family problems, their dysfunctional relationships with their mothers, and how depressed and lonely they are because they don't have dates. And this always puts me off, especially when they are so blunt about it. I've read author posts on facebook that made me blush, and it takes a lot to make me do that.
The point I'm trying to make is that whatever goes down in print usually remains there, whether it's an e-mail or a facebook post. And sometimes a negative questionable facebook post might be the only thing a potential reader remembers about an author. So if you want to rant about how Aunt Nancy treated you on Thanksgiving, or how much you hate your mother or your significant other, get a different facebook page that's just for family and friends. You can monitor it and post whatever you like to the people who love you. But on your professional page you should be more careful, because no one really does love you there. They want to love you, but if you make it too difficult they are going to turn their heads and completely ignore you.