Did you know that every Facebook user has two email inboxes? If you have an author Timeline (think public page), you have three.

These inboxes are separate from each other. Facebook has not allowed them to merge yet. Scary, isn’t it? You could have a whole inbox of important notes just waiting for you.

Are you missing important emails?

The chances are, you won’t be receiving emails from publishing houses, agents, or your favorite television talkshow host on your Facebook email accounts. Those messages will come but the majority of the messages will not be from those people.

So who will be sending you email?

Your fans. The people you write for.

Since you’ve gone to so much work to write to your fans, it’s important to listen to them when they talk to you.  They want to reach out to you and they will.

I was caught off guard the first time a reader sent me a Facebook message. They just wanted to let me know that they were reading my words and that had helped them. It made my day.

Writing can be a lonely profession even though the writer’s head is full of people. We need contact with flesh and blood. We need to stay in touch with our readers.

Here’s the breakdown on your three inboxes and how to access them:

1. Your Main Inbox

Screen shot of Facebook Message Inbox

This is the inbox that you are probably the most familiar with.  You can access it from the top navigation menu or the left sidebar when you are on your News Feed page.

When Facebook friends message you (either in email or chat), messages will arrive in this inbox. Responding to messages in this inbox will help you keep up your social life, even in the midst of tight deadlines.

2. Your Hidden Inbox

Hidden Facebook Inbox

You will only see this inbox after you click on the “Messages” tab on the left sidebar. Most users don’t even know that this inbox exists. When a stranger, page, or event messages you, this is where the messages go.

It’s very important to check this inbox. If someone who is not your Facebook friend wants to message you, their message ends up in this box. That means you can miss messages about interviews, writing jobs, or speaking engagements.

You won’t be getting lots of messages in your hidden Facebook inbox, but check it often. You can reply to messages the same way you would regular messages.

3. Your Author Page Inbox

Facebook Page Inbox

That’s right, your author page has an inbox. If you don’t have an author page, talk to us. Facebook Timeline is optimized for authors.

When you are logged into your author page, the very top of the page will look like the picture above. Look above the analytics section. The messages that make their way into this inbox will be from fans and people wanting to engage with you professionally. It is very important that you check this every time you log onto your page.

The inbox in the illustration is empty. When you get a new message it will appear in the inbox and you can reply to it as your page. It’s a fully functioning inbox so treat it like you would your other inboxes.

Here’s a tip on how to keep your regular inbox at zero. It helped me, and you can apply the same principle to all of your Facebook inboxes.

When was the last time you checked all three of your inboxes? What kind of messages did you find? What other questions do you have about Facebook messages?


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