This blog was featured on 04/27/2018
Author Guide to Facebook
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
April 2018
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
April 2018

Looking for the best tips and tricks for utilizing the popularity of Facebook as an author? Facebook is an amazing platform for authors to create engagement, drive discussion and promote events and and announce new releases – if you use it correctly. This guide will help you create a thriving Facebook author page from the ground up. Let’s get started!

Why every author should be using Facebook:

  • Over 2 billion users worldwide

  • Easy-to-use ad platform

  • Multimedia tools like Facebook LIVE

  • Accessible to most readers

Understanding why authors should have a Facebook page is step one. Executing on a strategy specifically for authors, is step two.

Facebook for Authors 101

In order to get the most out of Facebook, you want to make sure that you have a dedicated author page. This will help to create a separation of your personal life (things you may not want anyone outside of your friends and family to be privy to) and your work life.

In this tutorial, you will learn why authors should commit themselves to a Page rather than operating out of a personal profile. You’ll also receive walk-through instructions on how to make sure your page is author-friendly from the start.

Content: The What and When of Sharing on Facebook

You may have heard that Facebook can be a difficult platform to use as a business or a page. And it’s true. Facebook’s algorithm (the mathematical equation that determines what content is shown to users) has made it increasingly difficult for authors and all other businesspeople to share their message organically.

However, that does not mean you should skip this social media supergiant.

Algorithms change all the time and can be really discouraging if you try to keep up with them. The easy solution to all that stress–don’t concern yourself with algorithms. The best way to approach the platform is to deliver great content to a targeted audience.

  • Be consistent – Set up a content schedule and stick to is. Doing so will essentially train your following to know when they should check in with you for the best content. Use scheduling tools if necessary, there are an assortment available at varying price points depending on your needs.

  • Be engaging – You’re obviously going to want to share your work on your page, but your followers are going to want more than self promotion from you. Often times we connect with others when we see that we have common interests or that we are approachable. Share photos of where your writing happens, books that you are currently reading or photos of yourself at different promotional events. You should also ask your readers questions. Are you having a difficult time choosing a book cover? Have your followers vote on the one they like the most. Ask questions! The more comments and likes you have on a post, the more followers Facebook will show it to. In the world of Facebook, engagement means relevance and they want to share relevant content with their users.

  • Don’t get greedy – Lot’s of brands will post great content and then ask for likes, shares or comments. Facebook does not like this, and if their bots spot this they will downgrade your post. What this means is that that small percentage of followers that normally see your posts will go down dramatically.

  • Join groups – There is a group for everything on Facebook. A quick search in the groups section on the platform will unearth all kinds of potential. Find fellow writers, interact with similar authors’ readers, stay current on book marketing advice. There is no limit to what you can learn and find inside groups.   Stay current – Social media trends change all the time and it’s important to keep up with the evermoving tide. If you are using “old school” methods on any of the social platforms, you might stick out like a sore thumb and you’ll likely have a hard time gaining followers and encouraging engagement.

Engaging Readers

You’ve created your page, input all of the important data, set up a cover and profile picture - now what? There are so many way to engage with your readers all while making sure you are being helpful and entertaining.

  • Stuck on a research topic? Facebook is a great time to crowdsource information. New York Times bestselling author Caroline Leavitt often reaches out to social media for help with her novels. She placed a callout to followers when writing Cruel Beautiful World and got some valuable stories that really enhanced the characters and tone of her book.

  • Give readers a peek behind the curtain. You may not feel like a celebrity, but to them you are! Share photos of your writing space, a place that has inspired a story or how you spend your down time. Allowing your readers a little glimpse into your day to day so that they connect to you as a person.

  • Do you have a list of books that you are trying to get around to reading? Have an author you love who just came out with a new book? Share it with your following. While your goal is to promote yourself, the social media world rewards givers, not takers.

  • Share your wins! Have you landed a perfect review? Did a celebrity take an Instagram shot with your book? This is the perfect outlet to share that information. Social proof that others find your work valuable goes a long way.

  • Create some book club questions and get your readers interacting with one another. Just make sure that you are active in the conversation as well.

  • Need some more inspiration? Shelly Lynn Stone has a great list of ideas on things to share on Facebook.

Taking Facebook to the Next Level

Once you’ve got your page up and running and you’re sharing interesting content - what’s next? Facebook is full of tools to get your readers involved and engaged.

  • Facebook Live is an incredible tool that not enough people are utilizing. Though video may not seem like your cup of tea, it has been proven to have an exponentially farther reach on Facebook than text-based and image-based content.  The key here is to have a bit of a game plan as to what you’re going to talk about. We’ve got a ton of tips to help you prep for your first Facebook live event.

  • Ask your readers to promote you. Maria Murnane has a great outlook on how to use this tactic successfully.

  • Promote your events. Facebook is a great place to share different events that are coming up fo you. On your author page you will have the ability to actually create events where you can invite all of your followers. No matter what you have going on, this is a great way to tap into your target audience and get them involved and on the guest list.

  • If you have a launch party in the works, have a trusted friend or fan document all of the happenings so you can create a recap later.

  • In between releases you can encourage fans to follow your newsletter, share awards and giveaway signed copies of your book. Thinking outside of standard shares is key for continued interest and engagement.

  • Look at what some of your colleagues are doing. If you have any authors that you really admire, check in on their social accounts and see what they are doing. There are several writers that are killing it on social media. Look to these people for inspiration.  

 

Facebook can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be a powerful tool in engaging with existing fans as well as creating new ones. Following some of these tips, looking to others for inspiration and getting your fans involved can all lead to great things and a wider market for you and your work.

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