Boy, there is nothing like a family crisis, car trouble, job-hunting, adopting two kitties and more to keep me from being able to write and blog. Well, I am back, continuing my Facebook For Authors series. If you’ve missed the previous posts, check out the Promoting Your Books page for those posts.
Facebook For Authors – Now What?
So, you have your page set up, you’ve created a nice about section and you’ve got an awesome cover picture uploaded. You’re using the timeline and the highlight feature…now what? I’m glad you asked :). It’s time to post – but what should you know about posting to your fan page?
Facebook For Authors – How Often Should You Post?
A lot of authors wonder about this one – how much is too much? Are you posting enough? You can use your page insights (more on this in a future post) to get an idea of the effectiveness of your posts, but here are some general rules (from case studies) about the frequency of posts:
- once or twice per day is the most effective (studies show that once per day is optimal, more than that loses likes and comments)
- don’t over-post – too many posts per day alienates your fans
- more posts are seen in the mornings (before noon) and evenings (after work hours)
- Sunday evening posts receive more views than the rest of the weekend
Remember these rules. One study showed that posts in the morning and evening received a 20% higher rate of engagement. In marketing terms, this is huge. Also, if you don’t plan to keep updating your page, thinking that if you post every few weeks or so, you probably shouldn’t bother with a page. If you neglect your page, your fans will neglect it, too (hmm, I need to do more with my Reed Ferguson page :)). It’s really not hard to post once a day, trust me.
Facebook For Authors – What Do I Talk About?
This is another question I get asked a lot. Here’s the key thing to remember (just like with other marketing venues) it’s about your fans. Let me repeat that – it’s about your fans. You need to start thinking in terms of what your fans want to hear about, not what you want to post about. This can be hard because we want to sell, right? And to a certain extent, our fans know this. But they also want to be engaged without a hard sale. They want to be entertained – so entertain them!
Facebook For Authors – Do Your Fans Know You?
I’m all for keeping personal things personal, but here’s something to think about. Have you ever read a book and then thought I want to know more about that author? Maybe you wanted to know how the author came up with the book idea, or something like this. Guess what? Your readers want to know these kinds of things about you! You can reveal some things about yourself, or your writing craft, without telling them everything about you.
Facebook For Authors – Is Your Content Fresh? Relevant?
Along the lines of don’t always sell, make sure your content is fresh and relevant to your fans. One way to sell a book without selling is to post a review about your book. When I get a new book review, I’ll post something like
Hey, NEPHILIM GENESIS OF EVIL just got another 5 star review – check it out.
And then I include the link to the review. Usually the review site (blog, etc.) will have a link to Amazon. I don’t worry about including an Amazon link on my fan page. I might lose a few sales that way, but I hopefully am not alienating my longtime fans.
Facebook For Authors – How Can I Make My Post Stand Out?
Did you notice in the example above I capitalized the title of my novel? Using all caps draws a reader’s eye to that post. You can also use unusual characters to highlight the post (>>, ***, etc). Also, don’t use URL shorteners (bad for SEO) and keep your posts to under 80 characters (shorter posts have as much twice the comments as long posts).
Facebook For Authors – How Can I Best Engage My Fans?
Want to know a secret? Authors are afraid of pictures and video. Okay, maybe not all authors, but many authors write because it’s a medium where they can be behind the scenes. But for Facebook engagement, the best way to get fans talking is to post pictures and videos. Now any relevant picture or video is good, but ones that relate to you are even better because…remember what we talked about? Fans want to know something of you – what you look like, what your voice sounds like and so on. If you use pictures and video, you will engage more fans.
Facebook For Authors – How Else Can I Engage My Fans?
Another great way to engage your fans is to ask them questions and then answer them. You can also do contests and have surveys (there are some apps for these that we’ll discuss in future posts). I’ve seen where authors post upcoming covers and ask for feedback (I’ve done this a time or two) and those posts get great feedback from fans. Another thing to do is post images on Pinterest that link back to your fan page (or blog or website). This is great for your SEO.
Finally, try to make your page unique. You want your fans to remember you, and you want them coming back. People are inundated with media all day long – they remember the funny, the unique, the interesting things. Make your posts like that and you’ll be in great shape.
I’d love to hear how you’re doing. What kinds of things do you do to engage your fans?
And if you’ve found this post helpful, please share it (on your fan page, maybe :))…and visit me on my page as well. Thanks!