There’s a lot of argument among indie authors as to whether they should use Facebook or not, so I’m writing a series about Facebook. Let me say this first: I’m not a fan of Facebook – I get weary of them changing things around just when I get used to things; I don’t care what someone had for breakfast or what they’re doing right this second; and I do wonder how long Facebook will be viable (in light of their public outing and how they earn money). But I am a fan of selling my books and connecting with my readers. And for these reasons I believe Facebook should be an integral part of any author’s marketing arsenal.
Facebook For Authors – Facebook Versus Twitter
It’s pretty much a given that indie authors should use Twitter for marketing and to connect with other authors. But Twitter is on a tenuous path as much as Facebook is. Without getting too business-y on you, Twitter has been around for six years but it still hasn’t gone public, and many question its ability to generate revenue. And, as Twitter tries to make itself worthy of going public, its clamping down on developers who create platforms on top of Twitter (read this post for more). This may not be a good thing. All this is to say that for every person who thinks that Facebook is going to go away in the next few years, there is just as much a likelihood that Twitter will go away at some point (Twitter’s will lose investors and thus their money if they continue on a path of not generating revenue and growth).
Facebook For Authors – Twitter’s Challenge
With Twitter’s recent moves pointing toward media company, there is a growing concern among technologists that a trend for greater content control will compromise both innovation and Twitter’s future in favor of short-term profits.
The days of fledging start-up are gone for six-year-old Twitter, which is now a major player in the big battles shaping the future of the Internet. With over $1 billion in investment, it has backers looking for an IPO payday – an environment that demands more than trumpeting a nifty communications protocol.
Twitter’s ad business began to take shape after the 2010 ascension of CEO Dick Costolo, who defined the company’s core business of selling ads as promoted tweets within the Twitter stream, and selling trending topics. Twitter aims to show individual users relevant promoted tweets by deducing interests from the accounts a user follows.
Hm, selling tweets – where will this go? And how will it affect users? Will it bring in the revenue?
Facebook For Authors – It’s Not One Or The Other
My point with this isn’t to say one platform is better than the other. What I advise is to use both. Twitter is a wonderful way of connecting with people in short messages and to create interest in you and your books. But Facebook is a great way to connect with people on a different level, and their reach is far greater than Twitter.
Facebook For Authors – Facebook Has More Audience
I know, some of you are groaning right now. And yes, I’ve read the stats that say Facebook doesn’t reach as many people as they say they do. But guess what? Neither does Twitter. The stats are that Twitter has 140 million monthly users and Facebook 900 million monthly. And Google+ has yet to show that it’s anything close to a viable force against either Twitter or Facebook (read this article for more). Like it or not, at the present, Facebook is still king.
Facebook For Authors – Using Facebook For Marketing
One of the reasons why I personally think people don’t like using Facebook is that they don’t really understand how to use it. I’m going to cover a bunch of things in coming posts, but let’s cover the most important thing right now. As an author, you want to create:
A FAN PAGE
This is critical. There are numerous reasons why you want a fan page versus a personal profile page:
- you keep your business separate from personal
- you can advertize with a fan page
- you can use apps to promote yourself and your books
- there is no limit to the number of fans you can have
- you can promote events
- it helps your SEO (links to other sites)
- it has numerous apps to help you engage with your followers
- you can track engagement with their analytics tools
- it’s FREE
- and more
It’s easy to create a fan page, and I’ve created videos on how to do this. However, they are old (remember how I said I hate that Facebook changes things too often?) and I have to update them. In coming posts I will show you the benefits of fan pages, how to create one, and how to use your fan page to effectively market yourself and your books.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on Facebook. I’m sure some of you will disagree with me and that’s fine. Just be nice .
Remember to use #IAHB (Indie Author Handbook) on tweets that have great information for indie authors. Thanks!