As we continue Facebook For Authors, it’s now time to look at a few more advanced features (visit Promoting Your Books for the previous videos in this series). Hopefully you’ve set up a nice page with a great, inviting cover photo (keeping your branding in mind), so now it’s time to start posting. We’ll get into some pointers on engaging your fan base in the next post, but for now, start posting :). Here are some things to know as you move forward. I’ve also created a video to show you what we cover.
Facebook For Authors – The Highlight Feature
One of the nice things about the new Facebook is that your fan page does have more functionality for you to let people know about yourself. I like to think of my page as a canvas where I can feature things I want my fans to see, versus the old Facebook fan page which seemed to be more a posting random thoughts page. One of the ways to get fans to notice posts is by using the Highlights feature.
I love learning new things :). If you’ve read my previous posts (and watched the videos), I said that I wasn’t sure why a post would span across the entire page. I’ve now learned that this is the highlight feature (some people refer to this as starring a post). What I originally thought was highlighting is actually pinning a post (see below). If you hover over the top right of a post, there is a star. If you click that, the post will span the width of your page, thus making it more visible to people who scroll down your timeline (see video). This is a great way to showcase your books and important things for your fans, especially if you use a bigger photo or a video (but don’t go beyond the 851 pixels wide limit).
Here are a few things to remember about the highlights feature:
- using it helps with a post’s visibility
- the post spans the entire width of the page (unless you choose to remove it)
- if you use a photo, the size of the photo is important
I haven’t used this feature very often but I’m going to as it’s a great tool. One thing to note is that using a photo with your post is great because people tend to engage more with visual cues.
Facebook For Authors – Pinning A Post
You can also pin a post to the top of your timeline. When you do this, a little ribbon appears on the top right of the post to let you know it’s been highlighted.
The pinning feature allows you to keep a post up front and visible to people. So what does this mean in layman’s terms? I’ll use myself as an example. I want to showcase that I’m participating in the Summer Splash Blog Hop, so I posted the blog I wrote about this on my fan page a few days ago. What normally happens is that when I post on my page again (today), the post on the blog now ends up further down the page (and less visible the more posts I put on my fan page). With the pinning feature, I can keep the blog hop post up at the top of my posts so it stays visible (see the video).
Facebook For Authors – The Timeline
I have to admit I was baffled by the timeline when it was first introduced, but now that I’ve researched more about it, I want to use it more. The timeline has some features that you can certainly use to your advantage. The timeline is the line down the middle of your page and it’s the chronological listing of your posts…big deal, right? Here’s where it can be cool…
Facebook For Authors – Milestones
If you click anywhere on your timeline, you can add important events in chronological order. Remember how we added our born data (or launched date, etc.)? Now you can add any other important events in the order they happened, versus the old Facebook way, where you added a post and it was ordered by the posting date. Milestones will also have a flag on them so they are even more visible to your fans. And you can add dates back to the year 1000.
So what can you do with this? Add your books when you published them, with a big photo of the cover than spans the entire page (I need to this myself :)), using the highlights feature. This way, if a fan scrolls down your timeline, he/she will see big milestones with your book covers or other important events and those posts will be very noticeable.
Here’s another very important piece about the timeline. It is likely that these posts are more helpful with your EdgeRank (the news feed visibility algorithm that Amazon uses – more on this later). What does this mean? Your milestones may receive more impressions (people viewing your post in their news feeds) than your standard posts. This means more visitors to your page and more visibility for you as an author, and potentially more sales.
Facebook For Authors – Messaging
Another little feature that’s nice is that your fans can now message you personally. In the old Facebook fan page, the only way a fan could talk to you is by posting on your wall. Now your fans can send a private message to you. Unfortunately you can’t message your fans, but it’s still a nice feature for your fans to have.
Facebook For Authors – More To Come
Whew! I hope you’re seeing how important a Facebook fan page can be, and how much potential it has to help you build your fan base. We’ll cover how to engage your fans in the next post, so familiarize yourself with the features we’ve covered. Here is a video about the features I covered in this post.
Let me know how you’re doing :). And you can visit my page and like it if you want. Thanks!