In 2011, when I first began this crazy journey, I was advised to create a professional Facebook page. Whether you are an Indie or are traditionally published you will be responsible for putting your own social media into place, as in this world, no one will do it for you. You don’t get a personal assistant and a publicist when you get that first book deal, so you may as well get on with doing these things yourself.
For my blog post on how to make a professional Facebook fan page, click here: Building the Brand. Today we will talk about making it work better for you, with only a small amount of effort on your part.
While I had to sever my relationship with my first publisher, that was the first of two important, things he told me. (The second was to blog regularly—which also was good advice.)
SO – how do we encourage people to ‘like’ our professional Facebook page? After all, we are all trying to get exposure for our books.
In my experience, people will look you up and like your page as they become fans of your work. You will gain followers, just not real rapidly.
For those who are too impatient to wait, they can join a Goodreads page-swapping event, where the participants all go out and like each others’ pages. This is voluntary, and I tried that when I first started. I liked about 50 authors, and 15 liked me back. 6 of them used their fan page despite being asked to use their personal page, and their likes didn’t raise my count.
So, that didn’t go as well as I thought it would. And, guess what? Nothing happened, because they weren’t readers—they were authors who didn’t give a rat’s tail about my work.
Before you do anything desperate in trying to raise the visibility of your Facebook page, you must first identify your target market. Are you trying to sell books only to other authors? That is what you are doing when the only place you post the link to your page is in a page-swap forum. If the only people who are ‘liking’ your fan-page are authors, you are shooting yourself in the foot. You are limiting your visibility to a small number of people who most likely won’t buy your book, as they’ve books of their own to write, and you don’t write in their genre.
Make it easy for your fans to like your page by posting the link on your blog/Website, and on your Goodreads and Smashwords profiles, Amazon Author Page. Those places are where people who buy your books will look, and that is how fans will find you.
- Identify who your target audience is. You are looking for READERS.
- Make sure your Facebook link is prominently displayed on your website/blog and let it do its thing.
- Post something every day on your FB fan page. This, more than anything else, raises its visibility.
- Don’t let fear of failure ensure your lack of success. Make the attempt, learn from it, laugh about it, and make what did work into the foundation of your next attempt.
My author blog posts to my professional Facebook page three times a week. I also post other things that I find interesting, things from Atlas Obscura, or Lit Hub. Books are my hobby and my life, so my conversations revolve around what I am reading or working on. Whenever I post something funny or interesting on my Facebook page, I gain new views, and sometimes that translates into sales.
I do recommend that you avoid political comments or comments regarding religion unless that is what your work is about. IF Politics and/or Religion are your main subjects, Facebook is a great arena to generate some controversy, if that is what you are hoping for.
What are you interested in? Here are two easy sources of content for your page:
- Check out Pinterest for unusual images and comment on them.
- Search the web for links to blogs whose authors post regularly on the subjects you are interested in. Subscribe to them via email subscription, and you will have a steady source of FB fodder in your mailbox for your page. I am vegan, so Minimalist Baker recipes appear regularly on my page, and they always generate a lot of comments and shares.
The way to gain likes is to post things people will want to share. If you have done the above footwork, it will take five minutes in the morning to post some intriguing thing on your page.
If nothing else, post a status update regarding your current work in progress. If you have hobbies outside of writing, post a status update mentioning them. Talk about a movie, or the book you are reading.
When you don’t make your work available on a professional level, your potential readers have no way of finding your work. Your website/blog and your professional Facebook page are your opportunities to connect with your potential readers.