You already know that having an Internet presence is more important than ever for aspiring career writers. Facebook is especially hot when it comes to social media and marketing. You can use Facebook to build your author platform; and we’re here to help!
In our previous article, Facebook Fan Pages vs. Profile Pages, we outlined the difference between profile pages and fan pages. Long story short, if you’re hoping to build a fan base, a Facebook page may be preferable over a profile.
But the next question is, once you’ve set up your Facebook page, how do you go about getting people to “like” it?
If you’re a writer with a Facebook fan page, here are some tips for turning friends into fans:
1. Do your homework. Visit Facebook and familiarize yourself with their terms of agreement and guidelines. The tutorials and media kits make setting up your own Facebook page easy. Then, define your goals, identify your target audience, and develop your strategy.
2. Get to know Facebook’s marketing and analytical tools. You’ll want to include an interesting landing page. Plus, you can embed “like” boxes on your personal website (so visitors can “like” your page and automatically post your link to their site). Download the Facebook Insights Guide to learn how to analyze and optimize your site’s traffic.
3. Create a marketing plan. Schedule 15 minutes a day to update your status and respond to comments or questions. Link to your page from everywhere—emails, business cards, websites, blogs. Subscribe to similar pages and groups, and leave meaningful, intelligent comments. (Make sure to link back to your page!) Reach out to people with similar interests other than writing (gourmet cooking, show dogs, hockey) to increase your fan base.
4. Be relatable. Your fan page should reflect your writing. If you’re a scholarly writer, your updates should reflect that; if you write fiction, your posts can be more conversational or humorous. Encourage participation with your readers, and be sure to respond to negative feedback like the respectful and thoughtful grown-up that you are.
5. Offer fresh content. Avoid mundane updates about how many cups of coffee you’ve had. Instead, offer frequent (relevant) status updates, excerpts from your work, related photos, sneak peeks, inspirational quotes, or book signing announcements. Include your photo, book covers, and other services you offer (writing for hire, editing, speaking engagements). If you have a smartphone, download a Facebook app so you can stay current while away from home or office. Be sure to update your status regularly; otherwise, Facebook may “penalize” you by not showing your updates at the top of your fans’ feeds.
6. Avoid addiction. Updating your fan page should be a regular part of your schedule, not a distraction. Stick to the 15-minute rule, and don’t let Facebook interfere with your writing or submissions. (In other words, don’t waste the day playing Farmville!)
Want to get more fans?
Every time someone posts on your wall, “likes” your status, or comments on your comments, your link is posted on that person’s wall. So the more you interact with your readers, the more word will spread!
- Host contests.
- Ask questions that prompt your fans to reply. Request their opinions and thoughts! Ask for advice when you need it.
- Offer quality content. Post book reviews, informative news, interviews, etc.
- Share your good news (and share other people’s good news). When you make fans feel good, they come back for more.
- Be funny. Ever notice how humorous updates often get the most “likes”? Funny works!
- Be visual. Post pictures to go along with your status updates.
It’s more important than ever for writers to create a platform for their work, whether it’s through Facebook fan pages or other social marketing sites. For more information about hopping aboard the social networking train, see Twitter For Writers: Don’t Write It Off!
Today, Facebook. Tomorrow, the New York Times!
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