Welcome to task 5 of the Basics of Author Online Presence Challenge. To catch up on previous tasks, go here.
Today, we’re adding to your online presence:
This is one of the most commonly used social networks in the world. It is a common knowledge and an even more common piece of advice that every author needs and every single of their titles need a Facebook page. Not profile, it has limits – a proper page.
Is that really the case? Most authors I know dread the idea and only if they are attracted to Facebook as a platform they actually speak for the platform and have pages.
Facebook is somewhat a controversial topic. But, for the purposes of this challenge, we ask you to make a Facebook page for yourself and a page for your titles. Once you do that, you’ll know if it’s worth your time and effort.
Those of you who are successful in using Facebook won’t ever give it up, and those who are indifferent to it or don’t get a good experience, will abandon it for good.
Unlike Twitter, which we already challenged you to join, Facebook is very segregated. You’ll find that people who extensively like pages about books, also like pages about authors, and get presented with ads for that category.
Facebook does this for two reasons which can be seen as good or bad, depending on your stand.
First is, Facebook likes to understand people’s buying habits in form of interests and then use that information to display powerful ads which is very convenient for all kinds of businesses. Even for authors who are looking for people to nominate their Kindle Scout title.
The second reason for segregation is the mere fact that people usually tend to like things related to the things they already like. Keep this in mind – that’s the very reason indie authors publish different genres under different names or stick with one genre or write books in series.
If you are up for some hard work and a lot of learning, you’ll have use of Facebook.
Steps in Joining Facebook
First thing you need to have is a Facebook profile. You need the profile to moderate the page. But, you can set the profile to bi invisible or disable people from adding you as friends if you want to maintain privacy. You can also use distorted information about yourself even though it is against their policy.
Once you have a profile that will moderate the page, you can create a page here.
Having someone experienced will help you if you’re not familiar with Facebook. But, the trick to a successful page these days is investing in it.
Enrich your page with good materials. You can do so by sharing quotes from your book(s), by designing likable quotes on photos with creative commons license or on free photos (we use Pexels).
Have a good avatar and a good cover photo, both should describe your brand on the market. You can use Canva to create amazing cover art, infographics, quotes and anything that pops into your mind – and it’s free!
Yes! The hard part! Basically, you have two options: advertise with a smaller payoff to get the first likes OR get the likes manually and advertise with a greater payoff.
You’ll notice, the both have advertising as a part of the plan. We’ll come to that.
First up, manual earning of likes. You’ll need a good set of friends for this one as Facebook allows you to call friends to like your page. So, any plans on privacy and low key profile are thrown out of the window. Personally, I like a low key profile for myself, I can communicate with friends and family easily and I follow my interests. It creates a bubble so I keep under an hour a week when the scrolling on Facebook is in question. But, then again, our page isn’t visited that much and we don’t use it to advertise.
The other manual option is to join groups which have a similar vision as your page and communicate there, using your page. Call them to action and get those first likes.
Also, advertise on your blog, on other platforms, link it everywhere where you post as a brand.
This is a vital part of Facebook presence. You must post regularly. If nothing else then photo quotes with occasional post from your blog and your announcements.
You will want to create an engaged community around your work – same as every other platform. The best way to do that is by communicating with your target audience.
Facebook is full of potential readers and you must reach them (that’s the next part).
Facebook recently changed the rules of the game. Pages used to be able to reach a lot of their regular followers by simply posting content. There was a time when they were able to reach half their following base organically. Now, 4% is all we get.
That is one of the reasons I personally avoid Facebook. There are ways to override this but I’m more into writing, really.
Once of the ways is asking new followers to opt for notifications so when you post, they get notified and you don’t have to pay to reach them.
You will be able to reach tens of thousands of people for $10-$20 and in my country that’s about enough to feed a person for a week – so I avoid such ‘luxury’. But it’s a good deal. I can say it as I saw the bump in my traffic every time I did post an ad.
This is a very easy process. Simply find a post you want to boos and click the button Boost. You’ll then be presented with options. You’ll be able to choose people by the categories they are interested in.
You will be able to select the exact target for your ads – by age, gender, marital status, education level, likes, etc.
Select the audience based on what the post or the book your advertising is about and watch the community grow.
I hope you learnt something new in this challenge. Be sure to leave links below so everyone can see your progress and we can all mutually connect and create a great buzzing hive of authors!
And lastly, this challenge was completely devised by our brilliant author Ronel Janse van Vuuren, I’m here just to help out on the topic of Facebook.
Good luck and keep writing!
Author: Mladen Reljanović
Mladen Reljanović is the founder and lead writer at Writer to Writers. He is the author of Oaktown stories, senior student of communication and a pianist.