Authors, just like every other artist, need to reach out to their existing audience as well as attract a wider range of readership. Social Media is an obvious way to do that, particularly as Facebook has more than ONE BILLION regular users on a global scale and 25 million in the UK alone. Therefore in this blog article I will look at 6 simple tips that as an author, (published or currently writing a book!) you can do to boost your Facebook presence.
Get a Facebook Fan Page
To begin with, you need to start an author fan page, which separates your personal use of Facebook from your work use. Fan Pages have specific business functions such as insights, advertising and post scheduling, that will help you with your marketing. It also gives you this dedicated space to communicate with your community of readers.
Setting up a Facebook Fan Page
When looking at Facebook from a desktop or laptop computer, in ‘home’ you should be able to see on the list of things on the left hand side, a button that says ‘Create Page’. Click on this and follow the instructions to create a brand new page. It is pretty straightforward from there on, but for a helpful tutorial with a video to help you, click here.
Below are some tips on how to manage your author fan page once it is set up:
Tip 1: Post Interesting Content
Post interesting content, regularly that inspires you. Definitely post about your book – quotes, teasers and excerpts work well. Post about your research, or ideas that you are considering as part of the book. Extracts from your own favourite books are welcome, as well as poems or experimental works. Don’t forget to link to any articles on related subjects or pertinent blogs related to your work. But also post the occasional light, humorous post, maybe make it known to the world your love of aardvarks or penchant for late 90s trance! Your audience want to see your personality.
Tip 2: Generate Excitement
Marketing on Facebook should begin before your book is even published! Therefore if you are currently in the process of writing a book then keep your fans up to date with progress as part of your Facebook Page strategy. One thing I often do is take pictures of my laptop (work in progress open on screen) when I am sat working in a café or post an update of how many words I have written that week. If you are creating a book where you have pictures or demonstrate something (such as my first book Learning Linocut) why not share pictures of the demonstrations or ‘behind the scenes’ if you are on a photography shoot. One tip for really getting an audience engaged is to post two or three options for your front cover and see what they prefer? Your fans do want to know what you are up to and this will build a sense of excitement for when you actually launch the book.
Tip 3: Get Some Help
Make a friend or colleague an administrator on your page, someone competent, committed and interested in your work. This takes the stress off you somewhat so you can get on with your writing! You need someone who you can trust enough to keep an eye on your notifications and maybe occasionally post for you, someone enough in-tune with you to handle some enquiries or comments.
Tip 4: Be Current
Social Media is a fickle, transient thing but people ‘hang out’ there, so you have to too. Post about up-coming literary events like Poetry Month (October, for those who don’t know!) or book festivals near you. Post about current affairs such as the forthcoming Rio Olympics or other sporting events. Post advice from respected authors you have found useful for your fellow writers who may be fans. If the author is on Facebook tag them. That way they will see you appreciated their work, their fans will see it, and maybe some of their fans will take an interest in your page! All of these help to make your page lively and multi-dimensional. It is important to think about what you post and what that communicates about you and your work.
Tip 5: Be Social!
Reach out to others, get into the occasional conversation, thank people for their interest and enthusiasm, but above all be bold and brave! People are on your page because they are interested in your work and what you have to say. Try to stay this side of controversial but if there is a movement of event you feel passionately about, say something about how you feel. Disagreement is part of being sociable and people would find it odd if you didn’t comment on something as monumental as the lunar landing! Writing is often about these seismic moments in our human history. Post often but don’t be tempted to post too often. People don’t like to be bombarded, however much they like your work. Variety is key.
Tip 6: Get creative!
Use images and graphics that you feel are in-keeping with your style or theme. Share your blog articles. Why not start a book club or a casual writing page where people are invited to post up written ‘sketches’, notes and discoveries? Pages like this really spark life into a process that, let’s face it, can be very solitary. How about a contest or a give-away? Who doesn’t love a freebie! You can use the tabs at the top of your page for different things that you have going on, or you can use Facebook’s ‘events’ function to set up book-signings, reading evenings, workshops, blog or website launches. Bear in mind that with Facebook advertising you can target people who are interested in these types of events. You can do this by hitting the ‘boost’ button at the bottom. Facebook’s algorithms cleverly target interested users for as little as £3 a day.
Manage Your Time!
A word of warning: Facebook can swallow up a huge amount of time if you let it, so be wise in how you manage your time. You do want to be actually writing your book and gaining progress rather than sitting on Facebook all day! This is why the suggestion is made above to get someone else involved and help you out.
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