In a previous Article I discussed how to start using Twitter to market yourself. In this second installment, we will explore Facebook and some of its many features.
It’s not Twitter, okay?
Before we dive headfirst into Facebook, you must understand that Facebook is not Twitter. I think this is one of the biggest problems for individuals who began their marketing campaign on Twitter and then went on to expand their platform to include Facebook. It is different. Twitter is more of your “breaking news” reel, where Facebook is a place for you to generate more in-depth, lively discussions. Okay, now that that is out-of-the-way we can start.
Should you use Facebook?
Yes. You should utilize as many sites as you possibly can when marketing yourself. My general rule of thumb: be EVERYWHERE. Even if you only get 20 new fans from Facebook, is that not 20 fans you didn’t have before? Exactly.
Where to begin?
Fan pages. You will need to set up fan pages as an author AND for your books. Note: your individual book pages will likely not grow at the same rate as your author page, but the idea here is it’s another avenue for a reader to find you.
And I talk about what there?
One thing that is often limiting when chatting on Twitter is the 140 character restriction. I mean, let’s face it, we are writers, so we can be a little wordy sometimes. Facebook is a great place to start more in-depth writing discussions, conduct polls, and share, share share!
Most importantly, it is a place where you can update your fans about your writing progress, as well as post updates on your blog. And, there is an app on Facebook that makes some of this sooooo much easier! Networked Blogs is something I HIGHLY recommend you use. You can set it up to automatically publish your blog posts, including being able to have it post on multiple fan pages, and even on Twitter. It makes blogging easy and streamlined, and readers also have an opportunity to “follow” your blog if they so choose.
You’re my favorite
You have the option, once you “like” a page, to add it as a “favorite” on your own page (it’s an option located all the way down at the bottom left of every fan page). I like to use this feature to add my individual book pages to my author page, and vice versa. Great way to link fans to your other sites. Of course, if you have extra special writer friends, you could always add their page to yours too. Remember, cross-promoting will get you far. I promise.
Create events and invite your group or fans to them. It could be a contest you are hosting, a book launch, book signing, etc. Events are another avenue in which you can share with the masses something they may have missed on your website or didn’t catch on Twitter. I’m adding a little extra to this based on a discussion I had with a fellow writer: I want to stress when creating an event do not spam all your group members or fans with an auto invite. Invite the ones you honestly know have shown interest and then share your event link on your Facebook wall and on the twitter stream. There are some writers who feel the need to send out invites seemingly on a daily basis or weekly, there is no need for this. Create events for your BIG items and again, be cautious of who you automatically invite. The last thing you want to do is drive others away because of an excessive amount of communications.
It’s a group thing
Since I do enjoy talking shop and sharing writerly information with others, I started a Facebook Group called Fellow Writers. On this page is where I direct most writing-related questions. What is nice about groups is you don’t have to worry about bombarding your personal Facebook friends and fans with information that may not be pertinent to them. Now, it doesn’t have to be a writer’s group, you could start a reading club, a specific genre club, the possibilities are endless, so BE CREATIVE.
So, what exactly is the purpose of Facebook?
The purpose of Facebook is mainly to tap into a group of individuals who may not be on Twitter (shocking, I know, but there are quite a few peeps who don’t tweet), and of course, to generate more lively discussions with others, which can often be cumbersome to do on Twitter.
Now, with all this Twitter/Facebook talk about differences, let’s not forget to use Twitter to promote Facebook. Tweet out links to your any groups you create and of course share your fan page.
Facebook will not be anywhere near as active as your Twitter stream, but it is still beneficial. I have made many connections that I might not have otherwise made.
Some of this may feel redundant as you do it, and that’s normal. When I first starting using multiple social media sites, I felt like I was saying the same thing over and over and over again. But, that’s the point, because every time you share something on a new site, it is almost guaranteed that someone new is going to catch it.
Facebook has several other features, including running ads, which can be most helpful when trying to drive more focused attention to your book, but for this week I will leave you here. Later on in the series we will talk about running ads on several different sites and we will revisit Facebook at that time.
Next week, I plan to introduce you Goodreads and all the wonderful things it can do for you.
Until then, Happy Marketing!