Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Why you should have a Facebook Author's Page

If you haven't got yourself a Facebook Author's page then you are losing out as a writer. We spend a lot of time on Twitter and writing blog posts to build up a following, in the hope that these people might just buy our books and spread the word about us. I know I do, my Twitter account currently has just under 6000 followers. Big numbers, eh? But that's nothing compared to my Facebook page, which was a lot easier to do and is far less time consuming.

Maybe you hate Facebook and refuse even to contemplate opening a profile? Maybe you are an addict? As an author, whatever your views, you must get yourself a Facebook page for promotion purposes. I'll tell you why in a minute.

What is a Facebook page? A page is nothing to do with a profile. To get on FB, you need a personal profile page, which is what most people have. If you don't want a FB personal profile, you can open it and then choose to forget about if you wish, using it as a platform to open your author's page. A FB page is completely separate from your profile. Think of it as a business site, a free platform to promote yourself as an author. It takes seconds to set up and can be modified/individualised to your needs. Keep it branded! By this I mean it should be instantly recognisable as you in your Twitter account etc. If you want to take a look at one, take a peek at mine > Diem Burden's Facebook Page. (For branding purposes, compare it to my Twitter page > https://twitter.com/DiemBurden. See how instantly recognisable they both are as my pages?)

Screenshot 1 (Diem's Facebook Author's page)
Give it a url name associated with you. For example mine is https://www.facebook.com/DiemBurden. Easy to remember, easy to promote. Once you have set up your page invite your Facebook/Twitter friends to visit the page and 'like' it. They will need a FB account to do this. You don't have to be friends with them on FB for them to like your page, and you cannot access their profile unless you become 'friends'. You will soon see the numbers begin to grow.

Once you have 30 likers, you will be able to access the stats (called insights on FB), and this is where it really begins to get interesting. My numbers have risen steadily, and the first thing I did to get going was to invite my personal FB friends to like the page (I have 167 personal friends). 69 of them obliged, and 55 others from Twitter etc came across and liked it too. So now I have a total of 124 people who have liked my page since I opened it 11 months ago. I know what you are thinking, 124? That's not impressive. It is, believe me. I'll tell you why but before I do let me tell you what this liking of the page achieves.

Whenever I post something on my page, it appears in the timeline of all of the 124 people who have liked the page. For this reason I don't duplicate it by posting it on my personal page too, as my friends and likers won't appreciate it twice! Usually I post something that 'encourages' them to either comment on my post or to like the post. If they do, this does two things for me. First, that post then appears on their own timeline, and is instantly visible to everybody who is friends with them too, ie people who are nothing to do with me or my page (a bit like a retweet).

Screenshot 2
On average, my 124 likers have 344 friends each. So if just one person acts on my post, it gets punted out to about 124 strangers, who all get to see my post/name/brand. Some then visit my page and end up hitting the like button too. That's another 124 friends of a liker, thank you very much. The more people who comment/like the post, the longer it stays at the top of the timelines (FB timeline defaults to 'top stories', so those with the most comments/likes appear at the top of the timeline for longer, so more people get to see it. Feel free to open up a conversation in your post!).

OK, I'm in danger of losing you here, so here's the dessert. My 124 likers have, in total, a staggering 42,617 friends between them! (See screenshot 2) And that figure is growing each day as they add more friends to their FB account, with no extra work on my part. (See screenshot 2. The number of 'friends of fans' has increased 2.36% in the last week alone.)

Let me repeat that, one hundred and forty-two thousand potential customers. Makes my Twitter account seem like chicken-feed! And remember, each new liker brings with them all of their friends. It is down to you what you do with them.

The numbers are potentially so big I've decided to use FB page as my principle page. By that I mean I want as many likers as possible on here, just so that I get to reach their friends too. So I use it by rewarding these people with promotional copies, news first etc and I ONLY write about me and my books. I don't want people to get bored with my mundane life - that's what FB personal pages are for!

I am not overly-promoting my page yet, and when I do I expect to see the amount of likers grow considerably, and with it, the amount of 'friends of fans' exponentially.

There are various other advantages to FB pages which I won't go into here. The stats are amazing, and if you want to know more about how to read that info I recommend visiting this really useful post by John Haydon.

I did an experiment with FB advertising too. I set the maximum fee to $30 and designed my advert. I arranged for the advert to appear to Facebookers who had a friend who had liked my author's page. It was an interesting experiment and something that I will post about once the figures have been analysed. You can see an example on the right-hand side of screenshot 1 above.

So, you're probably slaving away on Twitter to build up a following, whilst ignoring the simple - yet priceless - Facebook page. Come on, what are you waiting for..?

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for your post which has inspired me to get off my butt! I'm not a Facebook fan (although I'm an addicted Tweeter) but realise I need to get out there. I have my own page, but not one specifically for my writing or editing. Thanks for the reminder that's it's time to do something about that.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Steph, thanks for posting! It doesn't matter if you don't use FB, this is an author's page, a business page. My favourite pizza restaurant has one but I have no idea if they use FB for personal reasons - but their FB Pizza page is amazing, and I can share it with all my FB friends.
      It's just for business, for you.

      Delete
  2. Hi Diem. Thanks for this informative post. I've added a Facebook page, and am just discovering that you can't invite people to be friends with it. Still climbing that learning curve.

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    Replies
    1. Hi CM, thank you for your kind comments. I'm glad that you've added a FB page, it'll grow in time and prove useful to you as an author, I'm sure.
      As for inviting people, you can! I do, but it is how you do it that matters. For example, which one of these would you consider following?

      1. "Thanks for following my Twitter account, now please follow my FB page at..."

      or

      2. "Wow, I've just added this amazing authors app to my FB page. Why not take a look and get one for yourself? I think you'll like it too!"

      The 2nd one isn't even asking you to follow me, but most people will, especially when unpressed.

      Experiment, try different ways and the audience will grow, but never slap somebody for a follow on the first contact!

      Delete
  3. Your article was very informative. I just started my Facebook Author page yesterday. Still getting used to it. Yours looks great by the way.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Damian. Be sure to look at mine and others and 'steal' the apps most suitable for your page.

      It's very addictive, watching your stats grow!

      Enjoy!

      Delete

Thank you!

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