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)|
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).
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..?