One of the biggest benefits that social media platforms like Facebook provide is the ability to gain repeat exposure with the people in your network. Readers, peers, and prospects can make up your network, and you can promote author events, sales, special offers, and more through your Facebook page. Unfortunately, Facebook has made it increasingly difficult for business users to gain exposure without paying for advertising. You might have 1,000 page fans, but only 10% to 20% of them will actually see your updates in their news feeds. This can be extremely frustrating and may drive business users away from Facebook as better options surface, but for now we must live with it.
I still believe it’s worthwhile to maintain a presence on Facebook if there is a chance your readers are spending time there. And let’s face it: most of us can be found spending too much time on Facebook!
Here are some ways to maximize Facebook for book marketing:
Create a Powerful Business Page – Facebook doesn’t want users to promote their businesses with personal profiles, so it’s important that you create a business page. The most important decision you will make when creating your page is what name to use. You can create a page for your book, but if you plan to write future books, you’ll be stuck managing multiple pages as each one comes out. I recommend building a page for you personally, as an author branding tool. Make sure you fill out your profile with as much detail as possible, and include a professional author photo. Also have a graphic designer create a custom banner image for you.
Communicate with Wall Posts – Your page features a “wall” where you can share updates with your audience. Share all of your new blog posts here by simply posting the title and link. Facebook will automatically generate a preview. You can also share videos, photos, inspirational quotes (though these are highly overused), quick tips, questions, surveys, event announcements, and anything else you can think of to engage your audience. Posting one to three times per day is plenty on Facebook.
Interact with Your Audience – Whenever someone comments on one of your posts on Facebook, take time to acknowledge them with a quick note of thanks. Answer questions and generally demonstrate for your audience that you are paying attention.
Remove Junk – Spammers exist everywhere online. Delete spammy comments that show up on your page.
Pin to Top – When you hover over the upper right corner of a post on your Facebook page and click the edit icon, there is a “Pin to Top” option. When you select this, it moves that post to the top of your page and keeps it there until you unpin it. Any subsequent posts that you add to your page will appear below your pinned post. This can be really handy if you want to promote something that is time-sensitive, such as a current promotion that you’re holding or an upcoming event.
Highlight – When you hover over the upper right corner of a post on your Facebook page, you’ll see a star icon called “Highlight.” Selecting this option will expand your post from a small box to a feature that spans across both columns. This is a nice way to draw attention to a specific post on your page. You can also highlight multiple posts and they will remain that way until you click the icon again to remove the highlight. The highlight feature is also available for use on your personal Facebook profile.
Promote Your Posts – You can pay Facebook to ensure a specific post on your wall gets exposure with your audience and beyond. You can set a budget of as little as $5 to promote a post. This can be quite useful when you want to raise awareness for a recent post, especially if you are promoting something such as a book launch or upcoming event.
Paid Advertising – Facebook offers two types of advertising: pay-per-click and pay-per-view. The pay-per-click option can be an effective way to add new followers to your page. You can specify demographics by keywords and location, and Facebook will serve up your ads to people who meet that criteria. Advertising on Facebook is not cheap. You will set a bid price for clicks, which Facebook will suggest at $1 per click and up. However, you can also set your bid at a lower rate of $0.65 to $0.85 per click and your ads will still run, though probably not as often as they would with a higher rate. But with a budget of just $5 per day, or about $150 per month, you can steadily build your audience. And even though you’ll be paying for each click, your ad will still get thousands of impressions (views) for each click generated, so that visibility alone can help to build your brand.