Find it hard to remember exactly what size images each platform requires, and for each location within that platform? Here’s a useful “cheat sheet” to help you out, courtesy of Make Use Of.
Category Archives: Facebook
Muse #1 (Tyra Burton) and I are currently presenting an online workshop on social media to Passionate Ink, the “spicy” chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Since they write erotic romance, erotica, BDSM and menage stories, often the authors need to find a way to hide their real identity while on social media. Not all employers or co-workers are okay with those sorts of topics.
To help those authors find a way to tweak their Facebook settings, Tyra has written a post showing a step-by-step plan, including screen captures. We all need to keep an eye on Facebook’s settings, so here’s the link to the article.
A recent Facebook app allowed you to generate posts with sticker figures. It’s proven very popular. Time for a reminder: Always read the Terms of Service before you agree to use an app. Just because it’s on Facebook doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain malware or have unreasonable TOS.
This particular app has attracted the interest of the Better Business Bureau because of its TOS (which apparently the company has amended).
Fortunately, Be Like Bill does NOT spread malware according to Snopes. Still, you should always be careful out there. No cute little stick figure or bouncing puppy is worth trashing your computer, or worse.
Establishing Yourself On Facebook (Part 2)
While Pages offer us a commercial venue on Facebook, they make it challenging to appear in fans’ newsfeeds organically. To increase your chances of being seen, post high quality, engaging content frequently. Facebook rewards Pages that post new content (at least once a day) and content that has fans liking, sharing and commenting. Give your fans a reason to pay attention and get involved. However, according to the TOS you cannot encourage them “to upload your cover to their personal timelines” or “to inaccurately tag content (ex: don’t encourage people to tag themselves in photos if they aren’t in the photo). www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php)
What can you do to get your content seen by more fans/readers? You can ask them to not only ‘Like’ you but also click on ‘Get Notifications’ under the ‘Like’ drop down menu (see my Facebook page for an illustration – www.facebook.com/TyraBurtonAuthor.
There are several other ways to use Facebook to connect with your readers. The first is to run a contest, which I strongly suggest you run from a Page and not a Profile to avoid violating the Terms of Service. You must acknowledge that Facebook “in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered” the contest (Section E, Item 1.c.) Also, you can ask people to enter by liking the post, and your Page, but you may not require them to share on their Profile or Page to enter (or to receive additional entries.)
Secondly, you can create a private/secret group on Facebook and invite your street team members and super fans to join. In this group, you can pass on ‘inside’ news and information before you release it to the public, as well as promo material. It’s a great way to make your fans feel special and to encourage them to engage on your Page. The more your readers engage with your posts, the more likely it is for other readers to see them. And when readers post on your wall or comment on your posts (particularly when you are first starting out) try to comment back or answer questions when you can.
In conclusion, to take best advantage of the behemoth that is Facebook, a Page offers more options for promotion and analytics, which help you target your marketing more effectively. Combined with the social aspect of the site, Facebook is an ideal way to stay in touch with your fans, promote your books and introduce yourself to new readers.
Establishing Yourself On Facebook
A few author friends have asked me about establishing a presence on Facebook. What is the best choice: a personal Profile/Timeline or a Page? How do I let my readers (and potential readers) know about my books? Let’s look at the options and what might work best for you.
When you join Facebook, you create a personal account that has a Profile/Timeline. You can ‘Friend’ people, make status posts, share pictures, and create groups and pages from your personal account. A Page is designed for a business account, organization or public person (like an author). Fans ‘Like’ your Page and you share content with them through posts.
Should authors market to their fans through a personal Profile or through a Page? That debate heats up every time Facebook tweaks their algorithm which determines what we see in our newsfeeds. For Pages, it’s increasingly difficult to get in fans’ newsfeeds organically (without paying for promotion or ads) and this is why many authors have turned to their personal Profiles as a means to connect with fans.
There are several things you should know before you use your personal Profile as your main gateway to engage with readers. First, there is a 5,000 friend limit, which sounds perfectly reasonable if you are connecting with friends and family but an author may find this limits his/her connections. Also, the Facebook Terms of Service (TOS) warns “You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.” (www.facebook.com/legal/terms).
Of course, ‘primarily’ used for commercial purposes leaves a lot of room for interpretation, but if you want to run contests, giveaways, or other such commercial ventures you may be better served by a Page. Indie authors may especially want to consider a Page over a Profile since you are your own business.
Besides adhering to the Terms of Service, there are several other benefits to an author Page. After you have 30 likes on your page, you will gain access to Facebook’s analytics (Insights) Insights can help you determine when your fans are active, what type of posts are most popular, and basic fan demographics (age, gender, geographic location). Facebook also allows a Page to schedule future posts through either their app or website. With a Page, you will also be able to take full advantage of their paid ads and promotion options.
Last year, Facebook added a ‘Call to Action’ button on Pages that encourage readers to take a specific action. The ones most useful for authors are ‘Shop Now,’ which you can link to a website page that includes buy links for each of your books. The ‘Sign Up’ button encourages readers to subscribe to your newsletter. And finally, the ‘Watch Video’ option if you have a book trailer for your latest release. Facebook will also report to you how many times your button has been clicked so you can track what option works best for you.
Part Two coming soon!