Establishing Yourself On Facebook – Part 1

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!

Social Media Trends 2015

Trends 2015

 What does 2015 have in store for social media? The landscape is constantly changing but being able to see into the future may help you know where to focus your book promotions. Here are my top five trends to look for in 2015.

5. Mobile

Increasingly people are turning to their smartphones to access the Internet and social media. Penetration of mobile devices worldwide is increasing, so wherever your readers are being available in a mobile friend format will matter.

Is your website responsive to the devices of your visitors? If not, 2015 is the year to make this happen. Not only will it improve the experience for your readers it will also help you improve your Google search engine results because Google gives a better search ranking to adaptive sites.

4. Increase in Paid Social

With the increase in social media usage by both businesses and consumers, newsfeed are more crowded than ever before. To minimize the effect on platform users’ experiences, social media sites will often limit what they see. Want to get around this decrease in organic exposure? Paid social may be the way to do this.

3. The Next Facebook

If there is one thing we can count on this year, there will be numerous ‘new’ platforms some of which will be hailed as the “New Facebook” or the “Facebook Killer.” In 2014, tsū, ello, and This. got some traction. I think we will see additional potentials, but remember to always ask, “Is my target readership adopting this platform?” If your market is YA, you may need to adopt some of the up-and-coming platforms before those with older targets. In general, I take an initial look (I’m on ello as Tyra beating out Ms. Banks), but wait to see how things develop before I invest substantial time. With the end of Google Authorship and the diminishing importance of G+ it’s good to remember that even the owner of the world’s two biggest search engines didn’t kill Facebook.

2. Photos and Video

If there is particular type of content that I believe will increase in importance in 2015, it is visual. Whether photos or videos, being able to create and utilize intriguing and quality visual content will capture your readers’ attention. Thought about doing a book trailer, but resisted the urge? This is the year to put effort into collecting visuals that connect your books to your readers. If you haven’t joined Instagram, you may want to consider getting an account particularly if YA and New Adult are your primary markets. Also, more videos are being watched on Facebook than ever before.

1. Content Matters

Just like a solid plot and characters are the backbone of a good story, content will make or break your success in social media this year. How can you create better content? Make sure it is high quality (such as video or photos) and timely. Also, don’t forget to use hashtags (#) in your posts. With the increase ability to search and see trending topics, a well-chosen hashtag will help you be in the right place at the right time.

What do you see as the important social media trends in 2015? Twee your thoughts @socialmuses or post on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/socialmuses) using the hashtag #SocialTrends2015 so everyone can follow the conversation.

**Originally published in RWA eNotes (Romance Writers of America)

(c) 2015 Social Media Muses

All Rights Reserved.

GoodReads Giveaway!

During the month of April we’ll be giving away 20 copies of SOCIALLY ENGAGED: The Author’s Guide to Social Media. To enter this contest, just click the link below and join in the fun!

The contest is open to folks in the U.S., England and Canada and will end at midnight April 30th.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Socially Engaged by Tyra Burton

Socially Engaged

by Tyra Burton

Giveaway ends April 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Welcome to Our New Website & Blog

Welcome to Social Media Muses. This blog will be aimed at sharing tips, tricks and information on all things social media. Taking our own advice, we have revamped our original (starter) website and are beginning to bling this one out with each passing day. In particular, many of our posts and information will be aimed at authors who need to build their brand, connect with their readers and sell more books.

For those of you who do not know us, there are two Muses and we come at social media from different directions.

Muse 1 is Tyra Burton, a marketing professor at Kennesaw State University (Georgia). She lives in metro Atlanta and teaches full time.

Muse 2 is Jana Oliver, a multi-award winning author of adult and teen books. She also lives in the metro Atlanta area.

Our first book Socially Engaged: The Author’s Guide to Social Media, is now available in print and across five e-book platforms (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks and GooglePlay). More information about the book can be found under the Books tab on the Home page.

Please sign up for our Newsletter (see the tab on the Home page) in which we’ll pass on what we’ve learned, as well as up-to-date information on this crazy phenomena called social media.

Now go forth and engage!