Part III: Social-Media-Marketing – Facebook
A large percentage of all internet users is connected to at least one social network. While there are many popular social networks out there, e.g. Twitter, Google+, LinkeIn, Instagram, and more, Facebook remains to be the most popular choice. And contrary to common belief, it is not only youngsters that use Facebook. People from all age groups can be found on Facebook: from teenagers to pensioners. You will find all sorts of people on Facebook – and this is one of the reasons you cannot ignore it as part of your marketing strategy for your book. Facebook offers a great opportunity to win more readers and gain attention for your book. However, it is vital that you use a focused approach to keep yourself (and your book) from getting lost in the Facebook jungle.
- What is the target group of your book? Social networks that are used privately are great for fiction books. But when it comes to non-fiction, especially non-fiction about specialised topics, professional networks like LinkedIn are also very good choices.
- Which networks do you already use privately and as an author? Use the platforms you already know to start your book marketing activities because it helps if you already have contacts and are comfortable with using the network.
- Research: Search social networks for users and discussion groups that suit your book. The more connection points there are, the more effective your marketing will be.
Facebook – dive right into it, be part of it
Facebook is more than just a place for people to chat about what is happening in their lives. There is hardly a business that does not use this platform for marketing and polishing their company’s image. Freelancers and creative people can also use Facebook to get attention. So what should you do as an author?
- Make your own profile stand out
Fill out as much of your public profile as possible. Outline your activities as an author and tell people about books you have published. Of course, you should not forget a link to your book’s page in the tredition-shop. A powerful background image, photos from book presentations or readings are not only decorative kitsch but will make your more approachable as an author. Of course, regular posts to your circle of Facebook “friends” about what you are doing as an author (what topics interest you, what are your next book plans, when do you do readings, etc.) are vital.
Be active in groups
Active communication with other Facebook users and authors is important and valuable – not only to make people notice you, but also to profit from other authors’ experiences. Some example of groups are:
- Self-Publishing: In self-publishing groups, you will mainly find authors and publishing service providers that will talk about topics surrounding the world of self-publishing.
- Groups for authors/writers: groups that are generally aimed at authors and writers will often talk about writing strategies, how to improve your writing, how to get published and other general topics about writing.
- Groups of writers of particular genres: In these groups, you will find more focused information about how to write books in particular genres, e.g. fantasy or romance.
Talking in groups is very valuable, however, you need to make sure that you do not get lost in endless and fruitless discussions as some topics will be talked to death with uncountable comments, many of which hold no value at all. Make sure your own comments are always valuable, otherwise you might ruin your own reputation.
Your own fan page
In addition – or as an alternative – to your private user profile, authors can also create their own fan page. We would actually recommend you to use a fan page instead of your private page. Your private page can only have a maximum of 5.000 friends (and surely you hope to find more fans than that). While people will also be able to subscribe to your public posts, it might be easier to simply set up a fan page. Then you can keep private things private, and you do not have to worry about always double-checking whether you have used the right setting (visible to friends only, public post, etc.). Think about how you want to do this right from the start. Some fans might not be very happy if you accept fans as friends in the beginning but then later on only allow fans on your fan page.