Book Marketing On Facebook
Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world with 2.45 billion active monthly users.
It has a fast-changing social media platform with the average post typically not lasting longer than a few hours on a user's home feed.
Due to this, it is essential to have a clear strategy for promotions and engagements that will maximize the user's attention and make your posts stand out on such a chaotic platform.
When it comes to book marketing on Facebook, I’ve seen every scenario. Some writers pump money into Facebook ads, gain extra engagements and attention on their posts but their account sees no real growth. Others spend no money, replacing this with genuine time and effort creating quality content, but yet no fruits for their labour.
They are offering no genuine persona, identity. Nothing for readers to connect and relate to. Just book promotions and blog posts.
To successfully use Facebook to market your book, you must fill every piece of the puzzle.
A consistent identity that engages with their audience.
Before you read the rest of this article, think about your writing persona. It should be as close to your own as possible. Evaluate the underlying themes of your writing and who you are. Don’t try and be something you are not; social media will highlight this over time. Consider creating a document of relative keywords, themes and missions to yourself, this will make it easier to stay consistent and streamlined.
Some writers may simply be an ‘everyman’, just an average figure happy to fit in. Make sure your identity is transparent and consistent, don’t suddenly make controversial claims when you are seen as a neutral persona.
On the other hand, your identity may be knowledgeable and academic. In this case you would think about using extravagant vocabulary and promote active links with universities and libraries.
Ensure your Facebook page isn’t full of ‘spammy’ promotions, offer consistent quality content instead with an embracing identity and watch your readership grow.
Facebook Pages and Groups
When it comes to Book Marketing on Facebook, many writers fail to disconnect their personal life from writing career.
The most efficient way for a writer to connect with their readers is by creating a page account.
Not only does it provide greater insights as well as more features (such as being able to create groups and polls) it also is much more professional than simply posting from a ‘user’ account.
Creating a page is simple and free.
Visit the create button tab from your user homepage and follow the instructions from here.
Make sure to select ‘community or public figure’.
Once you have created a Facebook page, the option of making Facebook groups becomes available.
Too create a group on Facebook, select ‘groups’ on the left toolbar of the page.
From here you are able to create private/public groups. Use this to your advantage. Create a private group and create a V.I.P community with your readership. Perhaps invite known past readers of your books to discuss and create interest for future projects.
Another idea is to create public groups for readers to join who are fans of the book genre your writing.
If you are a sci-fi writer for example you could create a group called ‘Sci-Fi Fanatics’ where you discuss new releases and promote your own book. Groups like this can be a great place to grow a community and dedicated readership.
Once you have created such, you can change the call-to-action on your Facebook page, directing users to join your group.
Rick click on button under your cover photo.
Once on the edit button pop-up, make sure to select the ‘join your community’ option for Step 1.
If you have multiple groups, step 2 allows you to pick what group you want to direct users too.
Profile Picture and Cover Photo
Profile pictures are often the first thing a user sees when visiting a Facebook page as well as an important tool for attracting users on a hectic news feed. Profile pictures should be good-quality and high resolution, displaying at 170 x 170 pixels on monitors.
Profile pictures should match your identity, if you are a ‘motherly’ supportive figure then pose with your family. If you are a ‘guru’ academic author, then consider a bookshelf as a background. Use your profile picture when book marketing on Facebook to attract a readership that match your persona.
Cover photos display at 820 x 312 pixels on monitors and are a prominent part of your Facebook profile. Take this into consideration.
You want to make it apparent to your potential readership from the get-go that you are an author. If you already have published books, then create either a physical or digital display of your works. Match the background colors with the genre and themes of your writing. If you have hard copies of your books, go creative using lights and background drops to make your publications stand out.
Here are a few great examples of Facebook author profiles.
When book marketing on Facebook, the about section should be used to present yourself in a manner you wish to be perceived.
Think about your identity, showcase your achievements and share your life experiences with your following. Readers are interested in you and your life story.
Make sure to include links to your website to interlink your author platforms and email address so readers know you are easily contactable.
Visit ‘settings’ and go to ‘page info’, from here you can edit your page description and add relevant categories such as ‘author’ so your page is easily accessible.
Milestones are a powerful tool in an author’s about section. Use them to show off key milestones in your writing career. Add dates of when your books were released, book trailers and any video interviews you may have taken part in. Any key events related to your novel. Although milestones must link to existing Facebook posts within your page, so make sure to come up with a captivating post to share first.
Facebook also includes a ‘story’ function in the about section.
Use this section to share more information with your readers. One idea for this function is to upload hand drawn sketches of the main characters in your book, this will stand out on your page and entice readers to find out more about your novel.
Templates and Tabs
The layout of Facebook page is something often changed by developers with website updates. In the past authors, have been able to effortlessly add Goodreads tabs to their Facebook profile, but not anymore. It is important to design your Facebook page correctly and take full advantage of the features.
Facebook’s template feature is a collaboration of tabs that the social media platform feels suits certain types of Facebook page for a certain business.
To change your design, select ‘templates and tabs’ from the settings menu.
I recommend choosing the ‘public figures’ template as this will create a page with the most relevant tabs for a writer.
Once templates are set, you can hide and add tabs by scrolling down the ‘templates and tabs’ page within settings.
Click ‘settings’ next to any tabs you wish to hide, this keeps your page simple, professional and directs users to only relevant sections of your profile. As a writer you should try to include at least the ‘reviews’, ‘about’, ‘notes’ and ‘events’ tabs.
Once you have over 2000 likes on Facebook, you can create custom tabs for your page. This may be tabs which link to giveaways, such as ‘get a FREE book’ seen below.
Or even polls, as seen by this author.
To find out more about adding custom tabs, visit here.
Book marketing on Facebook is all about creating anticipation and excitement in your readership.
As shown in the previous section, you can use certain tabs to make your author page stand out from the others. You should be taking full advantage of Facebook’s ‘notes’ tab. This function allows you to create posts that are prominent on your profile for users to explore. Notes can include a picture, title and text.
Select ‘notes’ from the left toolbar on your page.
Select ‘add note’.
From here you can create and publish your content.
One suggestion is to include snippets of your current and upcoming novels in this section along with a captivating picture. Make sure to include release dates and any links to websites/pre-order links when showcasing your new books. The picture below is an example of the ‘notes’ function being took to full advantage.
If you decide to create a lot of notes use the ‘pin to top’ feature to showcase your most important works. For more ideas about notes, visit here.
Book marketing on Facebook is all about building a community of dedicated readers and creating events is an excellent way to do this.
Events should once again be symmetrical to your author identity. If you are a writer who looks to share their knowledge, consider live shows where you coach and propel others. Kary Oberbrunner does weekly shows and uses his Facebook page to showcase this.
Events can also be used to network with other writers, consider partnering with co-hosts and get them to promote the event on their channels. Use hashtags to get your event seen by a wider audience and create an event picture that stands out. For more ways to host a successful event visit here.
Book marketing on Facebook involves being consistent in everything you do as well as thinking outside the box.
For example, if you are an author who writes about themes such as mental health, consider supporting a relevant charity. Create an event where you fundraise money for them and use Facebook to promote it. Showcase through your persona and online presence the themes you portray with your book; this will attract the desired readership.
Facebook Live can be used to connect with your following conveniently and effectively when consistent.
This function could be used to hold book clubs where you discuss your latest readings with your fans. You can also use Facebook Live to chat about current events or leave hints about upcoming exciting news.
Remember to stay consistent with your identity when using this function and not to make controversial claims.
Facebook Live allows users to watch an account first-hand, making it important to be prepared and plan out what you are going to discuss before using the function. Make sure to engage with your following during the live stream and answer any questions they may ask. Readers want to feel a sense of belonging and often feel abandonment when they are not engaged with.
To go live on Facebook from a page account first click ‘publishing tools’ in the top toolbar. This will take you to Facebook’s ‘creator studios’. Once on this page, select ‘create post’ at the top left of the site.
Select ‘go live’.
Once on this page you can schedule future live videos and add a description about upcoming ones. You can also promote other groups within your live video (great for networking) and set guidelines and instructions for your audience.
Facebook is one of the best social media sites when it comes to book marketing due to its long list of features and excellent post insights.
When creating posts, you can choose colourful backgrounds to make your post stand out on a user’s newsfeed. Just make sure to stay relevant to your topic.
By selecting ‘get messages’ you can create a post which welcomes interactions and engagements from your following.
‘Feeling/Activity’ can be used to update users on what you are celebrating, thinking about, attending and reading. A great personal touch to any author’s Facebook page. You should try and use this regularly to create a genuine connection with your readership.
Using the ‘check in’ function can be used to notify your following and establishments you are visiting. This could be anything from a book publishing establishment to your local coffee shop. If you are worried about online safety one tip could be to just use this function once you have arrived back home to share with your following where you have been.
By selecting ‘support charity’ you can create a post dedicated to your chosen charity with a donate link attached.
Planning posts is essential when book marketing on Facebook. There are many different types of posts on Facebook and it is important to be aware of how they differ in order to create a content plan which suits you.
Recent News Post
This post should contain a link to a recent web article that has been published on a site that is not linked to you or your books. The linked article should contain news that is relevant to your themes and identity. For this Facebook post to be the most effective, you must link to content that is both relevant to your upcoming post and trending or newsworthy.
Your knowledge post should contain information that is directly related to your core message, themes or relevant topics to your books. This may be a few sentences with a link to another site, but it may also be a quote or even just a statement written by yourself.
Infographics are an extremely effective way of spreading your message on Facebook. These are regularly shared and will boost your engagement.
These posts can be created relatively easily and need not be expensive. However, you must use relevant colors when creating these infographics. You should also include your name within the infographic so that the end-user will understand that it originated with you and your account when it is shared.
An engagement post is one in which you actively seek engagement with your users. This should be a post in which you solicit direct engagement. The best way to do this is to ask a question.
Polls are a highly effective method of engagement on Facebook and can only be done from a ‘page’ account. Users are keen to engage and provide you with their own insights. Your poll post should be a poll in which you ask your users a question with a number of set responses. The content of this poll could be related to upcoming projects you may have. This is your first opportunity to tease your readers with your new content.
Make sure you to post a comment thanking participants, once the poll is finished.
Connecting directly with your following on a more personal level is important. However, it must be done in a strategic and controlled manner.
Your identity post should be something directly related to you. The most common format will be to post a picture. This might be a picture of your books, or even something as mundane as taking your dog for a walk. However, the post should also contain some text which links directly to your identity.
This post is a chance to do two things; you are connecting more directly to your readers, but you will also be reinforcing your identity. This will help the readers to see that you are the type of person that is both like-minded and someone they would like to know better.
You could also use ‘Facebook stories’ to share with users’ everyday events and to create a more personal feel to your page. Simply press the plus button next to your profile picture to create a story.
When creating many posts, it is easy for book promotions or posts linking to your Amazon page to get lost. Use Facebook’s pin feature to promote the most important post at the top of your page for users to see when visiting.
Book marketing on Facebook is all about connecting with your whole readership, some of which may be in different time zones.
Publishing tools on Facebook can be used the same way TweetDeck is for Twitter, to schedule content. Scheduling posts allows you to post in prime time for users across the world in different time frames. If your readership isn’t from the area that you are based this is an extremely useful way to increase engagement without waiting up to silly hours to post content.
Select ‘publishing tools’ from the top toolbar on your page account.
From here select ‘create post’.
Once you have created your post, click the button that says, ‘share now’ next to ‘boost post’ and then click schedule. Follow the instructions from this pop-up, setting the date for when you want to post.
Book marketing on Facebook involves planning and scheduling to be successful. Create a content calendar where you plan out the times and types of posts you are going to produce. From here you can organise, prepare and schedule posts all on one day, if you wish, with the only reason needing to revisit your account to engage with your following.
Social media is the hub of engagement and was created to network. Remember this. Don’t neglect engagement.
If a user comments on your post, make sure to reply, you want to build connections. Also, other users will see that you haven’t engaged and may begin to see you as unapproachable.
Use Facebook’s ‘react’ function if you can’t think of a reply. Look to comment on other people’s posts, especially in topics relevant to your book. If there is a discussion about your book genre then add your opinion.
Sharing is a popular form of interaction on Facebook, but it must be used with caution. The reason being that a share will be prominent on your page. This means that anyone scrolling through your feed will see all of the posts that you have shared.
One of your book marketing key elements is that you are providing a constant reflection of your identity; therefore, you should ONLY share content that relates directly to your core themes.
Liking your followers and other users' content is also a common practice on Facebook and is something that you should do on a regular basis.
A like can be used a little more freely. It is difficult to see a list of the contents that a user has liked; therefore, you have more freedom. One good example of using a like, is to portray your views on more controversial topics. Once again, this can be used strategically. You can use it to gain attention of other users or reflect your identity more subtly.
Featured likes (settings on page account) are shown along the side of your page account and can be a great way to present your identity and show readers relevant accounts to your own. You can also use this feature to highlight and support another writers’ content. See picture below on how to create a featured like.
In short, think of Facebook engagement in the following manner:
Sharing: These are the most powerful form of interaction, second only to posting your own material. These should be used sparingly and only for content that is directly related to your themes.
Likes: Liking other users' posts can be done more freely. However, this should be used strategically since the post owner will see that you have liked the material.
Comments: You should be looking to comment as much as possible on other user's posts. This will help to establish your place within a community whilst also supporting and building a following.
On some accounts you can earn the ‘very responsive to messages’ badge, you must have a response rate of 90% and reply within fifteen minutes to messages.
It is also important to take advantage of Facebook insights. Facebook provides the highest amount of data on users out of most social media platforms and the information can be used to ensure your posts are reaching the attended audience. To learn more about insights visit here.
This article has contained a lot of information, here are the key points to take away.
· Create a transparent identity which you are consistent with throughout posts and engagements. Try to never leave a message ignored and avoid controversial claims.
· Use an array of post types, don’t just link to your blog posts or promote your Amazon page. Create engagement. Create discussions. Grow a community.
· Use Facebook groups, events and live streams to build a genuine connection with your readership.
You may decide to invest money into Facebook advertisements, if you do, make sure you have the following in place. When you gain the extra attention from advertisements, you want to offer a profile where readers can connect and join a community. If not you risk losing potential readers, like fish in a broken net.
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