Winter Author Blog Challenge #2: The challenges of being a Facebook early adopter
Woo-hoo! The Winter Author Blog Challenge is underway. This time around, the Challenge is just 15 days, and our focus is social media. The goal is for participants to post all 15 days, following the daily prompts provided, if they so choose. As with the inaugural Author Blog Challenge that took place last summer, I’ll be playing along with all of the posts, even though Marcie and I are the hosts!
With that, here’s the second prompt:
Do you have a Facebook fan page for yourself/your book? How long ago did you start it? Did you do it yourself or have someone help you? Are you seeing lots of new people liking it? What kinds of things do you post? What have you found to be the most effective way to get fans/have people interact? IF YOU DON’T HAVE a Facebook fan page, tell us about the fan page for an author you know or like. Why do you like them and why did you “like” their page? What do you think they are doing well that you would like to model with your own page? Do you have a goal date for creating your own fan page? Be sure to give us the link.
I have been blessed with the MOST amazing mentors! One of the most influential is my former personal trainer, Scott White. He gave me a foundation for everything I know about social media, Internet marketing, and building my business. In fact, I doubt I’d be sharing this blog with you if not for his patient coaching and early mentoring. He’s the reason I joined Facebook and Twitter. He introduced me to Craigslist. He taught me about GotPrint.com — the best business card and postcard deals on the web!
It was way back in early 2007 when I got started on Facebook. This was L-O-N-G before Fan Pages existed … so for a long time, my personal page was all I had, and I have yet to grow the support for the Fan Page for my business to anywhere near the 2,569 friends I have on my personal page. Interestingly, in all my study of Facebook Fan Pages, I know quite a bit about how it all works (wouldn’t it be a blessing if Zuckerberg’s minions would stop “improving things” long enough for us to figure out how the latest changes worked?) but seem to spend quite a bit of my energy building and supporting others’ (clients, husband, organizations I belong to) pages as mine rather limps along.
Although politics interests me and I follow many political topics, pages, and personalities, I tend to try not to post incendiary stuff on my personal page. Of course, what’s innocuous to me may be a lightning rod to someone else, and I did delete/block a few people during the most recent presidential campaign. The reason I mention this is that I’m still juggling the personal and professional on my personal page, perhaps the biggest challenges of pre-Fan Page success.
As client work has increased, I’ve slowed my personal posting down a bit, but the three things that helped me grow my personal page were the daily posts of: (1) an image that contained words of some sort, (2) a writing quote, and (3) a writing prompt. I posted these every day for nearly 2 years. I’m a bit more sporadic with my posts now, but I still put up images with words and the writing quotes, always accompanied by the same image. No one has told me they miss the writing prompts. Perhaps if I heard feedback to that effect, I’d start those up again, too.
Though many have complained about the new (a year ago) Timeline feature of both personal and Fan Pages, they’re actually quite useful on the Fan Page side. One important thing you can do is create events or milestones to document things like your book launches or readings and other successes. The feature allows you to include up to 5 images, and used well, these become a great selling tool!
Here’s the post we put up to celebrate the success of a client’s first book signing event. Jenn Laurent is in California and we’re in Phoenix, but we celebrated virtually. This post was our opportunity to share Jenn’s success with our fans and by doing so, showcase our skill and expertise.
A similar story is true with this post, celebrating 4 years of working with a valued client, Samuel N. Asare of Laser Financial Group.
Another important thing authors can do with their Fan Pages is add the Author Marketing App. This is a great way to give your Fan Page followers an overview of your published work. The app installs as a tab on your Author Fan Page and then allows you to add details about your books and upcoming events. If you’re selling your books on Amazon, listing them is as easy as entering the ISBN!
There are dozens of little secrets like this that can help you improve your Facebook presence, and as a result, perhaps help you sell more books. If it’s just not your strong suit to learn it, know it, and do it, consider hiring a pro to help you maximize your success. If you want a step-by-step guide through the process, please consider purchasing our eBook, Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business. It’s just $12.99 for nearly 200 pages of screen shots and step-by-step instructions.
Facebook pages we own, have built, or manage:
In the meantime, we’ll see you on Facebook!
We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.