Facebook. Whether you love it or hate it, your readership is most certainly using it. The world’s most influential social network has revolutionized the way brands and businesses approach digital marketing, and with invaluable tools like built-in SEO, targeted advertising, and the Author Marketing App, there aren’t many excuses to forego the world’s largest social platform. But like any marketing effort, if you’re going to show up somewhere, you’d better put your best face forward.
1. Create separate personal and professional pages
Generally speaking, we think it's best to have an author page that's separate from your personal page. Not only does keeping your professional and personal lives separate make good sense, but the bonus features and advantages of having a professional Facebook page are worth the extra bit of effort.
When you make a Facebook page, you’re given options for the “type” of page you’d like to create. The type of page you create will determine which unique features will be included to help reach your goals—and Facebook makes a unique type specifically for authors. Tailoring your Facebook page by type helps you engage with your audience and connects you to pages with similar interests. Facebook provides these features for a reason, so why not use them?
If you’re worried about losing your existing following on your personal profile, don’t fret. It’s easy (and common) to cross-promote on your personal and author profiles.
2. Don’t get cute with your username
We see plenty of authors make mistakes with how they display their names on Facebook. Directly below your name at the top of your page, you’ll see a username marked by the “@” symbol. Your username helps users find your page, so it’s critical to make it clear and relevant.
If you write under the name “Jane Doe,” it wouldn’t really make sense for your username to be “@horsefanatic23.” If your name is already taken, try @JaneDoeAuthor or @JaneDoeSeattle. Yes, this may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised to see how many public figures make this error. If you want your followership to grow, the first step is making sure readers can find you.
3. Provide a detailed profile
The “About” section on your Facebook page is important for search optimization, so use it to its fullest potential. In this section, you can add a contact phone number, e-mail address, website link, a call to action, and other social media accounts to encourage readers to discover you through multiple touchpoints.
Keep your description of yourself and your work brief (under twenty-five words) and include as many keywords as possible. For instance, if you’re a YA mystery author who is part of a writing community in Philadelphia, make sure to include the words “YA,” “mystery,” and “Philadelphia” in your description.
4. Think visually
As writers, we’re prone to being overly descriptive. But Facebook is the place to prioritize visuals over text. Posts with images garner over 2x the engagement from followers as text-only posts—so make it a point to choose engaging visuals for your feed.
5. Listen first, then give, give, give.
People who are new to social media marketing are often stymied by thinking of social media as a traditional marketing tool. Internalize this: Social media is NOT a way to project your messages to fans. It is first and foremost a forum for building relationships with readers. Spend lots of time listening to others, engaging with people, and adding relevant content to their conversations. Then, when it comes time to mention your book, you can do so without a bullhorn, because people will already be interested in what you have to say.