Five Ways Authors Can Use Facebook

When I first started publishing books, I went too crazy, and I tried to do it all—Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. And what do you think happened? I experienced a major burnout! With a successful freelance editing career to balance, it was way too much to manage. I had to tell myself that I wasn’t admitting failure by changing my social media strategy, because if I tried to keep with that hectic schedule, I’d eventually stop with social media marketing entirely because I honestly started to hate it. Facebook is the one I always recommend my social media marketing clients start with because it’s really easy to manage that schedule in the beginning.

1—Make one post on your author Facebook page per day.

Seven days a week, I try to make a Facebook post on my author page every day, and I try to stick with a different theme each day. For instance, Sundays, I normally post an inspirational quote from a famous author. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s something your target audience will want to engage in through likes, comments, or shares, and that will help boost the visibility of your Facebook Page. And the great thing about Facebook Business Pages? You only need to post once per day! Experiment in the beginning with different times during the day to see which times are more productive. (Bonus tip: if it’s an image, you can also cross-post to Instagram!)

2—Run a monthly (or yearly) contest to drive up the number of your followers.

I’m doing a big one this year that would reward anyone who does a certain number of things (sign up for my email list, comment on a post, share a post, etc.) with an entry into a contest where I reward the winner with free signed books for life. But your contest doesn’t have to be that huge! Maybe you could reward one of your readers with a free advanced copy of your next book who refers the most likes. (Bonus tip: include your other social media profiles in your contest to boost your followers there as well.)

3—Use Facebook Live at least two to three times per month.

This is something a lot of authors are doing now because of how many people engage in the live posts. You can talk about whatever you like—your last book, your next book, any signings you’re going to be doing, upcoming projects, or just your life in general. You may not get a ton of engagement when you first start doing these lives, but over time, you will get more and more people who want to participate in your live videos. (Bonus tip: you can download these videos and upload them to your other social media profiles—and even your website.)

4—Start a Facebook Group especially for the biggest fans of your books.

I like having a fan group because you can guarantee that all the members will see your post. Unlike Facebook Business Pages, Groups don’t rely on ridiculous algorithms to determine who should see your posts on their timeline. You can also make it a private group, which will give your fans a secluded place to let loose, joke around, and talk candidly with like minds. (Bonus tip: you can connect your fan group to your Facebook Business Page so that anyone who goes to the page is invited to join your group.)

5—Network with other authors in larger writing groups.

You can find a Facebook Group for just about anything these days, and that certainly includes writing-themed groups. Some of the more popular groups have thousands upon thousands of members you can connect with, and in the publishing industry, you need as many positive and supportive writer friends as you can get! You’ll find that there are many genre-themed groups, critiquing groups, and even groups dedicated to promoting others’ published books. (Bonus tip: if you’re looking for some free advice from some six-figure and seven-figure authors, check out 20booksto50k … it’s one of my favorites!)

The main thing with social media success is in understanding where your fans are. This saying might be somewhat of a cliche now, but it still bears repeating:

Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been. —Wayne Gretzky

And that’s exactly what you need to figure out to be successful on social media—be exactly where your readers are.

[Post originally published on my Medium page.]

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