Your Facebook Author Page

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Recently, I read a comment from an author who didn’t understand the perks of having an author page apart from his regular Facebook page. I had to think about that a minute, because I wasn’t sure of the answer. I have an answer now, and I think I’ve discovered a strategy to utilize my own author page better.

I use Facebook for keeping up with family, with both personal and close cyberfriends, and with my writer friends and aquaintances. Most of the folks who have “friended” me are writers. Had I possessed a functioning brain at the time I started this, I would’ve opened a separate page for personal friends and family, but I didn’t and I don’t feel inclined to separate everyone at this late date. Besides, they get a kick out of my posts. They’re fun and silly for the most part. I also vent about my writing progress/frustrations here. My writer buddies can always relate, but others couldn’t care less.

I’ve never posted about writing on my author page. Aside from this blog, which gets posted to the page automatically with each new update, nothing goes up on that page that pertains to the art, craft, and adventures of writing. That page is all about the readers and what they would find appealing. Not all of my followers on that page are authors. Some really are fans (yea!) who want to keep up with me, learn when my next book is due out, and participate in the giveaways that are always part of new-book promos.

So that’s two things I do right–I keep that page about the readers, and I host giveaways only for followers of that page. Just like I have things in my newsletter that are only for folks who take my newsletter.

I read an article that gave ideas of how to better utilize the page. Online Marketing expert, Susan Gilbert, suggested these techniques–well most of them. I supplied another. Susan meant these to be for a Facebook marketing campaign, but I think her ideas are great for keeping your fan page active:

1. Hold regular giveaways. I love this idea. I have several books at the house that I ordered for different events but haven’t sold, so I can always offer my own books as giveaways. I can also offer books I’ve read and am ready to pass on. I keep these in great shape, so they’re “like new,” and perfect for another reader. I don’t know about “regular” giveaways, however, since I’m using this to keep my fan page active instead of using it as a component in single marketing campaign, but random giveaways would work.

2. Ask open-ended questions that engage the readers in dialogue. This one is always hard for me. I come up with things on occasion, but more often than not, they’re duds. My winners, however, make the posts fun and the readers’ responses are great. I’ve done this on my regular page and on Twitter (which, for some reason, is always a dud for me), but I think I’ll kick it up for my author page, too.

3. Present “calls for action” in which readers can gain opportunity to champion you and your works, or to help you in some other way. I think this is similar to having a “tribe.” Actually, this may be a great way to identify those willing to be in your tribe. Be sure to have some tangible way to thank those who help you.

4. Give out tips and advice. This is particularly great when it can pertain to something in your book. If I had a lick of sense–and I do, so I’ll probably take my own advice soon–I’d have posts about cat care on my site, since my most recent promo book is The Cat Lady’s SecretOr, since my work-in-progress is a contemporary western romance, I can give tips from my research about things that would interest my western romance readers.

5. Share your author friends’ giveaways when they will appeal to your readers. If you’re branded (like I’m supposed to be, but I’m not yet. Oops.), your readers are following you because they like the genre you write in, so promote friends’ works that appeal to their interest.

Can you do all this on your regular FB page? Of course. Personally though, I like having a separate page for my readers (though not all who follow that page have actually read my books). And, the more active I am on that page, the more people are reached. I’m not sure I can say that about my regular page, because my regular page doesn’t keep stats for me.

That’s another perk to having a separate author page–the stats. Right now, I have around 680 followers on my author page (not many, I know, but give me time). And on the day I wrote this post, my page reached 1091 readers. That discrepancy is a mystery I’m not interested in solving, but it’s great to know that the more active I am on that page, the more people I reach. It’s also great to know which posts reached the most people, a stat which allows me to adjust what I’m putting up to appeal to the readers. Also, if I were so inclined (and I’m not), I can compare my page’s activity levels to those of other author pages.

But a slow-growing page is the best kind, because many of those joining you are interested and will engage with you, respond to your activity. I recently watched a video someone posted from Veritasium, called “The Problem with Facebook.” I recommend everyone watch this before spending too much in the line of advertising dollars on Facebook.

But, regardless of the video, is a fan page worth it? Yeah. I think so. Look for me on mine.

 

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
This entry was posted in Promotion/Publicity/Marketing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Your Facebook Author Page

  1. Thank you for the info, Linda. That is one thing I have failed to do, set up an author page. It seems like there is so little time to keep up with what I already have. Where do we find the time to post to so many places, write (the reason for all of this in the first place), spend some time with family, work at the day job, eat and sleep? My husband and I no longer watch TV, only a movie now and then, so that’s no longer a time killer for me, but I still run out of time. It’s a puzzle, but evidently not insurmountable as so many other authors seem to be doing it. I must figure out their secret!

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    • Ceci, I know what you mean. There is just too much to keep up with. I have one major place–Facebook. I keep up with my fun page and my author page. But I also post quick things on Google +, LinkedIn and Twitter. I could skip Twitter entirely, because LinkedIn and Google+ are linked to them and what I post on them gets posted on Twitter. I try to hit all of them two or three times a day, for just a minute or two each time, but my playground is Facebook.

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  2. Good thoughts, all around. I need to employ a better strategy for dealing with my own Facebook page and these are great ideas. I’ve been trying to employ the open-ended questions more, but they tend to fall flat as well. And woo-hoo for your 600+ fans! I’ve been stuck at just under 200 for a few months… :p

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  3. Thanks for these tips. I do have a separate Facebook author page. I think we follow each other there. I don’t actively pursuit followers there but I need to start. Would love to have more join my page. I have over 1500 followers on Twitter, where I am more active. Let us know how you got the increase of followers on your FB fan page. I’m sure we’d all like to know. By the way, I love cats and coffee so I do enjoy your posts. 🙂

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    • It’s a slow process, Susan, but sometimes, I change from “Linda Yezak” to “Author Linda W. Yezak.” Then I go through the “Home” and read and comment on other people’s pages. I hit “like” on their pages as “Author Linda.” That has helped build up followers. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to go on a big “Fan-page Like” exchange with others. Doing that recently through the ACFW FB genre pages upped my count by around 40.

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  4. This is a very helpful post, Linda. I do not have a FB author page and although setting one up is on my “list of things to do,” it is closer to the bottom. Maybe this will become a 2015 goal.

    Thank you, friend.

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  5. K.M. Weiland says:

    Thought-provoking stuff. I’ve been pondering doing more giveaways on my page. Guess I should get with it.

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  6. Lynn Mosher says:

    Hmmm…I need to mull this over. It’s just harder for me with writing devotionals. I’ve wanted to skip my author page altogether. But what happens if I ever reach the limit on my regular page? I don’t know that I can separate me and writer me. We’re one in the same. I don’t push getting likes on my author page and don’t do much there. It seems like a wasteland. I’m puzzled by it all. 😦 Great points, Linda! Thanks. Putting this on my thinker-shelf! 😉

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    • Your regular page is pretty well established, Lynn. I don’t know that this would benefit you that much, unless you wanted to keep up with your stats. But keep in mind, I’m not separating “me” from the “writer in me.” I can’t do that either. I’m tailoring posts exclusively for my readers. It’s an audience division of sorts, not a personality division.

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