Last October, I shared some tips about working your Facebook Author Page to appeal to your readers. Then I disappeared from my own author page for a while, posting sporadically, forgetting to respond to comments, basically violating everything I’ve ever said about keeping up with the page. This negligence is an annual event. As I’ve said before, the last quarter of the year doesn’t belong to me. October isn’t too bad, but the time period from the end of that month through New Year’s belongs MSB and family. The first two weeks of January are spent catching up.
During the first week of catch-up, I discovered my page had gone from almost 700 followers with a reach of over 1000, to almost 700 followers with a reach just above 200. Whomp! What a drop!
First thing I did was to hold a “First Monday” Giveaway, using an idea I stole from one of my favorite mainstream authors, Joe Finder. To enter the giveaway drawing, the participant needed to leave a message and tag a friend. I created ads for each book in the giveaway and posted regularly. By the end of the week, my reach extended to almost 4K. I wish I’d saved that graphic. It was beautiful! But I do have this one, showing what happened the following week:
You can see the drop in reach after the giveaway. But the total page likes jumped. They went up through the giveaway efforts and other activities from the 680 I reported in October to 820. I went on a spree the following week and sent invitations to all my regular FB friends to “like” my page. Not all did, of course, but my total page likes increased to the number you see now.
This handy-dandy little chart is one of the reasons I like having a FB author (or fan) page. This overview shows me how many people clicked on my page (people engaged), how many commented or at least clicked “like” on a post (new likes), and how visible my page is in general (reach). But the other charts offered are just as handy. Try this one:
This one lets me know that the silhouette of the handsome cowboy topped all my other posts so far this week, which is great, since my current WIP, Riding Herd, is a contemporary western romance.
Here is an overview of the month:
The spikes represent my deliberate efforts with the give away and the “like” invitation spree.
Want to get more specific? Try this:
The above charts those who see my page by gender, age group, and location, and the one below indicates how many were actually engaged with the page during this month:
Many of the charts have buttons to push so you could get more specific. I can find out how many likes, comments, and shares I’ve received this week, and get the more specific information of the percentage increase or decrease over last month at this time. There’s a chart that shows how many organic, paid, and “un”likes I’ve had in a period of time. If you want to know it, FB provides the chart to tell it–except for the “who” in the matter. You can see who “likes” your page, but unless you have a phenomenal memory, you probably won’t realize who “unliked” your page.
As they say, knowledge is power, and these charts give me knowledge of who my followers are and what they like. These charts aren’t available on our regular Facebook pages, only when we open a fan page. Granted, there are tons of folks out there whose numbers would be considerably better, so don’t look at how tiny my audience is. Consider instead what you could do with this knowledge if you had it. If you had my charts, and you were trying to appeal to young women, 25-34 years of age, you’d need to revamp your posts. If your reach is below your follower count, you may want to put some life in your page.
If I’ve helped you decide to open a page based on this post, send me a note along with the link. I’d love to be among the first to “like” you!
I had no idea that I need to like your page a second time. I assumed it was like friending someone on any FB page. Once you do you are always. Learn something new everyday. When I create an author page in the future I”ll know what to expect.
Hmmm, not sure what you mean, Cindy. I have a regular page–the one everyone gets when they sign up for Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pprmint777 and I have a page that FB allows us to create for fans or any other purpose: https://www.facebook.com/GivetheLadyaRide. They’re two different pages. For the regular page, FB apparently allows only 5000 “friends,” but sets no limits on specialty pages. That’s why some authors request folks like their “fan” or “author” page instead of friending them on their FB page. Does that make sense?
Very informational, Linda. Thank you for sharing.
I’m glad it’s informative, considering the idea for this post struck me at 3:30 this morning and wouldn’t leave me alone until I got up and wrote it. Considering the hour and improper caffeination, I’m amazed it’s cohesive. 😀
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Those stats are fascinating! I’m really bad about paying attention to mine. Thanks for sharing!
I don’t think you need to worry about yours. 😉
I’m so glad you shared this! It shows the benefits of the fan page. I do not have one (yet), but my husband does for his photography. Here’s his page.
Thanks for taking the time to do the screen shots to show the graphics. It helped us poke around more in his to find where his fans come from. So funny that only 94 come from the town we live in and 7000-some from everywhere else. He’s only had the page for about two years and this is not his profession, so I’m very proud of him. He engages a lot with his followers.
I’ve read some blogs critical of FB for changing what it allows for promotional content, but it’s nice to read a post such as yours that shows the benefits of a fan page.
I like Facebook, it’s my favorite playground. It’s not perfect, and the reach isn’t as far and wide as we’d like, but it’s should serve as only one tool in a collection of many.
Your husband is an amazing photographer, and since he’s from Kansas, I invited one of my friends to join me in liking it. Now all I need to do is discover how he got over 7K followers in only two years. Yowzah. What do y’all need me for?! 😀
Thanks Linda! He is incredible. Glad you and a friend liked the page. I will be blogging about the page in February since it’s his anniversary month. It’s kind of a cool story. Started with bug of the day pics on his regular page and it lead to all this. Enjoy the pics. Kansas is not just a fly-over state! It’s beautiful (and I’m not a native, neither is he).
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Linda, thanks for sharing this info! I created an author page, but am guilty of allowing it to languish in order to focus on writing. I feel inspired to be more ambitious in providing good content. What types of things do you giveaway? My site is https://www.facebook.com/VanessaMorton.Author. I hope you post more of your insights about interacting with readers.
Just about anything else I’d write would fall in the category of “do as I say, not as I do.” I haven’t found the secret to all this yet, but I keep pluggin’ along.