For better or for worse social media plays a major role in how authors interact with readers, keeping existing fans engaged between book releases as well as building new audiences. Facebook in particular is a constantly changing and often challenging platform. Courtney Landi, Associate Publicist at Berkley/NAL, shares ten tips for a great author Facebook Page.
Attention Grabbing Content: When posting on Facebook, images are a great way to engage your fans! Whenever possible, post a photo or a link with available thumbnails, in order to catch people’s attention. Not only are images eye catching, but Facebook algorithms also prioritize posts with images in the News Feed over posts without. *Additional Trick: one of the benefits of the Facebook Page application is that you can replace a subpar link image—the standard image provided along with a link—with your own image. Take advantage of that trick when necessary.
Do mention your book releases… but not too much: Facebook is a fantastic place to market your upcoming releases as well as your back list. However, Facebook is first and foremost a platform for creating and building relationships. We recommend marketing your book (mentioning the on-sale date, including rotating buy links, etc.), 1 in 5 posts at the most.
Reasonable Post Length: Facebook allows for longer posts than Twitter does, which is something to take advantage of–within reason. It’s best to make sure the first three lines of any post are captivating. After the first three lines, the “see more…” prompt pops up. As long as the information is relevant it’s fine to post beyond that, but try to make the first three lines really POP so fans will click “see more”!
Call to Action: A call to action is either asking a question (so then fans are compelled to comment with their answer) or encouraging fans to “share” the post. This is an organic way to encourage fan participation, and we highly recommend using it. *Additional Trick: While operating in the Facebook Page application, be sure that the “reply” button is turned on so that you can reply to individual commenters, even something as simple as a “thanks!” to a kind word goes a long way.
Frequency: It’s best to post between 1-3 times a day, to maintain your following and really engage your fans. Posting too often, and too closely together, begins to feel like SPAM.
Timing: Determine your target audience, think about what their day looks like, and apply what you know. By determining when your specific audience is likely to be online, you can try to maximize your engagement with them. Through experience you’ll find out what works best for you, and then be consistent.
Be Organic: Write a post like you’re talking with a good friend. Strive to be genuine and approachable. Ask questions. Listen. Then show people you’re listening by responding.
Consider the Platform: With push notifications these days, it’s easy to let technology do some of the work for you. But it’s important to generate original content for each of your social media platforms, rather than automatically pushing the same content from one account to another. Create posts for Facebook via Facebook; leave your Twitter content on Twitter. Not only will fans following both outlets appreciate the variety, but logistically the platforms are not meant to render the same type of content as the other—there’s a reason so many social networks exist, treat them individually.
Don’t Force It: If you take one thing away, let it be this: don’t force it. If Facebook isn’t really your thing—if you prefer Twitter or another social network, and that’s where you dedicate most of your time engaging with fans—that is completely fine. Don’t force yourself to post 3 times a day, if 1 is all you have time for. The most important thing is to be yourself, and be genuinely open to your fans in a way that you’re comfortable with.
Ask for Help: Don’t forget that you can always go right to the source for more information! For more extensive and up-to-date support, visit the official Facebook Help Center here.
About Courtney Landi
Courtney Landi is an Associate Publicist at Berkley/NAL, a division of Penguin Random House. She works primarily on romance and women’s fiction campaigns. Recent titles that she’s publicized include RIVAL by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Penelope Douglas, and THE MARK OF THE MIDNIGHT MANZANILLA by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig. Follow Courtney on Twitter @courtneylandi.