A few weeks ago I posted Creating a Community for Readers on Facebook. If you chose to create a Facebook Business Page, that’s just the first step. If no one told you, I’m telling you today. It will be:
(1) work to get people to LIKE the page AND
(2) work to keep fans engaged after they LIKED your page.
There is another obstacle you may not be aware of to ensure your posts are viewed in your fan’s news feed.
The EdgeRank Algorithm
I loved math when I was in school, but the math used on Facebook Business Pages can leave you scratching your head. Especially if you like to study your Facebook Insights. You may have noticed some posts seem to barely get viewed. That may have something to do with Facebook’s EdgeRank Algorithm.
EdgeRank is the Facebook algorithm that decides which stories appear in each user’s newsfeed. The algorithm hides boring stories, so if your story doesn’t score well, no one will see it. — http://edgerank.net
Boring story? Ouch!
To make matters even worse, Facebook implemented new rules that really has made organic reach seem almost impossible without having to boost your post. To read more, check out these articles:
- Facebook Puts Everyone On Notice About The Death Of Organic Reach
Facebook officially kills organic reach for brands, making all your Page “Likes” useless
So, if you are noticing this on your Facebook page, don’t get upset, just know you might have to step-up being a little more creative AND not quite as promotional.
After all everyone has grown weary of seeing ads and the buy me, buy me type osts. Social media is really not the place to do blatant marketing, but instead you should invest in building relationships. For an author — that’s building a community of readers.
The Art of Engagement
If there is a word that is overused in social media, but totally true, that would be the word ENGAGEMENT. You can’t really avoid NOT engaging if you intend to use social media in your marketing plan.
Some definitions of engage:
- To attract and hold the attention of; engross
- To win over or attract
- To draw into; involve
When you think about it, as a writer our intention is to engage a reader in our stories/novels. We want to hold the reader’s attention from page one to the last page. That same concept has to be built into how we use social media.
5 Ways Authors Can Engage Facebook Fans
Here are five (5) quick tips to get you started with engaging bookworms on Facebook AND not alienate them with the “salesperson” OR “Please buy my book” approach.
(1) Study Your Insights and Post Regularly.
Try to post on a regular schedule. Study the times that people most often visit your Facebook page and try posting during those hours. I was really surprised to see most of my readers are online at night when I am… makes sense! A status update really shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to write, so plan a set time during the day to post to your timeline. Add some interesting facts, tips, dialogue or excerpts from your book to spark discussion.
(2) Promote By Encouraging Conversation.
Don’t use your page as ONLY an outlet of information and promotions. Remember, Facebook will basically hide you if your post appears to resemble an ad. So instead, use your page to start conversations and allow fans to post comments and feedback. Nothing is more cooler than having a reader post an impromptu book blurb or comment about your book. Can’t beat word of mouth, so encourage it.
(3) Think Visual.
People will see your content through their news feeds. To capture their attention, don’t always use text. Use a variety of media like images and videos.
Don’t create those book trailers and NOT post them. You can bring some traffic to your Youtube Channel by posting the video on your wall. Even better, upload your videos to Facebook. Since Facebook added videos to the news feed, its been said that Facebook has passed Youtube, at least in desktop video views.
Gather fun images. Who do you think your character looks like? What about your fans — ask them to post images and share them on your page.
(4) Don’t Miss Opportunities.
Respond quickly and regularly to fans. Welcome them to your page or highlight fans/readers that are super supportive. Fans will enjoy visiting your page more when you are engaged.
(5) Make it Fun.
Let your fans get to know your personality. Don’t be afraid to make a joke or express your opinion, as long as you do it tactfully. Remember this is a public platform.
Every once in a while, host a contest or giveaway that’s exclusive to your Facebook fans. Maybe you can give away an advanced copy to a reader or better yet direct them to sign-up for a Goodreads contest. Then you will be cross-promoting on two social networks. 😉
While I’m not including this in the five pointers above, I will say if there is really, really important promotion you have going, it’s been highly recommended to use the Facebook Ad Manager which allows you to target better over just a Boost Post option. Try out either option and document the results. You can beat the inexpensive rates that Facebook does offer.