Facebook is by far the easiest social network to set-up a profile and connect to others. As of the second quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.71 billion active users making it the largest social media network. With that many people it’s an ideal platform to find your target reading audience. Let’s take a look at the different ways you can create a community for readers.
1 | Facebook Profile Page
The profile page is what everyone receives when they sign-up for Facebook. It’s a required element to be able to create anything on Facebook. Some authors use their profile page as the main page for fans/readers to view their activity. In order for a person to see your posts, they must request to become a friend. If you allow followers, they can see your posts, but you are able to specify certain posts to be seen by friends only under your privacy settings.
PERSONAL VS. PROFESSIONAL
While I am connected to family and friends, I do use my profile page mainly for professional networking. Every once in awhile, I will post something outside of that realm, but it’s pretty obvious I’m all about literary projects wherever you see me pop-up on Facebook.
If you really want your profile page to be personal AND not for marketing, you may want to consider creating a business page or a group.
2 | Facebook Business Page
These pages started out as “fan” pages, but they are really referred to as Business Pages. When I began book promotion for my debut novel, When Rain Falls, I chose to set-up a business page, Author Tyora Moody. When I consult with author clients, I always remind them that they are the “brand” and need to treat their books as a business.
Think Oprah. Martha Stewart. Stephen King. James Patterson.
Okay, you see where I’m going with this brand thing, right?
All of these are people’s persona and name are associated with major business-related projects and products. A book is a product.
After you reach 25 likes, you can create your Facebook page with a custom URL such as “facebook.com/yourname.”
Branding includes a professional cover image that features your latest book or most recent books (see the visual content post). Just recently Facebook changed the business page to show your profile photo next to the Facebook Cover which I really like.
Be aware that the engagement is not that easy on a business page because Facebook encourages purchasing ads. Ads start as low as $5/day. You want to be able to create organic reach on your own, but budget appropriately for “boosting a post” or creating an ad.
If you want to learn more how to attract “likes” and attract organic reach, check out the FREE Quick Start Checklists.
3 | Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups have become my favorite way to spend my time on this social network. I’m a member of several groups and I also host my own groups. You can have a “closed” or “secret” group to keep a level of exclusivity.
When you join a Facebook Group, it’s extremely important that you read the rules first. Most of the time the host(s) do NOT want random promotions. A group full of promotions immediately loses its sense of relationship building. If you read the rules, many hosts allow for promotion on a certain day.
HOST A GROUP
As an author you may want to consider hosting a group possibly for your books or you may have a group centered around one book. You may not have 100% participation because people tend to lurk, but you will find out who are your most loyal fans.
When ever I host a chat, I have a Reading Group that I use. This “closed” group worked out great for keeping the discussion away from people who may have not read my novel yet. Besides you don’t want to post **spoilers** out in the open.
4 | Event Pages
Events Pages can be used to create a community, but this is usually centered around a one-time event. Events can include:
- a book launch event
- a virtual book release party
- a Facebook Chat
- a Facebook contest
Similar to your other pages, take the time to create a branded event cover image and posts to attract readers to your event. Depending on how well you can multi-task, you may want a moderator or consider hosting an event with other authors.
I know as an author the next writing project is always around the corner. When you’re in writing mode, often times the community will become neglected. You may want to consider using a virtual assistant or social media manager to help post content and keep fans/members engaged. I offer virtual assistance via Tywebbin Publicity.
If you prefer the DIY method, please check out my FREE Quick Start Checklists below.