With over a billion active users, Facebook is a social media platform that you don’t want to miss out on.
You may think “okay, so I have an account. I’ll post about my book on my personal page, and my friends and family who are interested will engage with my posts.” You may think that it ends there.
While that’s one way to get the word out on Facebook, there are many other things that you can take advantage of.
This is your guide to using Facebook as an author.
How to use Facebook for authors:
#1 – Create a Facebook fan page
Before you do anything, you need to create a fan page for yourself. I know that this might seem redundant if you’re already active on your personal page. However, it’s not at all.
A Facebook page will allow new readers to follow you and interact with your content.
If you post about your work regularly on your personal page, people might get annoyed. However, it’s expected from a fan page.
This is where you can really begin to cultivate an audience.
Creating a Facebook fan page is completely free and takes maybe 5-10 minutes to set up. Make sure you choose captivating images, and write a compelling and informative page description (as an author, this part should be a piece of cake).
Then invite everyone on your friend’s list to like and/or follow it! Depending on the size of your friends list, you could have as many as 100-200 new followers right off the bat!
Facebook fan page features:
A Facebook fan page comes with some of the coolest features. Make sure you know how each one works so that you can use it to grow your audience, connect with your readers and ultimately sell more copies of your book!
The content scheduler
One of the best things about a Facebook fan page is that you can schedule posts for weeks in advance. Life gets busy, so you will definitely want to take advantage of that! I find it’s best to choose one day each week to schedule out all your Facebook content for the entire week. If you’re consistent, your page will never go without content!
Of course you’ll also want to be flexible in case something comes up that you want to post in the moment. Luckily Facebook allows you to reschedule any scheduled content.
Knowing and using your user insight
A fan page also lets you look at your audience insights to see how well different posts perform. From here, you can get a better idea of what time of day is best to post and what type of content your audience reacts to the most. This space also shows you follower demographic information. This will allow you to target your content to what your audience likes the best and thus connect with your readers in a better way!
Your pinned post
On a Facebook fan page, you’re allowed to pin one post to the top of your page. You can change this post as much as you want, so don’t worry about pinning the perfect thing! This is a great place to post a brief description of yourself and your book with a link where to buy it. Think of it like a “start here” post where new fans can get a general idea what you’re all about.
Your pinned post is also a great place to promote discounts and giveaways. When you have a giveaway, you want to drive as many people to enter it as you can. Pinning a post about your giveaway will ensure that it’s the first thing people see when they come to your page!
You also have the ability to create live videos on your Facebook fan page. You have so many different possibilities with the Facebook live feature. You can create a live video on a whim while in your car or at home, or you can schedule a live and promote it beforehand.
Some people do a weekly Facebook live series about a particular topic. The great thing about this is that you can spend all week promoting it. If promoted right, each week it will gain a little bit more traction. You can also use the live feature to promote exciting new developments.
The best thing about a Facebook live video is that people can interact with you in the moment. They can post questions and comments, and you can respond. Your audience will love that sort of in-the-moment interaction! Also after your live video is over, it can remain on your page as a regular video. Then anyone who couldn’t watch the live video can watch the replay.
Just like Instagram, a Facebook page allows you to post stories. You can simply sync your fan page to your Instagram page if you have one, and all your Instagram stories will automatically get posted to your story on Facebook. However if you want to utilize this feature a bit more, you can add additional videos and photos to your fan page stories. Just like the rest of your page, this is another space where you can connect with your audience.
But what should I post?
Thinking of content to post everyday can be a challenge. Of course you don’t want to post “go buy my book!” every single day. If you do, readers will likely unfollow your page.
Instead, here are some types of posts you could post on your fan page
- Short quotes or excerpts from your book with captivating images
- Fun facts about the author. Readers love getting to know you!
- Introduce characters from your book!
- Share memes related to writing, your book or your genre. As long as others can relate to them, you’ll get engagement.
- Share posts from fellow authors with similar work. Collaboration over competition is the key! Who knows … they might share your posts in return!
- Ask your audience questions! You can make the questions specific to your book or books, or more broad about what your readers look for in a book.
- Create short video content. It can be as simple as a minute or two at home.
Remember that people connect more with something visual. Therefore you always want to post a photo or video with your post. Luckily websites like pexels and pixabay have free stock photos you can download. You can also create high quality graphics for free on canva.
#2 – Creating targeted Facebook ads
After you’ve gotten your Facebook page up and running, it’s time to explore Facebook ads. While you do have to pay for these, they can be as cheap as $5 for several days. A targeted ad campaign has the potential to bring in some profits and get your book in front of people you’ve never met!
How to target your ads
Facebook lets you get super specific in regards to who sees your ads. You can select an audience according to age, gender and geographic location. You can also choose similar fan pages and say that you want your ad to be targeted towards people who like these pages. For example, if you wrote a book about learning French, you could target your ads towards people who like big fan pages about learning French. This allows you to target your ad towards people who are already interested in your book or genre.
Promote your posts
Facebook also allows you to promote your normal posts in order to reach a larger audience. This is great if a post of yours gets a good response from your audience. You can promote any post. However ones that you know already are performing well and drive people to buy your work.
Just like other ads, you can choose who will see this post. You can target it to go to as specific of an audience as you want.
What kinds of ads should I create?
There are so many types of Facebook ads you could create. An ad is formatted more or less like a post, so you have the freedom to create whatever content you would like! The ads you ultimately create depend on the content of your book. If your book can help others, you want to target your ads towards people seeking your help.
In general, you want it to be something that stops your future reader from scrolling. You want it to grab their attention and pull them in.
Figuring out your budget
You can spend as little or as much as you would like on Facebook ads. The great thing with Facebook is that you decide what your spending limit is.
#3 – Facebook groups
As an author, you do not want to miss out on the wonderful world of facebook groups. These are a great way to meet new people, network with other authors and share your content for free.
To get started, all you have to do is search for “authors” or your genre in the Facebook search bar and then click on groups. This should bring you lots of different groups to browse. Once you’re in a few, be sure to read the rules of each group. Some are more relaxed and you can make a post about whatever whenever.
Others are a bit more strict but might have one day a week where you can promote your own work.
There are many benefits to being a part of Facebook groups. In addition to promoting your work, some have threads where you can leave a link to your Facebook fan page and everyone likes each other’s pages.
These sorts of threads are a great way to boost your social media pages. Others might be a great place to ask for feedback and get support
I would suggest finding maybe 5-10 active groups. Use these to get to know and network with other authors. If permitted, use them to promote your work or build your social media following.
You can create a Facebook group
Creating your own Facebook group is another option. You could create one for fans of your book or one for authors. The great thing about doing this is that you can run the group how you want. You get to decide what sorts of posts are allowed and what isn’t. It also will allow you to connect with other authors a lot more easily.
The world of Facebook is full of possibilities
There are so many ways that you can use Facebook to promote your work. The first step is logging on!