Saturday, December 29, 2012

Marketing for Indie Writers: Facebook Pages

Someday I'd like to be so successful the paparazzi will do all my advertising for me. My dishes will magically wash themselves, and I can just write and eat and watch my books touch the world. Meanwhile, I use up a lot of the time I'd like to be writing in washing dishes, tidying up and trying to figure out how this whole marketing thing works.

So far, three things seem to be working: Facebook pages, a Twitter account, and this website. Of course none of them works without the other two, but here I'll focus mainly on Facebook pages.

A couple of things I've noticed:

  1. A Facebook page is not a website. I've seen authors comment that Facebook pages don't work as well as websites. That's true, in the sense that a washing machine doesn't work as well as a car.
  2. An empty or stale page won't help. The purpose of a Facebook page (it seems to me) is to bring your latest writing news to interested Facebook users. But, 
  3. Nobody likes to be spammed, either. I recently had to unlike an author's page because my feed was so full of random updates about her personal life that I wasn't seeing news from other authors.
  4. A Facebook page is great for keeping your feeds organized. I like authors' pages as my page, not as myself, and that keeps the author updates separate from the news about my cousin's pregnant goat and my friend's latest rant about the President.
I think that with any social or grassroots medium, cooperation is key. We want likes, of course. Likes are the essential first step in getting updates out there. But after that, we want interaction. We want engagement. We want people reacting to our posts, leaving comments, and most of all, sharing our posts on their own walls. And here's where the golden rule comes in: we can't like and comment and share on our own pages. Well, we can, but it won't do much good. What works is to do it for each other. Thanks to Kev Hammond of Magic, Fairy Tales and Inter Dimensional Poking Devices for demonstrating this.

What I like to do:
  1. Like an author's page as my page, not as myself. Not only does that help keep my feeds organized, but it helps other people find my page. I found out the hard way that if I like it as myself and my page, only my 'self' will show up in the list of 'who likes this' and people won't be able to find my page that way. Also, Facebook still calculates all my likes as just one like, no matter how many of my pages like your page. When I found that out, I had to make sure I had "Use Facebook as Jae Blakney" checked, and unlike a lot of pages.
  2. Check the feed from other authors' pages, leave comments and share any posts I think my fans will find interesting. I'm just starting to do this, and I haven't got the hang of it yet. If you have any advice, I could sure use it.
I'll end by passing along another tip from Kev Hammond: 'sex and bacon'. He says that when he puts that phrase in his posts, a lot more people see them. I have a hunch it's not the bacon that makes it work.

No comments:

Post a Comment