Today’s authors are capitalizing on the promotional opportunities for creating readership on Facebook. They know that 250 million users log into Facebook once a day, spending an average of 55 minutes on the site, while more than 500 million active users log in at least once a month. Plus 150 million get their Facebook fix on their mobile devices. It’s no wonder that Facebook is number two in terms of Internet popularity, after Google. A Facebook page is as essential as a web site or blog, offering writers an unparalleled venue for engaging with readers.
More savvy authors are taking Facebook a step further-creating fan pages. Fan pages are extraordinarily effective in promoting books. A perusal of authors’ fan pages shows they display all manner of content to attract and hold audiences.
Deepak Chopra’s official fan page features the meditation music and the photo album of serene images we might expect to see from this world famous spiritual leader.
Tony Robbins’s page includes an event schedule and workshop video clips, showing the power behind this nationally known motivational speaker.
Justin Halpern includes reviews and his older SMDS to keep his Sh*t My Dad Says fans laughing.
At Arielle Ford’s fan page, readers can sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date with her books and latest PR information.
In launching his touching new book about gratitude, Walter Green prominently features a heartfelt author video on his fan page.
While all very different, these fan pages have one critical element in common. They speak to their target audiences. According to Online and Social Media Marketing Consultant, Amy Porterfield, “The secret to a successful Facebook Page is artful engagement. When you take the time to really get to know your fans (their likes, interests and triggers), you can deliver content and experiences that will capture their interest quickly and keep them coming back for more. Make it about them (and not about you or your brand) and you will have a fan for life!”
Ready to roll up your sleeves and tackle your own fan page? You need only 14 steps and you are on your way to creating a powerful ingredient to your marketing mix.
1. Log into Facebook.
2. On the left column click Ads and Pages,
3. Click the Create a Page.
4. On the right side, under the Official Page, click brand, product, or organization.
5. In the text box page name, enter either the title of your book or your name as author.
6. Check the box stating you are the representative of the business.
Now you are ready to develop your new fan page:
7. Upload a feature photo. Realize this is the primary image associated with your site. You might choose the book cover (like Halpern) or your photo (like Robbins and Ford) or a combination of the cover and photo (like Green). Remember, you can post lots of other photos in albums on your site. The primary photo should be strongly associated with your book or your brand.
8. Provide basic information-Highlight content related to your pitch, endorsements, back cover, and dust jacket material.
9. Import relevant content, such as RSS blog feeds, YouTube videos, images, music, and other elements associated with your book that will engage your audience.
10. Post updates-weekly at least and inform your fans about your news and relevant news from other sites.
11. Promote the page with a “like” button. (Note that Green’s page uses a red arrow to make sure viewers don’t overlook the button.
12. Set the page to your mobile phone
13. Send status updates to Twitter
14. Enhance your page with apps, such polls, games, and other apps to make it fun and engaging. For thoughtful reviews on Facebook apps visit the Facebook applications blog. Consider developing a custom app for your Facebook fan page. Although it can be pricey, but it can add great value to your page.
Important note: Since Facebook pages do not provide for “friending” someone, as on a standard Facebook page, you will need to invite your contacts to become fans of your page. Publicize your page by putting a button or link in your e-mail signature line so it is seen by everyone you e-mail, post a button on your web site and blog, and announce your page through Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to include the link on your business cards and other promotional literature.
A last thought: Patiently tend your page to build your fan base, devoting a few hours each week. Be sure to add fresh content that provides value to those who read it-then promote, promote, promote! Soon you will see how this amazing social media tool benefits you and your readers.