Facebook! Almost everyone has a Facebook account. Most people who don’t Social Media, do Facebook. With it being one of the first social media media platforms to grace the internet with its presence, it’s the oldest, most familiar social media platform, making it #1 of the platforms.
But what is Facebook? And how do you, an indie author, make it work for you?
My dear reader, this is where our article begins.
Facebook’s profile page, the ability to post on a timeline, and “like” someone’s profile makes Facebook almost no different than Twitter. So why Facebook? Because Facebook doesn’t have a 140 character limit and Facebook offers “hangouts” that run just like an email account. In fact, I have one user (*waves* Hi, John!) who rarely messages me outside of Facebook.
Like Goodreads, Facebook offers “Events.” Like Google+, Facebook offers “hangouts.” Like Twitter, Facebook offers “posts.” Like Instagram, Facebook offers photo albums! You can create and build full family albums and Facebook has made it so easy to reconnect you with old classmates, distant family members, and ex co-workers! In 2008, through Facebook, after ten years of searching, I found my dearest love from high school who I am now married to (I owe Facebook a lot).
Today, I spoke to my aunt in Israel, found an old co-worker who I haven’t seen in four years, sent friend requests to 15 authors who I am currently corresponding with through emails and Twitter (Friends that Facebook suggested based on their data base…and they were dead on!), and spent twenty minutes looking through the family photo album my aunt who lives a state away uploaded onto Facebook. For twenty minutes I exchanged laughs, ooohs, and awes, with my family who are, quite literally scattered all over the globe.
But why Facebook?
Because almost EVERYONE has a Facebook account! Those authors/readers potential fans who don’t Twitter, Google+ or Goodreads are most likely on Facebook gabbing it up with family and friends. My father doesn’t TOUCH social media…but he has a Facebook account and he uses it often. Facebook has the convenience of all three platforms with a fraction of the work!
I have a dear friend, many, in fact, who are avid readers and who follow me on Facebook. I know their friends are avid readers, but I haven’t connected with them. It doesn’t matter. On Facebook, if you have your privacy settings set up right, the friends of my friend who avidly read can still see my info and my friend can share my posts with them!
So how does Facebook work for an author?
Well…Let me show you.
This is my Facebook Profile, not to be confused for my Facebook Page.
The Profile is the main dock. The launching pad. This is the profile my family and personal friends knows me by (The rose is a Scepter D’Isle…my most favorite rose that is too delicate to grow here in the mountains of New York…and that is my wedding photo with my high school love I mentioned earlier).
Everyone on Facebook has a primary profile, but this…
…is the real treasure of Facebook. Facebook Pages! There is no limit to how many pages you have. However, be aware, you can have too many to manage…like me.
“Angela B. Chrysler” is my author page. Here it is!
This is where I conduct my shameless self-promotion…without bothering my family. It’s an easy way to keep my two lives separate.
Here is my other alter ego. Brain to Books!
Honestly, these three pages are all I can handle without neglecting the other and there are days when that is challenged. I also have a Facebook page for my book series (Tales of the Drui) and for Bergen (I made that page back in the day when I was trying to kick him off my website).
Nevertheless…The purpose for the Facebook Pages is quite simple. It’s easy to organize and accumulate fans for any single purpose on Facebook. At this moment, I am holding the Brain to Books Blog Tour and we are using the Brain to Books Facebook as a center station for the event, allowing authors and fans to gather in one place to chat, hold events, prizes, and display news. In short, Facebook is a forum room.
During my Dolor and Shadow book release, I had Bergen set up on my author page answering questions and being interviewed.
On this single platform, I can access my family and keep up on the family news (two months ago, while my grandfather was in the hospital, my uncle created a group on Facebook hangouts where all 60+ family members conversed about his condition and checked in on his progress), or I can receive email styled messages. I can push my books and display new info for publishing and writing or enter into a conversation like on Instant Message. I can host a Brain to Books event and I can do this all without platform hopping (A hobby of mine).
BTW, I have my Facebook rigged up (quite by accident) so whenever I post on my Facebook Author page, Facebook sends the post to Twitter! I really need to know how to set up my Brain to Books account to do the same. Such a feature allows me to post on Twitter while getting around their 140 character limit!
And the photos…I can share so much more via Facebook in the area of videos, pictures, and book covers! Several authors I know use Facebook to hold “Cover Wars.” I need to determine how to hold such an event.
If you shrug off Social Media there are three platforms you should never neglect. Twitter (see last post), Goodreads (I’m getting to it), and Facebook. Facebook lets you reach everyone else who you can not reach any where else. Don’t neglect Facebook.
Once you reach 30 “likes,” Facebook unlocks goodies! This is called a milestone and Facebook rewards you for reaching them! At 30 “likes,” you gain access to statistics and so much more! Get your 30 “likes” ASAP!
Reach the next milestone of 100 likes ASAP! Within this very hour, I reached 99 likes. I am eagerly awaiting the goodies!
Facebook watches your “Response Rate.” At 5% response rate, Facebook unlocks another goodie. I have no idea what that could be because I haven’t unlocked this one yet. I’m working on it.
Link Facebook to your Twitter account for double exposure on Twitter!
- Log in to the Twitter account you want to associate with your Facebook profile.
- Go to your Settings menu’s Apps tab.
- Click Connect to Facebook.
- If you are not already logged in to Facebook, then you will be prompted to enter your Facebook login credentials.
Send “friend invites” to your family and friends for your author page. Why? Because if family and friends “like” your author page, their family and friends will see it and more than likely you’ll attract new fans through them. I did 🙂
I recommend using Facebook to announce all your news, no matter how small. Any time I post a new article on my website (like this one), I post on Facebook “New Post” with the link and the article title. Even when I have nothing to post on Facebook, it keeps my readers reading and flooding to Facebook.
It is common on Twitter to DM (Direct Message) a stranger, asking them to “like” their Facebook page. Usually this is done by authors who set up an auto-response to new followers. I will be the first to tell you, I have never complied to such a request. I only “like” someone’s Facebook page, when I know them and am genuinely interested in following them on Facebook. It is poor etiquette and horribly rude to open your very first conversation with a total stranger with a request to “like” your Facebook page. It is more rude to have a machine do it for you. In most cases, you annoy and anger more people than you attract.
Do not…DO NOT…brag, boast, slander, or bully others…any one…on Facebook. Ever. There is nothing private about Facebook. Just…don’t do it. Especially if you ever want to make a professional reputation for yourself.
An Average Day on Facebook
After spending a coffee on Twitter, my second stop is Facebook. Armed with my second cup of java, I report to my author page. I usually receive six to fifty notifications a day and one “email” from John. (Hi, John!) I post out news for the day, drop a line to my sister who usually leaves me something about cats, then I hop on over to my Brain to Books Facebook page where I post the daily events and news. I review my notifications, which mostly consist of people “liking” the posts I published (thank you for the support!). The total process takes about 15 minutes. I reply to John and then I’m off to Google+!
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