These days, when you meet a girl, you say that you’ll Facebook her rather than call her – at least this what the cool kids tell me. It has over 800 million users and seems to be growing all of the time. Surely using it for your book is a no-brainer, right?
When it comes to communication nothing is a no-brainer, and everything needs a purpose. Facebook is no different, but it’s hard to overlook a platform that holds so many possibilities. I’ve been insistent on finding a way to make Facebook work for ME, but it’s only recently – November in fact – when I settled onto a plan.
Unfortunately this hasn’t helped Beyond Parallel a great deal because what I’ve discovered is it takes time to make Facebook work to your advantage. The way Facebook operates means that few of your messages will reach the people you’re connected with.
The only way to ensure visibility is to interact with your followers. Not every now and again, but ALL OF THE TIME! Therefore launching a book page a mere month or two before launch isn’t going to help a great deal.
Using Facebook Effectively
I’ve discovered a few insights recently. If I could go back to the beginning of 2012 and change my ways, I would. I cannot. I can only offer my failures in the hope that you’ll succeed where I didn’t.
1: It’s A Visual Place
Although the occasional post about what you had for lunch is fine, people crave images and videos on Facebook. Once I opened a personal account (Matthew Turner: the writer) and began sharing infographics, MEMEs, and videos, my likes and shares increased.
As part of the launch for Beyond Parallel, I created several videos and MEMEs, using Facebook as the primary platform to showcase them. The only issue was that I had few followers at this point – sad face.
2: It’s An Interactive Place
Fan-Pages allow you to run polls and questions, thus involving your readers on a more immersive level. People love this kind of interactivity, but I was far too late to make this work for Beyond Parallel.
Book Covers…Character Names…Competitions…Feedback. When you create a poll and ask people for their input, they often give it. Especially when all it requires is a like or share.
3: It’s A Shareable Place
Facebook is a great place to extend your reach, especially when you consider how easy it is to share content with everyone you know.
If you create an attractive MEME, video, ask people to like or share it. You may not get instant results, but if you consistently share amazing content people will soon help your cause. Again, this does take time but the results are potentially great.
4: It’s A Connected Place
Another great attribute of Facebook that I neglected for months on end was the communities that reside within it. It’s a gold mine for writers: ranging from pages for readers, fellow writers, and books in general.
Get involved in a few of them and who knows where it might lead. I’ve been introduced to some cool people in recent months and it makes me angry how long it took me to get involved
Don’t Waste Any Time
Looking back I wish I had started my Matthew Turner writer profile and Beyond Parallel Fan-Page in the early parts of 2012. I spent 9 months sending people to the Turndog Millionaire page (which I no longer use) and using Facebook in a very poor manner.
The result: most early followers didn’t receive my posts
I’ve basically had to start again and my following for both my Book Page and Personal Account is small, but I now know what I want to achieve and should see these numbers increase as time ticks by. I hope you’ll learn from my mistakes and start the process earlier.
I encourage you to consider creating a personal account, and most certainly launch a Book Fan Page as soon as possible. My plan is to create a Fan Page for my second novel AT LEAST six months before launch day.
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million