Sunday, February 6, 2011

Guest Post - Leveraging Facebook

Margo Smith generously offered me a guest post for authors who want to use Facebook to promote their work. Like life, her piece offers more questions than answers, but I learned several things from this short essay, and hope you do as well.

Leveraging Facebook: Tips for Authors

Do you have a Facebook account? Do you actively use it? Do you know how to use Facebook to reach your particular target audience? Do you know how to specifically promote your book? Do you know how to attract readers to your book via this social media tool? If the answer to any of these questions was ‘No,’ you can read on for helpful tips to market your own book with the power of Facebook.

First of all, if you have not yet created a Facebook account, I encourage you to do that. Use your real name, not the name of your book or product. Facebook likes authenticity, and so do it users, so sign up as yourself and be yourself and you’ve already made a good first step.

Now that you are on Facebook, what is the next step? Start learning how to use this as a valuable means to an end, i.e., getting yourself and your book noticed. Learn how to use this site to talk with others. Reach out to others with a love of writing or words or whatever else truly interests you. Make new friends and invite your existing friends to join you. Learn how to post to someone’s wall. Learn how to share photos, add comments and become part of the conversation. Be active, and again, be yourself. Your authentic voice will attract like-minded people and help you gain credibility as a person and an author.

Once you have done this, the next thing to do is to join or create author groups. There is a group just for authors on Facebook – have you clicked the Like button and joined this group? Get in touch with others and learn from them and let them learn from you.

You can create a page that tells all about your book. That is a wonderful first step, but now how do you bring people to see this page you have made? Try offering a free product or hosting a contest with a giveaway as an incentive for people to visit or like your site. Give away some product or service of real value and you will get visitors.

Another way to get your name – and the name of your book – out to the general public is to use the various sites available to promote your contest. Blogger Link Up has a contest/giveaway section that will allow you to reach other bloggers to spread the word of your contest. There are numerous other sites out there where they post about contests and giveaways. Get yourself on them and promote your blog, book or product by dramatically increasing your viewers.

Maximize your book exposure by using Lexicon, a Facebook tool that allows you to specify who you would like your advertising audience to be on this social site. For instance, if your book is a collection of recipes, you can place an ad on Facebook and use Lexicon to narrow the field to your perfect audience. You can select that your ad be viewed by males or females – or both! You can find others who are interested in cooking, recipes and such relevant topics. You can keep narrowing the field by age, region and various other demographics until you find your ideal foodie audience for your cookbook.

Once your contest is set up, offer extra entries – with an increased chance of winning - if your viewers also tweet about your contest. That will do a great deal to get increased visibility to your book page. Twitter is another valuable social media tool for promotion, but that is a subject for another time.

About the Author

Margo Smith graduated with a B.S. degree from BYU. She lives along the Wasatch Front and loves the beauty and peace of the Rocky Mountains she calls home. She looks with a writer’s eye at the world around her when compiling articles about a variety of subjects from current world events to online schooling to social media.

1 comment:

  1. I guess I managed the first step. The rest of it still feels scary though--lots of facebook friends and even a few likes for my book page. I'll look into some of your suggestions. Thanks.