Every writer’s “other” job is self-styled marketing machine. My bet is because you spend so much time on the computer anyway, your fave form of communication with the outside world is the written word. (See how I plugged the name of my own blog there?) Twitter and Facebook allow invaluable connections. For me personally, my Tweeps are my lifeline to the industry and I freely admit that I hang on the 140 character offerings of favorite authors, pundits, editors, publishers and agents. On Facebook, most everyone with whom I’m connected are actual friends or acquaintances… and sweet little nieces. Perhaps it’s time I utilized my network for more professional aspirations.
Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach and author of several marketing guides, including Facebook Guide for Authors. She explains how “many Facebook users never venture beyond their profile, but there are several other ways to gain visibility on Facebook.” Here are Smith’s suggestions for getting the most from this powerful networking tool:
1. First, be sure to take full advantage of the promotional opportunities on your Facebook Profile. Just below your photo is a small box where you can enter a concise description of what you do, including the title of your book.
The About Me box (under Personal Information) is a good place to describe your book and your business. In the Contact Information section you can enter multiple website addresses. Post your book cover in your photo album or another application and display it in the left column of your profile.
Remember, your Facebook profile must be registered in your real name. If you create a profile for your book or business, you risk having your account cancelled.
2. Facebook Pages are similar to personal profiles, but they are created for business use. You can create a page for your book, your business, or even one of the characters in your novel. People join a page by becoming a fan.
You may want to offer an incentive to join (or at least visit) your page, such as a free download or a coupon for one of your products. Another way to attract fans is to set your page up as an information hub, offering links and resources. Using Facebook applications like Static HTML, you can create customized content for your Facebook page, including graphics, text, videos and mailing list opt-in forms.
3. Groups are a great place to meet people who share your interests and find new friends. Search for groups by entering keywords in the Search box at the top of the page and then clicking on the Groups tab. You can gain visibility on a group page by introducing yourself on the wall, participating in disucssions, and posting your book cover, photos or videos.
Forming your own group can also be beneficial. Be sure to encourage discussions and offer valuable information such as free downloads and links to resources. You can direct message the entire group.
4. Joining relevant events is a good way to get visibility because you can write on the event wall and post photos. You can also promote your own live or virtual events by hosting an event.
5. Facebook displays pay-per-click ads on most pages on the site, and ads can be targeted by age, gender, location, education level, relationship status, or keywords in people’s profiles.
6. The Facebook Marketplace is a classified advertising area where you can post a listing to sell your book. It’s worth an experiment if the topic of your book is something that might be searched for on a classified site.
Thanks, Dana Lynn Smith for your advice! However, “be careful,” say Stanford Smith from Pushing Social. “Twitter and Facebook can be a time-waster if not used properly.” Leo Babauta recommends you spend 80% of your time promoting others, 10% promoting your blog, and 10% on personal tweets.
Habits to avoid: I would be remiss if I didn’t also include a link to author Kathy Kristof’s 3 Most Annoying Facebook Habits that Bug Your Friends.
Excerpted from The Savvy Book Marketer’s Guide to Successful Social Marketing, by Dana Lynn Smith. For more book marketing tips, follow @BookMarketer on Twitter and get Dana’s free Top Book Marketing Tips ebook when you visit The Savvy Book Marketer blog.