One of the social media darlings for marketing is Facebook. Although this has been one of the mediums I expected to be the most helpful in terms of selling books, I’ve found its usefulness less than spectacular. However, there are some important things to know about Facebook and how it can fit into your overall game plan. Just know that putting a post about your book on Facebook will probably not result in a gazillion sales.
The first decision you must make is how you plan to present yourself on Facebook. There are two options with pros and cons on each side.
First you can have a profile. This amounts to a personal page. A profile will allow you to friend and be friended by people you know. This can be helpful as it is a great way to network. Once you have several friends, their wall postings will start showing up on your Newsfeed, so you can keep up with them. You are limited, however, to 5,000 friends with a profile page. That may seem like a lot, but remember, you are trying to build a LARGE following. To that end, 5,000 is just a good starting place.
Further, Facebook will restrict you if you try to friend a lot of people really quickly. For me, I had a very well connected home town, lots of relatives, writer friends, church friends, and friends from a large organization. Do I know all of them face-to-face? No. But I do consider them friends.
However, Facebook seems to think you can’t know that many people, so a couple of times I got taken off line from FB for a couple days for adding too many friends at one time. So when you get on, have some due diligence and plan for the long game rather than trying to accumulate 1,000 friends at once.
If you plan to expand your reader base beyond 5,000 friends, you really need a Page. A Facebook Page allows unlimited “followers.” This is different than friends. Followers or “Likes” are people who want to follow you, but you don’t necessarily follow them back. So a famous person or group, say The Jonas Brothers, might have a million likes or followers to their FB page.
However, the information flow on a page is one way–from you, to them. Also, I’ve never really figured out just how this happens. I’m not sure that it goes on their Newsfeed, though it makes sense that it would. Like I said, I use Facebook far more for connecting and networking than for sales. So if you’re into Facebook, do some research of your own and let us know!
Also, at one time you could not friend anyone from your page. This may have changed, but it was a big hindrance if you wanted to connect as well as promote.
Those are some of the issues with setting up your Facebook presence. Next time we’ll talk about marketing on Facebook.