Indie Author Marketing Guide: Facebook

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For indie authors, Facebook is one of the best ways to reach your audience. As of April 2016, Facebook has 1.65 billion monthly active users and 1.09 billion people logging in daily, according to Zephoria.

With that in mind, it’s probably safe to say that if you’re reading this, you are at least familiar with Facebook.  Continue reading

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Indie Author Marketing Guide: A Primer to Social Media

By geralt [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By geralt [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Social media is a big part of indie author marketing strategies these days. But for those just starting out, it may seem daunting. When I first began using social media for platform building, I felt slightly overwhelmed. But now, after lots of practice and just incorporating social media into my daily routine, I’ve come to embrace it. And instead of seeing it like a chore, I see it as another way to connect and interact with people, and I’ve been able to build real relationships through it.

Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way. (And if you want guidance on how to overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed, read Your Writer Platform’s “Are You Building Your Writer Platform at Gunpoint?“)

Don’t use social media just to sell books

Kristen Lamb’s “Social Media, Book Signings & Why Neither Directly Impact Overall Sales” goes into depth on why this is not a good strategy, but basically you don’t want to spam people/just make noise, and you will not develop any real relationships this way (meaning, you won’t attract real fans).

Rachel Thompson suggests spending more time online finding people who may be willing to review your books, and she gives a list of suggestions in her article “Why ‘Read My Book!’ Doesn’t Work…And What To Do Instead

Focus on one or two platforms first, then build from there

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest. Google. Youtube. Goodreads. LinkedIn. Tumblr. The list goes on and on. You can be active on all these channels, but it’s probably best to pick one or two and work on growing an audience there first. Every social media channel works a little differently, caters to a different audience, and has savvy users who expect others to use the network a certain way. The Book Designer’s “Do You Make These Online Marketing Mistakes?” offers tips, such as establishing one audience per channel and using landing pages.

Social Media Just for Writers also recommends researching your target market and then choosing your social media platform based on that in “How to Stop Wasting Time and Focus Your Book Marketing.” For advice on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and YouTube, read DBW’s “The Book Marketing Social Media Hierarchy: Which Sites to Use for Which Purposes.”

Business Insider broke down the demographics of some of the social media platforms. According to them, the 45- to 54-year-old demographic is growing, “27% of 18 to 29-year-olds in the U.S. use Twitter,” LinkedIn and Google+ are mostly male, Pinterest is mostly women on tablets, and Tumblr is mostly teens and young adults.

Eventually you can expand into other platforms. For a case study on why, read Kate Tilton’s “Why I Use Different Social Media Networks (And You Should Too) by @K8Tilton.”

For help determining which platform is best for you, read these articles:

Strategize how you will build your platform

Erindor Press’s “Platform Building Primer” is a good start, and advocates setting expectations and figuring out the best way to share content, either via blogging, email newsletters, or something else (and you can use social media to promote that content).

The Loneliest Planet shared a post, called “One Writer’s Platform (Part 2) Events and PR,” which goes over techniques of marketing offline (such as doing public readings and lectures) but also adds that it’s worth taping these performances and uploading them to Youtube to share.

Use lots of images/visuals

People tend to engage more with posts, tweets, etc. that are visual. According to Rebekah Radice’s “5 Steps to Get Massive Engagement With Your Visual Content,” “43% of social media users share pictures.” She recommends having consistent colors, using templates, appropriate fonts, and to create infographics, images, and videos.

Build Book Buzz recommends creating different types of images, including picture quotes, tipographics, and infographics. For tips on how to actually create these images, read Social Media Just For Writer’s “Writers: Use Visuals to Market Your Books.”

Make use of social media tools

Here’s a list of resources, along with helpful tips and links to additional tools:

Keep up to date on new platforms and tools

Lastly, the social media landscape is constantly changing, so it’s good to stay up to date. One example of a relatively new tool/platform is Aerbook, which according to PW turns social media into a virtual bookstore. Earlier this year, Social Media Just for Writers wrote about how indie authors can use Aerbook, which allows you to share previews and even sell ebooks on social media networks, as well as see analytics on your shares.

According to the article, there are three product plans to choose from:

Aerbook Retail is free, no credit card required. It gives you the social look inside the book, email capture popups within the sample, stats on how the book is used, and the ability to share the link and also get web page widgets that launch the Aerbook. This plan lets you sell the book directly through Aerbook, and our service earns 15% of the purchase price after credit card fees are deducted.

Aerbook Plus gives you everything Aerbook Retail delivers, plus lets you add links to other retailers, like Amazon, iBooks, or even your own purchase page. Aerbook Plus is $49 per year.

Aerbook Flyer includes everything above, but there’s no direct sale through Aerbook’s commerce service. You’ll add links to other retailers. Flyer also lets you do book giveaways, and includes 500 directly delivered, complete books annually. Flyer is $99 per year.

Got any social media tips? Please share in the comments!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published September 2015, as part of the Indie Author Marketing Guide series.

Indie Author Marketing: Analyzing Facebook and Twitter

I’m a big fan of data. I love reading about all the ways people are gathering analytics on books, how data helps drive decisions, and being able to know how effective people are at reaching out to others.

And that’s why for the past month or two, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Facebook and Twitter. I’ve known these platforms for a while—Facebook was only one year old when I joined in college (back when only people with college email addresses were allowed to use it) and according to my Twitter profile I joined in April 2009.

And though I’ve been using both platforms for my author platform, it wasn’t until this year that I decided to take my platform building more seriously. So, I’ve installed Google page analytics on all my blogs and websites, though it’s still too early for me to figure out how that best works for me, and I’ve been paying close attention to engagement metrics on my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

I have two official Facebook pages and two Twitter accounts. Here’s how it breaks down: Continue reading

Guest Post: Want to Step Up Your Facebook?

By Sheena Mathieson – Freelancer

Facebook is such a big platform that has helped out so many indie authors. Here are some more tips on Facebook fan pages, from guest author Sheena Mathieson.

Today, the world meets on a platform and that social platform is Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s child has brought us closer and knitted us into the same web of ties. In this web of interconnected humans, do you want to be that entrepreneur or blogger who explores Facebook marketing strategies to serve creations to the world around?

Well, then you have come to the right place.

The categories for which you can set up a Facebook Fan Page.

The categories for which you can set up a Facebook Fan Page.

Why should you step up your Facebook fan page?

If you want to develop a concise Facebook marketing strategy or publicize your content, then you have set up a Facebook Fan Page. These are the reasons:

  1. A good place to network and share one’s thoughts.

Sometimes you might want to share quick links or thoughts with other people. By using a fan page, not only can a celebrity take their musings to their fans, but product developers can also take their thoughts to their prospective customers. A writer can share the gist of his content to the internet-usership, artists can display their creations to the world; all of these without having them come to your site or shop.

A fan page is like a virtual ground where people can have discussions and interactions, where they can share links and foster connections. Once they know what you are about and they like it, your business or blog will begin to grow at a much higher rate.

  1. Access to a greater number of people.

Facebook limits your friends’ count at around 5,000 but a fan page allows you to get as many likes as you desire. Your networking skills are expanded and with such an expansion, your thoughts and ideas can reach faster and further to the people out there.

It is simple to have a Facebook fan page, but to wait for its impact isn’t. It needs hard work in the form of daily upgrades. A successful fan page doesn’t attract success very easily – you need a plan and a spark to help you get there. Take these few important Facebook tips – it needs a well laid content plan, posts that can be food for thought or surprising news to the ones visiting your page, and daily tending so that it doesn’t rust away.

What are the benefits of stepping up a Facebook fan page?

Well, it is a simple thing – a personal profile of a market entrepreneur or blog writer doesn’t provide him or her a market or unlimited readership. Fan pages that publicize your business or work can be a cherry on the top for your Facebook marketing strategy. Personal profiles, however are just meant for one thing – personal connections. Not public ones, right?

So, here are a few benefits of your Fan Page:

  1. You get great access to advertising – Through your Facebook fan page, you can create ads for a targeted audience and end up not spending much money in the process. You can reach out to the friends of your fans through promoting posts and marketing your products/content well.
  2. You can schedule your content within Facebook – You can schedule your content according to the way you want and bring back older content as reminders for your audience.
The icon for scheduling your content. (Picture courtesy: http://www.jonloomer.com/2012/05/31/facebook-page-schedule-posts/)

The icon for scheduling your content. (Picture courtesy: http://www.jonloomer.com/2012/05/31/facebook-page-schedule-posts/)

  1. You can gather more followers– As a part of most Facebook Tips; you can gather more followers from friends of your fans and a community outside that of Facebook. You can achieve this through newsletters and contests.
  1. You can get insights from the new Insights tool – The new Insights tool on Facebook gives a detailed analysis on what is happening to your page – the number of people who have liked your post, the number of people who have access and much more.

A Few Facebook Tips:

  1. Run a contest on Facebook to reach out to more people as they give you access to emails through enticing prizes.
  1. Promote your fan page by setting up a Facebook page elsewhere online or through email notifications.
  1. Try to make the most out of your Facebook Insights tool.
  1. Generate access to apps that can add purpose and traffic to your page. For example, the Social RSS app helps you to draw on your blog’s RSS feed.
  1. The Insights tool can be of immense help in stepping up Facebook fan page.

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This is a simple list. Be creative so you can devise ingenious Facebook marketing strategies to allow Facebook step up fan page. Just draw on and develop from experience and experimentation; and in case you need help, you have these Facebook tips to fall back on!

image4Sheena Mathieson understands the essence of making excellent content that suits the needs of every business, especially when it comes online marketing. She can spice up your marketing campaign with the content she makes and then incorporate Buy Real Marketing services.

Guest Post: What Everybody Ought To Know About Facebook Account Management

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By Andy Thompson – Freelancer

Facebook is one of the biggest social media platforms, and indie authors can use it to help build an audience and promote their books. Guest author Andy Thompson goes over the basics of Facebook pages, as well as strategies on how to implement them.

For any successful business these days, the concept of social media marketing is undeniable. On one hand, we have business giants like Starbucks using their Facebook page to announce their new plans and products. On the other hand, we have rookies (think of your local pizza place) trying to promote social media page, allowing more people to be familiar with their products via the Internet. Proper Facebook page management and using the right Facebook strategies have created success stories for a large number of businesses. Hence, if you can properly manage your social media account, your business might be added to this successful list.

Before you begin your social media exploration spree, here are some Facebook page management basics:

1. Multiple admins

As a page owner, you probably know that you can assign a number of people as administrators as well. There is no limit to this number as long as the ones you include in the circle have liked the page. However, Facebook also provides the option of assigning different positions and privileges to your fellow admins – Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, or Advertiser and Insight Analyst – each with different degrees of allowances. By default, all admins are managers and have page privileges. Hence, when choosing admins, be particular about the post you assign them.

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2. Page Insights

An important tool for all page owners, Facebook insights lets you know the reach of your page and how successful the posts are. It is extremely helpful to understand what works and to use this data in promoting the social media page.

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3. Public posting preferences

So you’re trying to get a good name for yourself online, but sneaky little punks keep ruining your timeline with negative comments? Apart from trying to improve your product, you can manage your social media reputation by checking who can post to your timeline. By disabling posts by other people on your timeline, you can put a check on negative comments, at least on your Facebook page.

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4. Page restrictions

If you’ve got a page about a local nightclub, liquor, or basically anything, you wouldn’t want children to know about. You can now prevent them from finding out about you on Facebook. Two of the most important Facebook page management tools are the age and country restriction tools. These tools let you choose the age group and region of the people whom you would not want to know about the page. Facebook provides you tools for post visibility to different audiences and screening out the profane words so you won’t get into trouble with the conservatives.

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Now that you are aware of the basics, here are some tips and Facebook strategies to up your social media account:

1. Use insights

Use the Facebook insights to determine what works most for your page. Is it pictures? Promotional posts? Humor? Increase the number of such posts in the future to gain a greater number of likes and a wider audience. Also, figure out the region and the time you get most of your likes and post accordingly.

2. Pamper your audience

Any successful page makes its audience feel important and involved and that’s exactly what you should do. Replying to the audience’s comments and queries shows that you care. Also, remember to thank your followers whenever you reach a milestone.

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3. Get involved

Many companies like Starbucks, Coke, Red Bull and others started out with online campaigns and competitions to get their users involved. You could have, say, an online selfie competition or a hashtag campaign. This tactic is undoubtedly one of the most successful ways in promoting social media pages.

4. Utilize Strategic ads

Facebook ads definitely work and it doesn’t need an explanation. Use insights to find out who and where most of your audience are and publish your sponsored posts with that in mind to get the most of your ad money.

Link other social media accounts such as Twitter and Instagram – this shows you have a larger reach and helps people across social media platforms find you easily.

Kiev, Ukraine - October 17, 2012 - A logotype collection of well-known social media brand's printed on paper. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr, Myspace, Tumblr, Livejournal, Foursquare and more other logos.

Kiev, Ukraine – October 17, 2012 – A logotype collection of well-known social media brand’s printed on paper. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr, Myspace, Tumblr, Livejournal, Foursquare and more other logos.

5. Link to other social media

Whether you own a business page or community page, the proper Facebook strategies and page management will help you reach your target audience. Work hard and smart and you’ll undoubtedly see desired results.

image7Andy Thompson has been a freelance writer for a long while. Her passion in writing is her main drive in crafting articles that are engaging, informative, and meaningful. Her partnership with TroopSocial has given her a whole new opportunity to take writing to a whole new level.

Guest Post: The UK Self Publishing Conference

Emily Benet

Emily Benet

By Derek Cross – Cross Publishing Services

The third annual Self-Publishing Conference covered a multitude of useful topics for aspiring and established authors alike. One topic in particular held resonance: using social media to promote books.

On May 9, the third Self-Publishing Conference was held in UK’s Leicester University. Over 150 budding and published authors congregated to hear key figures and publishing industry experts offer advice on topics covering every aspect of book writing, publishing and marketing, from the first draft to publication. Topics covered included: landing an agent; for authors; getting reviews; selling to libraries and retailers, using NetGalley; rights and licensing; choosing print or ebooks. Continue reading

Promoting Books With Social Media

Image courtesy of Brian Solis and JESS3, Wikimedia Commons

Image courtesy of Brian Solis and JESS3, Wikimedia Commons

Social media is a big part of book marketing, and it’s interesting to see how many different tips people offer for all the social networks.

Wishpond created an informative infographic that shows most customers (from social media) come from Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Book Shepard recently posted a guide for the best and worst times to post on social media networks. There’s advice for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, though they all tend to work best in the afternoons on weekdays.  Continue reading