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#1 AQCrew

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 10:00 AM

We'd love to get a discussion going about using Facebook as a promotional tool...

 

We can see the value of using Facebook as a way to connect your Twitter and Goodreads account.... so in effect, reducing your total social media interaction to one platform that distributes content to two other social media platforms.

 

We also see the value in terms of finding and accessing book bloggers.  There are many bloggers who seem to use their Facebook page as their exclusive community rather than blogger or Wordpress, etc.  And we see the value of a coordinated effort by blog tour organizers who lead a coordinated "release" day blitz for their clients and the power of influencing sales by promoting one book across all the popular FB book blogger communities on the same "release" day. 

 

We also think, like Twitter, it's a great way to find and network and connect with bloggers, communities and readers who would be interested in your book.  

 

And we know that many of you are using FB to organize release parties as events.

 

That said, our books recently have received several well-placed posts by the admins of several promotional FB pages, targeting readers and books in our genre.  Some of these FB pages have 20,000 followers or more... but we believe the "reach" of these posts resulted in minimal additional sales.  

 

We are also aware that Facebook has changed how many followers see posts in their timeline, but we'd love to know more about this and or your experience FB's pre-change versus post-change in terms of Facebook and its reach to followers.



#2 C. Taylor

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:18 PM

Honestly, I think it's a necessary evil.  FB is where all the readers hang out and promote authors they like, so I feel like you need to be actively on there making connections with fans/readers and getting them to promote your books, which expands your reach.  Certain key fb pages are great for promo, and you can def. see a boost when your books been on their site, but most others don't have as big an impact if any.

 

What sucks is doing your best to gather fans, but then not be able to reach them unless you pay to boost your posts. 


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#3 AQCrew

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 10:22 AM

We've found a number of articles that are very interesting regarding the pros and cons of using Facebook as a marketing tool -- and specifically the pros and cons of using a fan page versus your profile page.

 

This article addresses some of these issues: http://sfauthor.net/...ks-on-facebook/

 

 

 

Facebook has recently made changes to fan pages that cause your posts to be displayed to some tiny fraction of your actual fan base–presumably with the intent of making you pay for ads to reach more people. Several authors I know have actually shut down their author pages and use their personal account as their author page. Personally, I still have a separate author page, but I rarely post to it, except when I have a book coming out or some kind of special promotion going on.

 

This is a concept we're still struggling to weigh... although right now, we see the value more in maintaining a fan page (and you're ability to advertise with a starting modest budget of $10 a day) versus using your profile page for promotion.

 

You can also see engagement, reach, and click-through data via your fan page, which we have heard is not as translucent when using your profile page (is that true?) It's really helpful to see which posts can "reach" and "engagement" and how much...

 

And we just discovered a way to make the photo of your posts clickable directly to an external page (our book's Amazon's sales page) which we believe may only be possible within fan pages (because these clickable photo posts basically act like banner advertisements).

 

Anybody have opinions on the pros and cons or using Facebook profiles versus fan pages/author pages?



#4 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 02:21 PM

I've heard that using your personal page for commercial use, I.e. as a business person promoting your product/business, is against FB TOS. It would certainly be a big blow to have FB delete your profile, losing all your "friends" in one shot. Unless there's an indispensable advantage to using your profile page, I think it's safer to follow the rules.

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#5 D. E. Jackson

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:21 AM

I'm also thinking of doing this. But not using a personal page. I think there is a perfessional side of Facebook for businesses and commerical use?
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#6 AQCrew

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 09:26 AM

Definitely Google "how to start an author page" and read all the various articles.  No matter what, you have to register a Facebook profile (if you don't have one already) in order to create an author page associated with that registered profile.

 

If you are using a pen name, you will have to create both from scratch -- starting with a profile and then an author page.  But be warned: setting up both an author profile and an author page as a promotional tool at the same time -- and figuring out all the appropriate settings for each -- is pretty confusing and convoluted.  You have to always make sure you are working within the right place before posting or making setting adjustments.  But it's worth it is you like social media and you want a place to explore all the reading groups and book bloogers who dominate Facebook like the second dimension of the internet.

 

We also recently read this post on Jane Friedman's blog and continue to disagree with it.  We think promoting your book on a Page is the way to go, but would still like to hear if other people are using their profiles instead and the reasons why you prefer it.  Whim made a potential valid point about FB TOS, so again, be warned.

 

http://janefriedman....ebook-profiles/



#7 RSMellette

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 07:31 PM

I'm interested in the differences as well.

 

My book will be coming out in Dec, and I'm just laying the groundwork for an online campaign. 

 

I plan to use both my personal page and create a page for the book series.  I'm waiting on the art work before making the Book's page. 

 

I like the idea of using my personal page to promote for a couple of reasons.  First, friends (real and on line) and family are the major source of sales for any independent art form.  Second, Facebook is in no way shape or form "private" so I have no problem making it my "public persona."  FB TOS be damned.  Most of my friends are either actors, writers, or filmmakers and they all use FB to promote their work.  The good ones do it subtly, and that's important - but if you're doing the same thing, it's easy to see what they are doing.

 

So, I've started friending everyone like crazy - taking full advantage of the film festival I work for that just exhibited.  Filmmakers also promote like crazy, so for everyone who posted about their film, I went to their "likes" and friend requested anyone with whom I had 3 or more friends in common.

 

From time-to-time one of them will message me and ask how I know them.  I tell them I work for the film festival and that usually appeases them.  Sometimes I have to put up with discussions I'd just as soon not have - but that's the job of fan management.  They are future customers.

 

FYI - I talked with a filmmaker who said she would get put into "Facebook Jail" for using her personal site as a promotional tool.  They just keep you from posting for a few days.

 

While at the film festival, a ton of people said, "Oh, yes, we're friends on Facebook."  For them, it was a personal connection.  When I start promoting my book, I'll have 2,000+ personal connections - plus 7,000 from the film festival's promotional page.

 

This conversation is going to be worth following. :)


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#8 C. Taylor

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 08:10 PM

It really annoys the hell out of me that when I post to my fan page, only a small percentage will see my post, unless I pay to boost it.  I have a FB page for each of my pen names, and then another one for my real name, plus a fan page and a street team group.  Currently though, I'm thinking that instead of a fan page (though at this point I wouldn't delete that since it has almost 3K likes) I'll start a group and just make it an open group.  That way everyone who joins the book should get all the posts, unless they opt out of notifications.  Maybe make it a Sales and New Releases type of group, so they don't get bombarded with other nonsense and will be less likely to opt out.

 

I honestly find that it's not my friends and family who buy and promote my books (I still don't think my sister has a bought a single one of my books), but rather my readers.  If you can cultivate that relationship even with just a handful of fans, they're die-hard promoters, and in the end, that's what really helps, since they'll promote to other readers who like similar reads.


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#9 AQCrew

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 09:45 PM

It really annoys the hell out of me that when I post to my fan page, only a small percentage will see my post, unless I pay to boost it.  I have a FB page for each of my pen names, and then another one for my real name, plus a fan page and a street team group.  Currently though, I'm thinking that instead of a fan page (though at this point I wouldn't delete that since it has almost 3K likes) I'll start a group and just make it an open group.  That way everyone who joins the book should get all the posts, unless they opt out of notifications.  Maybe make it a Sales and New Releases type of group, so they don't get bombarded with other nonsense and will be less likely to opt out.

 

 

That's an interesting idea about open groups.

 

regarding posts, you know what's really interesting about that...?  We've started to notice all the posts in our news feed while on our desktop versus while viewing it on our mobile.

 

When viewing it on our desktop, you're right, we're limited to the number of posts we see -- without rhyme or reason -- because we've only liked about 6 pages, and we're only getting posts from three of them.  It's very strange.

 

Flip over to mobile -- we're getting all sorts of posts.  And you're right, at first, we started thinking that it was simply paid content -- but now we realize many of the posts are from bloggers who we absolutely can guarantee you are NOT paying to boost five posts per day that are coming into our FB news feed while viewing it via our mobile.  And again, these are posts from FB pages and communities that we have not "liked" and are not formally following.  So there's more going on with "your post reached xx" number than perhaps people realize...

 

We actually think there's something to this because right now, Wall Street and its investors only care about Facebook mobile revenue growth and mobile engagement numbers.  So it's actually not in Facebook's best interest to completely limit content seen by its mobile users to only content that is paid content -- that would drastically reduce mobile engagement and Facebook cannot afford that -- literally.

 

What is interesting is that depending on the hashtags that we use and the photo and the time of day, we either increase or decrease the "xx number of people reached" by 3-5 times other posts.  And right now, we're not completely certain that how many followers we have has anything to do with the number of people who potentially see our post.  In some ways, it's like Twitter in that regard.  But we're also not convinced that it's a killer way to make sales.  It's definitely more a tool to navigate the very niche publishing world within the internet.



#10 J. Lea Lopez

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 10:38 PM

I'm still trying to figure out which of my post types get more visibility and interaction on my FB page. It can be frustrating, but I'm willing to stick it out. I generally have a pretty open policy about accepting friend requests from fellow authors when we have friends in common, but lately I've been thinking about being less open with that so I can keep my profile at least somewhat personal. I've had people (readers) friend me after I've attended FB release parties and I did accept a few and then immediately had to rethink that decision. I may have to stop that completely and just let people know in advance that it's nothing personal if I don't accept their request, and that they should keep in touch with me on my page instead.

 

Since FB parties are becoming so popular, it *would* make sense on the one hand to have a public profile for interacting with readers in that capacity because FB makes it so difficult to use FB as your page when it comes to interacting with other people or attending events. For me, personally, I don't want to do a whole separate public profile for readers to be able to add me because I would never update it lol. Also, I personally dislike the idea of having to add an author I don't know as a friend to keep up with their writerly stuff if they don't have a FB page because while I may want to see what they post, I don't necessarily want to share all of my regular FB posts with them. And I'm sure there are plenty of other readers who might feel the same way. I suppose I could just follow their posts, but then that's just the same thing as if I'd liked a page. And I'd rather do that lol.

 

I also don't like the idea of an open group. I have way too many FB groups as it is and it can overwhelm me with notifications. Also, if it's just that I want to follow an author and see their posts, the problem with a group is that I not only see the author's posts, but also the 6 kajillion other people's posts who are in the group.



#11 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 10:53 PM

I have an author page which has just over 1,000 "likes" and a public author profile that has around 3,000 friends.

 

Most of my posts on my page are only seen by around 10% of my "likers" so about 100 people. The problem with posting on the personal profile is you have no idea of reach, but I would be lucky (out of 3,000 friends) to have 3 comments. So my page seems to reach more fans/have more engagement. My unscientific analysis is that I have a few hardcore fans who like my page & engage with me there, while my author profile is dominated by other authors, writers and bloggers.

 

I have noticed my profile feed is full of authors posting about their books, book promos, book launches, cover reveals, swag giveaways etc. Admittedly I've been drawn into the romance/erotica crowd by association which saw my friend requests explode, but they seem to be predominantly other authors/writers as opposed to engaged readers or people who are even remotely interested in steampunk/historicals. I have stopped accepting friend requests as I found as soon as I accepted one I was kidnapped into author fan groups (without being asked first, which really bunches my panties) spammed to "like" their page, immediately receive numerous invites in FB events etc and I just got sick of it.

 

I'm going off social media and am now on the look out for the anti-social media site for grumps like me...



#12 J. Lea Lopez

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 11:09 PM

Yes, the being added to groups without being told or asked first and the incessant event invites and invites to like pages is another downside to networking/promoting via your profile page. So. Annoying.



#13 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 11:23 PM

Yip. Watching the behaviour of some authors on FB has turned me off social media. I've seen spamming, bullying, plagiarism, and trolling of reviewers.

I've seen authors turn on other authors because one becomes successful and everyone else thinks they should get a free ride on the coat tails of someone who worked damn hard.

I've seen authors cry being bullied, slam the door & storm off and everyone is supposed to rush and buy their book to "show the bullies" and two days later the so-called "victim" is back and thanking everyone for putting her book in the Top 100 overall.

I've seen authors steal other authors books and basically just change the names and whack it up at Amazon.

It leaves a dirty taste in your mouth. That combined with the us vs them mentality (of indies vs trad published) on some sites makes me slink further into my hole. I'm in the process of deleting many of my accounts and will pull back to just a couple of core sites.



#14 D. E. Jackson

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:16 AM

So I'm trying to figure out how this works. I have a few pages that I 'Like' but they are only pages. Where would someone find the profile?
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#15 RSMellette

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 10:02 AM

As to what CTay said - there is definitely a difference between readers and non-readers. Most of my filmmaker friends are non readers. They can be as selfish as the bully writers mentioned here. Humans being human. Here's to humans being better than that.

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#16 AQCrew

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 10:28 AM

So I'm trying to figure out how this works. I have a few pages that I 'Like' but they are only pages. Where would someone find the profile?

 

Lia - if you already have registered with the "persona" to which you want to attach an author page/fan page, then simply skip to Step 2 of this article:

 

https://www.standout...-facebook-page/

 

Right now, you likely are "liking" various places on Facebook with your profile.  Once you create an author page, you can use the arrow at the right-hand top of the screen to toggle between your profile and author page.  It literally says: Use Facebook as... and then you can select between your profile versus your author page.

 

Be warned... it can get confusing.  Right now, we have only been using our Author Page.  We basically haven't even touched our profile except to upload the cover of our book there.



#17 AQCrew

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 10:31 AM

Since FB parties are becoming so popular, it *would* make sense on the one hand to have a public profile for interacting with readers in that capacity because FB makes it so difficult to use FB as your page when it comes to interacting with other people or attending events. 

 

This seems really essential to understand.  What are the limitations to what you can do on Facebook with only an author page versus when they force you to use your profile to attend events, comment on posts, etc. 

 

This may also be the reason why some say it's easier to garner likes and friends with your profile versus your author page. 



#18 AQCrew

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 10:47 AM

Yip. Watching the behaviour of some authors on FB has turned me off social media. I've seen spamming, bullying, plagiarism, and trolling of reviewers.

 

 

Yeah, we definitely think there is a world within the blogosphere that is a no-touch if you're just starting out -- and then after a long, long time -- if you feel like you want to endure the melodrama, you can try to enter the waters.  But really, we think you're better off paying the right blog tour company to handle it for you (if you're writing romance, erotica, YA, or NA -- because the blogging world within these genres is so competitive and interconnected and all about who-you-know, and the cost of hiring a blog tour organizer is so minimal) and focus your energies elsewhere.  

 

And if you're not writing within those genres, then some of this might not apply.... Regardless, there are so many ways to market your book, it's actually a bit ridiculous, so spending a ton of time trying to get featured on blogs/Facebook pages in a way that's not a timed, coordinated effort --either as a release day promotional push or a discount price promotional blitz several months after its initial release, etc.) is likely not your most effective way to promote your book anyway.  You're probably better off building up your own author page and figuring out how to reach readers through it directly -- whether paying for that reach or simply figuring out what increases engagement via engaging photos, hashtags, buzz words, and other tricks.



#19 sharpegirl

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 12:34 PM

I have to admit, I do not find Facebook very useful, from a YA perspective (though I do think Mindy has quite the opposite story, but she is a social media queen and I am a little peasant). But I much prefer platforms like instagram, tumblr and twitter where I do find I connect more with teens (and I also feel showcases my personality/life, which I think is more important than straight promotion when it comes to the YA world). This may also be because of the kind of books I write, teens tend to want to communicate with me on social media sites that their parents might not track/know their teen is on. I also get a lot more teens who contact me privately, rather than publicly. 

 

What I DO find my facebook page useful for is organizing all the interviews/blog posts I did as promotion, though. I like it for that. 



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Posted 17 June 2014 - 02:46 PM

Sharpegirl makes a great point - it's also about finding the medium that works best for you  :smile:  I'm on twitter, but don't use it much, I find it moves too fast for someone of my advanced years... lol

 

I have a website & a blog, but despite doing blogs hops etc I've never cracked 100 followers. Now I use it more as a place for larger announcements (cover reveals, release dates) and the weekly/gossipy stuff goes on my FB page. Would I prefer to direct traffic to my website? Yes, that way I own the content but most people check their FB feed, so I have more engagement there. I also find the analytics FB offers really interesting to see what type of post engages more people.






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