This is the first in a series of posts by Stories To Tell editor and book designer Sarah Hoggatt, an experienced self-published author herself, on how authors can best use social media to promote their books.
If you’re not already on Facebook, you have certainly heard about it. Most of my friends are on the social media website to some extent and it has become a regular part of my social life. As an author, I also have a page for my company: “Spirit Water Publications,” that is, sadly, sorely neglected. While my logo is posted, there’s no banner and the last post is from June of 2013. Occasionally I get a notice someone new has liked my page and every time that happens, I feel a twinge of guilt I haven’t been posting anything. For someone who writes about book publishing and marketing, I confess I haven’t done very well with my own strategy. With a new book coming out this year, though, I’ve made the decision to work on being more consistent so I have a ready market who already know about the book when it’s published. As a bonus, I’m hoping that by talking about my work on my own marketing, it will help you market your writing and we can trade ideas.
To start off this new series of posts, I’m going to explain the difference between Facebook’s personal profiles and commercial pages.
- Personal profiles are for an individual person using their real name. (See THIS ARTICLE for using a pen name on Social Media.) As seen in the photo below, your name is listed along with your personal profile picture and a background banner. Via your Facebook profile, you can “friend” other people, send them messages, post updates, and post on other people’s profiles. You can also see your friends’ posts come up in your newsfeed.
- Commercial pages are the only way to represent your business on Facebook. Via a page, your clients and readers can “like” your business and what you post comes up on their newsfeed. They’ll be able to share your posts, tag your business in their posts, and keep up with your news. As the account manager, you can look at the analytics of how many people have viewed your page, hold contests and post special offers, have more than 5,000 “likes” (personal profiles are limited to 5,000 friends), let more than one person post to the page as an admin, and create advertisements.
As a Facebook user, you need to have a personal profile to create a commercial page. Even if you are only interested in using Facebook as an author platform via a page, I highly recommend you still use your personal profile to friend those you know and to post occasional updates. Your strongest customer base will be your friends and family and those they are friends with. They will not all “like” your commercial page and so it’s important to occasionally mention your writing amongst more personal updates. If they trust and respect you, they will recommend you and your writing or business to those they know.
So go ahead! Create a page to feature your writing business. It’s a great tool in your marketing arsenal and, even better, it’s free!