Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites globally, with a little over a billion users worldwide (as of September 2012). If used properly, Facebook can be an invaluable marketing tool for authors.
What kind of Facebook Account do I need?
There are two main types of Facebook presence:
1) Personal Profiles
A Facebook “Profile” is a personal profile and is usually used as a means to connecting with family and friends. At it’s core, Facebook is a network of individuals’ “profile pages”, where photos and personal information are uploaded and displayed. Individuals then add other people as “friends” and can provide status updates, send messages and write on friends’ “walls”. Once you have a profile, you can choose whether information and activity is displayed publicly, to friends only, or to specific people. Most people keep their profile pages private which means that only your Facebook friends can see the content of your profile, and therefore it is not indexed by search engines.
2) Facebook Page
A Facebook “Page” is different to a “Profile”. Facebook pages help businesses, organisations and brands share their stories and connect with people. Pages contain information that is public and open to anyone and therefore Facebook pages are indexed by search engines. This is one reason why we recommend that authors use this option – a Facebook page – for promotion. It is commonly understood that Facebook pages represent companies, concepts or professionals, and not a private person’s life so this is the most appropriate way to present your book or yourself as an author.
Once your page is set up, users then choose to “like” your page and they will then be notified of any new changes or status updates from you. You can update your page with news, upload photos and videos, send messages to your followers and set up events. Tip: You may already have a website or blog and if you are having trouble keeping up with all the updates consider using a Facebook page as your blogging platform and put all of your updates and articles there.
Note: As of March 2012, profiles and pages are also referred to as “timelines”, to reflect the new Facebook layout based on a chronological timeline.
How to set up a Facebook personal profile
The most common way to set up a Facebook page is to first create a personal profile, and then create a page from there. This does not mean that people who “like” your page can see your personal information, it simply helps Facebook to create a connection between you and your page. You can then maintain your professional appearance while still staying connected with family and friends and you can also use your network of friends to build “likes” on your Facebook page.
Create a Personal Profile
Go to www.facebook.com.
On the homepage, you’ll see a form which you’ll need to fill in to sign up. Facebook will then take you through the process of setting up your personal profile step by step. Be sure to go through each area of the privacy settings and carefully select the level of privacy you want. This is an important step, to ensure your personal information is not visible to the public (unless you want it to be).
Once you have your personal profile set up, follow the steps below to set up your page.
- Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/browser.php and log in.
- Click the green ‘Create a Page’ button on the top right.
- You will see various categories:
- If your page is for you as an author, select Artists, Band or Public Figure, then select ‘Author’ from the drop down menu.
- If your page is for your book, select Entertainment, then select ‘Book’ from the drop down menu.
- Give your page a name, eg. Book Title or Your Name, then check the terms and conditions box and press ‘Get Started’.
- You will be guided through three steps to set up your page (you can skip some of these steps if you want to return to them later):
- Add a profile image. This should be 180 x 180 pixels (square). See the ‘How to resize image for the web’ article. [HYPERLINK]
- Add ‘About’ text. This is either your bio or the blurb or marketing copy for your book. Make sure it’s interesting and enticing and that it includes your Twitter handle and web address.
- Add a URL or web address for your Facebook page, for example www.facebook.com/titleofyourbook or www.facebook.com/yourpenname.
- That’s it! You’re up and running. You will now be on your new Facebook page so you an add a background image, invite your friends to like your page, start posting updates and begin to build your audience.
Top Tips for Using Pages
- Keep your pages regularly updated. If you don’t have any new news, try commenting on something topical, post up a video, song or image that has inspired you or even recycle older news (if it’s still relevant!).
- “Like” related pages, such as those by other authors or publishing houses. Consider sharing their news on your page. This can help encourage others to “like” your page and share your news in return.
- Use visuals. You can post a variety of multimedia to a Facebook page – e.g. pictures, audio and video. Using visual content like this is a great way to get people’s attention and engage your audiences.
- As a general rule, keep your tone personal and informal to engage users and create a sense of community – if this is appropriate for your brand/identity.
- Make sure you respond to your fans’ queries and comments.
- Try posting status updates as questions to prompt responses. Interaction is key.
- Try to link to your website and other online profiles as much as possible in your status updates. This helps with search engine optimization and ensures that people can easily find our more about you.
If you need a helping hand with your Facebook page come to one of our one-to-one web and social media sessions run regularly throughout the year. Contact kristen(at)thecurvedhouse(dot)com for more info.
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The Curved House is a creative agency working primarily for publishers and publishing-related businesses. Its designs and produces books, builds and runs websites and comes up with great ideas to get writers' books noticed.