My Personal Facebook Tips
As usual, this week’s episode includes summaries of several blog posts with awesome Facebook tips.
Engagement – the goal of all of our social media efforts – can be tough to attain on Facebook. As I’ll talk about later in this episode, Facebook keeps tweaking the algorithm, making it harder for the posts on our Facebook Author Pages to reach all of our readers.
Well, I have some tips for you, and here they are:
- Post more frequently. I recommend twice each weekday and once each day on the weekend.
- Mix up the days and times you post on Facebook. You’ll, of course, want to check your Insights to see when your fans are on Facebook. But you’ll also want to check for when they are most likely to engage, and the only method to find that out is by mixing it up.
- Write short (80 to 100 characters) vs. long narratives. Text overload is rampant these days so if you want your fans to read your post, keep your posts short. The caveat here: Some people do have success with very long, personal revelations and that’s great. But mostly, people want to peruse their newsfeeds quickly.
- Include more personality. People do not buy books from brands; they buy books from writers so don’t be afraid to share information that reveals more of your personality. (Confession: I’ve been deficient in this area.)
- Be controversial at times. Take a stand on an issue in your niche, genre, or recent events.
- Add calls to action. Don’t be afraid to ask your fans to purchase your new book. Just use that call to action sparingly.
- Vary your types of posts. Vary the topics, the length, the types of images you use, and the types of questions you pose.
- Respond promptly and tag commenters. Try to respond to comments as soon as you can and be sure to type their name (tag them) in your response.
- Consider freshening up your cover image on a quarterly basis using Canva or PicMonkey.
- Host a Facebook Friday networking party that enables your fans to promote their books, blog posts, or other types of news. Get to know your readers and what matters to them.
- Drive traffic from other social media sites to posts your want to receive additional attention. This is how: When you click on the date stamp of your Facebook post, you will see that your post has a unique URL. You can drive traffic to that post by using that URL in a tweet or LinkedIn post.
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Now you have my tips for creating shareable content on Facebook.
Confused about when to post your social media updates? Download this free Social Media Cheat Sheet now!
Now, let’s move on to the second part of this episode.
The Struggle to Create Shareable Facebook Content
All of the links to the posts that I mention here will be available in my show notes, which I publish on my blog at SocialMediaJustforWriters.com every Friday morning.
First up is a blog titled 7 Surefire Ways to Stay Invisible as Facebook Algorithm Changes by Socially Sorted.
As the blogger says, “If there is one thing we can count on with Facebook, it’s change.” Actually, that’s true of all social media networks.
Then she proceeds to take a tongue-in-cheek approach to this post and describes seven ways to remain invisible on Facebook. That’s right, invisible.
- Post low quality, unhelpful, promotional content. This is how Facebook describes promotional content: Posts that solely push people to purchase something; push users to enter promotions; and posts that reuse the exact content from ads.
- Post like a marketer instead of from the point of view of your readers.
- Focusing on the call to action to purchase your book before engaging with your readers.
- Obsessing about reach and numbers when you should be focusing on engagement.
- Worrying more about Page Likes than taking care of the readers who have already liked your page and want to engage with you. Once you acquire a new fan, provide value again, and again, and again.
- Don’t get so focused on Facebook that you don’t pay attention to your other social media networks.
- Ignoring Facebook ads is also wrong.
Next we’ll talk about The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Engagement by Amy Porterfield.
According to Amy, Facebook defines engagement as,
… fingers clicking specific buttons. If a fan doesn’t engage with your post in at least one of five ways—like it, leave a comment, share it with others, watch it, or click on a link—it’s not considered engagement by Facebook standards. Period.
Okay, there’s the hard truth.
Now here are the actions that don’t count as engagement:
- When your fans read your status update. What is Facebook’s attitude? Who cares?
- When you fans view your images.
- When your fans click on an image.
- When a new fan Likes your Page.
Then she explains why engagement matters.
See, the more often your fans engage with you in the ways listed above, the more often your posts will be pushed out into their News Feed.
She notes that Mark Zuckerberg recently said that he wants Facebook to create the perfect personalized newspaper for its users. That’s why before you post content on this network you need to ask yourself, “Will my fans engage with this information or image?”
Facebook users don’t want to open their news feeds and see a long list of promotional posts. They do want to see posts from their friends and the pages they like best.
Amy recommends that you need to earn your right to promote on Facebook. She says,
…cultivating a mindset that propels you to create posts with the intention of informing and meeting the needs of your fans (without intent to sell) will both increase engagement and News Feed reach.
Here are some of her 12 suggestions for improving the quality of your posts:
- Make sure you ask questions that will ignite a conversation.
- Create posts that are relevant and tell a story.
- Share inspirational quotes.
- Create each post as though you were talking to a friend.
- Use Canva to create enticing images or contract with a designer through 99Designs.
- Mix up your content.
- Upload video directly to a Facebook post.
Okay, Amy shares a lot more valuable content in this post so be sure to check it out.
Now let’s look at a post by Rebekah Radice titled 25 No-Fail Social Media Questions to Establish Meaningful Relationships.
Authors frequently write to me wanting to know what to say on social media. Well, this post has 25 suggestions. Let’s look at a few of them.
- What is the best compliment you have ever received?
- What movie could you watch over and over again?
- Are you a cat or dog lover?
- Where did you grow up?
- What is the best thing to do in your hometown?
- What is your favorite pastime?
- Who do you admire the most, and why?
- If you could run away for a day and do anything you want, what would you do?
- What was the last thing you geeked-out about?
- If you could retire tomorrow, what would you do?
- What does your perfect pizza look like?
- What is your favorite ride at an amusement park?
- What is your favorite knock-knock joke?
You’re probably thinking, “But what do those questions have to do with my book or book marketing?”
Well, the content isn’t always about your book or your efforts to sell books. The purpose of social media is to engage with your friends and fans.
Perhaps some of these questions may be more apropos to a Facebook profile rather than a Facebook Author page. But hey, if you want to get to know your fans, these are some questions you can use.
I have a caveat. I’ve tried using these types of questions, and they don’t work well with my fans but they do with my friends. But I think that’s because it’s not customary for me to post these types of questions. So, try some out, see what happens, and make up some questions of your own.
The bottom line is you need to get to know your readers and these types of questions can help.
Finally, here’s a post I wrote Do Authors Really Need a Facebook Page?
You can use your Facebook page to market your books, your website, and your blog – but you’re not supposed to do any marketing on your profile.
There are some authors who use their profiles to promote their speaking engagements and books. However, that’s not how you promised to use Facebook when you signed up for a profile. So read the post and determine which avenue is best for you.
If posting times are confusing to you, I have a free Social Media Cheat Sheet on my website. Download it now!
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