Yesterday I extolled some of the wisdom Jane Friedman imparted last weekend at Fiction Fest 2017 in her master class. One of the biggest takeaways from the workshop for me was how powerful Facebook can be for an author.
When I first began my journey as a published author in 2015 I had the typical Facebook page where I trolled the news feed for posted info on family and friends. It was my then-editor who suggested I make myself a professional FB page for my author career. The thought of now having to manage and keep track of 2 things on FB, not to mention Twitter, Pinterest, my website, my Amazon page, yada yada yada was a little daunting and a whole lot of nauseating.
But I heeded her advice and did it. The one thing I was adamant about though, was that the professional author page was going to be for anybody who wanted to follow me as an author. I was going to keep my personal page just that – private. The reason was an easy one for me because I have small children in my family and friends circle and their parents post pictures of them frequently. I didn’t want some wackjob creepy person to see those pictures. There are a lot of undesirables on the Internet, hunting for innocent prey. And I know that sounds dramatic, but have you read the news lately??? Not dramatic at all.. simply proactive.
So. Two pages. Two separate entities. Double the work. More to keep track of. But you know what? it was a good thing. I have waaaaaaay more “friends” on my professional page than my personal one. I don’t post anything on the professional page I wouldn’t want everyone in the cyber world to see, but I’m able to keep private what needs to be kept private on the personal page. One of the good things about Facebook is that you can set up protection and privacy settings on posts.
Jane is a big proponent of reader and follower engagement on her FB page. She uses her page as a tool to interact with readers, answer questions, make announcements, show her blog postings. She feels authors should use the Professional page as their number one tool for marketing and acquiring new followers who then become readers. I always felt that Twitter gave me my biggest bang for engagement, and in reality, I have more twitter followers than I do FB followers (not many more, but a few). One of the drawbacks, Jane says about Twitter, is that it is very much a right here- right now thing. In other words, once you post something you have about 17 minutes or so for people to see it. After that, it gets lost in the quagmire of a hundred billion other tweets and the scroll shoves you waaaaaaay down low. Makes sense. On Facebook, your postings get added to the newsfeed, your followers get notified you’ve posted something, and if you come back to the post a few hours later and simply “like” it, it brings it back up in the current scroll. That’s genius in my mind. Plus, everytime someone likes or comments on your post you get a notification and respond in kind.
Facebook parties are a fabulous markteting tool for new readers and engagement as well. Facebook ads can be a tool to drive people to your page, but be careful. Don’t go crazy and spend more than you think you really need on an ad.
So. Facebook. I will now be using it a great deal more than Twitter. Still love to tweet though!