You may be wondering, “is it really worth my time to maintain my Facebook fan page?”
The answer is a definite YES!
Even though you may be in middle of the writing process for an upcoming release, the time between your book releases is an important time to build your relationship with readers and find new potential readers. The more you connect with your audience, the more eager they will be to share your books with their friends. And we all know that word of mouth is the best way to market your books.
Readers are faithful! The more connected they feel that they are with you, the more fans you are sure to gain and more books you will sell.
First, let your readers get a peek of your daily life. Let them know about your favorite things, the great things that happened that day, and every once in a while, share your frustrations. Readers appreciate knowing that you aren’t any different than they are. They can identify with the fact that the grocery store was out of your favorite coffee creamer!
Second, share what your life as a writer is like. Share pictures of your desk. Show the outlines of sticky notes all over the closet door. Inspire would-be writers with how many words a day is the norm.
If you are in middle of the writing process, ask questions to involve readers in your next book. Maybe you are looking for new locales for scenes. Maybe you need a recipe for rhubarb pie to include in the story, so ask readers to submit their recipes. Maybe your well of character names has run dry, and you need new ideas. Your readers will love to play a part in contributing to one of your books.
Try to think from your readers’ and fans’ perspectives. What would a reader like to know about your life, about your writing process? What inside scoop could you give them that they haven’t heard elsewhere. Just make sure that the posts you create are quality and purposeful. Don’t overload your followers with a new post every 30 minutes. Try to keep it to five to six times a day, spread out over the course of the day.
Pictures are a great way to engage people. A high-quality photo with some text is a surefire way to up the interactions on your page. Humans are visual creatures, and pictures appeal to that nature.
For new friends you may have just gained in the process of the contests and promotions, let them know about some of your previous releases, especially if they are outside of the genre of your latest book. Once a reader reads one book and is hooked, they will want to devour everything you’ve written.
In the couple of months leading up to your next release, share quotes, sneak peeks of chapters, and character profiles of your new book. Give teasers that will make your fans even more interested in what’s coming up.
While contests and giveaways always draw new “likes” to your page, some do “like” you just for the prizes. Just like a regular relationship, building a relationship with your readers does not have to mean giveaways and contests. Besides, Facebook has some pretty strict rules and guidelines about being able to promote contests on your page.
Also take a look at what some other authors are doing on their pages for ideas. Talk to your fellow author friends to see what has worked and what hasn’t worked on their pages. Network with some of your author friends to share some content. One idea is to trade guest posts on one another’s blogs and do a cross promotion of links. That way you will be able to grow your readership with new fans.
Be sure to tie your blog feed to your Facebook page through an app called Networked Blogs. It’s easy to set up the feed with Blogger or WordPress blogs. If your blog is set-up through your website, it may be a little more difficult. If you are unable to connect the feed, make sure you at least post links to get people to your blog to read what you posts. This is a great way to draw new readers to your blog, help them get to know you better, and have content for your fan page.
Finally, don’t sweat the fluctuation in “fans” on the page. Sometimes a few fans may drop off. There are people who are deleting their accounts and setting new ones for whatever reason (which seems like a lot of work!), or simplifying their accounts to make more authentic connections. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. To tell you the truth, it should be an exact science, but I think Facebook just loses count sometimes. On my personal profile, I’ve seen my friends go up and down without accepting anyone new!
For more Facebook tips for your fan page, check out this article about how NOT to promote yourself on Facebook.