Category: Facebook

It’s all about the live video!

It’s all about the live video!

If you aren’t using Facebook Live, it’s time to start.

When Facebook launched the service a little over a year ago, no one could imagine what a difference it made. The access it grants is astounding, and intoxicating. Users simply can’t get enough of it. And that is good for writers! Here are five tips to get you going.

 

Have a specific reason

Are you going live just to live or do you have a reason? Remember, you are aiming at a particular audience. Think about what they want from you, and what you can give them. The advice here is the same for all content – it isn’t about you and asking people to buy your book. It’s about making a connection.

Think of your surroundings

Is it windy? Is it loud and noisy? Some ambient noise is fine, but if it’s taking over the video, then it won’t help you out. What does the background say? Does it contradict what you’re trying to say or does it compliment it?

Timing is everything

What is going on in the world right now? Are there current events you can comment on that will help you connect with readers? What is going on in your book? Can you relate it to something in world? If you go live during a major world event are you going to look insensitive? Make sure you know what’s going on.

Shorter is better

While Facebook tries to get you to stay live longer, if the video starts to lag, viewers will leave. Plan your content so there is no lag in the middle. Keep it engaging and generally, keep it short. This is true for most videos. Less than a minute (two at most) is good for recorded video, but you can probably get away with longer for live video if it’s fun and interesting.

Use your world

Are you visiting a new place? Museum? Bookstore, coffee shop, historic site? Show your readers where you are and what you’re doing. Are you writing? Take a break and talk about how it’s going (if you’re complaining about writers block, make it fun by showing what you’re doing instead of writing).

Facebook Marketing with Cherry Adair

Facebook Marketing with Cherry Adair

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 1.40.54 AMI just spent the weekend learning about new plotting methods, character development and dialogue with the NYTimes Bestseller Cherry Adair. What a hoot she is!

While her session was about the mechanics of writing, I got to spend a little bit of time chatting with her about her marketing. What struck me the most was her Facebook. The woman runs 12 Facebook pages, herself. Yes, twelve!

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Woobox – a Facebook App for Newbies

Woobox – a Facebook App for Newbies

Screen shot 2013-07-04 at 12.32.37 AMOne of the most frustrating but increasingly useful tools on Facebook Author Pages is applications.  They are a must-have for any author worth his marketing salt.  Some are super easy to upload and use.  Others, not so much.  Particularly if you want to customize them or if you don’t want to pay for them.

So here’s what I learned recently about the Woobox Apps.

 

1- Woobox is a great for all things writer.  It includes apps for the most important ones: Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram.  Screen shot 2013-07-04 at 12.33.56 AM

 

2- Woobox also offers giveaways, deals, coupons, polls and contests which help make the page more fun.

 

3- Woobox again offers a “blank” app if you will.  One you can customize to showcase your website or where to buy your book.  The biggest thing you have to remember is to check the redirect button.  It’s imperative.  Must. Hit. Redirect.  Otherwise you’ll sit for two hours agonizing over why the heck the stupid thing won’t work.

 

Screen shot 2013-07-04 at 12.35.28 AMThe bottom line is that if you want to at least look like you know what you’re doing on Facebook, the Map and the Likes apps, or boxes, must go.

I like Grisham’s page … he uses it to encourage reading.  His three apps are Grisham Library, What I’m Reading and Goodreads.  Can’t get more literary than that.  And all three of those boxes can be customized using Woobox.

How to Create an Effective Author Page on Facebook

How to Create an Effective Author Page on Facebook

Screen shot 2013-03-21 at 10.42.34 PMCreating an author page on Facebook is one of the simplest ways to separate your personal life and your writer’s life.  It is also one of the best and easy ways to provide readers a place to get to know you the author, which will in turn make them repeat readers.

Interaction on Facebook is what makes it effective.  If you are going to have a personal blog page or an author page, make it worthwhile for people to stop by.

1.  Best times to post:  high-traffic times run 12 – 1 and 5-7.  Folks are on Facebook all day long and use starts ramping up at early lunch time with a sharp decrease around 3 -4 pm and a large ramp up again at 5pm.  Be there when your peeps are.

2.  Best things to post:  photos.  It has a 76% chance of being seen, liked and shared than any other post (as opposed to only 17% for videos).  But don’t overdo it.  Studies also say three a week is plenty.  Anymore is overload.

3.  Best copy to post:  short, short, short.  Anything between 5 to 15 words will be read.  Anything more will be ignored.

4. Best formula for a post:  photo with a call to action.  But copy with call to action works well too.  Ask a question, ask them to comment on a fact, ask their opinion.  Worst thing to ask?  “like” this posts plummets in the ratings and will take your readers with it.

5. Best pages to emulate:  National Hockey League, Skittles, Macy’s and Tide all have effective, useful and interactive sites.  For writers,  Janet Evanovich’s Author Page on Facebook takes the cake!

6. Best layout: a profile pic that is recognizable, a header photo that has brand aspiration, an about section with a website link and apps.  More about all this next week.

(Resources:  Mashable, Online Marketing Institute, TechnoWrite)

What tips have you found work for your Author Page on Facebook?

 

 

Facebook – love it or hate it, you need it for your writer’s platform

Facebook – love it or hate it, you need it for your writer’s platform

facebook-front_1796837bWriters ask all the time, “Do I have to use Facebook?”  The answer is no but the reality is for all the same reason you want to use Twitter, you also want to use Facebook to build your writer’s platform.  I know you’d rather be writing, but if you want to also sell your book, here are some ideas:

1- Facebook is easy to use and 1 billion people are on it.  Yes, that’s one billion people around the world, mostly in the United States and Australia.  Americans spend on average 6 hours per day on Facebook, while Aussies spend eight.  Crazy, right?  Not so much if you take advantage of it.

2- It is considered THE #1 search tool out there.  So if people want to find a good book to read or an author whose work is hot right now, where are the looking?  Facebook.

When you finally decide to “become one of them,” use Facebook to:

1- Promote yourself and engagement with readers NOT the book.  People are interested in you, the writer, and your process.  How did you come up with ____?  Fill in the blank:  your main character, your plot line, the town where the story takes place.  Tell them all about it.

2- Join groups and engage with readers and writers.  This is easier on Facebook than Twitter because the setup is for comments and interaction.  Let them ask you questions.  You ask questions.  Comment on other people’s writing.

3- Be fun.  Even if your nature is surly, find something you enjoy and talk about it.  Like-minded folks will respond with as much sarcasm, caustic wit and humor as you put into it.  And they’ll find, they like you and will want to check out your work.

Why do you think you need Facebook?  How do you already use it?

(Resources: Pew Research on Social Media)