Engaging Readers Through Facebook Part 2:
Author Page Content

Engaging Readers Through Facebook Part 2: Author Page Content

Having an author page on Facebook is essential for engaging with your audience. When you first joined the platform, you probably set up a profile. You probably use it to keep in touch with friends and family. But using your profile for business purposes is against Facebook’s terms of service, and several authors have even had their access restricted for posting too much business-related content to their profile. If you land in Facebook jail, you will lose out on valuable time to connect with your readers. Creating a Facebook Author page is the best way to use that time meaningfully (and responsibly).

A Facebook Author page is designed to be used as a business marketing tool and enable authors to post their purchase links and book content without worrying about violating the terms of service. Having a page is beneficial for authors by allowing readers to follow by "liking" the page rather than sending a friend request. You can keep your profile personal and private while maintaining an active social media presence that represents only your business.

Use these vital tips to increase engagement and reach with your posts through your Facebook author page.

Use the Story Feature: Facebook Stories are user-generated content that can be a photo, video, or just a text post. Unlike your timeline posts, which are visible until you delete them, Facebook stories can only be viewed twice per profile and disappear after twenty-four hours.  SnapChat and Instagram pioneered this kind of sharing, and, just like on those platforms, it gives you the ability to put a filter over the video or add geolocational tags. Facebook stories can be created from any page or profile. Stories give authors a way of sharing more personal, immediate and original content.

Microblogs: Microblogging is sharing content through short and frequent posts rather than long ones with lots of photos and links. You can post a quick tidbit of your day, 140 characters of your work in progress, or just some random information about yourself, or one of your characters. You should always include a photo and try to use original content that you created, rather than sharing stock photos. Make that picture your own by turning it into a teaser for your book if you have the license to do so.

Calls to Action: Every time you post on your Facebook author page, you should include a call to action. Calls to action can be purchase links to your books, a link to your blog or a special excerpt, or asking your audience to do something that engages with the posts. It’s a virtuous cycle: The more engagement your posts get, the more often your page will show up in your readers' timeline feeds.

Polls and Questions: Readers love getting to know you as an author, but they also love it when you include them in your writing process. You can ask simple questions or start polls on your Facebook page - readers are more likely to interact with posts that take little time to answer. Asking “this or that” type questions or using a poll to get information from your audience are wise, time-savvy choices. Even the smallest interaction will increase your page engagement and get your posts seen more often.

Being Responsive: Your response rate on your Facebook page tells the reader how important they are to you. Some very popular authors - or those who are traditionally published - may not have the ability to message fans through their Facebook pages because communications have to go through their publicists. However, the more responsive you are, the more you interact with your readers, and they’ll feel more and more inclined to share your content and buy your books. With a high response rate, you’re not just getting readers. You’re creating fans.

Add-Ons To Your Page: Consider add-ons to your Facebook page in order to reach more people. Facebook apps allow you to customize your author page and enhance the reader experience. There are apps, for example, that will enable you to create email capture forms and add them to your Facebook page. There are also apps that allow you to have a custom tab for your blog on your page, and integration apps like  Hootsuite or Buffer offer to connect all of your social media pages to make content posting more efficient.

When To Post: According to Buffer, an app that specializes in scheduled content posting, the best times to post on Facebook are Thursday/Friday afternoon, Thursday night at 8pm, early afternoon on Monday through Wednesday, and on weekends. Posting at off-peak times is better if you want people to see your content in their timelines.

However, the best time for you to post on your page is going to depend on your insights. From your page, click on “Insights”.

The insights page will tell you when your audience is online and interacting with your page. You can see data for individual days, as well as look at the demographics of your audience. You can also click on posts and discover the insights on every post you’ve published. You'll be able to see how many people saw your posts, engaged with them, and clicked on your links. It's a good idea to take a deeper look at the posts with the most engagement and gauge what is working for your audience.

What To Post: Your Facebook author page is all about your business as an author, so keep this in mind when deciding what to post. Your fans follow you because they are interested in your books and who you are as an author. Depending on how you are branding yourself, you should make sure to change up the content that you post daily. Do not oversaturate your feed with purchase links to Amazon. Instead, make sure that you are interspersing content about yourself and your brand with promotion for your books. You can share content related to different places in your books or your character inspirations. Post links to your blog, pictures of yourself traveling or at events, and other content that will keep readers interested in following - and reading your books.

Facebook pages are one of the best social media tools for new and established authors, helping them grow their audience and reach more readers. Use the tips you found in this guide to develop your online presence and increase your readership.