Is Facebook Worth the Time Investment for Authors?
Are you an author who is concerned about Facebook’s Organic Reach plummeting to scary-low levels? Don’t have any Ad Spend budget? Not sure how to proceed, or if you should just forget Facebook and stick with Twitter or Instagram?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone a lot. There’s no denying that with 1 Billion users and counting, leaving Facebook is really not a good option, even though results seems dismal.
That’s why I want to talk about a growing, yet underrated, aspect of our favorite social platform. Facebook Groups.
Facebook Groups are one of my favorite features of this enormous social networking site. Anyone can start a Group, join Groups, and create little sanctuaries of like-minded people who want to stay informed and up-to date with certain types of people.
That’s where I met Joshua! On a lovely Facebook Group of fiction writers.
So, how can you use this tool for getting your book out there more?
- Interested Audience
Instead of just relatively random “Likers”, your Group members are people who are eager to hear from you. The difference between a Group and a Page is that your Group is an exclusive community you invite. So while the public isn’t able to see your posts in the Group… This is a good thing.
Private Groups are intriguing due to their “exclusive” nature. This is where you invite your fans to hear insider news.
You can still post to your Public Page, and I recommend you keep it alive with a few posts include posts that invite general Likers to your Group. But the Group is where people get to hear news first.
You can post photos of your writing, questions, images of your cat (lol!), anything to give your readers a personal experience of who you are as an author. The “behind the scenes glance” at who you are. In turn, you get to learn about what they like!
This is huge! When you post in a Group, everyone gets a notification, which means the likely hood of visibility and engagement is better. Of course, you should monitor how much you do post, when it’s a smaller Group, it’s best to stick around 3-5 postings a day as not to irritate your members.
But as you start to grow, you can up that because members will really be engaged. There’s not much more to say on the notifications aspect. But it’s a great feature for reminding people that you’ve created a new update.
- Instant Feedback
I love to use groups for asking questions like:
• Which cover image do you like best?
• Do you want to read my new chapter and offer thoughts?
• What do you think X character would do in Y situation?
You can ask and engage readers, keeping them enthralled with the world and people you are creating. They can help you craft the story by pre-reading chapters or sense and providing their thoughts.
Sometimes you’ll find that a scene you love, readers don’t really resonate with and vice versa. Getting that feedback before you release the book is crucial for keeping brand loyalty.
Asking for feedback also make the readers feel like their part of the project and increases their love for your project that much more!
- Launch Team
So, you have all these engaged and eager people, awaiting you new book. You’ve worked hard cultivating trust, establishing your book in their minds, and your readers want what you’re selling…
They also have friends. More importantly, they have friends who enjoy reading. You’ve just created the most important leverage for ANY artist and business owner: Word of mouth. Let’s put that to use!
Ask your Group several weeks before Launch Day if they would be willing to share, Tweet, Instagram post about your book. You 100% deserve to ask, and there’s 99.99999999% chance that these folks who’ve been with you during the writing journey and helped you, will only continue.
Some members might just be more “silent observers” but the bulk of the Group Members who you’ve created a community with, will support you.
You can always offer incentives if you want, but I would avoid that because you then create an “entitled” attitude instead of just straight up asking: “Hey, would you mind sharing this with me?”
Authenticity is always best. 🙂
I wouldn’t abandon your Facebook Page, that can be the place where “passingly interested” fans gather to here more generic updates. But use it to funnel the more avid fans into your cozy nook.
You can also invite people from you email list, Twitter, and Instagram followings to join in the more “behind the scenes” experience with you.
I hope this post was helpful. Facebook Groups have so much potential if you allow them to grow and create a thriving community. It does take some time, but in the long run, if you’re treating your book as a business, this will pay off for you.
The online space, while it’s crowded, people are wanting to seek out communities of people who like what they like. By having a Group you’re just gaining authority as an author.
Hopefully you will try this out as a new method to reach the readers who want to know about you!
BIO: Devani Anjali Alderson runs a marketing agency helping business owners, artists, and creative minded people spread their message in the modern online world. She is also an avid fan of science fiction, photography, creative and fiction writing, master minding with like-minded people… And her Maltese dog Caspian (as in the Prince from Narnia, not the sea).
Twitter & IG: @DevaniAnjali