If you’re like most authors I know, you’ve wondered about how to best use Facebook. Should you stick to your personal page, should you create a fan page, how do you promote a fan page, and what exactly does a marketing strategy look like on Facebook?
I’ve written several posts addressing the basics, as well as my personal strategy:
- 5 Principles for Using Facebook
- 3 Principles for Facebook Fan Pages
- Too Many Facebook Friends: Blessing or Curse?
Writer Sarah Bartlett read these posts, and had further questions about Facebook strategy, which I was happy to answer. Our discussion is now available at her blog. Here’s a snippet:
First and foremost, realize that no matter what Facebook does with your profile page, or how the Timeline evolves, most people are interacting with your posts in their own newsfeed. Very few people visit your profile unless they have a reason to research you or be curious based on something you’ve posted. That means: Don’t sweat your Timeline too much. Yes, do fill out as much information on the about page that you’re comfortable sharing (especially for the public view), but beyond being clear about who you are, I don’t think the Timeline/profile format is meaningful from a marketing standpoint.
Here are three keys to behavior on Facebook that you need to understand, based on best business practices as well as what I’ve observed and experienced …
Side note about interview requests
For many years, I accepted all interview requests that landed in my inbox. Recently, I’ve had to become more selective due to the volume of requests, and also because responding to any Q&A is a signficant time commitment. Unfortunately, many people ask questions that I’ve already answered thoroughly at this blog and elsewhere, or they ask such broad or vague questions that a good answer would easily constitute a book! (E.g., “What do you think about the future of publishing?”)
Sarah’s request was easy to say yes to. She had already read material from me on a specific topic, and had very focused questions on that topic.
Keep that in mind whenever asking anyone to commit to a Q&A that offers you valuable content for your website or blog. Demonstrate knowledge of what that person has said in the past, and explore new or focused territory. That keeps it interesting and worthwhile for everyone.
Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.
In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.
Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.