By Damon Brown
Do you know the biggest challenge with making a Facebook page? It’s too easy. The social network giant has simplified things to the point where you can get a page up in under a minute. The problem is you can easily make sloppy mistakes. No one’s there to stop you!
That’s why it’s so important to step back and think about your marketing goals before creating your Facebook page. In fact, while researching The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook Marketing, my co-author John Wayne Zimmerman and I discovered that you should plan your social media strategy at least six months in advance.
If you have a book, you need a plan – and Facebook should be a part of it. Here are five things we strongly recommend thinking about as you plan your Facebook strategy:
– Choose your page focus wisely. Will you be promoting one book or multiple ones? What about two years from now? What happens when you get a new book, particularly if that book subject is totally different than your previous ones? As authors we have a tendency to get wrapped up in whatever book we are writing/promoting and might not be thinking about how our next book (and the book after that…) will fit into our Facebook promotional strategy. It’s often best to focus on You: The Brand as opposed to just the book since it gives your page more room to grow.
– Think about your audience: Thinking about your audience too much while you’re writing can lead to writer’s block, but you absolutely need to think about them once that manuscript is done and the Facebook page is at the forefront. It starts with a simple question: Who exactly will be reading your book? As an example, if you have a YA title, most people visiting your page will probably be young, tech-savvy readers who like it when you post daily. Compare the YA audience to readers of, say, a book on single parenthood, and suddenly your Facebook readership may want fewer, more practical posts.
– Determine your content and commitment: How much time can you dedicate to making your Facebook page shine? You need both commitment and content: Commitment to consistently doing posts and content that is both useful and interesting to your audience. In our Facebook marketing book, we recommend coming up with your ideal posting schedule and spending a week following it on your unpublished Facebook page. If you ideally would like to do daily posts, try it for 7 days. You might be surprised at how much (or little!) you have to say.
– Pick smart, committed admins: Short for administrator, the admin controls everything on your Facebook page. Facebook allows you to have virtually as many admins as you like, but less is usually more here – you don’t want too many people in charge of your page’s content. Authors may have the opposite issue, as they are often the only admin to their page – which means that if they are sick, busy, or otherwise unavailable, no one else can post content. Strike a careful balance and make sure anyone in charge is both smart and committed.
– Establish your storefront: Books are now part of a bigger financial plan, especially now that book advances are lower while online entrepreneurial opportunities are higher. Does your book lend itself to mugs, t-shirt, posters, and other ancillary goods? What about audiobooks or YouTube videos? Your Facebook page can be a landing strip for all your interesting content. Your audience actually wants to give you money – all you have to do is give them the right opportunities.
Damon Brown is author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook Marketing with John Wayne Zimmerman, the best-selling Damon Brown’s Simple Guide to the iPad, and other titles. He is also on the American Society of Journalists and Authors Board of Directors. Visit him on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/J5xRP5, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/
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