by Dean Hua
3. Import your blog entries into your Facebook notes. You want to give exposure and capture as many readers as possible regardless of what social networking site that you belong to. Facebook will allow you to import your blog entries into your Facebook account. This helps you capture a new readership base and adds more interactivity to your Facebook presence.
4. Keep your profile dynamic. This means that you shouldn’t just create a Facebook account, add on 5 friends, and then wither away. Admittedly, there is a learning curve to Facebook or any social networking site in the beginning. Once you’ve managed to understand the basic interface, here are some activities that you can do to make for a more interesting Facebook presence. The goal is to allow users to “window shop” into your world. Allow people to see the other side of you rather than just the writer.
Update your status. Are you heading to a new city for a book tour? Giving a speech? Pissed off at your dog? Thinking of something that others should know about? Just wrote a new blog entry that you want others to read? Update it on your status.
- Post photos. People tend to be very visual and having photos allows others to get a better picture of who you are. People love to browse through photos.
- Answer wall messages and emails. I see a lot of authors make the mistake of ignoring messages from their friends on Facebook. I know we’re all busy but taking the time to be more sociable and personable really does help with your PR. You don’t want to build the reputation as someone who ignores his readers or fanbase. Word about that will spread quickly.
5. Incentivize your outreach strategies. If you want to encourage increased participation from your connections on Facebook or even off of Facebook, I recommend that you offer incentives when trying to get others to spread the word about. A few suggested prizes include a free-signed copy of your book, a special edition of your book, free getaway, free consultation of your services, or anything that may be appropriate. Offering prizes and incentives helps expedite word of mouth.
6. Befriend members who read your book. Do a search for members who list your book as one of their favorite. This is one of the more time-consuming outreach initiatives that you’ll develop. If you have a lot of members listed, look for ways to filter down the list and add only those who are most important. Look for influencers.
Start adding these people to your friend’s list. I would recommend adding a personal note as to why you are adding them to your friend’s list. A simple note that says that you noticed that they listed your book as a favorite would suffice. The absence of a personal note sometimes leave people wondering who you are and why they should bother adding you to their connections.
It should be noted that Facebook allows you to segment your friends into various categories by creating a list for that category. I suggest creating a category called “Fans” and add these people to your Fans list. When you decide to start marketing and developing outreach campaigns, you’ll have a targeted list of people to reach out to. Consider this as a form of database marketing and you have the option to segment your database accordingly.
You now have a targeted group of people you can reach out to and they have voluntarily given you permission to keep in touch with them.
Be sure to not eblast your entire friends network as it’s not as targeted. If you do this too often, Facebook will cancel your account without warning.
7. Create events. Facebook allows you to create events that you may be hosting such as a book tour or speaking engagement. Create these events and invite your friends. But don’t just stop there. Encourage your friends to spread the word by inviting their friends to the event on Facebook as well. One of the wonderful features to Facebook is that their features try to encourage as much user participation as possible. Users are able to take an event that you created and they can invite all of their friends to the event as well.
Of course, you have to realize that most people don’t do anything for free. So remember guideline #5 and incentivize the marketing of your event here. Let your attendees know that if they invite their network and get a certain number of attendees to come, then you will give them some type of giveaway or prize.
Too many book authors are myopic. They create the event and hope people will somehow flock to the event. Successful social media marketing does not work like this. In order for this to be a success, we have to include as many users as possible into our outreach campaigns. Go beyond your first generation of users. Tap into the friends of your friends of your friends.
8. Add a Facebook badge onto your website and blog. Most social media sites such as a Myspace, LinkedIN and Facebook allow you to create your own badge that lets your website visitors know that you have a profile on these sites. This encourages members who are interested in keeping in touch with you to connect with you on sites such as Facebook thus giving you increased exposure to you and your work.
So there you go. You have eight initiatives that you can develop on Facebook to allow for increased exposure to your book and work. It is important to note that any one initiative might help, but if all eight principles are combined into a cohesive strategy, then your chances of success are far greater.
So go forth and be successful in social media.
H. Dean Hua is Chief Web Evangelist of Sachi Studio- a web design and online marketing consultancy. He helps book authors develop a remarkable online presence by focusing on websites, blog designs, best practices in blogging for authors, and exploring how book authors can use Facebook as a viable social media tool. http://www.sachistudio.com
Dean can be reached on the web at www.sachistudio.com.