Twitter is my social media channel of choice, but I’m finding more and more that Facebook allows me to connect with readers, bloggers and reviewers on a more personal level, particularly in groups (join groups!). As part of my newly launched Author Social Media Boot Camp (affordable group sessions for authors), I’ve been intensely studying and analyzing the best ways for authors to get the most out of each platform.
See, while I may love Twitter, you may not. And the truth of it is, more people still flock to Facebook over any other platform, to the tune of over 1.35 billion monthly users (vs Twitter’s 284 million users). It’s hard to argue with those numbers (Source: ExpandedRamblings.com)
You do need to remember one key point: as an author, you must have a PAGE (where you get Likes) to share book and promotional information, as opposed to only having your personal (Friends) account. According to Facebook guidelines, Pages are required for any kind of product or service. Facebook can and will shut down your personal account if you use it for purely promotional reasons.
I read a lot (a lot a lot), and one of my favorite free sources of helpful information is Buffer’s blog (or sign up for their free newsletter delivered to their inbox). Here’s a great article with some helpful Facebook stats. There are a bunch, but what I want to focus on today is this first one, because it’s a BIG one:
1. Photo posts get 39% more interaction
According to this Buffer article, ‘not only do photo posts get more engagement than links, videos or text-based updates, they actually account for 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook. According to Kissmetrics, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts. And as we’ve mentioned before, self-explanatory photos seem to perform best.’
‘Wishpond’s data says that overall, photo posts get 120% more engagement than the average post, and photo albums actually get 180% more engagement.’
SHARING VISUAL QUOTES
What should you share? That’s totally dependent on you, your interests, your branding. I always advise spending some time figuring out your keywords and then sharing related content. So, for example, if you write nonfiction and poetry as I do, I’ll share poetry quotes — but I won’t just share the quote, I’ll go to a graphics site like:
and create a visual from the quote. This achieves the sharing of a photo or visual instead of only a text-based quote, which ensures more likes and shares!
Below is an example of a poetry quote from my upcoming book Broken Places (coming soon from Booktrope), in both text-based format and visual format:
“I’m not an actor. I can’t fall at your feet and eat your words as if they are the best I’ve ever tasted. I’m a writer and words matter.” Rachel Thompson c. 2014 Rachel Thompson (Broken Places, coming Winter 2014 from Booktrope)
Regardless of whether you are a fan of poetry or my work, you are more likely to stop and take a look at the visual than plain text, as the stats above show.
WHEN TO POST?
Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays on Facebook, and also later in the day (most likely because people are getting ready for the weekend!). The point here is to engage current customers, not always be chasing after new ones. Providing great content and building relationships will do you more good than having huge numbers of Likes, which generates nothing in the long run. Quality versus quantity.‘
WHAT TO POST?
Posts with a question get 100% more engagement than posts without, with the most popular words in the question being ‘should,’ ‘would,’ ‘which,’ and ‘who.’ (Source: Buffer). Which makes sense, don’t you think? People love to be asked to give their opinion, and this is especially helpful if you’re choosing a graphic (for your website or book cover).
Run a contest or promotion using WooBox (one of my favorite free software platforms) to gain exposure to your page AND gain email sign-ups for your newsletter at the same time! Email marketing is still the best ‘word of mouth’ advertising you can do, and if you use a free service like Mailchimp, it costs you zero. You can also create a Mailchimp (or any newsletter) Facebook tab to make it easy for people to sign up for your newsletter using WooBox.
Which tactics do you find help you the most when using your Facebook page? Please share below!