Facebook Author Pages & Groups
Facebook is a key hub for any writer looking to build a powerful presence online. As of early 2019, as many as 69% of American adults have a Facebook account, and so if you want maximum exposure as an author, this is one platform you don’t want to miss. It’s simply where your readers hang out.
Your own Facebook account can be a powerful tool by itself in allowing you to meet readers and find more people who would be interested in your books, but many writers seek something a little more effective than a personal account. You want to let the world know about your books. You want a destination. You want a central social club your readers can rally behind and share and grow their enthusiasm.
Facebook allows two options for building such a destination: pages and groups. A page will allow you to present your author persona as something separate from your account, allowing you to post regular updates to fans who aren’t (necessarily) Facebook friends. You can join groups related to your genre as a page and interact with people just as you would for your account.
Facebook groups, on the other hand, are communities that you can build around your genre or something else related to your writing. Here you can spark discussion and allow group members to chat with each other, even when you’re not around.
Good arguments can be made on behalf of creating either, or both. (You can definitely run a page and a group if it suits your fancy!) However, if you’re starting out in your journey of maximizing Facebook exposure as an author, I recommend creating a Facebook author page.
Author pages are what people expect--and want.
These days, one of the easiest ways to track authors is to find their pages on Facebook. Readers who like you will probably check you out and type in your name to see what comes up. A vibrant and functional Facebook author page will make you more accessible to readers, which will encourage them to stay more active and keep up with your writing.
Author pages are easy to maintain and grow.
There's not a whole lot of work that goes into maintaining an author page. You can set up your page right now, in a matter of minutes, and by the end of the hour, you'll be ready to go. Unlike a group, you don't need to worry about growing and getting active members. You only need a post about once every week or so to stay in touch, and that’s all the maintenance you need. The lower commitment means more time with your writing!
Author pages are versatile and can join groups.
If you want an especially large and active author presence on Facebook, it's a good idea to join groups. Joining groups yourself is effective, but if you want to really grab readers, see how many groups you can join via your author page. That way, anyone in the group who is interested in what you have to say and contribute to the conversation will already know you're an author and check out your page--and your books. It's one of the easiest ways to sell without selling.
We’ve covered the basics of Facebook pages vs. Facebook groups, but what are the rules of setting up a winning author page? How can you optimize your page to make it the best possible? If you already have a page, what are some changes you can make that will make it more attractive and dynamic for readers?
First, you need fans.
I know, the fans don't come overnight. But maintaining an author page becomes tedious fast when you only have three or four people that you're writing to. Three or four hundred, on the other hand, is more engaging. Not to mention three or four thousand.
One important part of setting up your author page is inviting everyone you know to like it. You don't have to pester people about it. Don't nag, and don't beg. Scroll down the list of all of your contacts and invite every one of them to like it. You might be surprised at who joins.
Get involved with discussions.
I mentioned earlier that your page is capable of joining other groups. Find groups that celebrate your genre. They can be writing groups, or reading groups, or really any groups in your genre’s subculture. Join these groups through your author page and check in with them. Get involved in discussions, and let readers discover you naturally and organically. Again, this is one of the best ways to sell without selling and get people to like your page without begging them for attention.
Lastly, update your page regularly. You don't need to post three times a day to stay active. Actually, you can post three times a month and still keep readers effectively in the loop. Most writers I follow update readers at least once a month, but seldom more frequently than once a week (except in cases of special releases or promotions). This way, people stay interested in you without feeling fatigued or spammed by your page.
(Bonus hint: this tip applies to maintaining your email list as well!)
Your page’s personality, style, and feel are all up to you. Your graphics can include your books’ covers or a picture of you, or even both. You could have snippets of reviews or teasers about what your books revolve around.
How do you like to run your author page? Please join and comment below or join my Facebook group for further discussion.