Remember when a website was all you needed to fulfill your online brand?
Social media has changed all that. Now, you need a brand on the most popular networks, like Facebook.
Fan pages – or Like pages – are an amazing Facebook tool that connects you to fans – and vice versa. They are a one-stop shop for news and information about yourself and your books, and great places to host contests.
Your website is your online brand. On Facebook, a page is your Facebook brand – and it’s public, so search engines can find it. These free, innovative pages can expand your network – and make readers even more interactive.
A big bonus to using Facebook pages? People are more likely to get your updates, rather than finding them on your website or via RSS. Seriously, how many fans think to check your site daily – or read everything in their RSS? If you use email marketing, there is no guarantee that your message will reach your audience. Emails change constantly, and the SPAM filter is just waiting to devour your message.
Why Facebook fan pages work:
Link Exchange. You can link your page to other pages. The American Lung Association finds other pages by groups with similar missions and links them to their page. You can create several pages, one for yourself, then separate pages for your books or serials, then link them together.
Contests. Author Cheyenne McCray ROCKS her Facebook page with contests. Throughout December, she runs a daily contest that asked readers to answer a question in the Comment area. Each commenter was entered into the contest. Her daily updates appeared in her followers’ feeds – which is great for consistent, constant branding and free advertising. Plus, the contest was all in one place, not spread out over several blogs during a virtual book tour.
Book news. Keep fans up-to-date with your releases. Author Avery Aames constantly shares news about her books, as well as the works of her fellow bloggers on her page. Her feed is an amazing resource for readers of her genre – or others looking for gifts.
Discussions. Fans can talk about your books, characters, cover art and more. The television series Bones – which is based on the Kathy Reichs novels – has an amazing discussion section.
Event notifications. Got your tour schedule? Send event notifications to fans. You can send to the group, or to individuals. When possible, try to send notifications to people in the specific area where you will be. Also post those notifications on CVB and Chamber of Commerce pages that allow open comments.
Blog synchronization. Using the “Notes” application, you can sync your blog with your Facebook page. Whenever you post to your blog, it automatically shows up in Facebook.
Analytics. Facebook now offers analytics so you can see who is dropping by your page. This information is incredibly valuable when creating marketing plans.
If you haven’t already, start a Fan page. Visit http://www.facebook.com/pages to get started!
Need a tutorial? Check out this video by David Brazeal of Learfield InterAction.