Hi, SE’ers. It’s Jan Sikes here with you today.
You can ask any author anywhere and most likely, you’re going to get a grimace when you mention the word marketing. We are writers. Writing is a solitary profession. So, it is not easy to step out of our comfort zones and launch into marketing our books once they are published.
Over the next few months, I am going to take in-depth looks into the marketing avenues, we as authors, have available to us. Some are common and well-known and some not so much.
The #1 rule in using social media to promote your work, is to choose no more than three to focus on and fully utilize. If you try to spread yourself too thin, you won’t get the results you want and will run yourself into a frazzle in the process.
The #2 rule is consistency. (I know. I heard you groan and I get it.)
Here are the platforms I will be covering.
- Book Festivals
- TikTok (Yes, I said that)
Together, we’ll learn what works best for each of us. I can’t promise I will go in the order of the list, but I will cover them all.
Since Facebook is the most common and the biggest platform, I will start with it.
Nicolas Rossis recently posted some interesting social media stats on one of his blog posts. If you missed it, here is the link.
As you can see from this graph, Facebook (love it or hate it) is still the biggest platform out there.
I think we all have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I originally joined to keep up with family and friends. That was way before I started my writing journey.
But once I had published my first book, the next natural step was to create an author page. I personally think every author should have one, and I think we should all follow and support each other as much as possible. An author page is set up as a business page and gives you access to many different aspects of FB that you do not get on your personal page.
Here are some reasons to have an Author business page:
- Facebook has 1.66 BILLION USERS! Where else will you find that platform potential?
- Getting rolling with a page costs you nothing until you start paying for ads to get Page Likes, boosting posts, and running sponsored stories — all of which you should be doing with your page.
- Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive when compared to traditional print, radio, or TV ads — and are 1,000x more targeted. Learn about your Target Audience before you spend any money on FB ads. Then use that information to target the best groups so you can get the most for your $$.
- You have the capability of sharing posts simultaneously to Instagram through your FB author page.
- You can offer your followers bargains and giveaways that others don’t see.
- And did you know that with a FB business page, you can schedule your posts? That can be a great timesaver!
Know what your customers value, how they communicate, when they’re online, how you can best serve them, then use that information to your advantage. Otherwise, you end up in the spaghetti syndrome (throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.)
You can get these valuable pieces of information on your FB Author Page Insights. From my insights, I can see that my biggest audience is women between the ages of 45 and 54. It also shows my followers are mostly from the United States. So, knowing that helps me choose my target audience when I run an ad.
I realize this sounds like a lot of work, but it’s nothing you need to do all at once. Do small pieces over time and build your fanbase with a solid foundation.
Getting followers for your Author Page is not easy. I participated in a Follow Friday for a couple of years and that helped tremendously. But still, I cannot say my author page is overflowing with followers at around 1,700. In the scope of things, that is nothing.
An author page is just one facet of utilizing Facebook. Think of it as like your landing page on your website. It is where you can share your blog posts automatically from your blog site, post giveaways and anything else related to your books and writing.
At some point, I got my personal FB page and my author page mixed and now I am trying to get the reader/writer followers on my personal page to join my author page. If you have an inclination to follow me there, you can go to http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks
While you’re there, visit the Story Empire page too! 🙂 We’d be forever grateful.
Having an author page on FB is the starting point.
In my next post, I am going to share some posting tips plus an exciting new facet of FB that I recently discovered. I think it can be a total game-changer. Between now and then, I am going to be experimenting with this new opportunity so I can have some firsthand knowledge to share with you.
In the meantime, thank you for joining me as I trudge through this dreaded topic! I’d love it if you’d share your experiences and/or thoughts on FB.