Do You Know This Simple Facebook Trick?

Facebook is the most popular social networking site worldwide. With 2.1 billion active daily users, the site has been a great way for authors and publishers to connect with their audience. Sadly, that is changing.

Mark Zukerman, the founder of Facebook, has announced that he is changing Facebook’s algorithm to show more posts from family and friends in individual’s News Feeds, and to give preference to posts that get the most engagement (comments).

This is bad news for authors and publishers who have a Facebook Page (not a personal profile) for their fans to follow and engage with them on the social site. This change means that the already shrinking exposure for any given Facebook Page post will continue to shrink. Currently, less than 10% of the people who follow your Facebook page see any given information you post. This means that if you have 500 followers on Facebook, less than 50 of them will see anything you post.

Facebook has been decreasing the exposure for Facebook Pages for a couple years as they try to push you to spend money to get your information seen. You can pay to Boost a Post to all your followers and beyond, and you can pay to place ads on Facebook so more people are exposed to you and your books.

If you have put a lot of effort into building up your following on Facebook, this news can be very discouraging. After all, Facebook does provide a valuable avenue to connect with masses of people.

Don’t despair. I have a simple trick that you can use and you can get your followers to use so that you can stay in contact with them through Facebook. If you follow any Pages on Facebook, you can use this simple procedure to make sure you still see the information that these authors, musicians, and businesses post. You can also encourage your Facebook Page’s followers to implement this simple move so that they don’t miss any posts from you.

Here is the trick in three simple steps:

  1. Go to any Facebook Page you follow.
  2. Click on the down arrow next to “Following”.
  3. Then click “See First” under “In Your News Feed”.

Doing this ensures that anything this Facebook Page posts will show up in your News Feed. That way, you won’t miss anything from that Page.

If you follow Christian Small Publishers Association’s (CSPA) Facebook Page, I encourage you to enable the “See First” option so you don’t miss any of the great information we post there on a daily basis.

Just go to https://www.facebook.com/ChristianSmallPublishers and complete the three steps listed above. If you don’t yet follow CSPA on Facebook, I encourage you to do so and then enable the “See First” option.

This little Facebook trick can help you and all your fans stay abreast of all the great information your favorite Facebook Pages post.

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Are You Showing Your Best Face?

Social media. Authors tend to love it or hate it.

Social media is a powerful way to connect with your readers. For many readers, getting to know the author of a book they love or relate to is natural. Once they have read the author’s book, they feel they already know that author on some level. Social media allows them to deepen that connection.

As an author, showing your personality on social media is important. This is easier for some authors than others. Authors who enjoy more privacy often find it difficult to let their personality shine in social media, while those that are more social find it easier.

A recent study by Sprout Social found that consumers want to see the following characteristics from the brands (and celebrities) that they follow on social media:

  • Honesty (86%)
  • Friendly (83%)
  • Helpful (78%)
  • Funny (72%)

What about you? Are you showing these four characteristics in your social media posts and interactions?

We live in a world where people crave authenticity. People want to know that you are “for real” and not a made-up persona. One of the best ways to demonstrate this to your readers is through showing your failures as well as your successes.

I know an aspiring author who has worked diligently to grow her platform on social media in hopes of getting a traditional publisher to sign a contract with her for her novel. This author understands how to show her personality.

One way she has recently connected with her audience is through chronicling her efforts to go from couch potato to running a 5K race. She has even encouraged her family members to join her in the challenge. This aspiring author regularly posts her ups and downs as she attempts to train herself to run three miles.

What about you? What can you share with your readers on social media to show them your authentic self?

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Photo courtesy of Gratisography.

Harnessing the Power of Community

Social media is powerful. A Marketing Think survey showed that 81% of purchase decision makers used online communities to make their choices.

Online communities for book lovers have been around for years. These communities allow readers to keep an online record of the books they have read and those they want to read. They can share these lists and their reviews of books they have read with other readers in the community. Authors can also join these communities to interact with readers and promote their books.

community

Goodreads is by far the largest and most popular of these online book lover communities, but it is not the only one. Others include:

Earlier this year, a new book lover social media community was formed. This new site for book lovers is offering a new twist. Reader’s Legacy is combining an author/reader community with an e-commerce bookstore. Believing that there is an increased consumer demand for experiential online shopping, Reader’s Legacy is a community first and a bookstore second.

Reader’s Legacy has incentivized their site by offering members “Litcoins”. Litcoins are similar to Bitcoins. A Bitcoin is a digital currency with encryption that allows individuals to anonymously purchase goods and services online. Litcoins are also a digital currency, but unlike Bitcoins—which can be widely-used on the Internet—Litcoins can only be used in the Reader’s Legacy store.

Members of the Reader’s Legacy community earn Litcoins for doing various activities on the site. As readers add books to their virtual library, follow friends, become fans of favorite authors, share interesting posts on social media channels, link other social media channels to a ReadersLegacy.com account, and make posts, they are awarded badges of recognition. For every badge earned, readers are given Litcoins. Litcoins can be redeemed for physical books through the Reader’s Legacy store.

Reader’s Legacy offers authors one more place to harness the power of communities. Authors can use online communities to develop an audience and gain more reader’s for your books. One of the benefits of joining Reader’s Legacy is that it also gives you one more place online to sell your books.

Any author can sign up for an account on Reader’s Legacy and offer their book for sale through the site. You can even sign your book up to be part of the Litcoin program. Learn more about selling your book on Reader’s Legacy at https://www.readerslegacy.com/indy-authors.

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Which One Are You?

Most people know about the 80/20 rule. 20% of the people do 80% of the work. 80% of a church’s budget is met by the tithe of 20% of the congregation. 20% of the users of social media post 80% of the content.

80-20-Rule-JPEG

I believe that the world would be a better place if we applied the 80/20 rule to our everyday lives. Imagine how different the world would be if everyone spent 80% of their time listening to what others have to say and only 20% of their time talking.

You might be thinking, how does the 80/20 rule apply to promoting a book? After all, you think, to promote a book, I need to talk a lot. I have to talk on blogs, talk in person, talk on social media, etc. True, promoting a book does take a lot of talk, but remember, part of promoting a book is “connecting” with your audience.So think of the rule as spending 80% of your time connecting with your audience and 20% of your time promoting your book.

This 80/20 rule is especially important for your social media communications. Since you may be part of that 20% of the people producing 80% of the content on social media, consider how you might spend more time “connecting” with your followers.

One way to do this is to keep 80% of your posts reserved for connecting with your audience by showing them you care. Showing care to your audience can be in the form of social media posts that:

  1. Share news that your target audience is interested in.
  2. Share tips that would make your audience’s life easier in some way.
  3. Share interesting and humorous anecdotes from your own life that people can relate to.
  4. Respond empathetically to your audiences’ posts, comments, and stated concerns.

Then, the remaining 20% of your posts can focus on promoting your books. Try not to do the “buy my book” routine with these posts. Instead, share what readers are saying about your book, share specials you are hosting, and share excerpts and tips from your book.

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