Zephoria, a digital marketing company, in April published a post citing 20 valuable Facebook statistics. A few are worth noting here:
- Worldwide, there are over 2.13 billion monthly active Facebook users, which is a 14 percent increase over the previous year.
- There are 1.15 billion mobile daily active users
Regarding Facebook’s demographics, the following statistics are relevant in terms of book marketing:
- 4 billion people on average log onto Facebook.
- There are 1.74 billion mobile active users.
- The Like and Share buttons are viewed across nearly 10 million websites – daily.
- Five new profiles are created every second, pointing to Facebook’s staying power.
- Facebook users are 76 percent female.
- 7 percent of its users are between the ages of 25 and 34.
- The highest traffic occurs mid-week between 1 and 3 pm.
- Every minute, 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated,a nd 136,000 photos are uploaded.
- One in five page views in the U.S. occurs on Facebook.
- Since May 2013, 16 million local business pages have been created.
And according to the Pew Research Center, 68% of all U.S adults who are online us Facebook. That’s the biggest statistic of all and one that points to the popularity of Facebook, which is second only to YouTube in popularity, followed by Pinterest and then Instagram.
Use Demographics to Plan Your Marketing
What do all these numbers have to do with you as an author? Plenty.
When you’re ready to approach book marketing, and you’re setting up your social media presence, the last thing you want to do is waste any of your time on platforms that your readers don’t use.
For example, if you write crime noir that’s popular among the 40+ demographic, you wouldn’t want to waste your time on Snapchat or Tumblr. But, similar to Mark Dawson, a thriller author, you would want to spend time on Facebook.
The new marketing dictum for selling your books or anything else is this: You don’t need to be everywhere; you need to be where your readers are. Remember that. Otherwise, you’ll waste a lot of time. Focusing your energy and time on the social media websites where your readers network is your first rule.
Who needs to be on Facebook? Romance authors, some crime and thriller authors, young adults novelists, and anyone who is writing for any of the demographics noted above.
Knowing that you need to be on Facebook is half the battle in your marketing. The other issue is engaging with your readers.
Facebook Pages Aren’t Easy
About six years ago, Facebook’s algorithm enabled about 32% of all posts from a Facebook page to appear in your fans’ newsfeeds. Two and a half years ago, Facebook tweaked its algorithm again. At that time, about 6% of posts would appear in a fan’s newsfeed. It’s even more challenging now to generate engagement.
About 1 percent of your status updates will appear in your fans’ news feeds unless you purchase advertising.
There’s another battle, too. Getting Facebook Likes. A combination of contests and Facebook advertising can help to address that issue.
The final battle is generating engagement. What feeds Facebook’s algorithm is Likes, comments, and shares. The Holy Grail of the algorithm is shares. That means, of course, that when you write your status updates, you need to do everything you can to encourage your fans to share your content. The more you succeed at that task, the more your status updates will be visible in your readers’ newsfeeds.
For your fans to see most of your posts, you need to write status updates more often. For a Facebook author page, that means at least twice daily. I’ve developed a system for my page that I refer to as the meaningful and the mundane. In the mornings, I post meaningful information. In other words, twice a week I share information about my new blog posts. The other mornings, I look for blog posts from other experts.
In the afternoons, I like to post humorous memes or great quotes. I include images with all of my status updates.
So what are considered shareable Facebook posts? Let me share my best tips with you.
16 Tips for Engaging Your Readers
Facebook expert Amy Porterfield once described Facebook engagement as, “… fingers click specific buttons. If a fan doesn’t engage with your post in at least one of five ways – like it, leave a comment, share it with others, watch it, or click on a link – it’s not considered engagement by Facebook standards. Period.”
Why is engagement important? Again, Porterfield has the answer: “See, the more often your fans engage with you in the ways listed above, the more often your posts will be pushed out into their newsfeed.”
What actions don’t count in terms of engagement?
- When your fans read your status update.
- When you fans view your images.
- When your fans click on an image.
- When a new fan Likes your Page.
So what are some good tips to encourage engagement? Here are some of mine:
- Give away books and prizes.
- Encourage your fans to sign up for your newsletter by offering free books.
- Experiment with Facebook advertising for your promotions and targeted blog posts.
- Provide the type of content your fans want. If you write romance novels, post images of chocolate, romantic picnics, lingerie, etc. If you write cookbooks, share your favorite recipes, post images of your best home cooked meals, and share a menu for Thanksgiving. Each author will have options about their topics or genre.
- Post more frequently. Post a minimum of twice daily.
- Write short (80 to 100 characters) posts vs. long narratives. Text overload is rampant these days so if you want your fans to read your post, keep your posts short.
- Include more personality. People do not buy books from brands; they buy books from writers so don’t worry about sharing information that reveals more of your personality.
- Add calls to action. Don’t be afraid to ask your fans to purchase your new book. Just use that call to action sparingly.
- Vary your types of posts. Vary the topics, the length, the types of images you use, and the types of questions you pose.
- Respond promptly and tag commenters. Try to reply to comments as soon as you can and be sure to type their names in your response.
- Consider freshening up your cover image on a quarterly basis using Canva or PicMonkey.
- Host a Facebook Friday networking party that enables your fans to promote their books, blog posts, or other types of news. Get to know your readers and what matters to them.
- Drive traffic from other social media sites to posts your want to receive additional attention. This is how: When you click on the date stamp of your Facebook post, you will see that your post has a unique URL. You can drive traffic to that post by using that URL in a tweet, for example.
- Post images with every single status update.
- Post videos.
- Experiment with Facebook Live, Facebook’s native live video feature.
What steps will you be taking to boost engagement on your Facebook page?
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Author of this blog: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.
Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers