I often hear authors g-r-o-a-n about their Facebook reach.
You know how it is. If you have a Facebook author page, two percent of your status updates penetrate your fans’ newsfeeds, if you’re lucky.
The unless is this: you can better penetrate your fans’ newsfeeds if you buy advertising.
If you have a Facebook author page and you don’t buy advertising, I can tell you that it’s phenomenally difficult to get engagement on a Facebook page without advertising.
Difficult but not impossible.
If you’ve been reading the social media blogosphere these past few weeks, you might have noticed that nearly every social media blogger has complained about the same problem: the precipitous drop in our Facebook page posts penetrating our fans’ news feeds.
In other words, fewer of the posts you carefully plan for your Facebook page are visible to your fans.
If you want your posts to reach more fans, you need to follow a two-pronged strategy: provide the best, original content you can and allocate some funds – even a few hundred dollars annually would help – to an advertising budget.
If you can afford more on advertising, super.
Some people are giving up on Facebook, but that move would be shortsighted. Facebook remains the second most trafficked website (after Google), and it has more than 2 billion users, far more than any other social media network.
13 Tips for Better Facebook Reach
Here are some strategies for helping your posts receive more exposure among your page fans without the expense of advertising.
- Post more frequently. I recommend twice each weekday and twice on the weekend.
- For better Facebook reach, change up days, times. You’ll want to check your Insights to see when your fans are on Facebook. Experiment to determine whether you have better results during the peak hours or right before the peak hours when there’s less competition in your fans’ newsfeeds.
- Write short (100-250 characters) status updates. Don’t write lengthy posts. Text overload is rampant these days so if you want your fans to read your post, don’t write more than 250 characters. The ideal post is 80 characters.
- Include more personality. I’ve been deficient in this area. People do not buy books from brands; they buy books from writers so don’t be afraid to share information that reveals more of your personality.
- Be controversial at times. Don’ttake a stand on abortion or an election. Instead, stake a stand on an issue in your niche, such as should you be exclusive to Amazon or should you publish your books more widely.
- Add calls to action. Don’t be afraid to ask your fans to purchase your new book.
- Vary your types of posts.
- Respond promptly and tag commenters. Try to respond to comments as soon as you can and be sure to type their name (tag them) in your response.
- Host Hangouts using 22 Social app. Consider podcasting and using Google+ or Audacity to record them and share your podcasts and Hangouts on Facebook.
- Change your cover image. On a quarterly basis, freshen up your cover image using Canva or PicMonkey.
- Host a Facebook Friday networking party that enables your fans to promote their books.
- Drive traffic from other sources to individual post URLs. 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, especially if you have a call to action in it.
- Embed Facebook posts on your blog. Hover over the top, right-hand corner of your post and click on Embed. Then copy the html code and add it to your Facebook post. You’ll need to navigate to your WordPress website to add the code on the text (not visual) page of your blog.
Some theorize that in the future Facebook reach will continue to worsen. For now, however, use advertising when you have a specific objective in mind, such as notifying fans of a sale price on one of your books or when you introduce a newly published book or an ad to grow your email list. Actually, regularly advertising on Facebook should be part of your book marketing arsenal of tools anyway. Until then, keep providing your fans with the best content you can.
Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!
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.
Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web