Why Some Authors Fail on Facebook

Why Some Authors Fail on Facebook

There’s right ways and wrong ways for authors to use Facebook.

We’ve all heard stories from authors we know or those online that are confused, disenchanted or simply complain about using Facebook or how it “doesn’t work”.

Unlike those authors who are getting results, they don’t understand that solid fan bases and author platforms grow slowly and steadily over time from doing the right things regularly and consistently.

It’s likely they are doing a couple, or all of the following Facebook mistakes.

Complete lack of credibility

If you don’t take yourself as an author seriously, you can’t expect anyone else to.

I’m referring to Facebook author pages with:

  • no cover images that represent their author brand
  • the profile image doesn’t represent their author brand or themselves
  • their photo is not visible anywhere
  • their status updates are just personal commentary about how “great” they are, but offer no value to fans.

If you want to be treated like a professional author, have people take notice, have media contact you and create a loyal community of fans, then look credible and appear as someone worth paying attention to.

Like a book cover, the first impression you make is a powerful one and can single handily enchant people or have people turn the other way with a blind eye for good. You only get one first impression.

What to do instead:

Make sure your Facebook Profile Image is a photo of you. Your Facebook cover image should be a professional representation of your author brand. Provide good quality status updates that offer value to your fans such as; book updates, free downloads, previews and reciprocate by sharing other interesting content from people you respect and believe your fans will find interesting.

Having too many pages

A Facebook page for a book, another page for the author, another page for a different book…

This is just overkill, but it’s more common than you may think. The last thing you want to do is dilute your Facebook efforts and spread your fans all over the place.

One Facebook author page is all you need to focus on. This is where all your professional Facebook activity should happen.

What to do instead:

As a published author you only need one Facebook page for your author platform, because you, the author ARE the brand. This one Facebook author page is linked to your website and serves as a powerful tool to move your fans off of Facebook and back to your website.

Note: your personal profile is just for close friends and family and should not be used for professional, commercial purposes. This is what your page is for. Keep them separate.

Spam other pages

This can be nuisance. Status updates from random people on your Facebook page with a superficial, impersonal greeting or fake praise of your page, just so they can then paste a link back to their own Facebook page. This is called spam, and I have little tolerance for it. You probably feel the same the way.

I’ve seen some authors do it. It’s clear that they are desperate and have no plan in place and resort to spamming other people’s pages. It doesn’t work, because the page owner will just block as spam or completely ignore them.

What to do instead:

Simply don’t do it. If you’re creating good content your ideal readers and fans enjoy, they’ll keep coming back and bring their friends too.

Status updates being cross-posted to other social media profiles

Using tools and connection plugins that allow the cross posting of Tweets to Facebook Pages and vice-versa is often promoted as a good idea on some blogs. For the main reason that it’s “easier”, but it hurts your Facebook page.

Twitter hashtags and messages typed in shorthand due to the 140 character limit looks very odd, often incomplete on Facebook which can alienate your Facebook fans who don’t use Twitter and see the automated post as impersonal.

Most people know what’s happening when they see that automated cross-posted status update, and can be seen as simple laziness. Twitter and Facebook are two different platforms used differently to communicate a message.

Cross-posting also has the consequence of your Facebook fans being inundated by too many updates from your Facebook Page. This works on Twitter because the Twittersphere moves so quickly, but Facebook doesn’t work that way, with updates remaining visible for hours not minutes. So having all your Tweets appear in Facebook can be a complete turn off.

What to do instead:

Don’t cross-post, and instead treat your Twitter and Facebook fans with respect and communicate with them individually. When you have something to say, post it on Twitter and post it separately on Facebook where you have more characters to use, the ability to add photos and links with thumbnails.

Keep in mind…

Building a strong fan base of readers who ‘know, like and trust you‘ happens over time, not over night.

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