Sunday, June 15, 2014

#MFRWorg Newbie's World: Why Authors Need Facebook @AuthorErinMoore

Facebook: Why we need it, even if it drives us crazy.

Facebook. It’s awesome for our personal lives, letting us share pictures with others, keep up with our schools and communities, find people with common interests, stalk our ex-boyfriends…oh, wait.

But as an author, it can sometimes be a little daunting and confusing. For starters, what type of page should we choose? And then, once we have it, how do we go about liking other pages – some pages wants us to switch back to our “personal” page before we can like them, and I am not entirely sure I want everyone to know when I’ve liked something like “Sex With Romance.”  And once we’ve figured that out, how do we get those cool little tabbies for our blogs and other stuff on there?

And yet, it’s worth it to figure it out. Most of our readers are on Facebook, and Facebook also brings in new readers; a lot of inbound traffic to Amazon and other ebook sites comes directly from Facebook. So we need to be on there, and we need to be on there in a professional manner.

As some of you already know, I’m a big fan of “do as I say, not as I do” on this blog. So some of the advice below will be recommendations from knowledgeable sources that I may or may not have already implemented myself (just in case anyone is checking my Facebook page –which, if you do, make sure to like it).

Ahem. Now, first things first: What type of page should you have?  Well, really, as an author, there is really only one for your author self.  I will put gold stars there in case you are in doubt.  And you will need to start from your personal profile in order to do this – don’t create a whole new page (with a separate email address) from the initial FB log-in page.  Main reason: you can’t usually like another page as your author page, otherwise. 

Types of pages:
Local Business or Place
Company, Organization, or Institution
Brand or Product
Artist, Band, or Public Figure
Cause or Community

Adding a page for individual books:
If you are already sort of big time, you may want to consider adding pages for each of your books. The downside to this is that you may split your audience – people may miss updates if you post to the book, or miss them if you post only to your author page. However, if the book does blow up (in a good way), someone may make that page for you, and you don’t necessarily want to cede that control.  Food for thought.

Now, onto the fun (read: complicated) stuff.
Yes, you can like other authors’ pages. You may have to go to their page and then click on the down-arrow near the like button. Then there should be a line that says “like as my page.” That’s it! But it seems that most authors have gotten with the program – if it’s set up as an author page, then you should be able to like it with the “like” button. 

Help with Facebook Tabbies (aka apps, aka sort of a pain);
So, most of us would like our blogs to be linked to Facebook. The best way is to use an app – you know, those cute little buttons. There are a few different apps to use for blogs: RSS Graffiti, Networked Blogs (though this will now direct you to their spin-off, Symphony), and Social RSS

They all work essentially the same way. They are going to ask you for a lot of permissions from Facebook (you can’t escape The Man), and then import your blog (or blogs) to the pages you direct. I used Symphony and found it pretty self-explanatory. And then I got this awesome new tab called “blog” on my page.  It will also post updates to my FB newsfeed any time I post on my blog.  

What else do you need as an app? You can also load in Goodreads, Pinterest, or Youtube videos – entirely up to you.  Goodreads is an easy one – you can do it from Goodreads, and then it magically loads the app onto FB.

For Pinterest, it’s a a little bit trickier. If you use the link here, then only follow steps through #7 – looks like Facebook has had a few changes since 2012 (ya’ think?) and it loads up a little “Pinterest” link fairly nicely with only the first seven.

YouTube: There is either Woobox (which I used for my Pinterest tab, very helpful) or YoutubeApp. Again, make sure to accept all permissions and then edit later.

All in all, Facebook for businesses is not necessarily a walk in the park, but with a little bit of help, it can (and should) be done. Happy Facebooking! Let me know what you think – what do you see on others’ pages and wish you had on yours? What has worked well for you?

Just in case you want more to read: