Monday, August 22, 2011

10 Facebook Tools for Authors

  1. SocialOomph - The upgraded version of SocialOomph allows you to update your Facebook page automatically.  It is best to do the one-week free trial first and see if it will suit your needs before committing.  While it allows you to update your personal page, it does not allow you to update pages that you admin, so if you have a group page for yourself or your new book, you will not be able to automate.

  1. Animoto - People are more likely to look at pictures than status updates.  They’re even more likely to look at videos than pictures.  Animoto lets you upload pictures from your computer or Facebook photo galleries and set them to music from your computer or external hard drive to create professional looking slideshows.  For free, you get thirty seconds and basic backgrounds with their name plastered all over it.  For a subscription fee of $375 per year or a pay-by-the-month plan, you can create unbranded video content with unique URLs and a wide variety of themes with extended video time.

  1. Fan Pages - You can create a fan page for yourself as an author, separate from your personal page, or a page for your book or blog.  This is especially useful if you are trying to promote yourself as a brand or are quickly approaching your maximum number of friends.  If you are approaching your maximum number of friends, post this as a status update or send out a message, inviting everyone to join on your fan page, as you will be reaching your maximum.  You can then begin to delete people who are fans and not friends or people who do not frequently interact with you to make room for more real friends or interactive friends on your personal page.

  1. Groups - Facebook groups allow you to create a group of which you control the size or viewership, something between a personal page and a fan page.

  1. Invitations - Use invitations to invite people to your book signing or an event at which you are speaking.

  1. Profile Linking -  Profile linking is possible for the time-pressed; however, it should be used with caution.  A Twitter update does not translate well to your Facebook friends if it has hashtags and at-mentions; if they wanted to follow you on Twitter, they would.  If you link your Facebook to Twitter, its reach is fairly limited, as you are not taking advantage of at-mentions and hashtags.

  1. The “human” touch - People like to think that they’re really friends with all of their Facebook friends.  If you have always posted on a purely professional level, you don’t feel like much of a friend.  Go ahead, post some pictures of your kids being silly, comment on the latest episode of Burn Notice, comment on the shockingly bad fashion faux pas at the DMV, be funny, be clever… let your personality shine through at least 25% of the time.  And don’t be afraid to show off.  People on Facebook are your friends; they’re happy for you when you achieve something new, whether you’ve successfully been a vegan for a month or just had a baby.  It’s just not that serious all the time.  If they wanted your “professional” image, they could follow you on Twitter or just go to your website.

  1. Photo Galleries -  See number seven.  People want you to be personal, know what you look like, and about your life.  Instead of just posting your book jacket picture or a picture of your book, post pictures of you holding your book, at a book signing, and even some fun pictures.  Sometimes self-promoting is just that.  Having people to like you as you makes them more interested in you as an author.

  1. Being a good Facebook friend - Facebook is still a personal place.  Unlike Twitter, people usually like to keep Facebook to people that they know or who contribute positively to their Facebook experience.  Many people will “purge” Facebook friends who they never hear from.  People want you to “like” their quotes, tell them how great their dresses are, congratulate them for getting into a toe stand in their yoga classes, commiserate about the weather in Minnesota, and tell them how adorable their children and Pomeranian are.  It might not seem like it matters, but the more you interact with people and the more that you contribute positively and compliment them, the more they will interact on your page.  It is very reciprocal.  Don’t expect people to interact with you if you don’t interact with them.  If you want them to “like” the release of your new book, comment on what you are doing, or look at your blog posts, you need to look at what they’re doing.  There is no “I” in Facebook.  If you have noticed the same people in your status feed, try clicking “Most Recent” to see all of the people you haven’t heard from recently and get new people interacting with you.

  1. A social media professional - Facebook takes time, patience, and energy.  That’s why modern marketing made the social media professional. (Me!)
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  1. Excellent post. It was good to reinforce what I knew and to learn a few things I did not.

  2. Thanks for posting this useful entry! I like it!


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