A long time ago, it was suggested to me that I write a post about social media for writers. I guess it’s weird that it took me this long to do it. I’m a writer, I work in tech support and I avidly use social media almost every day.
So, I’m finally getting around to it. Over the next few Fridays I’ll be going over different social media platforms. We’ll discuss how to use them, what they’re best for, and how writers can best use them.
Today, we’ll talk about Facebook.
Almost everyone’s on Facebook. People use it to keep in touch with family members and friends who don’t live nearby. I personally see more pictures of my friends children that I’d ever thought possible.
You’re probably on Facebook, too. Just in case you’re not, though, I’m going to go over the basics of using Facebook and what all you can use it for.
Basic mechanics, or what you can do
Facebook can be used for a lot of things. You can update your page with anything you’d like. Some people, like me, share random musings or thoughts through my day.
You can also add links to sites or pages that you enjoy. If you’ve never done this before, it’s simple. Cut the url for the page you want to share from your address bar, then paste it onto a Facebook update box. In most cases, it will even update with an image.
Finding Facebook groups is a great way to meet new writing buddies or connect with like minded people. I belong to an awesome group for online business girls, another one for Solstice authors and another one for indie writers.
Take care, though. Some groups are great uplifting places. Sometimes, though, the groups are full of pushy prima donnas that will stir up trouble and pick fights.
Finding a Facebook group is easy, though. Just type some keywords about what sort of group you’d like to find in the search bar.
If you’re interested in spending some cash, you can invest in a Facebook ad. They’re really easy to set up. You can pick what demographic you’d like your ad to be targeted toward and how long you want them to run. I personally have never done this, but I’ve walked through the how to. It’s not a bad way to get your book in front of new eyes, but it’s not one that I’d suggest. Personally, I think it’s better to write something good enough that other people chose to share it.
Sharing and liking things on Facebook is how you let your friends know what you enjoyed. People will see the things you’ve shared on their feed. That’s the goal on Facebook, to write share worthy content. When someone shares your work people who don’t already follow you can read it.
Beware of the false news
That’s not always a good thing. It’s good if someone shares your work of course, of course. But I’m sure you’ve heard about the rash of fake news stories that have flooded the internet. Many of them came from Facebook. So if you see something on Facebook, keep the old journalism rule in mind. Get a second and third source.
How often should you post?
I post four status updated a day, re-post one to three interesting things from other people and link to my blog posts. That’s a lot, but I use Buffer to do it. I’ve talked about Buffer before. It allows me to schedule Facebook updates through the day, so I can sit down and write out ten updates at a time. I sure don’t have the time to stop everything I’m doing to post three freaking times a day.
What to post
Now here’s the big one. What do you post on Facebook if you’re using it for your writing?
First, if you have a blog, you should share your blog posts on Facebook. If you use WordPress, you can set it up to share your posts automatically. Facebook is actually the top referrer to Paper Beats World.
I also suggest posting stories about your actual life. A story is a story, and some of the best ones are true.
It’s also a good idea to post things from other people that you enjoyed. I post Youtube videos and links to articles that I loved. I genuinely hope that someone who follows me on Facebook will get something out of visiting my page.
For the most part, I try to keep on topic on Facebook. That means that I post mostly about writing, reading and geek news. But I will occasionally share something else that interested me, like a makeup tutorial or one of those Tasty videos.
I also let people know about upcoming events that concern my writing. I post events, cons I’m going to be at and book release dates. And I’ll post if there’s going to be a sale or discount on one of my books.
Finally, I will sometimes run contests on my Facebook page. I give away e-book copies sometimes, or give special discounts.
Don’t spam people
Please don’t do what I see some writers do, though. Yes, you should talk about your writing and your books on Facebook. You should tell people when a book is coming out and if they can get a discount. You should totally give your book away sometimes.
But that shouldn’t be all you do! No one wants to land on your Facebook page just to hear you hawk your book all the time. The standard rule is at least 80% content and 20% promotion. I do less than that, actually. Please, give people who visit your page something of value when they visit.
And that’s it for Facebook. If you have any questions that I didn’t cover, don’t hesitate to ask either in the comments below or through email. Next week we’ll be talking about Twitter. See you then.