Note: this information pertains to professional author pages, not to personal Facebook profiles. To set up a pro author page, see this post for some basic tips. Again, I want to acknowledge the Romance Writers of America community for sharing their finds and clever ideas.
1. On using real names versus pen names: if you want your Facebook fan page to show up under your pen name, you must create it through your personal profile (Facebook does not like it when you set up an independent page under an assumed name, and may remove such a page.) On your personal profile page, go to the flywheel on the upper right, and select “Account Settings.” At the bottom of that page, click the “Create Page” link. You can set that page up under any name, including the titles of your books.
2. Have a big announcement? Want a post to show up like a banner, across the entire page width? Hover over the top portion of the post (where your name shows up) and you’ll see two things emerge – an edit pencil and a “highlight” star. Clicking the star turns the post into a banner that spans the width. You can convert that post back to the standard single column width by clicking the star again.
|Above you can see the banner I posted announcing my blog tour. In a few days, I'll return it to normal width.|
3. To increase your reach: Facebook likes it best if you create original material, right there. Rather than link to external material, post your own pictures, videos, or original content. Of course, sometimes it’s essential to link out from Facebook, but you’ll notice fewer page views on those posts.
4. As with all social media, balance informative material about your writing/your books with informative material of general interest. Think of yourself as an “expert” in some aspect of your interests and be an educator, not a broadcaster/sales person. To that end, one great way to engage interest in your page is to pose questions that are not necessarily about your writing, but perhaps about the writing life, creative work, craft. Questions engage reader interest. Note: always reply to readers. Remember, this is "social" media.
5. You can add apps to your professional page, including apps about your books. Just under your banner you’ll see a line of small windows: “photos,” “likes,” “videos,” and so on. Click the number button to the right and you’ll open all the windows you have (assuming you have more than four) and one with a +. You can add apps to the + window by clicking on the +, and then “add more apps.” The picture below shows my windows open to the second row.
|I've opened the apps to show everything I have added currently. Soon I'll be adding more!|
Now, I've discovered that finding the right apps can be a challenge from within Facebook; I found the Bookpulse app, which I use as you can see above, and am very happy with, after hearing a recommendation. In a future post, I’ll try and give you a list of interesting apps you might consider. For the moment, if you do nothing else, add a video app and link to or upload your book trailers, etc., as videos attract more attention in search engines.