For authors trying to use Facebook in their marketing efforts, it can seem overwhelming. That’s why I often advocate a step-by-step method: Learn just one Facebook “best practice” or attempt just one experiment at a time. With this approach, you’ll be able to master each technique and build your Facebook marketing prowess slowly over time, the same way you learned how to do almost anything. And so, for this article, I’m going to give you two ideas for using Facebook effectively as an author. One is just a theory for you to play with, while the other is a proven way to make your page more professional. Let’s jump right in.
Idea #1: Make Your Pictures Fit the Space
Something that makes a huge difference between a poor Facebook page and a good one is the use of images. Once you start using images, your posts can often become more attractive. However, the actual images themselves are the difference between a good Facebook page and a great one. Let me explain.
Here’s one of the biggest problems for an author trying to use images on Facebook: The image size Facebook wants is a wide rectangle. Think for a minute about your book—it is a rectangle, but it’s tall, not wide! So if you try to make a post about your brand new book, you’ll end up with something like this:
That’s doesn’t look at all professional, does it?
How can we fix it? One way would be to take your book cover and make a new, wide image to feature the book on one side. You can then click on Upload Image and use that picture on your Facebook post instead. Maybe you could do something like this:
With this image, I’ve taken a 3D mock-up of my book cover (you can find websites that make these for free by Googling) and added some text to describe what my book is about. For a novel, you could put a short summary there, or maybe even a really great review quote.
(By the way, I’ve created a Photoshop template for Fix My Story e-mail mailing list subscribers to help you make your own images like this one. Stay tuned to the end of the article!)
While this type of image looks great and can add a lot of professionalism to your Facebook posts, there’s just one small problem with it: Unfortunately, the use of text in an image is highly frowned upon by Facebook if you’re going to boost the post with an ad. Facebook requires that your image contain no more than 20% text. Plus, this image isn’t especially personal, so you might want to think about another way to show your book.
Here’s one idea: Get a photo of somebody reading your book. Make sure the cover is nice and visible! Then all you have to do is crop the picture to fit the rectangle of Facebook’s post image size.
It’s very much worth the effort to make your book look great on Facebook. Take the time to put together an image that fits the space.
Bonus tip: This also works for Twitter and Google+ images!
Idea #2: Pay Now for More Exposure Later?
Disclaimer: This is only a theory. I am still investigating the implications of some data that I’ve discovered at my day job running a Facebook page with almost 14,000 likes, but what I’m seeing seems to point in this direction, so I’ll share so that you can investigate it if you’re so inclined.
What I’ve noticed is that since I’ve started boosting posts at work on occasion, the views and engagement (that is, clicks, likes, and shares) on other posts have gone up dramatically—sometimes double or more. This isn’t just while I’m boosting another post; it’s often happening in between boosts.
Why is this happening? Well, I’m not positive. What I do know is that Facebook seems to show people stuff from pages they interact with, so if you can pay to boost a great post into your audience’s feed and get them to like, comment, or click a link, you have a much greater chance of Facebook putting you into your audiences’ feeds later down the road.
Now, I’m not saying that if you boost a few posts, you’re absolutely going to see an increase in engagement on non-boosted posts. But my preliminary data points to this, and I’m going to keep investigating this phenomenon in my future Facebook endeavors.
And there you have two ideas for making your Facebook efforts more successful. If you want more Facebook tips for authors, check out my previous article Four Don’ts (Plus One Do) for Authors on Facebook.