Facebook can be a great marketing tool in your writer business. But how can we use it to market our books?

Facebook can be a great marketing tool in your writer business.

Now I say tool because social media isn’t the only way you can market yourself. It is not the end-all and be-all of your writing career. It won’t determine how successful you’ll be. It is just another tool in your marketing tool belt that can do two things: distribute the other types of content (think blogs, videos, etc.) and engage with your tribe.

Before we talk about the types of content we can create for Facebook, let’s start off with the lay of this social media land.

Facebook has gone through a lot of shifts over the years. A couple of years ago, it was really easy for your followers to see all of your posts organically aka for free. So a lot of people and businesses used Facebook as a distribution channel. It was the platform of choice to share blogs, books, and all the other content they were creating to market themselves.

But then Facebook made a shift in its business models. Now it has shareholders to answer to and in turn, has to make money. It became really difficult for that same type of Facebook post to get that same kind of reach, especially if you are a business. They have a lot of restrictions and they’ve made changes to the algorithm. Facebook is trying to get back to what it was originally created to do – be a place where people can connect, with their family, friends, and tribe.

So what does that mean for us as writers?

  • Facebook is a pay-to-play environment. That means in order for all of your people to see your posts, you’re going to have to pay for it. That takes the form of ads, where you can target followers and non-followers. You can also boost a post that just shows your post to more of the people already following you.
  • Facebook is also cracking the whip on businesses operating on its platform. It has rules and policies on what businesses can and can’t do and those rules are constantly changing. Unfortunately Facebook a lot of times does it make it quite clear as to what those rules and policies are, or if there’s been a change.
  • Facebook puts a high price on engagement and community building. So while a Facebook business page is a great thing to have, Facebook is really making a push towards Groups. They really want people to build communities and not be so businesslike any more. And that’s where they really put a lot of their algorithm magic behind when it comes to what they allow people to see on their feed.

How to use Facebook as a fiction writer?

One way is you can use Facebook as a way to distribute the other types of content you’ve got going on. You can broadcast your new blog posts, podcasts, and videos (which still does very well by the way!) on your Facebook Business Page. Now I will tell you that unless you’re paying to boost your posts or you’re running ads, you may not get the engagement you expect to see. And by engagement, I mean likes and comments on your posts because Facebook is super stingy about business posts getting seen by all the followers of a page. They really want their platform really to be about connecting with real people and not about businesses selling stuff all the time.

Another way to use Facebook is to engage with your community. That can be done on your Facebook Business page posts by asking questions, posting fun prompts, and share things that you and your ideal reader love to talk about. The goal is to start a conversation and invite your followers to comment on those posts. You can also host regular Facebook Live videos and chat with your followers in real-time.

If you want to take things a step further and really get that engagement the Facebook likes, starting a Facebook group is the way to go. You are creating a place where people who are interested in you, your fandoms, and ultimately your books can grow, thrive, and connect with you. And at the end of the day, that’s y what we want for our writer businesses. I can tell you that as a writer and a business person, I’m a member of a couple of Facebook Groups and I’m on there all the time!

What should authors post on Facebook?

By now you may have a million ideas running through your head for Facebook posts and group prompts, but which ones should you run with? Or maybe you have no clue what to even post on Facebook? When it comes to questions like these, you have to go back to the three core pillars of your marketing strategy: your story, your brand, and your ideal reader.

When you’re going through all of your ideas or trying to come up with new ones, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this Facebook post going to tell my story in a way that connects with what I do?
  • Does this idea promote my brand or back up what I want to be known for?
  • Or does your idea connect with your ideal reader? Would it be something that they would like and comment on? Would they even pay attention to it?

The answers you jot down for each one of these will help you figure out what to post on Facebook (or any other social media platform for that matter!) every single time.

Are you currently on Facebook? How do you use it in your writer business?