Focus Facebook Time on Networking to Hack Book Success
- HomeFocus Facebook Time on Networking to Hack Book Success
We know it. We love it. We hate it. And yes I am talking about Facebook and networking. So let’s share some tips on how to get in and out with as few tears as possible.
Facebook is, first and foremost, a social media network. And as authors we want to socialize with our readers, to talk about our media, and to network with other authors and our fans. But let’s face it, Facebook is also chocked full of religion, politics, recipes, memes, games, and drama. You have a lot of distractions and if you’re not careful you could be on Facebook all day clicking around and convince yourself that you are networking when you’re not really getting any work done.
Here are a few hacks to help you streamline your social networking time so you can get back to writing.
This one is simple and I am sure most people do it already, but just in case:
Switch your News Feed from Top Stories to Most Recent
You will have to do this every time you reload the page. But it keeps you up to date without having to slog back through things you’ve already seen.
Create a Facebook account for your author.
If you write under a pen name, use that name for your account. If you write under your real name and already have a Facebook account then simply add Author to the end of your name and create that account. You can add any existing work contacts to your new account. Make a post letting people know that you are going to open an account for your author work too. This helps narrow the focus of your Facebook time to being an author, and not socializing with friends and family. Don’t get distracted by family/friend posts that you could respond to on your personal page.
Find the right groups for you.
Not sure how to do that? Check out Heidi’s helpful article on how to use your research skills to help you. Before you join a group, make sure you read the rules. If there are no rules, don’t bother. Those groups turn into a spam zone where no one reads anything and they just post like crazy.
There are a few types of groups you will want to join.
You can go wide here and look for groups like 20booksTo50k which is for all authors and covers everything. And you can go narrow, look for a group for your specific genre and sub-genre. I recommend doing both. Some things affect all authors, like when Amazon KDP goes down for a day, and that might not be talked about in a group for paranormal-sci-fi-horror. Find a group that you personally mesh with. This is going to be your support group so make sure you can get along with them.
Look for a group that has good reader participation. If you think it looks like a good group, go ahead and start a discussion about books, don’t just link to your own, and see how it goes. If it fizzles out because no one is actually talking about books and they are just posting ads for their own work, leave it. That’s not worth your time either. If the discussion merits it, and the rules allow you to link your work, go ahead and do so. But don’t spam. No one likes spam.
These are the best. Reader groups that allow authors to post ads for their work. But don’t fall into the trap of just posting a link to your work and moving on each day. Make a post. Start a conversation. Reply to others. Talk about your favorite authors.
Start your own group
Once you have a few fans start your own reader group for your books. Do not randomly add people to your group. That’s a good way to make people, like author C. Penticoff, angry and not want to work with you. Talk about your work. Keep them up to date on what’s going on. Post a favorite line that you’ve just written. Engage with your followers. And promote your group on your author Facebook page to bring in new followers. You can also offer advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) to those in your group and find beta readers. It’s an easy way to keep everyone together and track who is really helping you with your work.
Groups are organic
A Facebook group can grow, age, and die. Nurture the ones that are useful to you, but don’t waste time trying to revive a dead group. If your group starts to become sickly cut out the parts, and people, that are screwing it up. That means checking in at least once a day to test the waters and make your presence known. An easy way to do this is to schedule posts. Write out a post you would like shared, then instead of clicking “POST” click on the down arrow to the right of it. Select schedule then pick a date and time you want that post to go live. You can schedule basic posts for months in advance so you don’t have to worry about forgetting about it later. Then if something happens you want to post about immediately you still can. Or if you want to post reminders about specific dates, say a book launch when you know you’ll be super busy, you can schedule those too. It’s a great way to plan ahead so you don’t get swamped later. You can do this for your groups and your pages, so you are always talking with your audience. Just remember to respond to any comments posted.
Facebook loves to notify you. Of everything. Don’t let that distract you. Set your notifications in a way that works for you and doesn’t intrude into your writing or personal time. Check your notifications to see if people are responding to you or your comments, if they are posting in your groups. And react or responding to those people. Even a simple thanks goes a long way.
But the most important part of networking on Facebook is be a human. No one pays attention to a bot. Even if you’re hyping a cyborg sci-fi novel. No one wants to get spammed. So be a person and be yourself. Make friends online and engage with them. That’s what networking is all about.
If you have any tips of your own please feel free to share in the comments below.
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