Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.
With 1.44 billion monthly active users, according to a Pew report and Sprout Social, Facebook is the market leader for social networking sites. That statistic alone makes a compelling case for why publishers and authors should use Facebook to connect with their readership community and promote their books.
Yet While Facebook ads are a great tool to target audiences based on a customized demographic, there are also some free tools that Facebook has recently improved that can be an essential part of an online marketing strategy.
Three Facebook marketing tools—Live Video, Search and Events—offer publishers more ways to connect with readers and promote authors’ books. Let’s take a look at why you may want to use these improved tools to enhance your marketing initiatives this year.
I don’t know about you, but when I used to get invited to events via Facebook, it didn’t seem that professional or user-friendly. It is now, though. Check it out.
Now Facebook Events is revamped and allows you to:
• Browse invitations
• RSVP and bookmark events
• Fill out calendar entries
• Buy tickets
• Check in
• Post photos
Use these tips to run an effective event:
• Make sure you use events for real events with a physical location and not for a promotion only.
• Don’t post on the timeline of other people to promote events.
• Make sure your event is well written and comprehensively answers all the questions your invitee may have about your event.
Consider using Facebook Events for book signings and other promotional gatherings for the authors you represent.
You may hear everyone talking about Periscope, but Facebook now has Live Video and hopes to become the go-to live-streaming app. Facebook rolled out Live Video to public figures last year, and now is rolling it out to all verified Facebook pages. Live Video is available to some iPhone users, and also will become available on Android.
Experiment with Live Video this year and tap into the highest engagement in social media: videos on Facebook. And you don’t need an additional app to use this feature. In Facebook’s mobile app, the Live Video content is located in the “Update Status” prompt. Plan your Facebook video strategy with these tips for great quality:
• Speak loudly, clearly and close to the phone or microphone.
• Reduce any background noises.
• Say hello to people who are viewing your video in real time. You can even answer questions as they come in.
• Switch back and forth from the front and the back of the camera so you can talk to your audience and also show your audience something else, like where you are, or the book you are talking about.
• Speak up a little bit when the camera is filming away from you.
• Facebook recommends film time from two minutes to 20.
• Play around with different Live Video times to see when you have the biggest audience.
• At the end of your video, give your viewers a call to action, such as: “Get a free chapter of this book, by going to X website” or “Order your copy of this book today.”
Facebook search wasn’t exactly user-friendly or all that searchable (when compared to Google), until now. Recently Facebook dropped Bing as the power behind its Internet search and now Facebook is going it alone. Facebook’s improved search came out last year and now may yield results that surprise you. The Facebook graph search includes people, posts, hashtags and locations.
Search to find out what people are talking about in a specific niche, brand or topic. Like with Google, there will be a hierarchy in your search results, with the most authoritative sources at the top and then filtering down. If a post is public, you will be able to find it.
Listen in on or join conversations online by finding them easily with Facebook search. Find out what’s trending and what people are talking about right now. Latest Facebook numbers indicate 1.5 billion daily searches. Search results will sort through a huge amount of online content users share via Facebook. Since Facebook is where most spend their time online, you will want to be there, too.
Social Media Examiner reports the good news for marketers: “Facebook’s Graph Search opens up a new world of opportunities to target users. Insight, research and discovery are intuitive with the new setup—you can target and filter audiences and optimize your interactions with them.”
When you have the ability to search conversations in your niche, you increase your ability to find your unique readership for a book you are promoting. You can more authentically talk about the value of a book when you chime in on conversations that are already happening in that particular category.
With Facebook dominating user time on social media, try these enhanced features for your book, content and author promotions. Of course, Facebook isn’t a replacement for an author website, but a great social media platform to enhance the marketing objectives for both publisher and author.
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