Thursday, June 9, 2016

You Love Your Facebook Page—Let Your Fans Love It, Too: Boost That Post ~ by Patricia Beal

So much has changed in my life since my last post. My husband retired from the U.S. Army, and I have a day job for the first time in 10 years. I'm back in civil service, writing and editing for the Army like I used to (before my very long baby break). Because that wasn't enough change, we also moved to a different house, a house with treesa luxury in the El Paso desert. And my car of 16 years gave up on me, so I have a new car, too.

What does any of that have to do with Facebook? One thing: If I'm busy writing about Facebook, I'm not thinking about how scared I am about all that's changing and about my struggle to cope with it. If you're someplace similar, here's a precious sermon my pastor preached in mid-February and that's been a life saver for me: The Survivor's Guide to the Wilderness (the first sermon in this Numbers series, at the bottom of the page).

Enough front matter. Here we go. A bona fide Facebook post.
If you want to see a lot of activity on your Facebook author page, post often, boost your posts, and make sure your posts are uniquely yours (brand) and fun to share.

Post often.
I schedule a post for each day. It goes live at 3 a.m. El Paso time because it catches Brazil waking up (most of my fans are from Brazil, where people love ballet, travel, and Jesusmy brand in a nutshell). You can get away with a post every other day, but don't drop below that. 

Don't stress about Facebook posts constantly either. Schedule dozens of posts in one sitting and then just show up once or twice a day to like comments and show people you appreciate them. I don't have to produce a new post until July. June is already created, scheduled, and boosted.

Boost your posts.
The vast majority (95%+) of the people who've liked your page are not seeing your posts. Unfair? Totally. Can you change that? Not really. Not significantly. No amount of hashtags or targeted images will get the average page user beyond 10% reach.  

You have to boost your posts. With a $3 boost, I can reach between 1,500 and 3,000 of my fans (out of the 7,623 I have), depending on how well the post performs. I also spend $1 a day promoting the page and get about 100 new fans a week. 

Why bother? Why spend? I do it because I love the people and love the interaction. I have fans from almost 50 countries following me, and I love them all. I gave up gourmet coffee and brew something simple at home instead, so I can reach as many fans as possible with my posts. 

But don't spam when you boost. I made that mistake in the beginning. When you click on the boost rectangle, select "people who've liked your page" only. If you're creating an ad for a book you're promoting, then it's okay to target beyond your page fans.

Make sure your posts are uniquely yours (brand) and fun to share.
Sometimes I think that too many Christian author pages look the same, sound the same, and feel the same. Don't be afraid to brand yourself and be different.

Explore what's uniquely yours. I have the ballet thing going. Candee Fick and Kelli Hughett have football. Candee is now getting her fans into tap dancing, too. K.S. Moore has NASCAR. Have fun with it. 

And when people share your awesome posts, you often get new fans, so make sure you keep that in mind when creating content. Feel free to poke around my page. On Sunday I had 24 shares + 12 on Monday + 19 on Tuesday: 

These are my main ideas, but there's so much about Facebook that I don't know. How do you manage your page? What are your tricks?

Patricia Beal writes contemporary Christian fiction and is represented by Leslie Stobbe of the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency. Her debut novel, A Season to Dance, comes out in May of 2017 (Bling! / Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). 

She’s a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature and then worked as a public affairs officer for the U.S. Army for seven years. She and her husband live in El Paso, Texas, with their two children. 

Patricia is very active online and loves to connect with readers. 

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  1. 'Brigada, Patricia. (Minhas filhas nasceram no Brazil quando nós eramos missionários lá.) I have looked at the boost possibility, but wonder how the money spent translates into sales. Do you have any data on that?

    1. Hi, LeAnne. De nada :) When it comes to book sales, several professionals believe that, right now, investing on building your email list is best because people sign up expecting sales emails. Social media would be more for branding. Here's a good article on social media and book sales. It's an interview with Gillian Flynn’s Agent: - Thoughts?

  2. Good for you Patricia. Not meaning to sound rude, but it all sounds like gobbledegook to me. I am not equipped to understand the technique you clever gals employ. Also I cannot manage to post more than once a week on F/book but I do try to put in as much personal info as possible.

    1. I don't think there's one right way of doing things--there are many, of course. It's a matter of determining what's important to you and going for it. For me, it's connections. If someone is interested in me as an author, I don't want to lose them because of the Facebook algorithm game. That's important to me. Other authors have different priorities, and I respect that. No worries :)