Why Facebook matters – Buffy Andrews
By Buffy Andrews
As assistant managing editor of social media and engagement for York Daily Record/Sunday News in York, Pennsylvania, I’m comfortable marketing my work and the work of our journalists via social networking channels. Social media is an important and growing way to reach new, younger and wider audiences. So when I became an author, marketing my books was a no-brainer and something I felt comfortable doing.♥
However, I know not everyone loves social media as much as I do. And I get that no one has hours to spend on marketing their work. So when I’m asked which social network is the best for promoting an author’s work, I tell them Facebook. Why? Because Facebook is the No. 1 social driver.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that more than 70 per cent of online adults use Facebook. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be on Twitter or YouTube or Pinterest or Instagram or Tumblr. I’m on all of these and many more. But what it does mean is that given the scarcity of time, choose how you spend it wisely. And spending it on Facebook is going to benefit you more than spending it on other sites.
Let’s take a look at the type of content that people share most on Facebook.
Content that elicits an emotion. If your post makes a reader feel something they are more likely to share it. The emotions at the top of the list are happy, sad or angry. So create content that makes a reader happy, sad or angry and they are more likely to share it with others.
Content that offers new knowledge. Tell readers something they didn’t know.
Content that targets a niche audience.
Content that’s personalized (ie. Quiz: Which Harry Potter character are you?)
Now that you know what kind of content readers share most on Facebook, how can you use this knowledge to help you market your book?
I’m going to use my latest book, Our Fragile Hearts, as an example of what you could do. Some background, Our Fragile Hearts is women’s fiction, a beautiful story of two lost girls looking for a family and an older woman denied motherhood when as a teen she was forced to give up her baby.
Since I know that heartfelt posts do well on Facebook, I’m going to write a post that attempts to elicit emotion. I want to move the reader, to make them feel something and arouse their curiosity. I want them to click on the link, go to the purchase point and buy the book.
So, I might try something like this.
Three lives. Three broken hearts…
Rachel, a young girl with her whole life ahead of her, and Mary, an older woman in her twilight years, came to me in the quiet of the night. Piper quickly followed and within minutes I realized they were special and not likely to leave. They didn’t. They stayed and I told their story. Read “Our Fragile Hearts” and discover what they discovered.
I might also try to target niche audiences and share this post in Facebook groups and pages. There are tons of public Facebook groups I could share it in, from Women’s Fiction to Ebooks on Amazon. Who might be interested in this book? Women. Grandmothers and mothers. Are there groups specific to these audiences where I could share it?
As with anything, you’ll want to check the post’s metrics by looking at Facebook Insights. The most important metric is shares. Shares are more important than clicks. Why? Because shares is how your work spreads. Engaged readers share content that’s worth sharing. Make your content worth sharing.
Elements of a Facebook post
- Headlines: Recommend 60 characters; make them short, descriptive and intrigue reader
- Posts: Be conversational. Try to elicit emotion.
- Image: ALWAYS include an image (You can include your book cover or use graphic design programs like Canva to create great social sharables.)
- Every author must market their book.
- Social media is a great way to market your book.
- Be selective of what type of social media you use. Facebook gives most bang for your buck.
- Aim for shares.
- Follow best practices and include image in Facebook post.
Buffy Andrews is an author, blogger, journalist and social media maven. By day she’s a journalist, leading an award-winning staff at the York Daily Record/Sunday News, where she is assistant managing editor of social media and engagement. She writes middle-grade, young adult and women’s fiction. She has published 13 books and No. 14, Our Fragile Hearts, is out now from HarperCollins. Andrews also owns Author and Friends, a literary gift shop, on Etsy and Cafepress. She lives in southcentral Pennsylvania with her husband, Tom, and wheaten cairn terrier, Kakita.