You may be surprised to see me guest posting here again after the totally-blown-out-of-proportion kidnapping thing a while ago. *rolls eyes* What good is a friend who isn’t willing to do a social media intervention every so often? You’ll notice Kristen hasn’t been as hostile towards Facebook lately.
Point for me! *pumps fist*
It’s all good. Kristen and I exchanged chocolate and GF cookies…and I used the cat’s laser pointer to distract her. Soooooo, while Kristen is chasing the red dot, let’s talk FACEBOOK.
The one question I get asked about a lot is how to increase engagement on a Facebook page or profile. Engagement is the name of the game. Every click, like, share and comment on the content you post tells Facebook that people find you interesting.
When you become interesting, Facebook assumes more people will want to see your content, and shows your content to more people. Yay – see why it’s important. (This is a simplified answer.)
Yeah – I get that. But how do I increase engagement?
You may have noticed the proliferation of photos on Facebook — 300million+ photos uploaded daily. There’s a reason for that.
Facebook assigns a weight (value) to different kinds of content.
Links have the lowest weight, then status updates, and photos are given the most weight by Facebook, meaning your photos are more likely to be seen than your links or status updates. Similarly Facebook assigns value to the kinds of interaction your content receives with clicks receiving the lowest weight, then likes, with comments and shares given the most weight.
Always vary your content, don’t go all hairy wild on posting photos, but interesting and engaging photos should be part of your strategy.
So by posting a photo, your content is potentially seen by more eyeballs than if you posted a status update or a link. When people engage with that content (likes are good, comments and shares are better), Facebook will make sure that content is seen by even more people.
Romance writers instinctively know how to leverage this because they post pics of men – inspiration photos for their characters, they encourage fans to post photos of their characters, etc. And these photos encourage a flurry of likes and shares. (They post other things too.)
But I’m not a romance author. That won’t work for me.
This works for any kind of author.
Here’s a snapshot of WANA Instructor Marcy Kennedy’s page from yesterday.
Marcy’s tagline says: “Fantasy novelist and proud geek. I blog about the intersection between fiction and life because fantasy is more real than you think.” She posts all kinds of geeky stuff her fans love. Every Thursday she does a Would You Rather post – a very geeky thing to do, but that’s her brand.
Instead of writing the Would You Rather question as a status update she turns it into a simple graphic. Images receive a lot of real estate in newsfeeds, and the nature of the graphics she uses invites engagement (comments) and builds community and her brand.
Part of the reason this works so well for Marcy is the kind of question she’s asking as well. She asks questions people have an opinion about, but opinions they can share and not offend anyone with. (**Bonus tip: Non-Fiction author and WANA Instructor Leanne Shirtliffe on her Ironic Mom Facebook page does this really well with status updates.)
Sharing Blog Posts
As I mentioned above, links have the least weight with Facebook – not to say you won’t get engagement with a link but more people will have the opportunity to see your content if you use a photo.
Don’t do this exclusively, change it up, but try this strategy. Instead of just posting a link and allowing Facebook to pull in the small thumbnail image for the post, upload the main photo from your blog post and include the link to the blog post in the photo description. Or take the extra step and edit the photo so the blog question is part of the photo.
Do you enjoy the photo sharing aspect of Facebook? Have you considered using photos to help build your brand on Facebook?
I’m teaching 2 short and sweet (and cheap) classes on using Facebook to build platform next week.
10 Essentials for Your Writer/Author Facebook Page on Tuesday evening. Everyone who signs up for the course can submit their page for a live critique during the webinar.
Using Your Facebook Profile to Build Platform is on Thursday night. I’m offering this course because so many people tell me they don’t want a page they want to use their profile. Bring your questions :D.
Thanks so much for joining me today! See you in class *waves*.
Thanks, Lisa for
kidnapping me the guest post, but I don’t think that red dot wants to be caught. Johnny Pocket and I have been working on it for the past hour.
OOH! SHINY! *lamp crashes*
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, I gotta admit, you, Lisa, are the only person with the powers to make me actually LIKE Facebook. I took one of your first classes and learned so much. So for my pals out there, TAKE HER CLASS. Facebook has a bazillion members, ergo is a powerful social platform. Lisa will help guide you to use time more wisely so you can get back to writing those books.
IT WRITES THE WORDS OR IT GETS THE HOSE! *pets fluffy white dog*
I love hearing from you!
To prove it and show my love, for the month of January, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).
And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.
At the end of January I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!
I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.
Thanks. This is very informative. I am still contemplating starting a FB page because I don’t have a product to sell. My blogs are my life ;). Still working on my book, but it will be a while yet before it’s done.
If you start FB, you can gain a following and then when you have a blog post you can put a link on your FB page. I do this, and my FB friends then click the link to see the post. The more interesting your title is, of course, the more people will read your blog. Sometimes friends of friends will see the interesting title and will click the link whereas they would not have even known about it if you had not been on FB.
Right now I post on my own Facebook wall, but I worry that my friends are getting annoyed, plus I am not really increasing my FB audience by using my own wall.
I never realized FB gave more weight to photos! I love the idea of uploading the photo from a post and adding the link. I have a great time finding pics for my posts (sometimes more fun than writing the post). Why not share that? Thanks, Marcy. *bows down*
And super-duper thanks for sharing Marcy with us again, Kristen. 😀
You’re welcome! (And people get Marcy and I mixed up all the time – part and parcel of the whole co-writer thing.) 😀
Ack! *hangs head in shame* Sorry. 😀 *offers chocolate*
Genius. To think I never knew that about photos versus links. Facebook is an evil genii and that’s such a helpful tip. And about the laser pointer, works well with toddlers too. Going to tweet this now. Thank you!
Thanks for the tips. Those are great. In your class, do you teach how to do things you talked about, like creating graphics?
Hi Lanette – I will be showing examples of effective photos, but not how to edit the photos. I really enjoy using picmonkey.com to edit photos – it’s a free easy tool online.
Great advice, and stuff you don’t know til someone takes the time to tell you. Thanks!
Wonderful stuff! Engaging post as usual!
Thanks for the advice. I’ve also noticed with Facebook ‘pages’ that when other people post links or whatever to your wall, they’re pushed into a tiny little box and people might not see them, so if you want your fans to actually follow those links (often guest post related things), you have to share them… something I wish I’d worked out earlier!
I’ve been hanging back from getting an author page…so I guess I’ll take the ‘regular’ class, lol. Gotta up my game…
This is such great advice! I have been sitting at the kitchen counter saying, “Ohhhhhhh! Ohhhhhhh!” For the last five minutes! It makes so much sense. I had wondered how to engage more people with my blog through Facebook. I am also trying to come up with a way to get my FB friends to subscribe to my blog. Any ideas?
Works for me, especially since I’m kind of a photography geek – hobbyist – whatever!
I don’t have an “author page” though – everything is through my regular old FB page – I suppose if I ever went viral -wheee! — I’d do an author page.
Great tips! I’ve noticed how the “seen by” for Facebook links has dropped dramatically, and I’ve been trying to use photos instead. One of these days I must be brave and set up my author page instead of just my general blog page.
I have been trying to build my platform and name for the past few weeks (it sure seems to be slow going at first), but I have not included Facebook because, in general, it doesn’t interest me. However, I realize the power it has. Thanks for the post.
Guess I’m lucky–writing about cats and dogs offers some automatic SQUEE! images and I make sure to always ask questions, too. FB is one of my main drivers to my blog. Lately I’ve been posting not only the link (with the cute picture) but also any video directly in the FB thread. That also seems to increase comments and likes. Great blog tips, thanks!
I use photos in my blog posts all the time but I never thought to upload them to Facebook with a caption.
Kristen, so glad you had Lisa deliver a great post and that you featured Marcy Kennedy’s Facebook page.
Loved the dog photos as well. 🙂
Me and my coworkers use all of the strategies you described and yes, they are just as effective and way less creepy than paid promotion on the FB. Great Post!! 😀
EXTREMELY good to know! Thanks!
Great strategies! I’m trying the upload the picture separately one…and you’re right, I’ve noticed the plain status updates get seen by more people than the plain links do. Fascinating.
I do not have a Facebook account. Maybe, if I find an editor, to help sell the book. Right now, I am trying to use the Internet to find an editor that accepts E-mail submissions. I prefer cats to dogs. Cats eat the fish bones and even chicken bones. Dogs dig out your pineapple plants on the side of the house to have a warm place to sleep in. A female cat hides under the leaves of the pineapple plant near the wall of the house to have kittens, but you will have thousands of mosquitoes afterwards. The deadliest vampire are the mosquitoes and to deal with the problem I cannot afford Boracay Rum (Coconut and Cappuccino Flavor), which has a Facebook account. – Daniel
Thanks for these tips, Lisa. Very helpful!
I had always wondered why pictures always seem to flood my homepage but I almost never see what my friends are saying about themselves… Thank you for that info, Lisa.
And this post wasn’t just nformative, but… ooh, Shiny! Um, sorry, got distracted a moment. It was hilarious! Much love to you both for this.
If no one’s checked out Jenny Hansen’s blog post on the new Social Me app (you can find the link in Gene’s writing resources post above), that also tells you what your profile says about you by analyzing ALL the data you’ve EVER put on FB. It was really interesting to see what was most liked by my friends, what I write statuses about most. It kind of gives you a FB personality quiz. Combine that with Marcy’s tools and you’re in good hands! Very fun and interesting.
True about the photos! I see so much instagram stuff on there, but people are always liking it!
I have found this to be true. I seem to get more likes whenI post a photo on FB. I have started to post images of merchandise I have designed on Zazzle that promotes my two ebooks series’ as part of my author brand.
I learn something new every time I read your posts, Lisa and Kristen. Never knew that about the weighting of posts on Facebook. Hmmm, new strategy time…
That tip to upload the picture itself is amazing. I just don’t know if I can figure out the technical part of doing it. I love Marcy’s “Would you rather…” questions and I’ve even seen how when I answer my friends (who aren’t friends with Marcy) see it and answer, too. That really shows the power of sharing. But, I had no idea that Marcy made that into an image herself. I would have no idea how to make a graphic. I’m not exactly one with technology. I still have trouble with my smart phone. 🙂
Thanks for the tips, I will get cracking then.
Loved this post! I am hoping to attend the webinar tomorrow night as it’s just what I need. 🙂 It was such a great post that I shared it as the top blog posts I met this week.
(I also mentioned Kristen Lamb’s book as I just bought it and I’m loving it.)
Thanks, Karen! I really appreciate it *hugs*
Thanks! Looking forward to the webinar tonight.
What a brilliant idea to use a picture instead of a status update or a link! I don’t have a Page yet, and not sure what I want to do with my profile, so I’ll wait to take the class. But this tip is going to get used now! Thanks much.
Awesome. This is class is going to be a lot of fun – and unique.
Practical tips that can be used immediately. Love the idea of uploading the image with your blog question in it – that was a head desk moment for me – I did it once because the blog post wouldn’t load properly and never looked at how much interaction that got! Well, thanks to you, Lisa, I’m learning. An old dog CAN learn new tricks . . . slowly. 🙂
This was a very informative post. Especially about the weighting and ways to use photos. Thanks, Lisa. Also to Kristen, I just finished reading your book, “We Are Not Alone” last night. Thank you! This answered so many questions for me. It’s all starting to come together for me. Now I just need to check off the items on your to-do list and complete your blogging class (starting tomorrow!). Then I can set everything up and be ready instead of feeling intimidated and overwhelmed. Looking forward to setting up Tweetdeck. So much simpler. A question for you: Do you still advocate MySpace in 2013 or has anything changed since your book was pubblished? It’s the only platform that I’m not yet on. Just wondering.
I appreciate what you do here. For those of us not too tech-savvy it is great to have this stuff spelled out! Okay, maybe I’ll try to post some pictures to my words-only blog. I must be the only person left not posting pictures. I’ll try….
I enjoy the interaction on Facebook, both making posts and responding to posts. Political and social issues get a lot of traction. What I need to learn is how my frequent activity can translate into book sales. There seems to be no way of tying in a book promotion. If you have useful suggestions I’d lok forward to reading them.
There is so full of useful information. I love checking in with your blog. I learn so much
Apparently auto spell is alive and well in the middle of the night….my post should read…This is so full of useful information. I love checking in with your blog. I learn so much.
Hi, just tried to email Lisa through the Wana site about classes, but keep gettin an error message saying to contact her another way! This is the only other way I know 🙂 Can you add me to a list for future classes on facebook – the ten essentials looks good! Thanks for a great blog post – really made me think (which hurt, and now I need chocolate and a lie down!) janet
I contacted Lisa for you and she should be in touch with you shortly :D.
Send me a short note at email@example.com so I remember. Thinking I’ll run both these classes again in a month or so.
Very informative. I am new to FB page and blog….so your information here is just what I need to engage my readers
1. I never realized that pics are better than links for engagement. Shall keep this in mind henceforth.
2. New favorite writing mantra: “IT WRITES THE WORDS OR IT GETS THE HOSE!” lolz… I have copied this into my index card quote keeper. Thanks for that funny motivation! 🙂
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