This is the second part of the traveling blog “Social Media for Authors”. For the first part “A New Star in the Twitter Universe”, visit best selling YA author Alison DeLuca's blog A Fresh Pot of Tea.
As I neared the publication of my book Brother, Betrayed, I found myself frequently posting on my personal Facebook page announcements about my book. I imagined that family, friends, and coworkers were interested in my posts, but I did not want to become a monotone link-poster. Also, the sketches and art work I posted about my book were lost in a sea of baby pictures and personal status updates. When I discovered that ordinary people can set up a fan page on Facebook, like the Imagination Movers or Stephen King have, I became determined to create one. It would be my hub for all my information dispensing. Facebook fan pages allow acquaintances to show their interest and enthusiasm for a project by “liking” it. Another bonus is that posts aren't devoured on a page as they are in a person's feed or wall.
Interested in creating your own? I first will discuss how to set up an author and a book fan page (I would recommend picking one or the other to start off with).
NOTE: If you are deciding whether to start off with an author fan page or a book fan page first, consider this: If you are considering discussing your writing in general with your fans, or multiple pieces of literature, then create an author fan page. If you believe you will only be focusing on one book, the create the book page first. You can create an many fan pages as you desire, but maintaining many pages may become tedious.
Then I will give a brief explanation on how to show off your page and suggest it to friends. To end, I will explain how to add a like box to a web page or blog.
Create an author page
How to: Once you have a Facebook account you can create an author fan page. On the left of the Facebook screen are icons for “Ads” “Apps” “Requests” and “Pages” (note: if you don't see “Pages” listed, click “More”). Select Pages, and on the top right click the button “Create a Page”. For an author page, select the button “Artist, Band, or Public Figure”.
Create pages for your book(s)
How to: same as creating an author fan page, although you will select “Book” as the page type instead of the picture of a person, select the “Product” and click “Book”.
Setting up your page is simple. Follow the step by step guide for adding your personal information and a photo. Afterwards, you can post status updates, links, photos, and videos exactly as you do for a personal page.
Tip: Don't just advertise, tell about yourself and your work as a writer
Tip: You can use notes to give excerpts from your book and other documents you'd like to share
Example: Here's mine (it is an Author Fan Page)
Suggest the link to friends (Using the icon on the right after you set up your page) and share your link with others to get them to “like” it.
NOTE: if you make new Facebook friends, this is a great way to get people to visit your page that may be unaware that you have one. When friends visit the message center or view individual posts then an icon will come up on the right of the Facebook screen that says “Danielle suggests that you check out their page”. Very non-invasive. As the previous explanation implies, you can suggest your page to new people even after you made your initial suggestions. Friends who you have already sent a request to will be in grey.
Tip: Did you notice that some of your Facebook acquaintances have yet to become fans of your page, yet you know they are very enthusiastic about your work? You can try sending them a private message with a link to your page. I would suggest against posting the link to their wall, because that is considered poor cyber-etiquette on Facebook.
Share special events on your personal feed
How to: Occasionally I still want to share some announcements on my personal feed so the Facebook acquaintances of mine that have not “liked” my page can see them. Also, posts by pages usually won't show up on friends' “News Feed” because pages aren't interacted with as much as people. Simply click “Share” next to “Like” after you post something to your page (or to post it in a group or send as a message).
If you have a blog or website, you can also add a “Like Me On Facebook” box
How to: This is a bit more complicated. I'll walk you through it step by step. Click “Edit Page” on the top right of your fan page screen. Select “Resources”, "Use Social Plug-ins", then select “Like Box”. Here's a tricky part, you need to copy and paste the url to your FB page to the field at the top. Then set you specifications, like your background color (black or white), and set your width. I personally prefer for the feed and the faces of your page to show, so visitors can click “like”, see what you have recently posted, and see the fans of your page without ever navigating away from your web page or blog.
NOTE: You may need to play around with the dimensions in order for your “Like” box to fit correctly on a sidebar on a blog or website. Simply return to the edit page section of your fan page and create a new like box.
“Just a Thought”: you don't have to be the administrator of a page to create a “Like” box for it. If you copy any Facebook fan page's url, then you can use it under the Facebook Developer's section. This means that if you have a cause that you wish to support, such as the American Red Cross, or a favorite band or product you would like to showcase, you can create a “like” box for their page as well.
Thank you for visiting! I'll be happy to answer any questions you have about Facebook Pages, and check yours out once you make one, just post a link!
Author of Brother, Betrayed now available on Nook and Kindle