An Idiot Author’s Guide to Facebook Marketing (2019)

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Facebook has been a healthy platform of showcasing for both writers and authors since many years. There have been many authors who’ve effectively used Facebook Marketing to generate book sales and engagements, and still employ strategies for the same.

Facebook has more users than Twitter and YouTube combined, no joke! So it could be the one of the efficient platforms to start marketing your book and most importantly yourself. Let’s delve into it more.

Up until 2017, Facebook worked great for both writers and authors.

However, the scenario today is quite different. Due to many changes that happened over time, Facebook doesn’t generate the amount of leads as if used to. Hence I thought of writing this blog post and help you understand Facebook Marketing better.

Facebook Marketing Guide by Aniruddha Pathak - Image One

Today, in this article, I am going to tell you what Facebook’s up to these days. And the reason why your Author/Writing pages might not be receiving the same traffic like before.

I’d also speak about the solutions for marketing yourself on and outside Facebook effectively.

Let’s get started. Here’s a short and sweet Table of Contents for you to navigate quicker:

# Facebook Marketing for Writers and Authors: Then VS Now

There was a time when Facebook had quality traffic towards the pages related to writing and budding authors. However, the scenario is not the same anymore. The pages that had a huge following now barely show up in the news feeds. Why? There are three major reasons.

  • Facebook changed its algorithms over time.
  • Similar pages clamored the social networks beyond requirements.
  • Due to insta-news and articles, people began to lose interest in long write-ups.

Let me elaborate these points more.

# Facebook and its Algorithms

Over the time, Facebook changed its algorithms. What do I mean by that? The thing is, Facebook decided to implement certain mechanisms that helped the major news portals to surface onto the top of news feeds, and the smaller ones went to the bottom. A killer (traffic-killer, of course) move, of course, but Facebook had to focus on the posts that actively provided people with authentic material, and hence they began eradicating the inactive ones. Plus, they focused on user engagements, which made the pages with no interaction lose their places in people’s feeds – and still continue to do so. They roll out frequent updates these days, so it’s a problem for the people who aren’t active and popular in their circles.

# Clamoring of Writers and Authors

Everyday thousands of new Authors come up and either them or their publishers create Facebook pages for them under the claim of social media marketing. The scenario is such intense that every other page that pops up in my suggestions tells me that the person is an Author or Writer. Compared to the supply, the demand is pretty low. Only the giant pages manage to get away from these issues and stay in the game. Also the easy options of ‘Sponsored ads’ give away a major tool to the promoters, which result in your pages getting unusual lower traffic.

Facebook Marketing Guide by Aniruddha Pathak - Image Two

# The Insta-Influenced World

The completely new concept of insta-reads (pardon my sarcasm here): instapoems, instanews, instablogs, instathat, and instathis – everything offered to people is now packaged in tiny bits, which they tend to read more. And why won’t they? They can just scroll on their screens, get a glimpse of the insta-posts, and within a few seconds, they can read the entire thing. Relatable, right? It indeed is. We all do that. Only a few of us stop by and read long articles to savor the impact those make on us. But everyone won’t. Nope.

# How to stand out from the Crowd and create your own Reader base

The major question! How to fight the ever-changing algorithms of Facebook and tastes of readers? There are multiple options. I’d elaborate those – some are Facebook-centric and some, things to be done outside Facebook.

Blog: Create a blog and actively write about things that you wish to and share it with people. As the blog is entirely your own feed, people won’t find a way to escape it and they would read it without any disturbance. Ask them to comment their feedback; and you should actively engage in what they have to say.

Write multi-part short stories on Facebook: Write a short story. Break it down in parts of 300 – 500 words each. Share one chapter per week. That way your readers will be curious about your writing. Try to leave the parts at cliffhangers.

Facebook Marketing Guide by Aniruddha Pathak - Infographic

Giveaway free ebooks: The way I do. I published two poetry collections and kept them active for a month, Into the Dense & I Wanna Know, which were available for free downloads. Into the Dense had crossed a whopping number of 750 downloads and I Wanna Know, more than 1400! Those statistics assured me that readers would definitely want to read you, just that it’d be more when you give your stuff for free. Also, who doesn’t like free stuff, right? We all do.

Participate in active writing groups: Many people think that keeping Authors in their profiles will benefit them for their own popularity, and that is so not true. Your popularity is solely dependent on what YOU do. So go into the writing related groups – the active ones, if I may add – and notice what people talk about. And if you have an input, don’t hesitate to give it. Make sure you give positive feedback. Honesty is the best policy, I understand, but humbleness MUST be your first priority.

# What are the Most Efficient Ways to Generate Engagements using Facebook?

Don’t share more and don’t share less.

This is one rule that most of the bloggers today ignore. I have seen bloggers sharing nothing but their blog posts and sharing a blog post out of nowhere too. Both of these practices result in a fall in your blog’s traffic. Why? Because in the first case, your friends and readers know that you keep writing and sharing blog posts (and the blog posts might not be helpful to them), hence they’ll face a lack of curiosity in your content and eventually stop visiting your blog; and the second category, let’s say, is popular among their friends and circles but they never openly admit that they are bloggers and share a blog post saying:

‘Hey! Look, I blogged today! Go read!’

“Nah. Thanks. I don’t want to open it. By the way, you blog?”

So keep in mind, your visitors must know that you blog! Tell them that you do and let them know that you’d like them to read and provide feedback on your posts.

But while sharing the posts, make sure you keep a proper gap. Maybe share one blog post per 5 – 10 normal Facebook posts. That’d keep a nice balance.

Time and tide wait for no one. But for bloggers, they do!

Honestly, I have found that the time post 8 pm IST (for Indian bloggers) is the best time to share blog posts. Why do I say this when blogs related to tech, food, etc. are shared in the daytime? Well, let’s see.

The audience mostly spends their daytime looking at posts and memes on Facebook. They might be in their offices working and taking breaks to surf midway, or sitting idle waiting for their friends to come online after their college hours. The possibilities are endless. The reason why Tech, food, etc. blogs run in the daytime are because they can be read in the shortest span of time. Let’s say, there’s a new mobile launched in the market. What’d most of the normal readers do? Open the link, read the specifications of the phone, check the images, the price, and the final verdict of the blogger. That’s it. You read one blog post within 30 seconds to 1 minute!

On the contrary, it’s not the same with the blogs of writers and authors. There’s no scope to miss words in the article while reading them. So your readers tend to read it in the night or midnight when they are relaxing after a tiring day and surfing articles to ‘read’ while having their dinner or lying in bed.

Bonus tip: My Analytics tells me that most of the visitors to my site come during weekends (mostly Saturdays) post 11 pm. You know why I pointed this out; use it!

Build Ultra Strong Connections with your Readers & Bloggers

A point that I keep repeating repeatedly. To state it short and sweet: Go out and talk with your readers. Ask them to share your blog post if they enjoyed reading it. Contact other bloggers in your circles who blog in similar niches and ask them to share your article with their readers if they think their readers will find it useful.

Have faith

Have faith. Your blog’s following will increase eventually. There’s no need to rank highest or gain highest traffic as soon as you start the blog. Build loyal readers and you’ll see a huge increase in your traffic soon.

Facebook Marketing Guide by Aniruddha Pathak - Three

Be patient and consistent. The other day, one of my writer friends pinged me. “Bro, every time I post something, the number of people reading my posts lessen. I don’t know what to do! This market is killing my passion.”

I asked, ‘How often do you post?’

He said, “Once or twice a month.”

I immediately understood his mistake: he wasn’t consistent. The readers waited for updates from him, but he never posted anything on time. It was as per his convenience. If that is so, I firmly assert that keep the least expectations. You need to be consistent to gain following.

And results aren’t achieved in a day. Or a week. Or even a month. It takes time. You need to make a planner and continue posting your stuff, even if there’s only one person reading it.

Choose only one social media platform as VIP (Very Important Platform)

I rarely see this advise given to someone. But here’s the take: Posting everywhere and expecting traffic from everywhere and trying to optimize your reach for all the social media platforms are going to do nothing but give you divided and mixed results (needless to say, inconsistent too). So focus on only one platform.

Blog posts can be marketed on Facebook.

Quotes can be posted on Instagram and WhatsApp stories.

Useful snippets can be shared on Quora.

Blog post excerpts – use LinkedIn.

It’s be a lot easier to gain following that way.

Stay updated with writing trends and complain less.

The most essential part of marketing. Don’t look over the fences, stay in yours and try to expand inside it. Don’t cocoon yourself either. Be bold and go out and just freaking tell people that you are writing/wrote a book and make them read your stuff. If you are doubtful about telling them to read, just do one thing, initiate a conversation.

“Hi”

“Hello!”

“Are you free? I wanted you to see something. Actually, read something. Only if you are free.”

“Yeah sure. Send me. I hope it’s not horror. Or else I’d get spooked out.”

“Hahahaha. Nope. It’s abstract. I am just trying my hands at new things, you see…”

“Okay. Send me the link?”

“Do tell me how you liked it. Here you go: {link}”

“Cool, will get back to you after reading it.”

That’s it. If they don’t revert, no issues. There might be at least one person who’d tell you that he/she read it and found it awesome! Just don’t stop employing your efforts.

# Conclusion

Although Facebook is a marketing tool for writers and authors, you’d need to work with different platforms to balance everything out and make the marketing work for you.

I strongly suggest you to write blogs and share them on Facebook, and also your free stories.

Do let me know if you have anything more to add.

That’s it for today! If you have any queries or feedback, don’t hesitate to drop me a mail on hello@aniruddhapathak.com.

Thank you and regards,

Aniruddha Pathak

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