In today’s world, social media is a huge part of most people’s lives. From staying in touch with family and friends to keeping tabs on celebrities, most of us spend a good amount on time on the various platforms every week. But did you know you can leverage the outreach capabilities of social media to build your author brand?
Facebook is a great place to start. Facebook is actually the most commonly used social media platform worldwide with over 2.23 BILLION monthly active users! That equates to just over 1/3 of world’s total population. So, if you’re looking to reach as many people as possible, Facebook can definitely be a viable option.
But how do you get started?
In this article, you will learn:
- The benefits of creating a Facebook author page
- How to start creating your very own page
- Some awesome things you can do with your author page to maximize its impact
Let’s not waste any more time and jump right in!
Benefits to Creating a Facebook Author Page
If you’ve seen other authors talking about their Facebook author pages and wondered what all the fuss was about, here are a few benefits having your own page can bring you.
It’s an easy way to get all of your fans into one place.
Having a Facebook author page can be the first step to assembling and growing your fan base. Facebook makes it easy for you to invite your friends to follow your page; and they can, in turn, invite their friends if they want to. Your author page is also a great place to send the people you meet at book clubs, conferences, and signings — especially if you don’t have an author website yet.
It’s a direct line of communication between you and your readers.
There’s no better way to connect with your readers than well… actually connecting with them. Through your Facebook author page, you can speak directly to your readership via posts or even polls. Likewise, they can communicate directly with you in the comments. You can also have individual conversations via private messaging.
It’s a convenient way to announce upcoming releases and events.
Could you imagine having to push press releases to radio, newspaper, periodicals, and television just to let your audience know what’s coming? Or how about relying solely on word of mouth? That’s how it used to be done. Thank goodness we’ve progressed as a society and now have social media. With your Facebook page, you can easily create an announcement and publish it to your audience. Even better, your readers can click to share the good news with their friends.
It allows you to easily link to your articles and books.
If you’ve just published a new blog post, link to it on your Facebook page! Got some cool media coverage? Link to the article or video on your Facebook page. Running a sale on your book? You can even link to online retailers from your Facebook page. Your author page gives you an easy way to share exciting news and send people to exactly the right locations.
You can use it to find new readers through advertisements.
A commonly asked questions I see on some author forums is, “How do I set up a good Facebook ad campaign?” While it is possible to create FB ads without having a page, your options are limited. If you plan on creating Facebook ads, I strongly recommend creating a Facebook author page so you can explore the many different FB advertising avenues available.
How to Create a Facebook Author Page
Given the popularity and reach of Facebook, I’m surprised by how many authors still haven’t created a page for their writing. If you’re in that boat, and looking to rectify the situation, I’m here to help.
Setting up a Facebook author page is actually a lot easier than you would expect, and it’s well worth the effort.
Step 1: Ensure You Have Your Own Personal Facebook Page.
In order to set up a dedicated author page, you must first have your very own personal page. Now, don’t panic. Facebook has made this process super simple. All you’re going to need is an email address, user name, and password. Just head over to Facebook to get started and then confirm your email after providing your information. And voila! You have your very own Facebook account.
Step 2: Create Your Author Page
After you’ve created your personal Facebook page, it’s super easy to build an author page. At the home screen of your personal page, you’ll see a link for “Create” in the top right corner of your page. Select the page option and you’ll be taken to another screen.
On this screen, you will see two options.
- Business or Brand
- Community or Public Feature
When it comes to creating a Facebook author page, selecting the community or public figure option is your best bet. Upon clicking, you will be asked to provide a name for your page and the category for it to be placed in. As far as the name goes, you can be creative. However, I’d recommend keeping it simple. That way your readers can easily find it in the future. Many authors just use their name or a slight variation that shows this page is about their writing.. For example, Amish fiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher’s page is called “Suzanne Woods Fisher Author.”
Step 3: Upload Your Profile Picture
After pushing continue, you will be prompted to upload a profile picture. Personally, I think your profile picture should be clean looking and professional. This will be your first impression to prospective readers, so it’s good to put your best foot forward.
Step 4: Upload a Cover Picture
Once you’ve added your profile pic, it’s time to add a cover picture. This is where you can take some creative liberty. You can show a graphic that fits with your genre. Or you can even showcase your actual work on your cover pic as well. Just keep it within Facebook’s Terms of Service and relevant to your writing.
Here’s an example I created:
And here’s an example from psychologist and author Adam Grant’s page:
PS: Be wary of copyright conditions of your selected photo. You don’t want to get in trouble for using a picture you aren’t necessarily allowed to use. Personal pictures or purchased stock photos work best here.
Step 5: Personalize your Page
Right after you upload your cover photo and push continue, you’ve officially created your Facebook author page! See? It wasn’t that difficult. And now, this is where the fun begins. It’s time to personalize your page. I’d recommend starting with the “About Me” section of your page. In order to do so, look to the left-hand column under your profile picture. There should be an option that says “About.” If not… push the button that says “see more” and it’ll pop up.
When your About page shows up, go ahead and make appropriate edits. Here you can share whatever you want with your readers. The one thing I’d avoid sharing is your phone number. It is wise to keep some privacy for safety reasons. If somebody does want to contact you through Facebook, they can always do so through a private message.
Once you become more familiar with your author page, you’ll realize there’s a whole bunch of cool things you can edit on there. You can personalize your message buttons, menus, and even setup auto responses. Make your page your own and do what works for you.
Awesome Things to Do with Your Facebook Author Page
Now that you’ve got your page all set up, let’s take a look at some of the cool things you can do with it.
Grow Your Email Subscribers
Having a strong email list is important for authors. It gives you even more power and flexibility for communicating with fans. But establishing a system for getting email subscribers can often be a pain. Facebook makes things super easy.
Take a look at author Dr. Ron Friedman’s page:
If you click the button that says “Sign Up,” you’re taken directly to a landing page on his website where you can subscribe to his newsletter. Super smart.
If you don’t have a website, email marketing companies like ConvertKit allow you to create and host landing pages with only their service. You can use that to start collecting email addresses and take advantage of the attention your Facebook page is attracting.
Facebook isn’t just for promoting books. It’s about deepening your connection with your readers. Consider sharing a simple update on what you’re up to and how your day’s going. That kind of stuff. Honestly, people interact more when you make things personal. If you come across as just an announcement factory, you’ll see slower growth of your page. Also, you don’t have to use for Facebook for just short, simple posts. You can actually write a little mini-blog post on there too, which is great for days when you have a lot to say.
Utilize Facebook Live
Another great feature that Facebook provides is Facebook Live. This is where you broadcast yourself live on video to your page. People can join in on the broadcast and comment along. This provides an amazing opportunity for real time Q&A with your readers. Just be sure to let people know in advance that you’ll be doing it to so viewers will actually show up live.
You can also use Facebook Live as a platform for interviewing! Through Facebook, you can invite guests to your Live session and have a split-screen broadcast. And while you’re at it, you can create a poll for your session as well. Pretty neat, huh?
Share Other Authors’ Stuff
A great way to build relationships is to be helpful. If another writer in your genre has a new book out or is recognized for an accomplishment, show them some love on your Facebook page. You can tag them to make sure they see it. This builds reciprocity, which can lead to free help and promotion for you down the road.
The Bottom Line on Your Facebook Author Page
Setting up your author page isn’t the most difficult thing in the world. And it certainly isn’t going to be the toughest thing you handle as an author. But…it could end up being one of your biggest assets.
Just remember one thing though. Social media is all about being social. Engage with your readers! If they comment, reply back when you can. And keep inviting new people to follow your page. This kind of organic growth can only serve to strengthen your author brand if you do it properly. For more information on Social Media for Writers, check out our Ultimate Guide to Social Media!