Facebook Pages: Promote to fans


Once you’ve built your Page and added some content, the next job is to promote the Page to potential fans. This section looks at techniques you can use to promote your Page to Facebook users and grow its number of fans.

How to get Liked


Facebook-LikeLike most things related to book marketing, this is the million dollar question, without the budget to match. So here are some ways you can promote your Page, mostly for free:

Soft launch

It’s a good idea to start a bit slowly so you get into a routine posting and have some content before you go crazy on the promotion. One goal for this soft launch phase: Create an easy-to-remember and search-friendly name.

You can apply for a short, friendly Facebook Page name, eg facebook.com/yourpagename instead of the complex name Facebook creates when you first sign up. Apply at facebook.com/username.

Invite your good friends

This is great for the soft launch phase. Facebook makes it easy to notify your Facebook friends, and you can email the others with a link and a request to Like. Remember they have to have a Facebook Profile to Like your Page.

Use social plug-ins

Facebook Social Box

Facebook Like Box social plugin. Click to enlarge.

Facebook provides several widgets that you can add to your website or blog (http://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins). These are a great way to connect your website and Facebook Page, sending visitors between the two, by:

  • Sending website visitors to your Facebook page via Buttons, Boxes, and Badges
  • Adding your Facebook Activity feed to your website
  • Letting Facebook users Like pages on your website, promoting your website to their friends
  • Adding a Facebook Comment Box which lets Facebook users post comments on your website which can also be sent to the commenter’s Facebook friends

Comment on other Facebook Pages (discretely)

You should do this using Facebook as a Page rather than under your personal Profile (click the arrow at the top right of your Facebook screen and select the Page name). This will put your Page logo out there which links directly back to your Page.

Use the Facebook @Tag when you comment on Pages

You can post a status update which refers to Page you’ve Liked. When you do this with a feature called an @Tag, your update will also appear on the timeline of that Page, giving you exposure to their audience. To use this feature, type the ‘@’ symbol. As you type the name, a list of your Facebook Pages and friends will come up. Select the one you want.

Comment on blogs (discretely) with a link to your Page

Care is needed so you don’t appear rude and self-serving. You’ll be judged by the quality of your comment. If you add value to the discussion, most bloggers and fellow commenters won’t mind a small plug, for instance, by signing off the comment as ‘Jill Brown, author of Blog Your Way to Happiness’; or by linking to your book page if it’s relevant to the topic under discussion.

And, of course, most blog comment systems let you enter your website address or Facebook Page address when you sign up to comment. After all, people like to know more about the person posting the comments.

Use publisher and bookseller websites and social networks

These are still mostly focused on printed books but you can work any connections you have to get a plug for your book. Even if you have no connection, you can contribute to some sites as a reader and post useful links and comments. There are so many books published that you’re unlikely to be put into the ‘competitor’ camp and bumped off or blacklisted.

Many publishers and booksellers are now putting significant resources into building their own social networks – and a few are trying to make their websites more social. And don’t forget libraries – some of them are doing a terrific job online and they’re active book promoters.

Add a link to your Page in your email signature

This is an easy way to nudge your friends and business contacts.

Add Like buttons to your email newsletters

You can insert a link to your Page into your email newsletter. Many of the specialized email marketing programs such as MailChimp (mailchimp.com) integrate some of Facebook’s social plugins to encourage recipients to Like your Page and let you track the results.

Buy fans — maybe

Yes, you can. Thousands of them if you want. The quality might not be great but if you feel the need to be loved big time at launch, this might be the answer. Search the web for ‘buy Facebook fans’ and you’ll find plenty willing to send Likes your way for a few cents a fan. But be warned: Don’t expect them to interact with your page or to stick around – and they will have a detrimental impact on your Page’s performance in Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. Facebook’s algorithm will see note the low percentage of fan engagement and reduce the exposure it gives your posts. Could be costly unless you can quickly add lots of real fans to dilute this impact.

Advertise on Facebook

Facebook would naturally prefer that you pay them so they provide a range of ways that you can get your Page in front of Facebook users. In fact, they face criticism for deliberately reducing the effectiveness of Page owners’ free posts in order to boost the need for advertising.

Most Facebook campaigns run on a ‘pay per click’ basis which means that you pay according to how many people click on your ad, not how many times it’s seen. Expect to pay a dollar or two for each click – more if it’s based on popular targets – and you can set daily budgets so you don’t overspend. Facebook also lets you buy Sponsored Stories, a way to get more of your Page’s posts into fans’ news feeds.

Visit http://www.facebook.com/advertising for more.

Follow the rules


Before you embark on any promotions using Facebook, study the Facebook Pages Terms and in particular its Promotions guidelines. Note that these terms, like many things about Facebook, change regularly so make sure you’re working to the latest version.

Facebook enforces its terms strictly so in the worst case, you could find your Page shut down. It’s very particular about any actions that bypass the need for advertising on Facebook (hence its many rules about how you can get fans to Like your Page), and about the terms of any contests.

Resources


Find out more about this topic on our Digital Publishing 101 useful resources site.

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