Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Guest Blog: Robyn Bradley and 5 Tips for Creating a Kick-Butt Author Page on Facebook

Me Want Food welcomes Robyn Bradley to today's guest spot. If you are interest in doing a guest post, please contact kspatwriter at Yahoo.

Hi, my name is Robyn, and I'm a Facebook junkie. I'm that person who'll read your status updates and always comment. I'm the one who brings cute cat videos to your newsfeeds. My day is not complete unless I get at least one bingo in Scrabble. Family knows the best way to reach me is by writing on my Wall (I mentioned the addiction part, right?).

While we can debate -- some other time, thanks! -- how healthy it is for me to spend all my waking hours on Mark Zuckerberg's infamous college creation, let's instead look at something positive that comes from my Facebook habit: I know how to use it. And thanks to my day job as a marketing copywriter, I know how to use it well. Which comes in handy when you're a self-published writer looking to grow a fan base on the largest social network in the multiverse.

That said, I know many writers struggle with the business side of Facebook, like how to create -- and leverage -- their author page. Here are five tips to help you get the most from your FB experience.

(For the purpose of this post, I'm assuming you already have an author page set up. If not, Facebook will walk you through it step by step -- choose the "author" category under "Artist, Band, or Public Figure.")

1. Create a welcome page. When non-fans land on your page, it defaults to the Wall. This isn't the most compelling place for people to land. Instead, create a custom tab that "welcomes" people and gives them a reason to like your page. To get an idea of what I mean about welcome pages, check out what big brands do, like Target or Starburst.

If you're technically inclined at all, you can do it yourself (HubSpot has a good tutorial ). If you need help creating the custom welcome page, I recommend a third-party app called Short Stack ($5/month for the basic level). The call to action is to get people to like the page.

So how do you change your default landing page?
  • Go to Wall 
  • Click on “edit page” (right corner-ish) 
  • Click on “manage permissions” from the list on the left 
  • 5th item in list is “Default Landing Tab” – you can toggle to the tab you want. Until you have your welcome page set up, default to your “info” page (just make sure it's juicy). 

2. Get fans. The easiest way to get fans is to promote your page to your current list of FB friends. Do a status update on your personal profile that says something like, "Hey, everyone. I just launched my author page and I need fans to get it going. I'd love for you to like the page." And then include the URL.

Don't stop there. Make sure you include a link to your Facebook page everywhere: in your email signature. In your eBooks and print books. On your website (on every page!). On your Twitter profile. On Goodreads. On all online forums where you hang out.

Run Facebook ads. Here's the thing you need to remember about advertising. It's a long-term process. Once you get someone to like your page, you can continue to market to that person FOR FREE. Yes, I've had fans buy my books. It doesn't happen all at once, but it does happen.

With Facebook ads, you set a daily budget and you choose who you want to target (for my ads, I focus on people who use words like "Kindle," "Nook," and "iPad" in their profiles). If your budget allows, try $5/day for a month and watch your fan base grow. A page doesn't really start "humming," in my opinion, until you have around 250 fans. It's the critical mass needed to encourage good conversations and many "likes."

3. Secure a vanity URL. Once you have 25 fans, you can register a vanity URL (e.g. facebook.com/AwesomeWriterName), which makes for a much cleaner URL, especially in print (think the back cover of your book). This tutorial will show you how to do it.

4. Add fun apps. Here’s a great article on 75 apps that can help create a more engaging FB page.

5. Engage your fans. I try to follow the 80/20 rule: 80 percent should be about your fans and their interests and only 20 percent should be promotional.

Some ideas for status updates:
  • Ask questions. At least once a month, I ask what everyone is reading. This always garners many responses and "likes." The more responses and likes you get, the better chance your status update will be pushed to the top of people's "top news" in the newsfeed.
  • Share news stories about books, ereaders, authors, whatever.
  • Post videos. Book trailers -- yours and others -- are always fun.
  • Share trivia (e.g. "This day in history, Shakespeare was born").
  • Share blog posts (go easy on this -- you don't need to share every blog post you write).
  • Share upcoming cover art (or have your readers weigh in on which cover to choose).
  • Ask controversial questions (e.g. "Is it okay to use f-bombs in YA novels?"). 
Wishing you much success on your Facebook journey. Oh, and if you'd like to check out my page, click here.

LINKS IN ORDER THEY APPEAR
Facebook walks you through it step by step: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
Target: http://www.facebook.com/target
Starburst: http://www.facebook.com/Starburst
HubSpot tutorial: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/9883/How-to-Set-up-a-Facebook-Custom-iFrame-Landing-Page-Application.aspx
Short Stack: http://www.shortstack.com/
Facebook ads: http://www.facebook.com/advertising/
This tutorial: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/6109/How-to-Create-a-Facebook-Page-Vanity-URL.aspx
A great article: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-apps/
Click here (my FB page): http://www.facebook.com/RobynBradleyWriter

~

Robyn Bradley Bio and Links


Robyn Bradley is a Short Story Seductress and Novelist Ninja with an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. Her work has appeared in FictionWeekly.comMetal ScratchesThe Breakwater ReviewWriter's Digest, and The MetroWest Daily News, among other places. In 2007, she won a short story award for “A Touch of Charlotte.”Forgotten April is her first novel and is available on KindleNookiPad, and in paperback. When she's not writing or sleeping, Robyn enjoys watching Law & Order marathons, drinking margaritas, and determining how many degrees really separate her from George Clooney. Learn more at www.robynbradley.com.


Synopsis of Forgotten April


For April Sullivan-LaMonica, the last ten years have been hell: her husband and young son were killed in a car accident, and soon after, her mom descended into the darkness of Alzheimer’s. So when broadcast journalist Maggie Prescott shows up claiming to be April’s half sister and tries to capture their reunion on film, April outwardly regards Maggie with much suspicion. In reality, she’s simply afraid to grow close to someone again, only to have that person leave — or worse.


Maggie, meanwhile, is battling her own demons: figuring out why her biological mother gave her up, facing a secret she’s kept from the one man she’s loved all her life, and giving herself permission to follow the dream she’s had since she was a child.


Separated by nearly two decades and radically different life paths, April and Maggie must decide if pursuing their sisterhood is worth it…or even possible.


A story of loss, love, survival, and redemption, Forgotten April will speak to anyone who’s experienced the pains — and riches — of an unexpected friendship that emerges from family ties.


Purchase Links for Forgotten April 


Paperback - http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-April-Robyn-Bradley/dp/146114972X/ 
Kindle - http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-April-ebook/dp/B004W9BXYM/ 
Nook - http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Forgotten-April/Robyn-Bradley/e/2940012651730/ 
Ipad, Iphone, Ipod Touch - http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/forgotten-april/id431887718?mt=11
Learn more at www.robynbradley.com.
Robyn's Blog: http://www.robynbradley.com/robyn-bradleys-blog/ 

4 comments:

RobynBradley said...

Thanks so much for having me drop by! :)

Susan Weiner, CFA said...

When Robyn Bradley speaks, I listen. Facebook Welcome page, here I come!

daneastside said...

cool site, had fun looking through everything. i will keep in touch :)

RobynBradley said...

@Susan and @daneastside - Thanks for stopping by! :)