This is a post by Novel Publicity President, Emlyn Chand
Last Week, I made you salivate as I discussed the merits of Grandma’s old-fashioned social media pie. I split that yummy pie into four-pieces and dedicated one of them to the power of Facebook in furthering your online writing platform. Using Facebook, you can engage your existing follower base, set up some fun features (that might not be possible on your blog unless you have a webhost), and be a presence that nobody can ignore—well, unless they “unlike” you.
These first 10 steps are the basic actions you need to take to set-up your fan page. If you already have a page established and want to learn about how you can customize it or how to do things under the new layout, skip ahead to step 11.
1. Log-in to Facebook
2. Visit this link to set-up a page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php?campaign_id=372931622610&placement=pghm&extra_1=0
3. Choose the “Artist, Band, or Public Figure” tile—it’s in the lower-left corner
4. Select either “author” or “writer” from the drop-down menu and enter your name (see note below)
NOTE: Other Facebook Pages that may appeal to writers include: “book,” “book store,” “fictional character,” “library,” or “magazine” under the “Entertainment” category (the lower middle tile), and “media, news, and publishing” under the “Company, Organization, or Institution” category (upper middle tile)
5. Check the box to agree to Facebook’s Pages Terms
6. You will be greeted by the “Get Started” page, just to the right of this text, there will be a like button, click it.
7. You’ll see a numbered list of steps. Step 1: Upload a picture. People are more likely to trust a page with a picture, I think (even if it’s merely a book cover or an avatar)
8. Steps 2 and 3—invite your friends and import your contacts. When you click to invite your friends a screen will pop up with all of your existing Facebook contacts, you can search for particular friends that you think may be interested, filter your friends by the lists you’ve set up, or just go through everybody and click who you want to invite. To import your contacts, you’ll have to upload a contact list or enter your email account ID and password.
9. An alternative/supplemental approach to tap your existing fan base: Scroll to the bottom of the left-hand column and click “share.” This will post a promo of your new site to your Facebook feed. Write a comment asking your friends to like your new page.
10. Fill in the info for your page. You’ll need to provide as much information as you can (concisely written so as not to overwhelm the page-viewer). For an author page, this will include: name, address, affiliation, birthday, about, description, biography, awards, favorite books, gender, personal information, personal interests, email, phone, and website—obviously some of this information may be too personal to share and other categories are a bit redundant. Only fill in what you want to fill in.
About a week ago, this would have been all of the info you needed to get your page up and ready. Not now! Facebook loves changing their layout. The latest changes affect the fan pages drastically. These next 10 steps are for more advanced users, who want a higher functionality from their pages.
11. Click on the “Edit Page” button located in the top right corner.
12. Go to “Apps,” it’s located on the left side-bar
13. The first app listed is “Events.” Set up an event called “Please like my author page.” Specify a longer time period like one week or one month for where list the link to your new fan page. Under the description, write something like “Won’t you please like my new author page? It will only take you a second, but it would mean the world to me. Thank you J” You may also want to write in a bit about how to like your page, step-by-step instructions—this may be required if you want your less tech-savvy friends (like your Grandma or Great Uncle Herman) to like you. Invite all of your friends to this event. This is the number one best way to get followers.
14. If you want to include discussion boards on your site, which I highly recommend for an author’s page. Go back to the “Edit Page” screen and return to the “Apps” page. Scroll down to the discussion boards and click “edit settings,” then click “add.” You can also do this to add in other standard apps like notes, videos, events, photos, and links—yes, you have to add all of that manually now, thanks to the new layout.
15. I also highly (HIGHLY) recommend adding “RSS Graffiti” to your Facebook page. I prefer this to the other, more popular “Social RSS,” because it is far more reliable. It will run your RSS feed directly to your Facebook wall. As I’ve said before, Twitter is the best way to find new followers for your blog or website; Facebook is how you’re going to keep them coming back. http://www.facebook.com/RSS.Graffiti
16. Another app for your Fan Page that gets my shining endorsement is the aptly named “Fan Appz.” You can use it to set up quizzes, polls, give-aways and much more. http://apps.facebook.com/fanappz/
17. Link your Facebook page to your other social networks. Add a “like me” button to the sidebar of your blog or website. Ask your Twitter family to like your page (bonus tip: if you say something like “I only need X more fans to customize my Facebook author page URL. Please “like” me. I follow back!” you are much more likely to get people to head on over to your page—don’t forget to add a link to your tweet).
18. Once you’ve secured your first 25 fans, you’ll be able to customize your page URL. To do this you need to go to http://www.facebook.com/username/Enter your desired page name, and if it’s available it’ll become yours! Make sure you choose a good name, because you won’t be able to change it once it’s set. Customizing your URL means that your link will look something like this: www.facebook.com/emlynchand
19. Add favorite pages. Go to any page you want to add as a favorite to your page. In the left column, you’ll find “add this to my page’s favorites” listed directly after the number of users who like that page. Add the page, and if you’re smart, you’ll post on its wall, saying “hey, I added your page to my page’s favorites. Any chance you’d be willing to return the favor?” Make sure to include your link with your request.
20. If you change your mind and want to delete your page. Go to “Edit Page,” “Permissions and Settings,” and then “Permanently Delete this Page”
If that had been spoken rather than written, I’d be gasping for air now! Believe it or not, I have many more tips on how you can use Facebook to further your writerly platform. If you ever have any specific questions about Facebook or social media outlets, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Wednesday is my social media advice for writers day. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be blogging about how to use GoodReads and giving a quick guide to social media for the busy writer.
Emlyn Chand is the president of Novel Publicity and a YA author. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her first novel Farsighted released in late 2011 and is of the YA genre. Learn more about Emlyn at www.emlynchand.com or by connecting with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or GoodReads.