Facebook Author

I have about 3,800 “friends” on Facebook. 2,500 are authors. Another 1,000 are connected to the publishing industry. I still remember when my manager said, “I’m signing you up for Facebook and a blog. You can reach more people, instead of doing speaking engagements.”

My reaction? “Uggg….” I like speaking speaking engagements and do not want to be on the Internet while I could be writing. Nevertheless, like always, my manager was right.

I’ve been able to connect with thousands of authors, readers, publishers, agents, marketing companies, networking clubs, and fans. This is all great, but does Facebook help any author? How many people can be reached by the author? How many publishing connections?

The first place authors should start is target audience. When marketing your book, this is always step one. 50% of social media are people under the age of 30. The fastest growing audience is women between the ages of 55-65.

What should that tell you? Social media started out for a younger generation, but now everyone is getting involved. Which means, your target audience can be reached.

78% of people trust others about a product, rather than a commercial or add of some sort. For example, if a customer read your book, enjoyed it, and told someone else about it, then you would sell more books, as opposed to sending out a blanket email promotion or putting a billboard on the highway.

Word of mouth is powerful. It is free and your most influential marketing tool. However, word of mouth can swing both ways.

CAUTION: Authors who are using Facebook for personal use and for their career, are walking a dangerous line. If you get upset at your aunt and post how much you hate her on Facebook, that won’t look good to other fans, authors, and publishers. Decide right now if you want to use Facebook for professional or personal. I don’t believe you can have it both ways.

Let’s talk about reaching others, because that is what authors need to do. The first thing is that Facebook receives more traffic than Google. Search Engine Optimization is very important so others can find you on Google. However, Facebook has a better chance of someone locating you.

How long does it take for an author to reach 50 million viewers? Here are some statistics:

Radio: 38 years.

Television: 13 years.

Internet: 4 years.

iPod: 3 years.

Facebook: 3 months.

If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest. (One ahead of the United States.) But just like radio and TV, you need to locate that audience and make an impact on what you say or how you advertise your book. It’s not how many people you reach, but the quality of what’s said to the people.

80% of companies are now recruiting through social media. But what about agents and publishers? According to Publishers Weekly, the fastest two ways for someone to notice you is:

1. Social Media

2. Blog

How should you take advantage of this? Social media is compared to Dale Carnegie. For those of you who do not know Carnegie, he believed in listening first, selling second. I’ve said this before, if you want to sell books to millions of readers, then you have to appeal to millions of readers.

A few months ago I used James Patterson as an example of how to market and improve your books. Patterson listened to the readers and asked specifically the kind of books they liked to read. Then he wrote those books. Dean Koontz has changed his style. I can even make a case that Stephen King’s books are much different than ten years ago.

Oh, by the way. For my United Kingdom authors who are reading this, know that 50% of the UK’s Internet traffic is through Facebook. For authors in the United States who write in the fantasy or medieval genre, keep that in mind.

Use Facebook as your market research. I can tell what books are selling and which ones aren’t. I know what kind of authors that are struggling and which ones are flourishing. In fact, I write each blog, based on the posts I’m seeing on Facebook. (No, I’m not stalking you. Just being very observant.)

 60 million status updates are made on Facebook daily. It doesn’t take long for me to figure out what are authors biggest needs and how I can help.

Authors no longer have to look for help. I’ll find you. Customers no longer have to look for a great book. You will find them. Publishers and agents will cross paths with you. Networking with others becomes a thousand times more effective.

Having said that, here are some things I do on Facebook, that you might want to consider:

* Only 10% of my Facebook connections are actual people I know. (Family and close friends.)

* When receiving friend requests or sending them out, I look to see the following: If they are an author, reader, or someone connected to the publishing industry. All others are ignored. Do not say, “Well, anyone can be a potential reader.” That’s not narrowing your target audience.

* Example of my target audience for fiction novels: Women between the ages of 34-45, middle-class, single or leaders in their family, and avid readers. I can find that information when a “friend request” comes in.

* Be professional at all times. You never know who is looking at you. (Readers, publishers, agents.)

* Help other authors on Facebook. Promote them, give them encouragement, offer to read some of their manuscript and give feedback. Publishers and agents work together. Authors should be working together as well.

It comes down to this. Authors do not have to hope someone will notice them. An active author on Facebook and other social media sites, who is professional and helpful, will find what they need to have a career.

Ron Knight

Author of “2-10”

Free Preview: www.upauthors.com/authors/ronknight

Manager: Melissa Link

Contact: melissa@scbranding.com

Ron Knight

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