This post was last updated July 13th, 2020
We spend a lot of time talking about how to grow your digital platform to grow your brand. We’ve talked about Twitter, how to grow your e-newsletter list, Today we are going to focus on Facebook.
It is very easy to get sucked into Facebook. There are dozens of time wasters (farmville, who’s your celebrity lover, etc.) and if you have a very large network just keeping up with all of your friends can be overwhelming. In the beginning, I spent several hours a day… just on Facebook. At the end of the day, I would be so frustrated because I felt like I had accomplished nothing with my writing.
And man can it be toxic if you let it. So much political garbage, fake news, and negativity. It takes diligence, commitment, and a solid plan to keep from letting it overwhelm you.
Stick to your Brand
In Social Media 101, I teach how to come up with your worldview for your brand. You need to stick to that. Unless your brand is specifically targeting conspiracy theories, religion, politics, etc you should avoid such content. Remember, this is a professional page.
If you want to talk politics, religion, whatever then go hog wild on your personal page. But make sure your personal page is listed private and don’t accept random requests because the internet is a dangerous place to speak your mind. Screengrabs are easy and something you wrote 10 years ago can come back to destroy your career. Follow the 80/20 rule of content for your worldview and be sure to engage with other people’s content as your page so you can build your page’s engagement and brand.
Page VS Group
A year ago, Facebook figured out that we were working around their page exposure by using groups. So they found a way to limit and advertise through groups. So at this point, it doesn’t make a ton of difference what you have. I like having a main page that is for anyone interested in my blog and my books. Then I have two private groups that are targeted toward authors and my super fans. Both are spaces of exclusive content and I don’t really promote them much.
Get Greater Exposure
There are a couple of ways to expand your exposure on Facebook. The first is boosting posts. The second is to run ads. The third is to cross-post. Each of these options have their pros and cons.
Let’s start with boosting posts. The big con, obviously is that you have to pay to play. I’m sure you’ve noticed that any given post will only reach between 1-7% of your audience, depending on interaction. Facebook has arranged this to increase its profit margins. While it is tempting to only boost posts where you have a vested return (like your 20% content) that’s not wise. After all, the point of the 80/20 rule is to balance content so your fans don’t always feel like you’re asking for the sale. I prefer to focus on boosting posts that are performing better than most posts. They perform better because they are getting more engagement. Which means they are resonating with your audience. So boost that. If that is a sales post, cool. If it’s not a sales post, that’s ok too. I don’t let boosted posts make up more than 10% of my overall budget because they’re really just about building relationships, not getting sales.
This leads me to option 2- Facebook ads. Facebook ads are great for building your brand, and getting more likes, but the best way to use them is to add readers to your newsletter list/ to promote your book/ or to promote an event. Before you invest in those ads, A/B test them with your organic audience first. You can quickly spend far more than you ever wanted and see very little return if you’re not careful. As it is, the return on digital advertising is pretty low. 0.9% CTR is considered average on Facebook. You have to do a lot of testing before running with an ad to get those kinds of results. It is not for the faint of heart, especially when you look at the cost per click there. $3.77 is the most common cost per click. For most authors, that’s outside your budget. So you have to keep it tight.
Another alternative that many authors go to is cross-promoting. Sharing their post from their professional page to their personal page. (I do this with every post.) Sharing it to any and every group they can share to (called spamming.) and even sending it to followers via messenger. Those last two tactics can be valid tactics if you do it right. But they have been horrendously abused by people in the past and now you have to be super careful or you could get blocked and booted.
Make sure that if you are cross-promoting, your content is truly relevant and follows the community guidelines of the group you’re trying to post on. Make sure that you are visiting that group regularly and interacting with other people’s posts and building relationships. Don’t just post and ghost. And don’t abuse it. I have to kick people out all the time for abusing these rules in my Author Anon group. There is no call for it.
My last tip is to limit your time on any platform. Set a timer and then scan and engage with people as much as you can in that time frame. If you don’t interact with others then quickly neither of you will see one another’s content. It’s social media, not free TV ad spots. So be social on it or don’t be on it at all.
Do you have any Facebook tips to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Until next time,