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Take Your Author Facebook Page to the Next Level

By Steve Piacente, self-published author of Bella and Bootlicker


Have you offered a free excerpt on your Facebook page? How often should you change your cover photo? Is your avatar a picture of you or your brand?

Self-publishers were among the attendees of a fast-paced 2012 BookExpo America (BEA) session on Advanced Facebook Marketing conducted by social media strategist Cindy Ratzlaff, a self-described “brand evangelist” and “buzz marketer.”

Her take on the first three questions: if you haven’t offered an excerpt, you should. You should change your cover photo often. And the avatar (the small image on the upper left of your page) should represent the brand, not the author.

Ratzlaff has graciously made her presentation available here. Before you bounce over, here are a few more tips:

  • Don’t be afraid to be a little provocative.
  • Highlight for visibility: Select a special post to span two columns and grab attention. Do this by hovering over the post and clicking the star.
  • Pin to top: Use this feature to promote a post at the top of your page for seven days to ensure maximum visibility. Hover over post, click icon, select, “pin to top.”
  • Create inner circle fans and give them an option to jump into small group book discussions or live streaming events.
  • Make sure your author page has a link to the page where your book is for sale. It’s amazing how many authors forget this.
  • Don’t forget to answer everyone who posts on your page. That includes the naysayers, who should get neutral replies like, “I appreciate your feedback, Donna.”
  • Consider adding a pop-up business card on your page.
  • Don’t forget to link from your personal page to your author page.

Ratzlaff recommends a few sites and apps (some paid, some free) to add spark to your page, like lujure.com (customized pages), pickmonkey.com (photo mosaics), woobox.com (coupons, sweepstakes, polls). Facebook’s Help Center for apps can be found here.

Why is all this work worth the time? Facebook has 901 million monthly active users, with members spending nearly eight hours a month on the site. Those and other intriguing social media stats can be found at The Social Skinny.

My favorite Ratzlaff tip is one of the most obvious. Create a practice page and try anything and everything without ever publishing. Then, when you’re comfortable and everything looks just right, pull back the curtain.