Monday, March 30, 2015

Working Your Facebook Author Page

Last November, I shared some tips about working your Facebook Author Page to appeal to your readers. Then I disappeared from my own author page for a while, posting sporadically, forgetting to respond to comments, basically violating everything I've ever said about keeping up with the page. This negligence is an annual event. As I've said before, the last quarter of the year doesn't belong to me. October isn't too bad, but the time period from the end of that month through New Year's belongs MSB and family. The first two weeks of January are spent catching up.
During the first week of catch-up, I discovered my page had gone from almost 700 followers with a reach of over 1000, to almost 700 followers with a reach just above 200. Whomp! What a drop!
First thing I did was to hold a "First Monday" Giveaway, using an idea I stole from one of my favorite mainstream authors, Joe Finder. To enter the giveaway drawing, the participant needed to leave a message and tag a friend. I created ads for each book in the giveaway and posted regularly. By the end of the week, my reach extended to almost 4K. I wish I'd saved that graphic. It was beautiful! But I do have this one, showing what happened the following week:
facebook 2
You can see the drop in reach after the giveaway. But the total page likes jumped. They went up through the giveaway efforts and other activities from the 680 I reported in October to 820. I went on a spree the following week and sent invitations to all my regular FB friends to "like" my page. Not all did, of course, but my total page likes increased to the number you see now.
This handy-dandy little chart is one of the reasons I like having a FB author (or fan) page. This overview shows me how many people clicked on my page (people engaged), how many commented or at least clicked "like" on a post (new likes), and how visible my page is in general (reach). But the other charts offered are just as handy. Try this one:
facebook 3
This one lets me know that the silhouette of the handsome cowboy topped all my other posts so far this week, which is great, since my current WIP, Riding Herd, is a contemporary western romance.
Here is an overview of the month:
facebook 4
The spikes represent my deliberate efforts with the give away and the "like" invitation spree.
Want to get more specific? Try this:
facebook 5
The above charts those who see my page by gender, age group, and location, and the one below indicates how many were actually engaged with the page during this month:
facebook 6
Many of the charts have buttons to push so you could get more specific. I can find out how many likes, comments, and shares I've received this week, and get the more specific information of the percentage increase or decrease over last month at this time. There's a chart that shows how many organic, paid, and "un"likes I've had in a period of time. If you want to know it, FB provides the chart to tell it--except for the "who" in the matter. You can see who "likes" your page, but unless you have a phenomenal memory, you probably won't realize who "unliked" your page.
As they say, knowledge is power, and these charts give me knowledge of who my followers are and what they like. These charts aren't available on our regular Facebook pages, only when we open a fan page. Granted, there are tons of folks out there whose numbers would be considerably better, so don't look at how tiny my audience is. Consider instead what you could do with this knowledge if you had it. If you had my charts, and you were trying to appeal to young women, 25-34 years of age, you'd need to revamp your posts. If your reach is below your follower count, you may want to put some life in your page.
If I've helped you decide to open a page based on this post, send me a note along with the link. I'd love to be among the first to "like" you!
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  1. Very interesting! Love this research info and so helpful for other authors.

    1. Glad you found it helpful. Thanks, Cherie!

  2. Thanks for this Linda. Inspired me to be a little more purposefully active on my author page. Great stuff!

  3. P. S. Shamelessly stealing your Giveaway idea.

  4. I recently added a FB author page (b/c author sounds less paparazzi-like to me) in anticipation of pubbing my first book. I LOVE it for the graphs and data alone. Plus I feel like I can promo my writing there. I always felt restricted or "spammy" talking about my writing on my regular FB page.