Of all the social networks you can use to help promote your book, Facebook might have the most potential for a few reasons.
First, it gives you several ways to interact with your target audience. Second, it reaches a wider range of people than other social networks, and those users spend a lot of time on the site. Third, it offers affordable advertising options that, when implemented properly, can be effective.
For that reason, it’s important to understand the three primary ways you and your book can have a presence on that social network:
Do you have a Facebook profile, Page, or group — or any combination of the three? I’ve noticed many authors using the three interchangeably, as if they’re all the same.
And when you’re unclear about whether you’ve got a profile, Page, or group, you’re going to be equally unclear about how to use each to its fullest potential.
If you’re confused, you’re confusing others, too
For example, an author recently emailed me about an online discussion. She thought she had seen it here on this blog; could I direct her to the right link? I clarified that it was in the Build Book Buzz Facebook group. Since she’s a member, I suggested she go to the group and scroll down to find it because it was recent.
Minutes later, she replied that she couldn’t find it.
I suggested using the group search box.
It didn’t take her long to come back and say that searching didn’t uncover it either.
That’s when the proverbial light bulb went on over my head.
“Are you searching the Build Book Buzz group or Page?” I asked.
“Whoops,” she replied. “I was on the Page.”
A profile, Page, and group all serve different purposes. Here’s a quick primer on each.
1. Facebook profile
Everybody with a presence on Facebook has a profile, which Facebook defines as “for non-commercial use.” A profile is what you’re referring to when you say you have a Facebook “account.” You can’t interact with others on the site without a profile.
When people “friend” you via your profile, you have the option to accept the request or not.
A profile lets you control how much of what you share on Facebook is visible to the public.
2. Facebook Page
You must have a profile before you can create a Page, which allows companies, brands, personalities, celebrities, authors, and others with a business agenda of any type to establish a presence on the network. A person with a profile manages a Page.
Everything on a page is visible to the public; this is one reason it’s useful. People don’t need to be Facebook users (have a Facebook profile/account) to see what’s shared on a Page.
Facebook users need to “like” your Facebook Page to see any of your Page content in their newsfeeds. Even then, only a small percentage will see it unless the content is generating a lot of engagement.
You must have a Page to promote or boost a post or create a newsfeed ad so your message reaches more people. All are paid options.
However, you don’t need either a profile or Page to create a paid ad that shows up in the far right column of Facebook newsfeeds, alongside and separate from the newsfeed content.
Here’s the Build Book Buzz Facebook Page.
3. Facebook group
You must have a profile to create a group, which is typically a discussion forum for people who share an interest. It’s Facebook’s version of online forums, LinkedIn groups, or the old school bulletin boards.
Any Facebook user can create a group and invite people to join it. As a group “owner,” you can control whether it’s a public, closed, or secret group. (Read “What are the privacy settings for groups” for more information on the differences.)
Public groups offer maximum exposure. Private groups encourage people to discuss more freely, since their comments won’t show up in friends’ newsfeeds. Secret groups work well as a gathering place for people who have paid for a course or group coaching program.
Here’s the Build Book Buzz Facebook group.
All three options — profiles, Pages, and groups — can play a role in an author’s book marketing plan; all three have different time commitments and content needs.
Which ones work best for you and your book marketing goals?