Are you an author with too many Facebook friends?
Are you worried that your social network is so big that your platform might be getting out of control?
Maybe you’re concerned that fame will ruin you if all of your Facebook friends buy one of your books.
Help is here. I’ve got nine timely tips designed to help you get rid of a large percentage of those pesky online connections. (You can thank me later.)
1. Write something promotional on your new friend’s timeline immediately after you connect.
Here’s the type of message that sends me looking for the “unfriend” option. I’ll bet it will work for you, too.
“Thanks for accepting my friend request! I know you’ll like my book, The Obnoxious Author’s Guide to Success! You can buy it here: amazon.com/toagts.”
2. Include a plug for your book when you offer birthday wishes.
Nothing says “It’s your day!” like “Happy birthday! Here’s a link to my book on Amazon!”
Why don’t more authors do this? It’s a surefire way to get unfriended.
3. Use your book cover as your personal profile photo.
People might tell you that they’re on Facebook to connect with people, but we know that they’re there to connect with book covers, right?
(Besides, if you use your book cover as your profile pic, that Ryan-Gosling-look-alike-ex-boyfriend-from-college who’s been trying to track you down ever since he heard you were single again won’t know that it’s you!)
4. Hijack discussions with random references to your book.
Make certain to include a purchase URL with your off-topic comment. People like to be reminded to buy your book.
5. Make certain that the majority of your status updates are overtly promotional.
Here’s one that I really like. Feel free to personalize it for your use:
“Help my book become an Amazon bestseller! Buy it on Amazon today between 2:35 a.m. and 2:43 a.m. It’s really important that you buy it then!”
Remember: People appreciate being reminded to buy your book. You cannot remind them too much.
6. Ignore comments on your book’s page.
Everybody knows it’s a page for a book, and they know that books can’t type. They don’t expect to have a conversation with a book — they just want to offer observations when they comment.
7. Use Messenger only for book marketing messages.
Isn’t it funny when people think you’ve sent them a personal message, only to discover that it’s a promotional messages about your book? (LOL!) This works especially well when the person you’re messaging doesn’t read the type of books you write.
8. Avoid sharing helpful information related to your book’s topic on your profile, book page, or in relevant groups.
Let’s be clear. When you share links to useful material on websites, blogs, etc., you start to look like you know something about your book’s topic.
Then people start asking you questions because they think you might be, well, an expert or something!
You can’t always be answering questions, right? You’ve got a book to promote and that takes time!
9. When someone acknowledges that they haven’t bought your book, attack them.
What is up with that? It’s not like they don’t know about it! At least 90 percent of your Facebook posts have been about your book!
With friends like that, who needs enemies?
I’ve seen all of this in action. None of it is fiction.
Perhaps that’s because many authors are challenged to find the right balance on Facebook and other social media platforms. They’re encouraged to promote their books online, but they don’t have a sense of how much is too much or what’s not enough.
The 80/20 rule
Best practice is to make 80 percent of your content helpful, useful, or personal, and just 20 percent promotional. When you do that, your connections will welcome the occasional marketing message, and might even share it on your behalf.
As for me, I have transitioned out of using my profile for Facebook to keeping nearly all of my book marketing tips and advice off my profile and only on my page and book marketing group. For a steady stream of helpful information, please like my page and join my group.
I’m sure you can offer advice, too. What’s your best tip for getting unfriended on Facebook?
(Editor’s note: This article was first published in April 2012. It has been updated and expanded.)
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