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Understanding Facebook Timeline for Brands and Authors

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What’s your author story? The answer may be more important than you think. On February 29th, 2012, Facebook unveiled the long-awaited Timeline for pages.

What does that mean for authors? It means that the game has changed once again.

Facebook knows that story is what drives people. As an author, the cards are stacked in your favor.

In the world of marketing, Timeline is about amplifying the stories that businesses want to tell (and want others to tell as well.) For authors, the challenge is to share your stories and get your community to tell the stories of how your books have impacted their life. Your books are your brand.

Are you ready to tell your story? People want to hear it. They crave it. That’s one of the reason you get so many friend requests. (Here’s 10 ways to get more fans this week).

Instead of relying on your personal profile to interact with your clients, you can keep your fan page as a buffer. You only have to share as much as you want. As an author, you can now tell your stories online without feeling like you are spamming your friends and family.

Every industry leader will have a different opinion but I believe that the new Timeline for Brands will make things much less painful for authors.  Many authors come to me asking me how to avoid self-promotion on their personal page. I usually advise them to keep a posting schedule and to keep the majority of their updates on their personal page personal.

I’m going to be addressing Timelines (personal and brand) in more depth in Facebook Timeline for Authors. But for now, here’s why I’m excited about pages for authors.

You can now:

  • Share the stories behind your books,
  • Tell your author story,
  • Share your triumphs,
  • Interact deeply with fans,
  • Customize your cover photo as a marketing asset, and
  • Send email from your group page instead of your personal page.

Another massive change that was unveiled was Facebook Premium. According to Facebook’s internal data, there is a standard 10% interaction rate on pages. Facebook Premium boasts a 75% interaction rate. Premium is geared towards businesses but can easily be adapted for authors as well. Author Media can help you figure out

If you don’t understand how Facebook Timeline will affect you as an author, you can schedule a consultation with our Social Media Specialist.

We’re excited about the new changes in Facebook and are preparing help all of our clients navigate the tricky waters ahead. Don’t be afraid to ask us how.

About Caitlin Muir

Caitlin Muir knows the power of social media first hand. She's on the editorial team of The Social Media Club, which connects media makers from around the world to promote media literacy, industry standards, and ethical behavior. She blogs about faith, love, and social media at CaitlinMuir.com.

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7 Responses to Understanding Facebook Timeline for Brands and Authors

  1. I did a post on Facebook for authors the other day, and said i was excited for this

    I think it can help take an author platform to the next level, and i feel this could be the thing that gets me involved in Facebook. Until now it was just an add on, but maybe more from now on

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    • Caitlin Muir #

      I think it’s fair to point out that there is a learning curve with Timeline. It will take some time for people to get the hang of. But I agree, it has the potential to really build up authors.

  2. I”m not sure I get the “stories” concept. So I’m supposed to write “stories” about the books I write? Sorry. I read this a few times, and I’m not sure I’m “getting” it yet. Thanks.

    • Caitlin Muir #

      Great question, Adam. “Stories” is the term that Facebook was using during their conference yesterday. I should have explained it better.

      The intent of Timeline is to “humanize” a brand. By adding photos and milestones, you can help tell the story. Coca-Cola does a great job of it.

      How an individual author populates their pages is up to them. I think a lot of Facebook strategy will be evolving and adapting in the next few weeks.

      Two ideas on how to “tell stories” –

      – Post pictures of the inspiration behind your latest novel. Use the caption area to explain why it inspires you.

      – Add Milestones to your Timeline. Add pictures to go with them. Milestones could be getting signed with an agent, your first book contract, or the first time you saw you book in a bookstore.

      Let me know if that makes sense or if you have any other questions.

  3. My greatest inspiration was when I saw my first book cover form the publisher. In seeing this I started my next book and so on. There was a sense of accomplishment in all that. Writers need only one piece of advise from me…””Just WRITE THE STORY!!!””

  4. I recently wrote an article for our blog that looked at why Facebook was so important for writers looking to build a platform. What shocked me was the number of people that had an open hatred of the platform. It almost seemed trendy to hate Facebook. Why ignore the biggest single collection of potential new readers for your book?

    http://www.bubblecow.net/why-hating-facebook-is-costing-you-book-sales

  5. Well Hi there BubbleCow,

    I’ve recently finished my first fiction eBook novel and it’s on sale through all of the major web channels.

    I started up a website and blog in order to promote my book. I came across Authormedia by accident and have become a newsletter advocate of it because I can see that good advice is on offer.

    Now, about Facebook. I was not happy when I joined Facebook many years ago because I received unwanted attention from strangers who held no interest for me. After a lot of trouble, I managed to extricate myself from Facebook. I think.

    Now I’m looking into it again because of the recommendations from experienced authors here. I would not be interested in a friends and rellies facebook page, but the fans page sounds interesting.

    In your research, was the hate directed at the friends page or fans page or both?

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