Facebook isn’t rocket science. Yet.
With the ever-changing algorithm, the new Facebook news feed, corporate greed, and the finicky trends of human behavior, you do have your work cut out for you.
A good social media manager knows that there’s more to Facebook than simply posting content, writing a pity update, or reposting kitty videos from YouTube.
That’s not how you engage your fans.
You can have the best content in the world and zero engagement/interaction. The two words are interchangeable so whenever you read an article talking about engagement, think conversations, not wedding planning.
Engagement comes when you put your ego to the side and start asking yourself what your readers want.
Knowing your audience is vital.
On the Author Media page, we post quotes encouraging writers to write. If we suddenly decided to post our top ten favorite camping spots in America, no one would care or read the article. They come to the Facebook page for encouragement and community, not REI endorsements.
People want what they want, not what you want. The only agenda they care about is their own.
So how do you engage?
Tailor your message in a way that appeals to the needs and desires of your audience.
Authors who do this well:
Here are three different ideas to get you started telling your story on Facebook:
1. Share Photos
These days a picture really is more than a thousand words. They are almost preferable to words in the digital age.
If you have a dynamic image with a great message that fits your brand, you should be sharing it on your Facebook page. Think of each photo as a digital ambassador. Choose them carefully. The same rules that apply to blog photos apply to Facebook photos.
It’s easy to share photos on Facebook. Instead of having a large album of “wall photos,” create a personalized photo album (or two!) for your page.
On our Author Media page, we four main albums:
Each album contains hundreds of likes, comments, and shares.
As an author, you can share images that show where your book is set, what was going on in the world at that time, or the clothes your characters wore. Get creative.
Lisa Wingate shares pictures from her research trips, letting readers see the settings of her books. That’s a fantastic way to let people “in” your world.
- Engagement comes when you put your ego to the side and start asking yourself what your readers want. – Click to tweet.
- Want success? Tailor your message in a way that appeals to the needs and desires of your audience. – Click to tweet.
- Engaging with fans on Facebook is simple. Here’s how. – Click to tweet.
- Is your Facebook “fill in the blank?” – Click to tweet.
- I just learned how to engage on Facebook. You can too. – Click to tweet.
2. Ask Questions
It’s okay to be curious. People love to answer questions.
Here’s one that we posted:
People aren’t expecting a college algebra test on your page. They don’t want to spend time thinking. Give them direct questions that they can answer in under three seconds.
Simple questions = higher engagement.
You can ask any sort of question you want as long as it fits your brand.
Writing a new book?
- Ask for character name ideas.
- Ask what readers liked best about your last book.
- Give them a scenario from the book and ask what they would do.
- What kind of format they would prefer to read the book in.
What kind of questions do you like answering?
3. Fill in the blanks
Fill in the blanks are incredibly popular because people love to fill that little blank in with smart remarks and witty one liners.
When we use “fill in the blanks” on our page, we use them in a way to get people to get thinking about our messages. Writers who are busy writing will want someone else to build their professional author website.
It’s important to remember that Facebook is a conversation with your readers. You have to start the discussion and then listen. Start tracking the answers your fans give you. These are clues to finding out how you can tailor your message to fit their needs better.
Understanding your Facebook analytics will be critical to your success. Take time to get to know your audience. Know what they like and tailor your message to them.
How do you engage with your readers on Facebook?
Great article! I’ve never seen the ‘how-to’s” of successful FB audience engagement outlined like this before. I’ve just learned a lot!
For me, asking for name/character suggestions always gets a lot of input. Photos are another big favorite.
I think I’ll be trying the fill in the blank idea soon…
Have you tested out any of the ideas yet?
Great post with interesting and applicable tips. I am very glad I have found this blog.
Very informative post.
A question, though: I am not published yet. Do I need an author Facebook page now, or can it wait until I grab the brass ring and get published? I already have a blog/website and am an active Twitter user.
This is helpful info. Thank you.
Glad I could help!
I love your last tip Caitlin – fill in the blanks – because too often, companies forget that it’s not all about them. Thanks for keeping the focus on the fans. When we engage our audience in meaningful conversations, it ultimately lead to long term business relationships. I’ll be back to read more from you!
dig your website design as well, glad I found you as a quality resource!
Thanks for this post! Trying to brainstorm what to write is hard enough and even getting motivated. But knowing your audience and what their needs are will really keep it simple, so I agree with this point. In the beginning, as a new blogger, I practice writing everyday just to get in the rhythm. Now that I have that down, what’s next is writing ENGAGING articles that will answer questions.