How Not to Use Facebook for Marketing Your Book

wpid-3d-Book-facebook-ban.jpgThis blog, as it appears from the picture or the title, is in no way suggesting you to ban Facebook from your book marketing activities but is more about what mistakes we make while marketing books on something that has become an integral part of our marketing activities today.

67% of total internet users spend an average of 8 hours on Facebook in a month and on an average 47% people make their purchase decisions depending on FB feedback so whether we like it or not Facebook today, has a major role to play in what is called building a Word of Mouth and what better way than to sell a product like book using WOM.

But unlike in case of any other product category, marketing of books, needs to be treated differently on Facebook and though a lot of writers, publishers and book marketers are using this tool fervently, there are some common mistakes that we all make while marketing books on Facebook. Here are some book marketing tips on what to do and what not to do on Facebook:

I’m a Social marketer not a reader: Whether its an agency or an individual, a non reader cannot and will not be able to promote a book effectively on FB no matter how good you are with the tools that FB provides for promotions. It goes back to the point that to sell well you need to know your own product well (and competitors’ products better).

A new look with a new book…Naah! Don’t make multiple pages every time you come out with a new book. It does nothing but dilutes your traffic and doubles your effort. Consolidation is the key to deriving better results online. Design your pages and make them showcase your entire body of work. Do not leave the page unattended while you wait for the next book to come out.

Not in the Black and White age“: I do see the change with people using more and more visuals on FB. While it is true that just putting up updates in black and white can be boring, putting visuals all the time make it look impassive. Use the right mix of visuals and write-ups.

Win-Win: You may include some contests from time to time. Contests help in incentivizing the reader or follower. Free autographed copies work but not always. Cross-promote. Think what fits best with your content and use give-aways accordingly.

I’m the writer I don’t FB: While your publisher/agency can pick and add content, work on the visuals and throw in some contests once in a while to keep the interest going, don’t be a mute audience to your page. A writer must get involved otherwise after a while people realize that it isn’t coming from you. They want to know you as a person. When you analyze the insights you find that a page gets more hits when you share personal feelings, pictures or experiences than on something directly related to your book.

Who says only Fiction works on FB: Reality is that reality gets more following than something that is not real. So while Fiction might give you more scope to titillate non-fiction gives the followers scope to retaliate. Again the art is how you use your content.

Content is supreme: random extracts and pictures don’t work. It all needs to make sense even in the senseless virtual world. Never take your reader for granted. Atleast if he/she reads and follows you, its all the more important that your page should give out content which appears to be speaking to an intelligent audience. Mix fun, comic and serious. Link things with what’s happening around you and in the world. Take advice and feedback. Even your simple status updates should catch the readers’ imagination.

Love for Love is now a Like for a Like: Yes it is true, give and take works on FB too. Don’t shy away from liking others’ pages and posts. Share their material. Post your feedback. It helps build your community and affinity of others towards you.

Don’t Spam: It doesn’t work in the long run. Forcing others to like your page by sending them links to your page distances them from you. No one likes to be constantly hounded about how great you are and what wonderful things you have written. To create a dialogue culminating into a long term relationship find out about others.

Nothing is free: Facebook Ads are important. They help you target your audience better. To build up a community it is essential to advertise. What is of utmost importance is for you to know how to use that little space for a visual and the limited space for the number of words for your ad effectively.

Don’t keep spending blindly: Facebook provides a lot of free tools to analyze and highlight your posts. Start by using them. It should give you enough data to analyze what is working and what needs to be reworked.

Watch your Analytics: Your FB insights teach you a lot. Keep a close watch on not just your likes, but what is being further shared and talked about or how effective your ad campaign has been.

It is a continuous process of learning. No one has mastered the art of communicating to his/her audience and has to improvise all the time. Similarly you have to keep improvising and analyzing the effect of your page or campaign on Facebook. Would like to re iterate that among all these, content is something that is of utmost importance to drive traffic to your page and to continue to gain people’s interest in it. What is essential whether your online marketer has the knowledge of how to use the content and derive the desired results.

While I get back to driving traffic to my page until the next MarketMyBook update…