Let’s face it; whether you love it or love to hate it, for now, Facebook is here to stay. With 71% of online adults using Facebook, the channel presents a real opportunity for authors and researchers like you, to promote their work, assuming you have the bandwidth to maintain it. However, before you jump headfirst into using Facebook as a marketing tool, we have some tips for maximizing the potential of the channel.
There are several reasons why we recommend creating an Author Page. First, it allows you to create a separate presence, this way, you can avoid spamming your family and friends with the constant promotion of your work, while also refraining from accidentally sharing your daily cat video with your professional audience. Other reasons that make creating a separate page more attractive include, access to analytics that personal profiles do not offer, unlimited friend count and the ability to advertise.
However, a separate page is not for everyone. It does take time and resources to maintain and Facebook’s algorithm typically limits the number of newsfeeds your posts show up in to just a fraction of your fan base. So in order to really get your content noticed, you will need to establish a large fan base, or support your page with advertising. If you opt not to create a separate page and use your personal page to promote your work, you can manage the privacy settings for each post and allow Facebook users to subscribe to your page, rather than becoming friends.
2) Present yourself visually
Facebook gives you the option to add both a profile photo and cover photo – use it! Don’t let your page sit blank. Choose an image of yourself, or one that represents the research you are doing and make sure your brand and personality shine through. This is especially important for your profile photo, as this will be the first photo Facebook users see while searching for you, or pages like yours. One thing to remember is that Facebook makes frequent updates to the sizes and requirements for photos on their channel. Be sure to monitor your page and update your photos when necessary. The current requirements are:
Profile Photo – 180x180 (displays 160x160)
Cover Photo – 851x315
3) Create a content schedule
Before you jump in and begin promoting your work, map out a plan for your content, including defining your social voice. Determine how you are going to talk to your fans and what you are going to say to them. Consider posting content about your latest and past research publications with links so fans can read your work, share other publications you’re reading or using in your research, update readers on upcoming events you’ll be attending and wherever possible, your posts should contain interesting and engaging images and video interviews. Once you decide on a schedule that is manageable for you, stick to it. Consistency is key. Finally, don’t forget to monitor your page! This includes responding to any questions or comments left on your page. You should aim to respond within 24 hours.
4) Join groups
Facebook groups are a great way to engage in discussions with those who have similar interests to yours and with influencers in your particular research community. Being active in these groups will help drive people to your Facebook page. Remember to be genuine and helpful. Although you want to promote your work, you do not want this to appear to be the only reason you’ve joined the group.
5) Consistently promote, promote, promote
If you build it, they won’t necessarily come. Make sure you are consistently promoting your page to bring in new fans. Cross promote your Facebook page through any of your other social media accounts, like LinkedIn, or Twitter, ask your network to promote the page, add a link to your page on your business cards, share it on a blog, or add it to any marketing promotions you are doing to promote your work.
So there it is! Good luck, enjoy yourself and don’t forget to tweet us at @WileyExchanges to let us know how it’s going.
Image Credit/Source:Erkan Mehmet/Alamy