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April 24, 2014

Getting Noticed on Facebook

by Donna Huber

In every author group I belong to, it seems everyone is talking about the same thing - how to get more visibility on Facebook. What use to be a great source of free exposure for businesses has become a big money maker for the founders of Facebook. However, the price is less free exposure for business. That might be okay for big businesses like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Walmart, etc. But what about the hundreds and hundreds of small businesses and freelancers advertising their wares and services, not to mention the non-profit organizations that have used Facebook to get their message out to the masses. 

I was pretty pleased to see all the new likes over the past week on Girl Who Reads. I had over 200 new likes. I don't usually see that many likes in a week unless I'm participating in a giveaway. And then I remembered that Claire had participated in the For Now launch festivities with a review of For Always, the author Janae Mitchell was kind enough to inlcude both Claire's Facebook page and Girl Who Reads's page. So the high number of likes wasn't all through my own efforts, but I have done a few things that have increased likes without the giveaway and they have also helped with each post getting more views.


I'm not going to lie, the best way to get a bunch of new likes is to participate in a giveaway that uses social media links for extra entries. Book Blasts and Tours usually include a giveaway and your link is seen by readers of many blogs. I have done a few non-book giveaways, like the ones giving away cash prizes or coffee makers (they are sort of book related). However, I've not done as many since the last one I did I lost about as many of the likes over the month following the end of the giveaway as I had earned during the giveaway. Many of the people entering those giveaways are serial giveaway enterers and since I wasn't offering up a new giveaway every day they didn't find my page all that interesting. If you stick with book related giveaways you should retain most of the likes. 

Tag Your Page 

A new thing I've been trying out is tagging my page when I mention anything about the blog on Facebook. The week before the giveaway I got 12 new likes and in part it is due to the tagging. What do I mean my "tagging your page"? You know when you mention someone and their name is highlighted in the message? That's tagging. So if I go to one of my groups that allows sharing of blog posts I will put in the status something like, "Today on Girl Who Read I have tips about increasing your Facebook views" The Girl Who Reads part will be highlighted and links to my Facebook page. It makes people aware of the page without having to say all the time "hey look at my page". Tag your page occasionally with a status message on your personal profile to remind your friends and family that you have a page.

Tag Other Pages

When you write a status message on your Facebook page you should try to tag other pages. This is easy for guest posts as most authors will submit a link to their Facebook page, but you should also do with reviews and other mentions of books. Most authors have a Facebook page. Try typing "@" before their same to see if Facebook will suggest their page. For example when I start typing "@Girl Who" my Facebook page autofills. 

Tagging other pages also helps get your posts more views. The author (or whoever's page you tag) gets notified and will usually visit your page to see what you said. Typically they will like the post, too, which gives it more visibility. If you are really lucky they will also share your post and that will really push up the number of people that see it. 

Share, Like, & Comment

To get individual posts on your page more notice you should share the post. You can share to your personal page or to appropriate groups. Also by switching to yourself (as opposed to your page) and liking the post it will show up in the right hand ticker. Commenting as yourself will also get it more notice in that feed.

You should also be sharing, liking, and commenting on other people's posts. One, it tells Facebook you are still interested in that page's content and it will continue to show up in your news feed. Two, people will reciprocate. You can also use Facebook as your page so commenting, liking, and sharing as your page will let fans of that page know about your page. Shared interest and all will attract more fans to your page.

Sharing can be extremely important in how many people see a post on your page. I recently reshared on Facebook my tips post on How to Write a Review. An author friend shared it will a book group she belongs to on Facebook and that Facebook post got over 300 views (I'm usually do good with 30 - 40 a day and really good if it goes over 100). 

Photos & Links

If your Facebook posts are automatically sent to Twitter adding a photo can encourage your Twitter following to visit your Facebook page. Why? Because the photo becomes a link to that Facebook post. If with the link your status is longer than 140 characters the status message will be shortened with eclipse so people will click on the link to see the rest of the message.

Have you seen status messages from your favorite pages that say "link in comments"? For a while Facebook was limiting even more who saw the status when a link to a third party site was included (presumably they didn't want people to leave Facebook). This is still somewhat true. Another problem with the link as part of the status message is if your posts are auto-tweeted. Longer messages will be truncated to accommodate the link. And unlike with photos, the link does not direct to the Facebook message. 

Word of caution... I know doing the same thing over and over again, especially when it has gotten you results is easy to do. But you really need to mix it up. Your readers will appreciate it, and Facebook will keep showing your posts to your fans. 

Invite Others to Post

Pages aren't as friendly with letting others post on your page (it's one of the reasons I recommend authors to have both a page and a group). It makes sense because your page is the voice of your brand. You don't want others watering down your voice or your brand. Yet, inviting them to share their thoughts, opinions, and even more so their links can help with engagement and having you page and posts seen. At least once a month I will post a thread so that authors and readers can post links to books. I try to vary what I ask for - sometimes it is favorite book, other times it is discounted or Freebies. These posts get a lot of likes, a few comments, and usually a share or two. It's one of those "you help me, I help you" dealios. 

Worker Smarter, Not Harder

It might look like Facebook is making it harder to get your brand noticed. But what they are really doing is forcing brands to make smarter choices about what they post. As more and more spam creeps into our lives, these social media sites are looking to raise the bar. They want brands to post better quality content. The trade for higher quality messages is usually less frequency. However, in the long run, it will actually be more helpful to your brand. Great quality always shines brighter and will ultimately be a shining beacon in the wasteland of "buy my book", "look at ME" statuses. 

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads and author of the how-to manual Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.
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  1. I've heard it said that Facebook has lost some of its impact because of the sheer amount of advertising and self-promotion on it. And it is so hard to gauge the meaning of "likes" when people seem to hand them out almost automatically, at least that's what I've found with my blog. What I've found to work best is to engage with blogs that genuinely interest me, by commenting on their posts, because if they interest me it's more likely I'll interest them.