Friday, October 7, 2011

Facebook Friday: Links, Photos, and Videos, Oh, My!

Cool graph showing how people share links on the intenet.
See how high FB is? That makes FB staff happy :)
Remember before all the recent FB changes how I said that FB was like high school? And then I told you more about what that meant as an author here and here and here? Well, this is the conclusion of that series that is only slightly invalid because of the new FB.

To briefly recap: FB has some mysterious algorithm to decide which of your posts show up in other people's newsfeeds and which do not.  While they will not release the exact information, recent studies have given us some insight. It seems that posts that include links to other things rank higher than posts that do not. And posts that have photos and videos are even better.  

"That's cool," you say. "Um, what does that have to do with me as an author?"

Plenty if you are using FB to reach out to your readers.  It means you need to share. Share links, share photos, share videos.  If you do, your posts are more likely to show up on the people who are your friends (or who subscribe to you) and then they are more likely to interact with you and share your links themselves. It gets you publicity.

But here's the thing: you need to share things that are relevant. Relevant does not need to mean just your own author stuff (your book cover, your book reviews, your profile page on Amazon). Though all of that is important, it gets a little overkill to your FB friends. What you need to do is share things that will be of interest to your followers that can also be connected to your writing. Here's some suggestions of other relevant items to share by link, pic, or video:
  • books that are similar to yours
  • interviews to authors that are similar to you
  • movie trailers based on books that are similar to yours 
  • things related to your book(s)' subject(s) 
First, I have to stress the similar to yours portion of the suggestions above. You may love Stephen King but if you write picture books and you are constantly sharing Stephen King material, well, that's all good and fine for your friends, but you may lose the interest of your readers. Share material from your category and your genre for best results. (It helps to really decide if your FB page is for your readers or your friends or your writer friends. This post is geared for FB pages designed for readers. You may want to have two pages.)

That last suggestion in my list above is where you can be the most unique and creative.  Get your thinking cap on and come up with something good. If you wrote a book about outer space, share the new pics from Hubble.  If you wrote a book about ice skating, post the scores of the US Figure Skating Championship (then include a poll where your readers could vote on their favorite Hubble pic or who they think will win the championship). Have fun with it!

Do you share a lot of links, photos, or videos? Will this information make you share more links?

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