Get the Hell Off Facebook!
I’m starting to like these click bait headlines. Yes, I have a Facebook and I enjoy it. I have an author page as well as a personal profile. Though, anymore I mostly use the personal profile as a “fan page”. I do occasionally post from my fan page, but it’s tricky. See? That’s just the thing.
Facebook has made their own platform a pain in the ass. Most know this by now and if you don’t know it, you’ll figure it out soon. Fan pages used to be great. I had my author page and helped run several other horror pages. We got tons of interaction and met a bunch of great people.
Well not really, but it’s catchy and it rhymes. Anyway, a few years ago, Facebook became an IPO. They had shareholders who needed to make their bottom lines. Enter ad revenue. A few years ago, Facebook began hobbling our reach through fan pages. They deny they do this, but they are clearly doing it. Some say it’s just because there are so many fan pages now that hardly anyone sees it. Could be, honestly, I don’t really care.
Facebook is an algorithmic news feed. Activity is rewarded with visibility. The more people that interact with your post, the more people that will see it. For whatever reason, this is easier to accomplish with a personal page than it is a fan page. I’ve had more than a handful of viral memes on my personal page in the past two years. Some were shared thousands of times. On my fan page, I can barely get a few shares. So, call it what you want, but building your business through Facebook is the toughest way to go.
Twitter to the Rescue!
Don’t laugh. I don’t know why but so many authors hate Twitter. I fucking love Twitter. I see so many authors just mock and trash Twitter and I don’t get why. Maybe it’s because we are used to jerking off to our own word vomit and on Twitter, you only get 140 characters. Maybe it’s because of Donald Trump (I was Tweeting way before he ran for president).
Here’s the thing, Twitter runs on a chronological timeline, not algorithmic. Also, there is a shit ton of people out there who don’t use Facebook. Now, I will warn you. Twitter isn’t for the faint of heart. Compared to Facebook, being new on Twitter is kind of like being new in a prison exercise yard. They are harsh as fuck. So, be bold but stand up for yourself. And don’t be a troll.
Over the years my reach on Twitter has far surpassed that of Facebook. I’ve gained way more readers through that platform than any other. Facebook is still great for personal interaction, but Twitter is great for reach. There are a couple of keys.
Tweetdeck is a Chrome extension that lets you divide up your timeline. See, I follow around 50,000 people. My Timeline moves fast. So, I have a set of five lists and have my timeline broken into those five lists. It looks something like this.
Pretty neat, right? Kind of like the matrix seeing all this cool info coming at you at once. The worst thing about Twitter is it allows auto direct messages. You follow someone and they can spam your inbox with an automated message. Please, for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT do this shit. Everyone hates it and I wish I could kick everyone in the dick who sends me one of those. That and true twit validation. If you don’t know what that is, you will soon enough. It’s stupid and annoying and serves no actual purpose.
Tweetdeck is also FREE! It’s an excellent way to use Twitter, I couldn’t use Twitter without it. You can also schedule tweets. Throughout the day, I schedule several tweets. That brings me to the next key.
Post Engaging Content
There are LOTS of authors on twitter who every half hour will tweet “HEY BUY MY BOOK!” With a link. If you look at their feed, that is what their whole account consists of. I can guarantee people ignore those authors. Nothing wrong with promo tweets, but you must work them in. People don’t like to be sold. You must trick them.
I use a site called Klout.com. On Klout, you can look up various interests, horror, books, reading, etc. and find lots of articles. Then, you can schedule those articles to tweet from your account at various times. So, throughout the day, I have anywhere from 6-9 articles that I set up to tweet that would be of interest to my followers. Most of my followers are horror fans, so I find lots of horror related articles. You can schedule them right through Klout which is the nice thing.
People see these articles and they Retweet them which means more people see you and follow you. Cool beans, right?
I also post a lot of horror-type pictures throughout the day I think my followers will like. That’s the key is figuring just who is following you, what they will like and sharing content they will find interesting.
Now, among all those informative and fun tweets, I schedule 6-8 promotional tweets throughout the day in between the informative tweets. Because people are now watching my feed to see what I post, people pay attention to my book links. I also post them with colorful banners that include my book covers and a tagline to get their attention. I’ve had good success using this method. This also brings me to the next point.
Hashtags serve a useful purpose. See people looking for a specific topic can look it up by hashtag. You don’t want to get carried away, however, my own experience shows me that using more than two hashtags in one tweet is more likely to get your tweet ignored. The key is using hashtags that people are likely to be searching for.
A good example, don’t use your book title as a hashtag, no one is going to be searching for it. I use #Horror #Kindle. Two popular hashtags. Sometimes I mix it up and do #KindleUnlimited #Amazon and so forth. There are sites you can google that will tell you what hashtags are trending or ways to look up what relevant hashtags are most useful. Once again, this all goes back to getting your tweet noticed.
But how do you get followers? That is the tricky part. A lot of people will follow back as a “courtesy follow”. This isn’t a bad thing. This is how I’ve gained a lot of my followers and how I’ve followed many people. I use an app called Crowdfire.
With Crowdfire, there is a free version or a pay version. I use the pay version for 10.00 a month. It’s worth it. What Crowdfire does is lets you organize followers. For example, I write horror. So, I need to find not only horror fans but horror fans who read. Using Crowdfire, I’ll look up an account like Clive Barker let’s say and I’ll follow several of his followers. You can follow up to 1000 a day with the paid version. I do this every day. On the weekend, I look at who hasn’t followed me back, then I do a mass unfollow of the non-followers or people who have unfollowed. This sounds tedious and it is. I’ve been doing this for a few years now and have almost 70K followers. That’s 70,000 real followers. Not bots and not spam accounts. Real people who I can tweet something out there and get a reply from them. You can’t put a price on that.
Give it Time
Most authors I know tried Twitter for a week, got mad that no one replied to them or just thought it was stupid and left. That’s fine I suppose, but they are selling themselves short and ignoring a huge platform. There are millions of people out there using Twitter, some of them aren’t on any other social media. This is your chance to reach them.
You may be surprised
I don’t know how many times I followed someone on Twitter and they were excited I followed them and told me I was their favorite author. That’s a great feeling. Other’s happen to read my bio and immediately are intrigued. One nice thing about Twitter because you have a worldwide audience you can tweet a lot more frequently and not drive your followers nuts. Because it's chronological and because of time zones you can schedule tweets way late into the night and you never know who you may be reaching. Give it a try and give it time. Twitter is your friend.