, , , , , , ,

Facebook can be a great tool for connecting with readers. Many authors are on Facebook, but I was surprised how many are not using it to its full potential. Some authors are still using the old style personal profiles without timeline.

Authors can use a personal profile page, a fan page or both. Some things are the same on both versions. Timeline is available on both. Each book edition with its cover and release date can be a milestone on the timeline. Dates of earlier posts and photos can be changed to better reflect history. Statuses are featured by clicking on the star.

Timeline on Facebook

Deb's Answers Timeline on Facebook

Timeline is now active on all fan pages. Please add a cover picture if you don’t have one. C. E. Murphy has a great picture of a shelf of her books.

Personal profiles are much easier to use to promote a brand now. Friend lists can be used to restrict some items to real life friends and families. Friends are still limited to only 5000, but now allowing subscribers lets an unlimited amount of people to get all publicly posted items in their news feeds. Subscribers can be allowed to comment as well.

Add events including release parties, signings, conventions, and any other public appearances. Add applications (previously called tabs) and sort the applications to show the most important ones. Some applications are available for both profiles and pages, but some aren’t. Some applications work differently on pages. The goodreads application for profiles only shows activity from your goodreads profile, but the fan page version allows you to show your profile, a group, or a single book. Explore other applications to find the best ones to promote your books.

Did you know that Facebook fan pages can like other fan pages? The option to use facebook as your fan page is in the drop-down home menu at the top right of the screen. After you have liked other pages, click on the Facebook icon on the left to see the news feed that has only those pages you liked. You can return to using Facebook as yourself through the same home menu.

The best thing authors can do on profiles or pages is to converse with the fans. Read their comments and answer their questions. I hate to see questions go unanswered. You can have blog posts and tweets posted directly to Facebook, but if you never see or respond to the replies, fans can feel ignored. You can set your preferences to notify you of posts and comments.