A native of Colorado, Mrs. Yolanda M. Johnson-Bryant, currently resides in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, with her husband. Mrs. Bryant is a published author, freelance writer, novelist, editor, ghostwriter and a literary and entrepreneurial advocate. She is the founder and owner of YolandaMJohnson, Literary Wonders! and Bryant Consulting. She is a columnist for Examiner.com, RAW Sistaz Literary Services and other literary venues. Mrs. Johnson-Bryant is a member of The Nussbaum Entrepreneurial Center, Women of Leadership and Learning (WELL Women) and Toastmasters. She also conducts workshops and classes on writing and entrepreneurship and is also a member of several reading and writing groups.
Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Work
Now, more than ever, authors are finding clever ways to market their material. One such tools is a Facebook Fan Page. Many people have a Facebook page—if you don’t, shame on you. But not everyone knows about the power of a Facebook Fan page.
There are several advantages of having a Fan page.
1. Unlimited followers (Facebook
personal pages allow a combination of friends and pages of only 5,000)
Create a fan page: Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. As you can see, there are about six categories that you can use to create your page. Most authors use the Brand or Product, Artist, Band, or Public Figure, or Entertainment to categorize their pages. If you, for example, click on the Artist, Band, or Public Figure option, you’ll then need to choose a category from the drop-down menu, which includes an Author option. Then in the box labeled Name, you can enter either your name or the name of your book. If you intend to use this page for all of your writing, books, and so on, use your name. If you will use it to market only one book, use the name of the book.
Now, click on Get Started and follow the simple directions. You will be asked information similar to that on a personal Facebook page, such as location, product description, and so on.
Now that you’ve created your page, it is time to design it. YouTube can teach you how to do anything, so peruse YouTube to learn how to create fan pages and landing pages, how to use the new iFrames for pages, and so on. (Check the links below.)
Basic design: If you’ve ever gone to someone’s fan page on Facebook and haven’t “Liked” it yet, you’ll see their landing page, an advertisement welcoming you to the page and likely offering you something for free (a newsletter, discount on their book, or a free excerpt). Visitors will only see this page if they have not “Liked” your page. Once they “Like” your page, they will be taken to your wall.
It is easy to create graphics and a landing page by utilizing Photoshop. You can use advanced Adobe software to make more advanced landing pages and graphics, but here, I’ll keep it simple.
In addition to adding graphics to the landing page, a user can also add an audio and video clip. Other applications, such as e-mail sign up, RSS feeds, Twitter feeds, E-commerce applications, promotion apps, as well as other applications, are available and may be useful to market your page and product.
Currently, I have a page for each of my businesses and I am also the administrator on many of my clients’ pages. For an example (forgive me for the shameless plug), go to my author/freelance fan page http://www.facebook.com/YolandaJohnsonBryant. When you first set up your page, you’ll have an URL address such as http://www.facebook.com/pages/Literary-Wonders/191278086911 (another shameless plug). Once your page reaches twenty-five fans, you can change that to a short URL, such as the one above for the Yolanda Johnson Bryant page.
Linking your page to your blog: If you are a blogger and would like your posts to be posted to your fan page without having to manually post the URL every time, you can link your blog to your
fan page using NetworkedBlogs (the link is below). By using this service, whenever you publish a post on your blog, NetworkedBlogs will use the RSS feed to automatically post it to your fan page or your personal page.
Badges: Your fan page will create an html-coded badge that you can post on your blog and Website so that others can “Like” your fan page from places on the Web other than your fan page. For an example of badges, go to www.yolandamjohnson.com (shameless, I tell you) and look on the right-hand side of my Website. You’ll notice a badge for Facebook fan pages and Twitter. You can manipulate them so that they are the size and color you like.
Analytics: It is important to know how many people are visiting your page, how many are interacting, and if you have e-commerce installed, how many people are converting into customers. This little tool can tell you details such as demographics, sex, and ages of your visitors. Which leads me to...
Ads: Fan pages has this nifty tool called Facebook Ads. Look at your Facebook profile right now. Notice the ads on the right-hand side? They aren’t there just to take up space. Based on keywords in your profile, those ads are targeted just for you.
For pennies a day, a user can create a small ad using her fan page and market her products. A user can choose to promote a general ad or he can target his ad. Let’s say I’m having a book signing in Greensboro, North Carolina, in two weeks and I want to target people in the Piedmont Triad. I can set my ad to go out only to those Facebook users who have keywords like: Greensboro, North Carolina, Piedmont Triad, Book Signing, Books, Authors, Reading, and so on. I can also specify if I want this ad to target males or females or a specific age group. User can pay for ads by either “pay per clicks” (CPC) or “pay for impressions” (CPM). You can bid as little as one cent!
You can set a daily or lifetime budget. So let’s say I have $20 I want to spend on ads and I want it to run only on the weekend. I can set the time frame to stop the ad once I’ve spent $20. Your ad has the potential to reach over 139,596,220 people in the U.S. over the age of eighteen. Wow! Low-cost budgeting to the entire United States Facebook community? You can’t beat that.
Begin receiving fans: Once you create your page, you have an option on the upper right-hand side that says “Suggest to Friends.” Click on this from your fan page, and a box will appear with a list of all your friends from your personal page. You can select one or all to invite them to your page. This should always be your first attempt to obtain friends.
In closing: It is important to keep your personal and business pages separate. Although I post information about my books and writings on my personal page, along with my reaction to last night’s reality show, I never post personal, nonbusiness type information on my business page. And it is still important to be careful what you post on your personal page.