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30 Ways to Build Your Fanbase with Facebook


1. Maximize your reach with Agora Pulse

Sign up for a free Agora Pulse trial to find out when most of your fans are online so you can maximize the views of your post (ours is Thursday morning between 7 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.!).

2. Grow your likes with WooBox

Use an app like WooBox to create a custom page with content hidden behind a “fan-gate.” That means it requires someone to be your fan before they can access the content, which then gives them that extra incentive to like your page! You can also choose a “friend-gate” option where someone has to get a certain number of their friends (you choose between 1 and 100) to like your page before they can see your special content.

3. Promote Facebook in your e-mail signature

Add your Facebook page link in your email signature to encourage anyone you interact with via email to visit your Facebook page!

4. Host a contest on your Facebook page

Run a fan only contest like a photo competition, trivia, giveaway, etc. with an app like SweptIn or WildFire(Note: Facebook does NOT like users to have contests using only Facebook’s functionality — you MUST use a third party app to run a contest!)

5. Share a video

Upload video directly to Facebook to share with your fans. You can answer some frequently asked questions, share insight into how you developed your latest novel, what you’re working on now, or read a sample chapter of your book. You can also share a book trailer or other promotional video for your book release.

6. Create an event on Facebook

Create a Facebook event for an appearance, book signing, Q&A or any other upcoming event you have and share it on your Facebook fan page!

7. Direct traffic to your page with a QR Code

Have you ever used your smartphone to scan a QR code? It’s a fun, easy way for people to go straight to your website on their smartphone and you can get one for free! Use your code in your paperback, media kit and any other print materials (like flyers and such) you use to promote your book. You can send people to your Facebook page or straight to your website!

8. Join a Facebook Group

Back in the day it was all about joining groups like “I *heart* Josh Groban” and “I’m addicted to Sims 2” but now Facebook actually has groups with a purpose that can help you network. You should check out Authors Helping AuthorsAuthors, Agents and Aspiring Writers, and Authors & Writers Co-Op(Note: Those are all open groups that anyone can join, but there are some closed groups which require an invitation to join.)

9. Announce your fan page to your mailing list

Use the power of your mailing list to drive traffic to your Facebook page by promoting it in your next newsletter or e-mail. Don’t just relegate it to the sidebar either — use it to make an announcement, promote Facebook only content, advertise a Facebook contest or something of the like.

10. Take advantage of a captive audience via SMS

Next time you have the attention of a group of fans at a signing event, appearance or speaking engagement, encourage them to pull out their smart phones and text “fan [yourusername]” or “like [yourusername]” (without the quotes, obviously) to 32665. This will automatically make them like your page — abracadabra!

11. Use your Facebok link to leave blog comments

When you’re commenting on another blog, instead of using your website link in the URL space, why not leave your Facebook fan page URL instead? Other commenters will be able to connect with you immediately via Facebook instead of going to your website where they might have to search for a way to contact you!

12. Install a “Like” Button for your posts

WordPress has several plug-ins (like this one) that will let your readers “like” a specific post directly from your website. Anytime you can use a feature like this to cut out the extra step of your fans having to go to Facebook to share your post, it’s a win-win!

13. Connect your Facebook fan page to your Twitter account

Cross-promotion between your social media networks is a must these days. WooBox has a free app you can use to add your Twitter account. It actually brings your Twitter profile and latest tweets right into Facebook so fans can easily check for updates, follow you and see your newest activity without leaving Facebook.

14. Connect your Facebook fan page to your Pinterest account

Ditto the above for Pinterest — this is an awesome way to showcase your boards on your Facebook fan page and again, WooBox has a free app to make that happen.
Connect your fan page to Pinterest

15. Connect your Facebook fan page to your GoodReads account

Do you see a pattern? This one is little different than Twitter and Pinterest, however. GoodReads has its own app you can add to your personal profile to share your latest activity on that social network, but I wasn’t able to find one specifically for fan pages. BUT, you can use WooBox’s regular HTML page, drop in the link for your GoodReads account and we’ll even help you out with this GoodReads tab image you can download and use for the custom image on your Facebook fan page.

16. Connect your fan page and personal profile

You don’t have to bombard your Facebook friends with updates from your fan page, but at least once a month you should post a status on your personal proile that includes a link to your fan page in case a friend or family member didn’t know about it and wants to give you a like!

17. Use a link to your fan page in your forum signature

If you frequent any forums to chat with fans, friends or other authors, be sure to leave a link to your Facebook fan page in your forum signature so your forum pals can connect with you via Facebook.

18. Add a Facebook widget or “like” box to your website

Just like we mentioned the plug-ins for having a “like” option on your individual posts, you can also add a Facebook widget or “like” box to your sidebar that will show visitors on your website other people who like you or give them the option to like your page without leaving your website.

19. Comment on other authors’ fan pages

Jump on Facebook and like the fan pages of a few other authors in your genre, then follow their updates in your news feed. Like or comment on their posts wherever possible to engage with their fans as a means of introducing yourself. You can also post directly on their Facebook wall (if they have that option enabled) but use that VERY sparingly and only for relevant comments to that author. In other words, don’t go on another author’s page and bomb him by just mentioning your book ad dropping a link to your website. Say something nice or don’t say anything at all!

20. Research other authors’ Facebook pages

One of the best ways to figure out how to master this whole Facebook thing is to take peek over the fence and see what your author neighbors are up to. I’m a big fan of Sarah Addison Allen and love her cover photo and books tab. Carl Hiaasen’s Facebook fan page features an RSS feed tab and a cool page where you can read a sample chapter of his book and see his reviews. Check out your favorite authors and see how their Facebook fan pages shape up!

21. Include a Facebook page link in your press releases

Next time you issue a new press release, include your Facebook URL in the contact information. Sometimes interested journalists, readers and others will feel more comfortable contacting you via Facebook rather than sending a cold email.

22. Highlight an important post on your timeline

When you release a new book or have a big announcement, you can click the little star in the post to highlight it and make it stretch across your page to draw more attention. This is great for videos and photos as well. (Need help? Try this how-to guide!)

23. Add a past milestone to your timeline

Do you have the day your book launched on your timeline? What about the award you won for your short story? The day you finished your first NaNoWriMo? All of these are important events you should feature on your timeline! If they’re not there, get to adding them!

24. Pin a post to the top of your timeline

This goes along with highlighting (although you unfortunately can’t do both to the same post). When you have a big event, especially a book launch, be sure to pin the announcement post with the purchase link to the top of your page. Facebook will let you keep it up there for seven days, ensuring it will be the first thing your visitors see when they reach your Facebook fan page.

25. Share post from someone else that you like on your timeline

When you’re scrolling through your news feed and you see a photo, quote or funny status you’d like to share with your fans, by all means go ahead! Your Facebook fan page content shouldn’t be all about you all the time — share other things your fans would be interested in and you’ll be amazed at the increased interaction you see!

26. Create an album of photos that inspire your writing

Working on a new project? Share your inspirations with a photo album on your Facebook fan page. This would be a great time to use that highlight feature so your photos really stand out!

27. Visit the personal profile of someone who has recently liked you and say thanks!

Offer a sincere thank you to someone who has recently liked your fan page by stopping by their personal profile and posting to their timeline.

28. Link to your page as your place of employment

This is another way to link your personal profile to your fan page so all your friends and family can easily find the link and follow your professional side if they’re interested!

29. Analyze your Facebook Insights

Facebook provides you with valuable data about your page activity every day. You can see your most popular posts, level of fan interaction and total reach (meaning how many people saw a post, this can include friends of your fans who saw an interaction between you and your fan on their news feed). Check over this data once a week or so to see what it can tell you about improving the return on your time investment. (Lost? This post will help explain!)

30. Create a targeted Facebook Ad Campaign

Believe it or not, the real reason Facebook is a success story is not because it gives your friends a way to share what they had for lunch or what their plans are for going out tonight. Facebook is a medium for advertisers to use specific demographic data to reach a very targeted audience. Facebook ads don’t have to be expensive, but you should get a tutorial in how best to use Facebook’s advertising tools. The Facebook Marketing Clinics are a really great way to expand your knowledge — I took one back in the spring and it was well worth the few hours of my time!

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