Happy Friday! Man, what a week. We’ve been having a ton of fun at WANA International with all the cool new classes. The teachers at WANA are so much fun, just like my good friend and WANA Instructor Lisa Hall-Wilson who’s stopped by for a visit.
Lisa? Why do you have a pillow case and duct tape? Are we querying agents today? I really think you should———*muffled tussle* *crash*
Friends, this is Lisa. Sorry to do this, but I’ve taken Kristen and her blog hostage. I locked her outside and hid the spare key because I think she’s unfairly biased against Facebook. It’s true! She’s posted on here about the big bad Facebook tyranny ganging up on writers. The truth is writers can be their own worst enemy.
How did she get out of those bungee cords? All right, I’ve got to type fast.
Facebook is still free, and you don’t have to buy ads or promote posts to find success there. 50% of Canadians and 38% of Americans have a Facebook profile, and half of all users come back daily. Repeated studies have shown that people who engage with brands on Facebook are more likely to purchase from and recommend those brands than the brands they don’t follow.
I spend a lot of time on Facebook because I’m paid to, but also because it’s a natural fit for my personality. Writers seem to have this love/hate/I-don’t-get-it relationship with Facebook. The platform arbitrarily changes the rules, isn’t great with customer service, and their privacy track record is a bit tarnished terrible. I understand why people find that frustrating, but stop whining. I’m serious. *clears throat* Kristen that means you too ((hugs)) Facebook is a little dictatorial not perfect and it’s really easy to waste time there – I get that, but it’s still FREE.
I have two suck-it-up buttercup band-aids:
#1 Facebook just passed the 1 billion user milestone. 1 Billion Users! This is a massive marketplace and your readers are likely already there.
#2 Fans aren’t on Facebook to know about your latest book (stop frowning). People are on Facebook to connect with friends and family, but while they’re hanging out there they may take time to learn more about you, they may buy your book, they may tell a few dozen of their friends about your book. That’s all gravy.
OK – I’ve barricaded myself in the bathroom with my laptop tethered to my phone. She’s threatening to shut me down. I scooped her laptop and gave her phone to the Spawn to hide. That should buy us a few more minutes.
WANA is about helping you be a better writer, equipping you to succeed, and creating community. Here’s the hard truth: shortcuts on Facebook don’t work. Stop. Right now. Just STOP.
*engine turning over*
Did Kristen just fire up her creepy stalker van? She has a rather astonishing collection of stale candy in that thing. I’m resisting because this is important.
Posting Too Often
For the love of lol cats – stop posting on Facebook like it’s Twitter. Three to four times a day is a maximum. If I look at my newsfeed and it’s filled with posts from one page or profile, they’re blocked. No second chances. Sorry. (And while I’m willing to block game applications from my newsfeed, lots of people won’t – they just unfriend you)
Facebook is NOT Twitter
Why am I seeing hashtags on Facebook? If you link your Twitter and Facebook accounts, people will notice. There’s a whole generation on Facebook who don’t know what a hashtag is! If I wanted to hang out on Twitter I’d do that. If you must schedule posts, make sure to spread them out over several hours, and repeat yourself sparingly (or not at all).
Spam (Invading Space)
Do not DO NOT post about your book or plaster promotional statuses on other people’s walls. Especially don’t do this using your Facebook page. “Hey Lisa, great post. Why don’t you check out my page <insert link>.” It makes me feel like I’ve been groped on a first date – and I’m not that kind of girl. On Facebook, a profile wall is considered personal space. I own the space on my wall, and I decide who has permission to post there. This is akin to slipping your manuscript to an agent under the bathroom stall door. It feels…icky.
Stop the Guilt
Posting status updates/call to action/fill-in-the-blanks that manipulate or use guilt and shame to garner interaction are great if you want to be ignored. We’ve all seen these statuses: I bet you won’t share this… or Most people won’t share this because… or Click like if you think murder is wrong. Guilt trips are not endearing. I don’t even read past the first line.
Never Showing Up
People leave comments because they’re looking for a conversation. When you automate your posts and never hang out there, people are offended. It’s like inviting the neighbors to a backyard barbeque and then hitting the beach while they’re standing in your yard with empty glasses. Another great way to teach friends to ignore you.
Use Events for Book Launches
I get invited to online book launches on Facebook all the time. I can choose to attend or decline an event invite. Don’t use a group for a book launch, don’t force invite all your friends so you can spam them forever with ‘buy my book’ messages and email. Details about book tours, endorsements, etc. belong on an author page, not a group. That is how you get unfriended and blocked, or at best ignored.
Time’s up. The Spawn sold me out for Goldfish, and Kristen’s got her phone back. I’m taking one for the team here – remember that . Oooh – Is that Halloween chocolate…? No, not falling for it.
*loud banging on bathroom door*
What’s the most annoying thing you’ve seen or done on Facebook? Are you a reformed FB abuser? Have you had to reprimand friends in your network for poor manners? What are some of the habits that drive you bonkers on Facebook? I love hearing from you, too!
*Pixie Sticks slide under bathroom door*
Ooooh pixxxxiiiieeee stiiiiicks…..wheeeeeeee!!!!!!
Whoa, Pixie Sticks to the rescue. Lisa’s in my living room spinning in circles and making herself dizzy. That should keep her occupied for a while until the sugar wears off. In all seriousness—which is kind of a rarity around here—Lisa is an amazing teacher and I hope you guys will sign up for her upcoming Facebook class. It’s like SIX WEEKS long, so plenty of time for Lisa to
talk you off a ledge show you how to maximize Facebook AND have fun.
I hope you will show Lisa some comment love, because today we are going to do something different with the contest. One lucky winner will get to take Lisa’s class for FREE! Also, since you guys are such awesome and loyal friends of this blog, if you sign up for Lisa’s class Own Your Own Stage—Using Facebook for Author/Artist Branding and enter in the code WANAFB, this will give you $30 off Lisa’s class so you get SIX WEEKS of WANA Awesomeness for only $99. That is only $16.50 a week, $2.36 a DAY, .68 an hour! Lisa could be making Nikes in Taiwan for .73 an hour so this is a total BARGAIN! She rocks and I hope you will sign up and benefit from her wisdom.
Ok, fair enough, she does take candy from strangers, but she knows her stuff with Facebook. Give Lisa a warm WANA round of applause and enjoy your weekend!
I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.