Facebook is something I know about mostly in theory. I have a personal Facebook page but honestly don’t use it very much at all, possibly because I kind of don’t get it. But that was before my book came out. It’s funny how just publishing a book can make you see things in an entirely different light.
Last month, I took a Lynda.com tutorial called Social Media Marketing with Facebook and Twitter taught by Anne-Marie Concepcion. It was a good introduction, soup to nuts, on how to think about and set up a Facebook author page as yet another way to market a book. (I skipped over the Twitter parts entirely. At the risk of sounding like a technophobe, if Facebook is something I only sort of get, Twitter is something I completely don’t get. Maybe some day, but not right now.)
Anyway, the two most important things I got out of the tutorial were how to think about Edge Rank and how to build an audience for the page. Edge Rank is what Facebook uses to determine how high up your posts will appear on the newsfeed of folks who have “liked” your page, which then means their friends are more likely to see the posts, too. Edge Rank depends on how recent your posts are, for instance. However, it especially depends on whether you’ve added a picture or video to your post. Pictures are good — they help give you higher Edge Rank.
Building an audience includes inviting contacts, obviously, but also can include creating a Facebook ad that will appear along the right edge of the page of a target audience. The ads aren’t free but it’s easy to control how much you want to spend each day.
So, what was the net result for my book? Well, I created the Facebook page on June 12. You can link to it here, if you’re a Facebook user. By June 30, I had 200 “likes” and several people who had posted my stories on their own Facebook pages. And my sales on Amazon.com tripled from May to June. I didn’t quite cover the cost of my Facebook ads, but actually came close to doing so which made me happy.
Bottom line: More people now know about my book, a number have actually bought it (hooray!), and it’s kind of fun posting pictures of wineries and things on the page and sharing them with folks who also share my interest in Virginia wineries. All in all, not bad!