A few weeks ago we talked about building your platform and I gave some very general tips on how to start building that platform. Today we are going to focus on Facebook and using it to your best abilities as a platform.
It is very easy to get sucked into Facebook. There are dozens of time wasters (farmville, who's your celebrity lover, etc.) and if you have a very large network just keeping up with all of your friends can be overwhelming. In the beginning I spent several hours a day... just on facebook. At the end of the day, I would be so frustrated because I felt like I had accomplished nothing with my writing.
So you decide to cut back and suddenly you find some of your Facebook friends getting very quiet. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that they may have un-friended you. It happens and that is ok. But you may want to look at your practices and find out why they un-friended you. Are you only posting work-related comments? Are you posting offensive items or getting into "drama". If so, stop immediately!
Remember, this is a professional page. If you want a private page where you can do that, go get that private page. At the same time, you do need to maintain a personal connection with your friends. Don't just post work-related items. Make comments when appropriate, but be sure that you keep in mind that the comments you make are visible to all (if you have an open page, which I recommended in the beginning). Engage without arguing!
Make sure that you engage with all of your friends. Even if you simply "like" something that they say. Facebook has a feature that will remove friends from your friends list if you do not keep up with them. Keep your image in mind when you do respond to comments.
Your posts should not just be promoting your book, blog, etc. Post a witty comment, post a favorite quote. Give them something that lets them know that you are human! Keep your image in mind as you plan your posts and make sure that your posts are properly written. They do reflect on you as a writer.
When you do post work-related items, ask people to share. You would be surprised how many will be willing to do so. When they do share your work, all of their friends will see it as well. This increases your viewership beyond your 200 (or whatever) friends.
Once a week take a few minutes to go through the friend finder and add a few friends. In the beginning you will only be adding people that you know in the "real world". But as you engage with others and respond to your friends posts, you can and will become friends with their friends. Once you have built a rapport with your friend's friends, they will be more inclined to accept your friend request. In the real world, I only have a handful of friends. 1/2 of my Facebook friends are old friends that I have reconnected with. About 1/3 are friends and family that I maintain contact with in the "real world" and the remaining are people that I have solely met through Facebook! Some of my "Facebook-only" friends are my best contributors for re-posting my work!
I love my Facebook people! They are probably the best in the world. Although I do use my Facebook page for promoting my work, I have enjoyed the sociability it gives me now that I have become a shut-in working from home! And even the ones you may not know in real life become a part of your real world connections!
This is my favorite of all my "platforms". It is probably the only one I would maintain if I did stop pursuing my dreams of writing. There are connections that I have made on my other platforms that I would pull over if I did give them up, but my Facebook friends are just that! They boost me up when I am feeling down. They re-share much more willingly and actually engage in what I do. I get more comments on my blog posts through Facebook than on the actual blog! And those comments keep me writing these posts, when the lack of comments on the blog gets me down!
Next post we will return to writing tips, so look forward to it!