My Facebook Rule of Thumb

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So okay…Facebook is a head scratcher for many. Everyone and their dog named Bruce is complaining about how none of their posts are getting any reach.
Facebook is hiding all my posts, blah, blah, blah.
I hear ya!
It can be a little bitch!
But what if….it doesn’t have to be?
Check out a screenshot of one of my most recent posts:

Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 11.40.38 AMNearly 12k people reached might not mean much to you
right now…but,

ask me how many Facebook followers
I have.
Go on…ask!  

1205. 

That’s just over twelve hundred followers.
(I just felt like I had to say it another way for dramatic effect.)

In one, itty bitty, not very well thought out, random as hell Facebook post,
I reached 10X my followers.
And that number is still growing.

That’s called SOCIAL MEDIA.
I bolded the word social because I think some of us lose track of that when we get frustrated with our reach.

For example, I have a blogger friend who has over 5,000 Likes on her book blogging Facebook page.

Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 1.50.10 PMWAY TO GO!
5K
LIKES!
 

She is a diligent poster, throwing up anywhere from 5-12 posts a day, pimping all her favorite authors and newbies like myself.

In all of those posts…she’s LUCKY if she averages 20 people reached per post.

Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 1.50.41 PM

This post had been up for 3 days and that’s all that it reached.
That can be maddening for anyone.

But here’s the deal…
YOU ONLY HAVE YOURSELF TO BLAME!
(Sorry Momma Bear!)

I only use the shouty caps, because it’s true.
And I’m going to tell you why I think so, but first, I’ll tell you who I am.
(like that will gain me any credibility).

I’m Amy Daws, I’m a nobody indie author that wrote a memoir and a couple spicy romance novels. I’ve sold a decent number of books so far, have some awesome reviews posted, and I just released my third book this past January. I’ve been in the “Author World” for nine solid months and am the authority on almost nothing. Boom.
There’s me, in a nutshell.

Here’s my Facebook author page if you’d like to creep…prepare to be WOWED: http://www.facebook.com/amydawsauthor

Just kidding. I’m not doing anything special except being ORGANICALLY SOCIAL!
That’s how you get reach.

So let’s go back to this crazy post for a moment.
What made THIS post of mine so special?
How did THIS post generate 10X the Reach for me? 

Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 11.40.38 AM

1. The majority of people think Walking Dead is the cats pajamas. And I would agree…if I could relax enough to watch it. But when I’m sleeping at night after watching an episode, no one can talk me out of the fact that there is a zombie behind my shower curtain just waiting to catch me with my pants down. How humiliating…to be eaten alive by a zombie mid pee…or worse….mid poop! :O Oh come on…you’re telling me you’ve never had to take a midnight poo???
Weird…me neither…I was just kidding.

Okay…here’s the real reasons this post was successful: 

1. TRENDING TOPICS. Walking Dead was trending all over Facebook because the premiere of the new season was fast approaching. Facebook recognizes those words whether you use hashtags or not. They are going to bump those posts up in their algorithm because they want to give the people what they want!
2. CONTROVERSIAL COMMENT. I posted something that compelled fans to comment. If you love something that much and someone talks smack about it…you’re gonna comment. You just have to! Your favorite TV show’s integrity is at stake!
3. ENGAGING AFTER THE FACT. Don’t just post something cra and walk away to never return. Come back. Like, comment, banter. BE SOCIAL!
4. ORGANIC TO FACEBOOK. I didn’t use an ap or a buffer site that posts everywhere for me. I posted something straight to Facebook, with my own bare hands. I didn’t pick one message, upload it to a third party site and make them do all the leg work for me. I did it myself.

Now some of you may say…”Well, how does the Walking Dead sell my product?”

Good question…and honestly, I don’t have a clear cut answer.
But I will tell you what my goals are on Facebook and you can take it for what it’s worth.
My Primary Goals

1. Sell Myself First.
2. Create Top of the Mind Awareness.  

Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 11.45.31 AMI don’t know if those goals are perfect.
I’m no Mark Zuckerberg.
I’m just someone who has a tiny Facebook Page and a decent number of likes and engagement.
It’s fun.
I hate posting on Facebook and getting no interaction.
No one likes talking to themselves.
Well, maybe some do I guess.

If you are a book blogger and your job is to sell OTHER PEOPLE, that just means you’ll have to be more creative in your posts to garner that magical engagement. It’s in you…you just have to dig deep and find that sweet spot.

My hope is, that if I am successful in my primary goals…my secondary goals will fall into place without any extra effort.

My Secondary Goals: 

1. Sell my product. 
2. Build my platform and brand myself.
(I’ll let you all know when I hit the NYT Best Seller List)

Like I said, I’m a nobody from nowhere, but these are some thoughts I have. And if you’re struggling with Reach like so many others out there, some of these tips surely can’t hurt!
And of course…newsletters and pushing your own websites is KING. You have maximum control of your image that way and who’s seeing it. However, nobodies from nowhere don’t get many hits on the ‘ol website. So I’m just trying to make lemonade out of lemons because Facebook took away the easy Crystal Light stuff that you just had to dump and stir. Now I gotta use a juicer. I don’t even own a juicer…I’m just thirty! I just squeeze it with my bare  hands and then add some sugar because I think it needs to taste sweeter…okay, I took that too far…I felt that.

In conclusion, (in my humble opinion)…some things you could be doing wrong:
1. Using Facebook as a dumping ground to only sell your product.
2. Using a third party ap to post for you.
3. Not posting interesting content.
4. Not showing your personality through your posts.
5. Using too many links to other sites.
To explain that more, I just have to say that I don’t think Facebook is in the business to market for youtube. You can upload videos directly to Facebook and see the number of views. So, naturally, their magical algorithms are going to care more about organic videos uploaded to Facebook, than they do about Youtube links! Same goes for Amazon links and other product links on other sites. Facebook doesn’t care about you selling your product, they care about you selling YOU! If you want to sell your product, you’ll have to pay to boost it. Simple as that.

Side note: I’ve never paid to boost a post. I will someday. I’m not against it. I just don’t feel I have enough books out on the market to make the cost of the boost worth it.  

Also, one final thing…my itty bitty page with only 1205 likes has one of those elusive blue check marks.
What’s a blue checkmark you ask?

Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 11.40.21 AMIt’s that cute little thing right next to my name. Neat right? Everybody else thought so too because as soon as I got it, my facebook messages were flooded from all my author friends asking me: HOW DID YOU GET THAT BLUE CHECK MARK??? Like it was the holy grail of check marks…or like it meant you had officially “arrived”.
So I told them how I got it.
Want to know what I said…it’s kind of a big deal…….are you ready?
Are you ready???
I ASKED!
Shocking I know…you can actually just talk to the Facebook powers that be.
It was a relatively easy process of sending them some pictures of my license identifying myself and me and bing, bang, boom…I got a checkmark.
So all my author friends followed suit. They soon after messaged me telling me they got rejected. Say what? Why? What’s happening? What could it be? I’m a nobody from nowhere, I didn’t do anything special! I had less than 1k likes when I applied!

So I started doing some thinking…what am I doing differently?

1 Word: ENGAGEMENT. Okay, I changed my mind…
2 words: ENGAGEMENT and REACH.
The percentage of my reach vs followers is high. Perhaps that is what made me worthy of a blue checkmark? Perhaps not. I could ask Facebook, but I endeavor to think they’d give me some elusive answer as well.

But I’m proud of those likes. I get a decent amount of engagement on my little baby page. Until I start crawling up those best seller lists and kicking butt and taking names…I’m just going to be SOCIAL and HAVE FUN!

That’s what social media is for.

Amy Daws Author Pic-low resAmy Daws is the author of the London Lovers Series, a stand alone contemporary romance series with two books out and a third releasing this spring, and inspirational memoir, Chasing Hope.
She lives in South Dakota with her husband and three year old daughter.

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Disclaimer: This blog post are the thoughts, feelings, and experience of myself and myself alone. Facebook is in no way affiliated with the thoughts expressed therein. 

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