Some authors really don’t like Facebook.
They find it restrictive, compared to the open nature of Twitter, and often skip creating a Facebook author page completely.

Personally, I think that this is a mistake.

Facebook has been a huge motivator for me in the buildup to my book launch. Although Twitter is catching up, it is my Facebook author page that has provided the bulk of the website traffic thus far.

Before we start, head on over to my Facebook author page, and give it a ‘like’ if you’re feeling extra-generous.

Here are five reasons why every author should set up a Facebook page.

1. It’s visual

One thing I love about Facebook is just how visual it has become. Sure, it’s been the number one photo sharing website for quite some time, but since the much criticised Timeline update, the visual nature of its content has elevated to a whole new level. I’ve not only used my Facebook author page to tease my book cover, but to post more personal images too. Joanna Penn recommends posting a photo of your workspace, and other aspects of your writing life. Also, photos are more visible in people’s news feeds than text, so others are more likely to get involved.

2. It’s like an exclusive club

Another thing in Facebook’s favour is its ‘exclusivity’. I think people take much more caution liking pages on Facebook than they do clicking the follow button on Twitter; 183 ‘likers’ of my Facebook author page and around 480 Twitter ‘followers’ myself reiterates this argument. Therefore, treat the ‘likers’ to exclusive content. Everybody loves feeling a part of something, so whether it’s a Facebook-only giveaway, or simply a question to your ‘likers’, make sure you give your loyal ‘likers’ a little bit extra to show your gratitude.

3. People listen

Although I may not have any hard statistics to prove it, I don’t think it’d be too foolish to assume that people pay more attention when browsing Facebook than they do on Twitter. If you set up your Facebook author page to repost your blog entries, which I do three times a week, then you’ll find people going back throughout the day to visit the link. On Twitter, your followers are more likely to skip through it, especially if it’s older. With Facebook, I think we do our own content hunting, whereas on Twitter, we expect to be spoon-fed. Have something interesting to say, and people will listen.

4. It’s stands the test of time

I mentioned how people are more likely to go back and view your older stuff on Facebook than on Twitter earlier. This is due to the archive-like setup of Timeline, which keeps every post on one single wall to view easily. The nature of the news feed can be beneficial, too; if someone ‘likes’ your page from a few weeks back, then it’ll shoot to the top of their friends’ news feeds. That way, greater exposure of your older content means that you’ll never have to worry about an old post slipping away again.

5. It has good stats

A lot of the stats I’ve referred to have come directly from my Facebook author page. With the in-built ‘Insights’, you can explore a whole host of stats, such as recent likes, unlikes, and the general ‘reach’ of your page. This ‘reach’ feature is implemented into every post too, enabling you to view the percentage of your Facebook ‘likers’ that saw the content. If a certain post doesn’t seem to have reached many people, then try at a different time of day in future, when more people are online.

Facebook does have its drawbacks, which I will discuss in a future article, but I don’t think it’s the devilish monopolist a lot of people have it down as.

Take it for what it is – a place to share the best of your content with friends and others who support you – and I think it is a very strong connectivity tool. Plus, it means more exposure, so that’s never a bad thing. As Anne Chaconas argues: Timeline is your friend, not your enemy!

Be sure to ‘like’ my author page to get involved!

Do you have a Facebook author page? How do you use it, and how does it compare to your other social networks?

Facebook logo courtesy of Benstein.