What’s the best way to use Facebook as a writer?
If you’re like most people who use Facebook, you open the app and start by looking at your notifications. You click or tap on the little bell that tells lets you know what Facebook thinks are the important highlights for you to see. When you’re done with these you scroll down your feed and let it decide what to show you next, and next and next, till you get tired, or till the pressing demands of life yank you away from the app.
If you want to optimize your use of Facebook as a writer, there are a number of things we recommend:
1. Like Facebook Pages that teach and inform you
Find Facebook pages that offer consistent, useful information about writing and the writing industry. The more genre-specific, the better. Make sure to visit these regularly. Do not wait for random updates to pop up in your group. One way to help you see updates from your favorite pages more frequently is to add these pages to favorites. See the video below for how to do this.
2. Join active and supportive groups
There are too many groups on Facebook that do not add any value, whatever area of interest you are talking about. Writing is no different. We recommend you try a lot of groups until you find two that work for you; a small intimate group where you can get to know other writers and really support each other, and a bigger group where you can get a sense of what other writers in the world are doing. Leave all the other groups and unlike all the other pages that don’t serve you. The less clutter you have in your feed, the better. There is nothing like finding a supportive group. It totally changes your Facebook and writing experience. That said, do not be a passive follower of these groups. Be active. Support others. Respond to questions. Celebrate when other writers post success stories.
3. Be deliberate about where you go on Facebook
Once you have pages and groups that you follow and like, as in really LIKE, not just the blue thumbs up icon kind of like, make sure you visit them regularly. This means you cannot wait for posts from these pages to show up in your feed before you engage. You actually need to seek them out. One easy way of doing this is to keep the links to the pages and groups in a text editor or to bookmark them in your browser, so you can find them easily.
4. Set up a Facebook page your your own writing
Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create and set up your own author page if you don’t already have one. Remember, this is different from your personal Facebook profile where you have friends. A page has likes and followers. This enables you to have a place on Facebook where you can keep all your posts about your writing and your books, even if you share some of them on your personal profile. Having a page enables you to access insights so you can see how many people are seeing your posts, etc. You can also pay Facebook to have selected posts on your page reach more people. And, as you grow in popularity, it helps to have a separate page for business so you can keep your private life just that, private.
5. Use Stories and Facebook Live to engage with more people
Right now Facebook Live and Facebook stories are getting more engagement and reach than normal Facebook posts. Many writers shy away from Facebook Live – the fear of being online and speaking and having people watching and asking questions and…. An easy way to do Facebook Live is to have a conversation with someone or to be interviewed so that someone else runs the show and you simply answer questions. Phew.