Saturday, July 11, 2015

How teamwork defeated Facebook

 Being an author is hard. Often every step, even the small ones, seem like Everest. There are so many tasks that you have to juggle and most of them have nothing to do with doing what you love best, writing. For me, the writing part has never been the hard bit, of course now that I say this that might change. For me the challenge is in learning the business end of it. I don't particularly enjoy the marketing and promotions aspect of being an indie author, but it is the nature of the beast.

Recently, while chatting with some other authors, we got to discussing how difficult it is the over come Facebook's algorithms, which appear to be rigged in such a way to "encourage" businesses to purchase their promotional services. The way we saw it, Facebook opens up a post to 10 people and how they interact with it determines if it will open up the post to 10 more people. This means that the odds are NOT in your favor. They also weight the post by whether or not there are hashtags (#hashtag=#noviewsforyou) or the words download, share or like. Interesting note, if comments say congratulations, Facebook opens it up to more viewers!

We decided to come up with some kind of solution to overcoming Facebook's algorithms.

Before I get to that, here are some tips and tricks that I have collected over the last 8 months from various web articles that will in general help improve your insights on Facebook. 

1) Pictures and video post out perform post that just have words. The catch is to post links with an eye catching thumb nail picture instead of straight up pictures. This is most likely due in part to the over posting of pictures. 

2) LIKE your own posts! Yes, I know this sounds very vain, but your likes count in the eyes of the great and powerful Facebook so like away! 

3) Utilize your cover photo by having a call to action inside of it. You can do this by using free programs like For example, my Facebook page cover has a picture that promotes my book cover reveal on August 5. 

4) One word: crowdsource. Ask your readers which cover or head shot they like best. My post on choosing, which head shot I should go with was one of my highest performing post for my page. Which would you have chosen? 

5) Share the most important post on your personal page as well. Don't annoy your friends and family, because that wont help you, but sharing relevant content at different times throughout the year can be very beneficial. 

6) Study the insight information provided. It will help guide you in the right direction so that you aren't just blindly throwing darts in the dark. For example, according to my insights, my target group is women ages 35-64, who live in the United States or the United Kingdom and tend to view my page most often on Tuesdays. 

7) The longer your readers engage with your post (i.e. spend time reading it) also factors into the algorithm. So in other words, be interesting. Read this article for more information on this particular nugget. 

8) Find a dedicated support group

Find a support group, you say? YES! This is the experiment that my author friends and I embarked on this week after one of them suggested we give it a go. In an effort to unlock as many post as possible and therefore increase our reach/ROI, we committed to joining together in groups of at least ten authors. Each group member committed to liking, sharing, and interacting with each other's post. 

Before this experiment I had an average of 1-2 likes per post and almost no shares. By the end of the week my new page likes were up 103%  (this should level out), total post reach were up 290%, and engagement was up 135% from the week before. An unexpected bonus of this venture is that we found that we really enjoyed each others content and ended up sharing and liking each other's things because we genuinely enjoyed them.  I even ended up downloading several books from some of the authors in my group  and am really looking forward to reading them on my long car trip coming up next week! 

So in closing: create relevant information and promote yourself through the relationships that you build in the process. Do you have any tips and tricks that you have found helpful? 


KM Hodge is the author of The Syndicate Series. Book #1, Seasons is available on Amazon. 

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