What’s on your list?
I’d love to hear your ideas!
What’s on your list?
I’d love to hear your ideas!
I’ve heard a lot of complaints recently about Facebook removing the “Like Page” button from Facebook page links in comments and posts.
I absolutely agree – it’s a pain.
But I have found another way to share links and like/follow pages more conveniently than having to open every page and click on “like” or “follow”.
If you tag yourself or your page in an individual person’s post, people can hover over the tag and click on the “Like” button in the small window that pops up.
To tag your page, start typing its name. It should cause a small window to appear with your page name in it. Click on the correct option and your page will be tagged.
Once tagged, your page name should appear highlighted. Then you can keep typing.
By putting more than one link in your post, you’re saving a lot of work and tidying up those “like for like” threads that can have hundreds of comments in them.
Keep in mind that this won’t work in groups or on pages, but it does work on individual people’s posts.
To tag your page in a group or page post, you need to do the same thing, but use your page @username instead.
You can still use more than one tag in each post.
How did I not know that this existed?
How did I not know about this?
Even though I’ve been on Facebook for about a squillion years – I was an early adopter – I’ve only just discovered the feature called ‘Reviews’. It has been around for years, but I’ve never used it before.
Then again, I’ve not really had a page apart from my personal profile until late-ish last year when I emerged onto the world stage as a budding poet with many important things to say.
As an author, the way I’ve learned to use Facebook is entirely different than the “look at me” and “look at my selfie” way I used to drive the social media bus. These days, I don’t want people to look at me. I want them to look at my work, discover my books, and tell their friends about them, too. I want to be read, not noticed.
That’s where Facebook reviews and ratings come into the picture.
Facebook reviews and ratings help by leading potential customers to trust your brand or products.
According to Review Trackers, 71% of people say they “somewhat” or “completely” trust what they read on Facebook. At the same time, 66% of consumers regularly share feedback, thoughts and opinions on their purchases using social media.
In short – if someone likes your work enough to leave a review or rating, that’s going to be an encouragement to other people to try it for themselves.
Reviews can also help by increasing your engagement with your audience.
If a new visitor sees that you’ve responded positively to your previous visitors, that will also encourage them to trust you and your products. The more you engage with your audience, the more likely they are to become return customers.
How to add the Reviews tab to your page:
1. Navigate to your page
2. Click on ‘Settings’ at the top right-hand side.
3. Click on ‘Edit page’.
5. Click on ‘Add a tab’.
6. Click ‘Add Tab’ on ‘Reviews’, then on the ‘Close’ button.
7. Rearrange your tabs by clicking on the icon that looks like three little lines next to the title of the tab and dragging up or down.
I have rearranged the tabs so that the Reviews tab is at the top, immediately under ‘About’ and above ‘Likes’ so that it’s always in a prominent place and easily seen by visitors to my page.
When you’ve completed these steps, visitors to your page will be invited to leave a review.
There is one catch.
If someone leaves a negative review, you can’t delete it. Only the reviewer can delete a review.
You can, however, report it and have it removed if you can show that it is not a fair review.
Having a bunch of positive reviews and interactions on your page is your best resource in that situation.
If it turns out that you don’t like the Reviews feature, or if it’s not working for you, you can simply disable the reviews by removing the Review tab, following a similar process to that used to add the tab in the first place.
Leaving a review is easy. You choose how many stars out of five, and leave a short comment. The minimum length is 40 characters. It can be as simple as “Your book covers are fantastic. I love the colours and design.” This would work perfectly well as a positive review.
This means that helping a small business or Indie author/musician/whatever by leaving a positive review could take as little as 30 seconds out of your day.
If you’ve read the book, heard the song, received a beautiful hand-made card or eaten a delicious meal at a restaurant, leaving a review is a great way to acknowledge the work that went into bringing you pleasure.
I’m going to spend some time over the next weeks leaving reviews and ratings for the Facebook pages for authors and books I’ve been reading and appreciating lately.
I’m going to make this an ongoing thing. In conjunction with the reviews I write and post on Amazon, Goodreads and my Book Squirrel blog, I’m going to make a point of leaving a review on the author’s and/or the book’s Facebook page.
It would be fantastic if you would do that for the writers and other Indies you know, too.
Not only will that brighten a writer’s day, it just might help them sell a book or two.
Make sure you’re sending the message you actually want to send to your audience, every time.
For the first time in a long time, I’ve recently abandoned reading a book. I’m usually fairly persistent, but I couldn’t get past the second chapter. It’s so full of basic errors, I’d be giving any of my students who wrote it a D. That book – any book – has no business being for sale on any platform, Indie or otherwise, until it has been properly edited and corrected.
If I had a dollar for every time I have face-palmed over glaring errors of spelling, word choice or punctuation in someone else’s social media posts, I would be considerably richer than I am today.
As people who promote ourselves as writers, it’s crucial that we don’t make those mistakes.
I’m not talking about the occasional typo, and I’m not talking about the type of formatting error that can happen to absolutely anyone when converting a book to eBook format. I’m talking about really basic errors – missing punctuation, terrible sentence structure, shocking spelling. Of course, not differentiating correctly between “your” and “you’re” is always going to frustrate people. There will always be people who put apostrophes where they don’t belong and omit them where they are needed. The same is true for commas.
It boils down to the issue of credibility. If I cannot correctly construct a sentence to encourage people to buy my book, what is going to make people believe I could possibly write a whole book? A writer should be able to communicate their ideas and messages clearly and effectively, without frustrating the reader or making their eyes bleed.
Quite honestly, if someone’s social media posts are full of errors, I’m not going to be buying their book. I’m not even going to put my hand up for a free copy. And it’s not going to change my mind if people laugh it off and say, “It’s just Facebook… relax!”
I may be called judgemental or overly critical. That’s okay.
As a reader and a frequent buyer of books, I’m entitled to be.
As a writer, nothing less should be expected.
If we want people to believe that Indie books are just as good as traditionally published books, we have to make sure they are. We must edit, and have them edited, as professional authors. We must promote both ourselves and our books as engaging, intelligent, and literate. The example we set on social media is part of that, because that’s where we hope to find readers.
Please, folks, for credibility’s sake – in the interests of your own integrity – proof-read all your posts. Make sure you’re sending the message you actually want to send to your audience, every time.
Following my previous post about how to use hashtags effectively, I thought it might be helpful to provide you with a list of hashtags that work well for Indie authors.
My aim in this post is not to give you every hashtag that writers use, but to provide you with a functional list of the most common, and therefore the most valuable.
In addition to these, you can also make a hashtag for your own book or brand.
However, if you’re going to do this, make sure it’s unique to you or your book so that you don’t get lost in a haze of brand confusion.
You can see here that #jvlpo was good, but not good enough.
However, #jvlpoet was completely unique to me. I did this same search on both Twitter and Google when deciding on my domain name, jvlpoet.com.
For example, during Women’s History Month in March, I added either #CelebratingWomen or #WomensHistoryMonth to my tweets that were relevant – but not to all of them.
Adding those tags to a post about spelling or writer’s block simply wouldn’t be appropriate, and would definitely look opportunistic rather than professional.
Similarly, given that April is #NationalPoetryMonth, I’ve added that to my tweets inviting people to read my poetry on my blog, but not to the ones where I’m offering advice to authors learning to use social media.
Using hashtags that nobody is looking for is a waste of time and effort.
Using the search bar near your profile menu and Tweet button, you can type in key words to see which hashtags are the most popular.
The hashtags that come up will change as you keep typing – see from the illustration here the difference between typing ‘book’ and ‘bookw’.
This is a handy way to see what is most popular among the relevant terms that you could choose from.
It also means that even when the feed condenses your post, people see the most important things first – your content, your message, and your website.
It can be really tempting to send your post from Instagram to all your other social media accounts. However, that’s not always the best thing to do.
Don’t share directly from Instagram to Twitter unless you’re under that 140 character limit.
A longer message will get cut off, leaving your tweet looking like you don’t know what you’re doing. Nobody wants that.
Don’t share directly from Instagram to Facebook if you want your post to look professional. A bunch of hashtags look completely out of place on Facebook. They’re not really needed there at all.
Whether on Twitter or Facebook, or any other social media where you can pin a post, you should.
Frankly, I’m surprised
at how many people don’t.
Whether on Twitter or Facebook, or any
other social media where you can pin a
post, you should. Frankly, I’m surprised
at how many people don’t.
It is an immediate way for people to see what you’re about – your book, your favourite charity, an upcoming event, social justice issues, whatever it is.
It also serves as an easy way for people to share your posts and get your message out to even more people. Some of those people will share your interest, and either share your post or follow you. Some will do both.
In short, it’s a great way to get more attention with minimal effort.
If you have a good number of new followers on a regular basis, you can change your pinned post each week or each month to give followers and “click-throughs” something new to share on your behalf.
It’s also a great way to get feedback on the effectiveness of your post.
The stats at the bottom of a pinned tweet tell me how many replies, shares and likes that post has had. Clicking on the little graph icon at the far right gives you even more detail about how far your post has travelled.
It can get you more followers and more shares.
There’s another thing to consider, too. If people click through to your profile and all you have is shares or retweets, they can easily decide you don’t have original thoughts to share and lose interest. Given that they’ve been interested enough to click through to your profile, that’s probably a bunch of shares and prospective followers that you’ve missed out on.
To pin a post is easy.
On both Twitter profiles and Facebook pages, each post has a little down arrow at the top right-hand side. Click that, and choose “pin etc”.
That will remain your pinned post, and always appear at the top of your profile, until you choose to pin something else there.