Given that many Facebook communities or groups don’t allow you to promote—and you don’t want to be one of those pushy authors saying “Buy my book!” all the time, how do you best use Facebook for book promotion? Jay Artale (@BirdsOAFpress), a digital nomad and full-time writer and blogger, has the solution. If you have a blog (and you really need one…), you can put your posts to use without being promotional at all or spending a dime on ads. Read on to learn how…
Do you shudder at the thought of letting people know you’ve written a book and where they can buy it? It’s a frightening prospect, but self-promotion is an integral part of all types of publishing. There’s no point writing a book and publishing it if you’re not willing to promote it to your target audience.
However, a successful book marketing strategy doesn’t have to entail a big budget or mastering keywords to conquer Facebook ads, Amazon ads, or even pay-per-click search engine ads. It just means doing more of what you’re hopefully already doing on Facebook.
Using your Facebook account, you make connections. And you develop and join Facebook communities, also called groups, filled with likeminded people.
Two years ago, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled his ten-year roadmap for bringing the world closer together through the use of “Meaningful Communities.” By monitoring user activity, the Facebook team identified that more than 100 million people are members of communities—groups. And these communities quickly become the most essential part of Facebook users’ social networking activity. On average, Facebook users are members of 30 groups.
I’m connected with lots of people on Facebook, and I know many of them don’t share anything on their personal timeline but are active members of groups to which I belong. I sporadically share updates on my personal timeline, but I contribute to Facebook groups daily. As well as being an administrator for a couple of Facebook communities, I’m an active contributor to about 20 groups, a passive observer on another 20 groups, and a sporadical user of another 30-40 groups.
How I use Meaningful Communities
Facebook communities have become an important part of my passive book marketing strategy because they allow me to share helpful information I’ve featured in my blog posts.
I monitor and participate in group conversations. When there’s a request for information or a conversation on a topic I’ve written blog posts about, I share advice and links. This drives traffic to my website, where my books are featured.
I use an opportunity to help my audience with a blog post link as a way to lead them to my books—without once having to post a “buy my book” link. (And promotion is frowned upon in most groups, but this activity is not seen as promotional.)
If you have blogged a book, sharing any one of your posts should easily lead people to a way to get on your email list and be informed about the book’s release or to a place to purchase the published book.
How I Use Geographic Communities
I abandoned my corporate career in Los Angeles to restart a new life in Turkey. Facebook communities are a lifeline for expats to get much-needed information and advice to navigate the legal and cultural challenges of starting a new life in a strange country where you don’t speak the language.
I write travel guides about the area of Turkey I in which live and also maintain a travel blog on the same topic. Being part of Facebook groups in my geographic community gives me the opportunity of sharing my blog posts to help fellow expats and to drive traffic to my website. Once there, visitors see that I’ve published two books about the local area.
This kind of marketing is called passive marketing, but more frequently is referred to as content marketing. I’m not actively promoting my books or sharing links to buy them; instead, I’m leading potential readers to a hub of information they’re interested in and hoping they’ll like what they read enough to consider buying a book.
Another benefit of these communities is the high volume of shared content. My Facebook stats show I get more shares through blog content I’ve posted in community groups than shares directly from my business page. I’ve also noticed that, when I do share content in community groups, my Facebook Bodrum Travel Guide business page gets a spike in “likes.”
Whereas I use groups to share useful information, I use this business page to actively market my blog posts and books by sharing books reviews and new release information. I’m more comfortable using passive marketing techniques to share information in related communities because it feels more authentic. Plus, this activity focuses on helping people navigate to the information they’re already looking for.
How I Use Interest Communities
No matter what your nonfiction book is about, there’s bound to be a community group focused on the topic. Some may not be relevant to your niche, but with a little research and experimentation, you’ll find a community that is an ideal fit for your content.
But sharing your blog posts isn’t the only way to connect.
I wrote a poetry collection about our move to Turkey and the cultural challenges of integrating into our new lifestyle. My poetic memoirs are a bit of a micro niche, and consequently a hard sell. I love reading traditional memoirs, so I joined a public Facebook group called We Love Memoirs to share my passion for this niche with other like-minded authors. The group has strict rules about self-promotion by authors, but they do host regular book promotion events during the year in exchange for spreading the word on social media.
The admins of this public group run a private Beta Reader and Memoir Author group. Through membership in those groups, I’ve been able to find avid memoir fans to beta read my poetic memoir books and share marketing and promotion tips with other authors in the memoir niche.
I would never have found out about these groups if I hadn’t joined and participated in the book giveaway events. This is a good reminder that social media activity that may seem like a time-suck could actually lead to other connections and opportunities.
Collaborating with other authors in your same niche means your book marketing journey isn’t a solitary one. It also has the added benefit of providing a way to leverage each other’s audiences and mailing lists to get a broader audience reach.
Getting Social on Facebook
If you do nothing else to promote your book, take the time to search Facebook communities to find authors or readers who are passionate about your book niche. This social interaction can help you drive blog readers to your website, find readers you can turn into fans, and find collaboration opportunities with other authors in your niche.
If you’re not already using Facebook groups, maybe it’s time to rethink your marketing tactics.
Have you tried contributing to Facebook communities to raise awareness of your books? Tell me in a comment below. And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with other bloggers or authors.
About the Author
Jay Artale abandoned her corporate career to become a digital nomad and full-time writer. She’s an avid blogger and a nonfiction author helping travel writers and travel bloggers achieve their self-publishing goals. Join her at Birds of a Feather Press where she shares tips, advice, and inspiration to writers with an independent spirit.
Image courtesy o StockSnap / Pixabay