As many folks are finding out (to their horror), Facebook Timeline does not allow fancy landing pages that collect email addresses or that encourage likes in exchange for free downloads of eBook samples, chapters, etc.
Facebook now forbids calls-to-action and other direct marketing jargon on the cover photo. So in lieu of customization, how can you increase Facebook likes?
1. Be sure to prominently feature a like box on your own website so visitors can become Facebook fans without leaving your site.
2. Facebook ads are cheap!
[Ahh, now we see one of the big reasons for this mandatory switch to Timeline. By limiting our branding options to the features of Timeline, companies (and authors) are more likely to buy ads. But let’s not be bitter; Facebook ads CAN be effective. Run a few ads that lead folks to your Facebook Page. See how it goes. Hopefully they’ll click “like.” Check out CD Baby’s article on running Facebook ads for more info.]
3. Make sure your Facebook author page URL is clearly listed on all your books, websites, etc.
4. “Pin” important posts to the top of your page. The pinned post will stay there for up to 7 days.
5. Create compelling content– Umm… yeah. No big revelation there. It all really goes back to content. Share your awesome stories, poems, videos, rants, and reading dates, and your Facebook fanbase will grow on its own.
6. Use large images in posts– The images in your posts CAN have advertising and calls-to-action. Also, by highlighting the image, it can expand across the screen to match the size of the cover photo. That’s a lot of advertising space! Use it.
7. Use Facebook “Offers,” a new Facebook story-type. They’re similar to coupons; Offers help you put spread your promotional message to Facebook users by giving discounts.
8. Use the “Reach Generator” to promote a post from your Page. An average of 16% of your fans are seeing your content in their newsfeed per week. Now you can now pay to have that post displayed for a guaranteed 60-85% of your fans over the following month.
9. Use “Premium on Facebook,” (coming soon) a new Facebook ad tool that analyzes data regarding your fan page users and features your ad accordingly in up to 5 prime locations. Premium stories will appear on mobile devices too.
10. Post “Milestones.” Facebook has added a new post category that allows you to set a “milestone” for big events like book signings, publication acceptance, a book fair appearance, good review, etc. Milestones, just as the word implies, mark your key moments across the Timeline. The dimensions for Milestone images are 843 x 403 pixels.
11. Feature the most important apps/tabs at the top, and customize the thumbnails. You can display 4 of them on the Timeline Wall. There is an expandable section where you can display up to 12 apps at one time.
12. Forget about Facebook for a minute. Remember that better writing, better opportunities, and better connections are what is really going to drive folks to your Facebook Page. But you’re not going to create that compelling content if you’re staring at a computer screen all day.
It’s almost Spring! Get away from your dusty writing desk and put on a fresh t-shirt. You’ve probably been staring out the window for a bit anyway. Go for a walk. Fall in love. Life is what fuels art. Only occasionally is it the other way around. So go out and live. Put that lived experience into your art. Put that art on your website. Post what’s on your website to Facebook. Share it. Repeat.
[For more info about Facebook Timeline, check out “How to Promote Your Book Using the New Facebook Timeline Features” and “How to Set Up Facebook Timeline for Authors“]