Whether you’re ready to click the “Like” button or you’re secretly wishing for a new “Hate” button to be added over the new Facebook changes, the popular social networking site is getting ready to update…again. On February 2nd, everyone’s profiles will be switched to the new Facebook Timeline layout – like it or not. It’s ok though, with change comes opportunity and in your case, oh faithful Lulu author, you’ll have new tools to play around with to help market your works. This post will help you set up your Timeline and give you some ideas on how to best use it to reach your audience.
What is Facebook Timeline?
Facebook Timeline is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: “Timeline is the story of your life…in a new way to express who you are.” Your posts (literally all of them) are divided in two and appear on a timeline in chronological order below your profile picture and basic information. The super cool feature about your Timeline and the most obvious change is the new cover option, which lets you save an image as a banner at the very top of your page. This is your place to shine Lulu author. I’ve already seen some really fun and innovative uses for this space. Just check out these cool personal Timelines and these company Timelines for some inspiration.
As you can see in the links and images above, the more creative you get with your new cover image, the more likely a potential reader might stop and consider reading your works. Consider placing illustrations from your books in this space if you’re a children’s book author, or perhaps even a passage from your work if you’re a novelist. Make it fun and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. This is a great chance to brand yourself and your work in an interesting and unique way. To start setting up your Timeline, check out this handy slideshow from our friends at Mashable for step-by-step instructions.
Lifespan of a Post:
Right now, Facebook posts have an average lifespan of about three hours according to research recently done by Bitly. This is likely to decrease with Timeline, but you can ensure the right people are seeing your posts by trying different times throughout the day to pinpoint your highest traffic hours. It’s a good idea to set up your own personal Facebook page for your works too so you can have access to all of Facebook’s great insight tools, which show you which of your posts trend most and to what demographics. The more virality (the amount it will be shared) your posts have increase the likeliness that your fans will like it or share it, which will extend your posts’ lifespan.
Post more and post often:
Given the ever-decreasing life-span above, what you have to say has more potential to be lost in the sea of other frequent posters in your fans’ news feeds. I still wouldn’t post things back to back, but once every hour to two hours certainly couldn’t hurt. The vast majority of readers are constantly plugged in now, and are always interested in discovering fresh, easy to digest content. But make sure that content is of quality and value or fans will flag you for spam.
You’ll notice you now have a new option next to your status updates on Facebook Timeline called “Life Event.” This is a great new feature specifically for authors because you can include your books, publications, and blog-type posts here and instantly share it with your readers. You can include cover-photos along with your posts to really help them stand out – like so:
So there you go, you should be well-equipped to brave the new Facebook Timeline and be a cut-above the rest for marketing your titles through this channel. Sound off on what you think about the new Facebook in the comments below and feel free to offer your own tips for how you’ve used it too.