Guest Expert: Phyllis Zimbler Miller
Major Facebook Page Changes Require Strategic Planning for Book Authors
Now that Facebook has mandatorily changed all Pages (formerly known as fan pages) to the new format, it is time to assess the benefits and issues for authors.
Let’s take as one example that you have a single Facebook Page (categorized as an author page on Facebook) with your name as the Page name.
Until the formatting change, you have been using a default tab to announce each new book or ebook of yours. Thus, while each book has its own tab on your Facebook Page, each time you release a new book you put its tab as the default landing page for someone coming to your Page. (In other words, this particular tab is the first information seen on your Facebook Page.)
Facebook has now eliminated the default landing tab. Everyone coming through Facebook must first see the Page’s timeline. (This is in place of the wall, which no longer exists as a Facebook Page term.)
Yet there is a way around this:
Remember that each tab of a Facebook Page has its own URL – its own web address.
Imagine on your author website, for example, that instead of having the Facebook icon link to your Facebook Page, with each new book release you change the icon to link to the Facebook Page tab for your new book.
Or, if you are leaving a comment on LinkedIn about this new book, you could put the URL that goes to the book’s Facebook Page tab rather than to the timeline of your Facebook Page. (Tip: On LinkedIn you must use http:// to make a link hot.)
What about benefits of the changes?
Instead of having your headshot and maybe a book cover or two as the top left-hand side Page image, you can now have a much larger image for what Facebook calls the “cover.”
Here is an example on my new author Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/phylliszimblermillerauthor
As you can see, the books that I want to highlight are top and center of the new Facebook Page format – much more prominent than they would have appeared with the old format.
WARNING: Facebook has very stringent rules about what you are allowed to put on your cover. You CANNOT, for example, say “like this Page” or “click on the like button” or include your website URL or various other “calls to action.”
What you can do is this:
Once you upload your cover, click on it (anywhere in the cover) and you will get the opportunity to write a description of the cover image. Do so, and include a link in the description.
To see how this works, click anywhere on the cover at www.facebook.com/phylliszimblermillerauthor and then see the cover description as well as the link to my Phyllis Zimbler Miller website.
Now besides the cover image, the About information has become important (as it once was before other Facebook changes). Include a hot link in the About info (as I have done to www.HowToSucceedEbooks.com ). This link could go to a tab on your Facebook Page or anywhere else that you want to send people.
(Note that the profile picture featured in the left-hand bottom corner of your Page’s cover is the icon photo shown when you post as your Page. In my case I am using my headshot.)
And of course be sure to put a link in the website link field in your Page’s basic information. This link displays when people click on the word “About” under the About info on your Page.
Confused? It’s a good idea to play around with the new options as I am doing.
For example, I discovered that I did NOT have to put my birth year in the Page’s timeline for my earliest entry. Instead there were other options, and I choose “launched” and put the publication date of the first edition of the Jewish holiday book I co-authored (1992).
Now, while I cannot add items that took place earlier than September 1992 in this particular Page’s timeline, I can add all my book-related activities after this time that I want to share.
Good luck experimenting with your Facebook Page’s new options. As authors I believe we can truly benefit from the changes.
Phyllis Zimbler Miller has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company Miller Mosaic LLC. She is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks as well as the screenplay DR. SOAPY, which can be downloaded for free at http://studios.amazon.com/projects/8259 Her newest ebook is HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND PREP FOR COLLEGE (www.HowToSucceedEbooks.com)