50 Ways Indie Authors Can Boost Their Facebook Engagement NOW

by | Mar 19, 2018 | Book Marketing Basics, Social Media for Authors

Reading Time: ( Word Count: )

It’s always tricky to find great content to post to Facebook, and with their new algorithm change, it’s now even harder. But it doesn’t have to be. Facebook’s changes are all based on follower engagement and not being too salesy. One of the things I love the most is using my personal Facebook Profile and my Fan Page as ways to communicate with fans, boost reader engagement and keep the book promotion wheels turning.

But I don’t do it in a way that pushes too much book marketing content out there. Instead I mix it up with trending topics, funny memes, and helpful advice.

As you start to build your reader engagement and grow your fan base, you’ll find that the more you can post content that engages readers, the better all of your posts will start to show up in their feed.

Treat your Facebook plan like a pie chart, with book promotion being a somewhat smaller part of that pie. When it comes to selling on Facebook, truly less is more.

The idea is to boost your overall page algorithm by crafting engaging content. By doing this, you can drive down your heavy book promotion posts a notch, but still gain loads of visibility for the ones you do post.

When should you post on Facebook?

What about the best times to post on Facebook, is there such a thing? As it turns out, yes.

With 80% of the country is in Central or Eastern time zones, the best plan is to assume that the majority of your fans are more likely to see your posts if you share them earlier in the day. I try to get a post on my Facebook page pretty early in the morning –  but I’m in PST, so keep in mind that’s early for me. Sometimes I post at 5 or 6am!

Give it a try and see how this slight tweak to your Facebook book marketing strategy works.

What posts will drive Facebook engagement?

The ideas below are ones I’ve used, pretty successfully in my own book marketing. And in some cases, I’ve given you examples of each of the ones I’m suggesting. Often you can do these well ahead of time. So if you can carve out a few hours and do them, you’ll have a slew of posts just waiting to be used. That way, you don’t have to be thinking about book promotion every day when you hop onto Facebook. I’m including fifty Facebook book marketing ideas here, plus a bonus option at the bottom of this post. You can use and reuse these and in so doing, you’ll likely never run out of posts.

I’d love your feedback on these, if you use and share them successfully let me know in the comments!

Get personal

  1. Show you’re a real person. Posts about fun things you’re doing over the weekend, or a cool dessert you had are great ways to show your real life and give a little glimpse into your world. Are you knee-deep in book promotion right now? Show a picture of what that looks like! Most readers have no idea how tough it is to promote a book!
  1. Share your story: How did you get started writing? Have you ever shared that with your readers? Talking about your journey and inspiration could be a great way for your readers get to know you better
  1. Share a Throw Back Thursday (TBT): This is a cool and popular concept that you can piggyback on. Your TBT can be your first (and long ago) book cover, a book you loved as a kid, or a TBT picture of you as a kid! If none of those ideas are appealing, you can also do a TBT on something nostalgic that your readers can relate to. Maybe the image of a library, or the library index system (which is how most of us used to find the books we wanted).
  1. Do AMAs – Ask Me Anything: I do these quite a bit on our Fan Page and they’re super fun. Ours focus on how to promote a book and other book promotion ideas. Yours should focus on anything that relates to your book. If you write fiction, let readers ask you what your writing process is like, or how you come up with ideas.
  1. Take a trip down memory lane: Though you could say this is a TBT post, you can have a lot of fun playing with nostalgia. Depending on your age group, readers often crave these posts: remember when?

Take a seasonal or current events approach

  1. Post something seasonal: Remembering big holidays, or something as simple as Daylight Savings Time can pull in a lot of interest, too. These are also easy to pre-plan and get the images ready so you don’t have to hustle these together on top of the actual holiday.
  1. Connect with current events: It’s always fun to draw in readers by talking about what’s happening now. And if you have readers in specific areas of the country where something big is happening, be sure to mention that, too. Show support, or cheer on their team, depending on what the news is about.
  1. Edit an image to create a custom seasonal or celebratory image: This is also a fun book promotion tactic. Take any image that you love and make it celebratory. You can see the image below was one I’d taken of Cosmo. I added a Santa hat and Christmas message to make it a special holiday image. You can do this with any image you love, even one you’ve used previously!

50 Ways Indie Authors Can Boost Their Facebook Engagement | AMarketingExpert.com

  1. Do a fun post about a little-known holiday: Maybe consider Peanut Butter and Jelly Day or Pack your Lunch Day. The ideas are endless! https://www.daysoftheyear.com/
  2. Share country specific holidays: This is fun when you know some of your followers aren’t US based. Figure out where they’re from and celebrate their holiday with them. You could even tag them in the post to make sure they see it. Now sure where to find a list of worldwide holidays? Here you go! https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/

Tie into what’s trending

  1. Share a trending Twitter topic: I love doing this. If I’m out of ideas about what to post, I often head over to Twitter for trending topic ideas. You’ll see a lot of things like the one below. As I’m writing this, the trending topic on Twitter is #RuinAFilmQuote.If you want a good laugh, go check it out. (But only after you’ve finished reading this article.)
  2. Share trending humor: Once again, a good place to go for this is Twitter trending. Check it out and see what’s current and funny. For example, on Sunday, Twitter often runs funny church signs, which can be cute to share. Or maybe it’s last night’s SNL skit. You can also find some trending book marketing humor and share that, too!
  3. Big, trending TV shows: I just recently started watching This is Us and I can completely understand why people are obsessed with it. They had a big finale last season and those kinds of things are good to share. “Are you watching?” or “Can you believe?” I did this once with Outlander and still can’t believe how many comments I got. Ideally the show should somehow tie into your book (because that helps boost your book promotion) – so a similar genre, but it doesn’t have to. If it’s a big show, getting tons of buzz, it’s worth posting!
  1. Share breaking industry news: I always recommend staying connected to your industry. Readers may find this interesting too, especially if they’re dedicated to what you write. So when something breaks, share it with those folks who follow you on Facebook!
  2. Post good news stuff: There’s so much negative in the world, we all need a little more good news. Why not post some great stuff you see?

Highlight your reader connections

  1. Highlight a reader: Give a quick shout out to a reader you follow, maybe they just had some great news or bought a puppy or had a baby. Check with them first to make sure it’s ok to share it with your page!
  1. Interview a reader: This is a super fun thing, too. Pick one reader and email them first, asking if they mind being highlighted. Then do a quick five question interview with them and post it to your Facebook page! Authors, and especially indie authors know it’s a solid book promotion strategy to give readers some love.
  2. Ask for input from your readers: When was the last time you asked your readers for cool story ideas or plot twists? This could be a fun idea if you start off with a scenario and then let your readers take it from there. Also, as another book promotion tool you could give a prize to the person whose idea you actually use!
  1. Share fan photos: Or encourage your fans to share pictures of them with your book. You could even do one of these and offer a cool prize to the best picture!
  1. Get to know your readers better: Ask them questions. I’ve done these about favorite songs (which tends to be pretty popular) or a family tradition (which works well around the holidays!).
  1. Answer a Question: If you get a lot of reader feedback, you’ve probably noticed a certain question that pops up a lot. So why not pick out that question and answer it? If you have a few questions that you get regularly, answer them one at a time (more posts!). It’s always a good book promotion strategy to open the kimono every now and again, so do it!

Get more engagement by asking questions!

  1. Questions: Simple questions are great way to boost follower engagement and Facebook makes it easy with all the fun backgrounds they offer now. Your question can be related to your book or not. In fact, asking questions that aren’t related are a fun way to mix it up. Questions like: What was the first album you bought or “If you were on a deserted island and could take only one movie, which would it be?” Remember what I said in the beginning: it doesn’t always have to be about book promotion, mixing it up is a great strategy to promote a book!
  1. Polls: Facebook has its own built in polling system, but running them manually works better for engagement. For example, “Which of these books were your favorite as a kid?” You can use free services like Canva to create a cool image with four books on there. You could also do four images of places to go on vacation and ask your readers: “If you could only pick one of these four, where would you go?” And, as a possible tie into your book and super fun book promotion strategy – if any of the locals are in your book(s), mention that!
  1. Ask for predictions: So things like: “Who do you think will win the Oscar?” or sports related like World Cup, or an upcoming awards show like the Grammy’s or CMAs.
  2. Ask thoughtful questions like: Why aren’t donuts square or if someone owns a piece of land do they own it all the way to the center of the earth? Post a truth or fiction question about yourself and let fans participate by posting their own fact or fiction in comments.

Give your readers inside information on your books

  1. Quotes from your book: Whether you’ve written fiction or non-fiction, this is a really cool book promotion idea. Pull quotes and put them into images. You can do a bunch in advance and have them ready so you’re never without an idea for a post!

50 Ways Indie Authors Can Boost Their Facebook Engagement | AMarketingExpert.com

  1. Promote a great book review you got: And tag that person in your social media with a thank you!
  2. Share something fun: Maybe it’s about your book, or maybe it’s something cool that happened to you recently. Or share a big book promotion win you go – like getting your book into a library or getting a podcast or radio interview!
  1. Share any current book promotions: That way your followers get to know about these first!
  1. Profile the people who help you create your book: So share your awesome editor, or cover person or whomever helps get your book done!
  1. Share a big statistic: Is there something big going on in your market? Share it! If it’s not related to your market, but you think your readers will care about it, be sure to share it.
  1. Share a recent event you did: Have you done a book signing or another type of event? Share it with your readers. Even if you attended a writer’s conference, let them know. This also works if it’s not writing related. Maybe you ran a marathon or went to some other type of event worth sharing!

Images make it really fun!

  1. Take pictures of your work – behind the scenes: Readers love this. Share something person, where you work, where you write. If you write at a coffee house, grab a shot with your cup of coffee and your laptop and share it with your peeps. One thing I love to do is post it to Instagram first so I can use the filters there, then I take the picture over to Facebook and post it! I never share directly from the Instagram feed, I find that it’s better if you do a post organically to Facebook.
  1. Caption this photo: This is a fun little game you can play with your followers. Post a cute, interesting, or fun picture and invite readers to caption it. You could also use this as a way to give a prize to the best reader caption! Even a $5 gift card to Starbucks or Amazon could be a fun way to make this more exciting. Here’s a photo I worked with once, as a “caption this” to help spark your creativity!50 Ways Indie Authors Can Boost Their Facebook Engagement | AMarketingExpert.com
  1. Think outside the brand: Sharing pictures is always great, but what if you shared pictures that have nothing to do with your brand? So you could share something like the latest and strangest Starbucks Frappuccino. I mean what was up with the Unicorn one? Or something else that inspires you and if there’s a connection to your book, even better!
  2. Quotes funny or inspiring. This is another cool idea, but different than memes these are just quotes. And just remember, when you do a quote another cool way engage more readers in your book promotion is to add your URL to the image, so if it’s shared your website is always there!

50 Ways Indie Authors Can Boost Their Facebook Engagement | AMarketingExpert.com

 

Share the love

  1. Share the love: Give a shout out to other authors. It’s a great way to network with other authors and give them some book promotion love. When it comes time for your next book to come out, be sure to let them know – maybe they’ll return the favor!
  2. And then take that a step further: Why not promote another author’s book release? It takes a village to promote a book. One thing I love is when authors work together to promote each other’s book releases. If you don’t have a book tribe yet, start building one! It’s a great way to expand your reader group, too. Just make sure the authors you are promoting are similar to yours in genre.
  1. Promote user-generated content: Share a post from a fan that you love. They’ll love that you shared something of theirs with your fans!
  1. Share your reading list: What are you reading? Well, other than your own books! Share your reading list and offer recommendations to books you love! Invite readers to share their books too!
  1. Don’t hesitate to repeat a popular post: And instead of resharing it from your page, either reuse the image or the post itself if you did one without an image.
  1. Share helpful information: I always try, in some small way, to help make my readers lives better – even if it’s just sharing a quick tip on something that’s not even related to what I do. So if you see a post on something that you think will benefit your readers, share it!
  2. Share your favorite apps: This is kind of cool, and you can even crowdsource apps with your readers. You can also do themed app posts, so your favorite timesaver apps, favorite apps for navigation, etc.

Have fun with it!

  1. Fridays are often a great day to ask for GIFs in the comments: Something I love doing is asking for people’s “Friday feeling” and invite them to respond using a GIF. They’re really funny to watch and it’s a fun, engaging post.
  2. Share a funny meme: If you can find one related to your book topic, great! If not, why not grab a funny meme about reading and book love? And if you think it’s appropriate, you could also pick one about book promotion. There are lots of them out there. Here’s one to get you started.50 Ways Indie Authors Can Boost Their Facebook Engagement | AMarketingExpert.com
  3. Pick a day of the week: Then post something consistently to that day. So for example, you might have Motivation Monday, Hot Guys Reading Wednesday or TBT as I mentioned above.
  4. Ask fun questions like: What’s the last thing you do before going to sleep, or What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Or you could ask readers: if you ever wrote a book, what would you write about?
  5. Share a random or fun tip: And here’s a tip, adding a # followed by a number helps boost interest to the post. So, for example: Tip #45 on how to write a book – or something like that. I don’t know why engagement increases, but it does!
  6. Game time: Post a truth or fiction question about yourself and let fans participate by posting their own fact or fiction in comments.
  7. Fill in the blank: These are always fun and interesting questions. You can do something as simple as “If I got a surprise week off from work, I would…. Or something harder like: “If I had 1 million dollars, I would…”

And here’s that bonus Facebook book promotion idea I promised!

Finally, Facebook video and live video are great ways to engage with your readers. If you have an event coming up, find out if it’s ok to record it. Or if you can do a Facebook live video feed even better.  Video is a powerful book marketing strategy! Plus you can link to that video again and again!

The bottom line

The thing about Facebook (and most social media) is that so many of us overthink it, but really, it’s about interacting, engaging, and being a real human. As with anything related to social networking ask yourself: “Would I do the same thing if I were networking in a room filled with people?” That’s what you should strive for, interactions that wouldn’t just happen behind your computer. In the end, that’s the best book promotion strategy you can have! And if you need help keeping track of your Facebook and other book marketing plans, download my free monthly book marketing planner here.

I’d love to know some things you’ve done to engage readers, or how any of these tips have helped your book marketing. Try them and comment! And I’d love to hear your ideas!

7 Comments

  1. Elva Cobb Martin

    This is a wonderful article–and useful to all authors, whether indie or not. Thanks so much! I’ve shared it on my social media. One note, when I clicked trying to download the free monthly book marketing plan at the end of the article, I only came up with an advertisement article for a publicity group.
    Elva Cobb Martin http://www.elvamartin.com
    VP ACFW-SC

    Reply
    • Penny Sansevieri

      Elva, thank you so much for reading and sharing! I just double checked the link for the Monthly Book Marketing Planner, and it appears correct. Did you get to this link? https://www.amarketingexpert.com/monthly-book-marketing-planner After you enter your email, you’ll then get an email from us with your monthly planner. Thanks!

      Reply
  2. Kevin Howe

    You need to be aware of general trends, but if you’re trying to exploit every little hack to get your content higher up in feeds and searches, it might be time to rethink your strategy.

    Reply
    • Penny Sansevieri

      Hi Kevin, I think that it’s always a great idea to reevaluate your strategy and make sure you’re doing the best things for your brand. With that in mind though, being personal is a solid best practice for anything you do – social media, content marketing, blogger outreach. That’s ultimately what we’re offering here — ideas for building that personal connection. I’d love to hear what some of your other ideas for social media strategy are.

      Reply
  3. walter stoffel

    Penny Very helpful article. Question: I currently have a Facebook page for my one(soon to be two) book(s), an author’s page and a personal profile. To what degree, if at all, do I promote my writing on my personal profile–upcoming events, things that happen at those
    events, etc. I’m thinking some promotion on personal profile may be OK? Some people who have read my book follow me on my persona l profile.

    Reply
    • Penny Sansevieri

      Hi Walter, Thank you for your comment…I’m glad you found the article helpful! You can certainly use your personal page as an opportunity to funnel readers to your author/brand page, by occasionally posting updates and inviting those interested in your writing to follow you there. Reach out to find out how we can help you uplevel your social media marketing mojo.

      Reply
  4. Donna

    Penny, these are terrific ideas! Your post was just promoted on Ava Mallory’s “Readers Love Cozies” Authors FB group. I know I need to up my game on FB and everyone says to post daily, or even several times a day. But I couldn’t think of too much to post about. Your list is golden!

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 50 Ways Indie Authors Can Boost Their Facebook Engagement NOW – Busypen Marketing - […] We recommend checking out this article: https://www.amarketingexpert.com/50-ways-indie-authors-can-boost-their-facebook-engagement-now/ […]
  2. July Observances To inspire Your Author Marketing | Author Marketing Experts, Inc. - […] entire blog post or article, but nearly all of them can be turned into a fun or thought provoking…
  3. 11 Facebook Post Types that Generate the Most Likes and Shares - Outbound - […] Image source: amarketingexpert.com […]
  4. QUIZ: Finding the Right Social Media Strategies for Your Personality | Author Marketing Experts, Inc. - […] with your people and you put a lot of value in staying in touch with them on a more…
  5. October Observances to Inspire Your Author Marketing | Author Marketing Experts, Inc. - […] work in that angle. I mention it as part of my recommendations occasionally, but please know that encouraging engagement…
  6. 5 Book Marketing Truth Bombs You Need to Get On Board With | Author Marketing Experts, Inc. - […] highs and lows. But with consistent publishing, consistent book marketing, and consistent engagement with your fans, you will start…
  7. Marketing Monday: Step 3 – Facebook – Silverton Audio - […] 50 Ways Indie Authors Can Boost Their Facebook Engagement Now  […]
  8. Survival guide to Facebook for authors - Helping authors online - […] You’ll find more very interesting ideas in Diana Urban’s post, How Successful Authors Use Social Media. There are also…
  9. Survival guide to Facebook for authors and writers - Debbie Emmitt - Mystery author, editor and proofreader - […] Authors Use Social Media. There are plenty more (50, in fact) in Penny Sansevieri’s article, 50 Ways Indie Authors Can…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Author Marketing Experts

Subscribe Today

Sign up for a free subscription to Book Marketing Alerts, our once-monthly roundup of publishing and publicity guidance for authors. As a special welcome gift we'll also send you our Monthly Book Marketing Planner, the organizer every author needs to succeed!

You have successfully subscribed! Check your inbox for details.