By Frances Caballo
Facebook can be a downright drag. No, I’m not talking about the Cambridge Analytica firestorm or Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before a Senate hearing, which, by the way, was a real snoozer.
No, I’m talking about Facebook business pages, known among writers as Facebook author pages.
Eons ago, like maybe six years ago in reality, if you wrote a status update on your Facebook author page you could rest assured that about 36% of your fans would see what you’d posted.
Each year since then brought new tweaks to Facebook’s algorithm to the point now that you’re lucky if 1% of your updates make it into your fans’ newsfeeds.
Like I said, a real drag.
Mark Zuckerberg says he changed the algorithm so that people with Facebook profiles could see more of what they want to see, posts from friends and family members.
I, of course, think the reason is more nefarious. Zuckerberg has to monetize Facebook and how can he do that? With ads of course. So, if you want more than 1% of your fans to see your posts, guess what? Yep, you have to buy advertising.
There is a way around this, you know. What? Facebook groups. More and more romance authors are using groups instead of Facebook author pages or in conjunction with them. Actually, a lot of experts who run courses also offer Facebook groups as a benefit of a buying a course.
If you’d like to see a Facebook group in action, here’s a link to 20 of them. But if you want to know how to set up a Facebook group of your own, keep reading.
How to Set Up a Facebook Group
To set up your first Facebook group, go to your profile, click the inverted arrow, and select Create Group.
Next, you’ll need to name your group and add at least one Facebook friend you know who will want to be in the group. Also, decide whether you want the group to be private. Once you finish, click Create.
Next, decide whether you want to choose an icon for your group. Note: You can skip this step.
Now upload a banner image for your group.
Now here’s the banner with my new image:
Write a welcome message that you can pin to the top.
Notice all that you can do from the status update box.
- Write a post.
- Add images.
- Record a Facebook Live message.
- Add a file.
- Sell something.
- Create a photo album.
- Create a document.
- Create an event.
- Tag someone.
- Start a poll.
- Ask for recommendations.
- Add an emoji.
- Tag an event.
- Check in from where you are geographically.
- Support a nonprofit.
How to Grow Your Facebook Group
Now that you have a Facebook group, your next step will be to add members. Here are some ways you can group your group.
- Set up a tab on your website that leads to your Facebook group. This is what Sharon Hamilton has done with her Rockin’ Readers Facebook Group.
- Add information about your Facebook group to your email signature.
- Write a blog post about your Facebook group and encourage everyone who reads it to join your group.
- Write a post on your Facebook profile and Facebook author page about your Facebook group and include a link to the group so people can join.
- Create a visual about joining your Facebook group for your blog post and then add it to Pinterest.
- If you offer an email-based course, include information about your Facebook group in the last email of that series.
- If you create a course, offer the Facebook group as a benefit of that course.
- Include information about your Facebook group on the About page of your website.
- Use your Twitter or Instagram bios to notify people about your Facebook group.
- Dedicate a Facebook live segment about your Facebook group.
Sharon Hamilton uses her Facebook group to support sales of her books. You can also request reviews. If you use a group in this manner, don’t forget to reward your members with chatskis. Your fans will appreciate.