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Troy

Is Your Facebook Fan Page Working for You?

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This question was posted on Facebook. I have a policy of not materially participating in conversations on Facebook, because this activity takes away from activity on indie sites and enriches Facebook. In this case, I made an exception, but I also decided to share my comments here.
 
 
"I have one but it doesn't get a lot of attention no matter what I do. So I seldom post on there anymore. I just keep it up for random visitors." --Barbara
 
Barbara, I guess that depends on how you define "working for you." Many people consider the page successful if they get a lot of likes and shares. That is because Facebook is their primary web presence (a terrible move in my opinion). Others, looking for sales, have found it increasingly difficult to drive traffic to a place where visitors will buy.
 
The Facebook buy button makes it easier for potential readers to buy one's book. But this allows Facebook to ensure that visitors never leave their website, while addressing one of the biggest problem we have; the inability to sell or otherwise monetize our Facebook pages.
 
Of course Facebook will now have the additional information collected from our sales and, needless to say, they will ultimately collect a percentage of sales.
 
Barbara, I suspect (I don't have data--though I wish someone would collect it), that most authors feel the same way you do. I talk to enough of them. There are many reasons your Facebook page may not be working very well. The problem is several of those reasons have nothing to do with you (it is not entirely your fault). Sure, it could be true that few are interested in your book, but we will never truly know because Facebook artificially controls the traffic to your page. Merit has nothing to do with it. You could buy ads to drive traffic to your page, but you run into the same problem, it takes a greater spend to drive the same level of engagement over time.
 
Personally I have seen my "Fans" quadruple to almost 20K, but I've watched my engagement go down by 75%. I would actually argue that my content has improved during this period. In other words, I've been able to control for my activity. The only thing that remains is how frequently Facebook shows my content to others. I have observed that Facebook has simply stopped showing my content to others as frequently. I believe they do this because I ALWAYS include a link to my website http://aalbc.com. Facebook, in their goal of keeping people on Facebook, has no incentive to drive traffic away from their platform.
 
In the early days of the web, before people could easily establish their own web presence, companies like AOL dominated. But once it became easy for people to establish their own websites the web exploded in content. Black sites thrived back then. Amazingly, we have reversed course and are going back to the AOL days, when a corporate entity, controlled, owned and profited from everything we did. It has gotten to the point that people are happy that Facebook has proved a Buy Button--as if this is something we could not do on our own websites.
 
Ultimately, people will grow tired of the invasion of privacy, the lack of control, the limit on what we can do (we can't even boldface text), and the inability to generate revenue and leave Facebook. Perhaps another company will provide a better solution or people will revert to their own websites. In any case, Black sites will have been (we currently are) they biggest losers--always dependent upon a corporate entity for our piece of the world wide web.
 
If we continue to freely give Facebook/Amazon what we do online we will regret it (indeed many of us do now). Darliss, mentioned that she would not be able to update the page frequently enough. That concern is natural for when we post comment to Facebook, WE ARE WORKING FOR FACEBOOK, and we are not being paid for this service. But the psychology is such that if we do poorly, then we think it is OUR fault. Facebook is brilliant!

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As usual, all of this is going over my head, Troy and Chris, however, reconsidering the advice of you 2, I recently decided to check out all the offers on line inviting people to create their own web page on a 30-day free trial basis with the option to maintain the domain for a minimal monthly fee. Since it didn't seem to require a lot of computer literacy I took on this do-it-youself project.  I liked the creativity and ingenuity it called for and it was fun. I have not posted the url anywhere else because things are still in the experimental stage.  I'd appreciate your taking at look at it and giving me some input, please.  Too generic?

 

 

  http://conniediversbradley.simplesite.com

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I think it is a simple site. The main thing is getting traffic to it. Does it standout in any way? No, but it's there for the world to see... I commend you on taking the challenge and at least creating a site to get the book out there.

 

Now let's get to what I want to do. Since you took the plunge, why not actually take a real plunge and become a writer/contributor on CBP? The time that you took to set this page up, I could have created you an account by sending you an e-mail and making you an author/writer on CBP. I would have then taken your bio and done this: http://www.cbpublish.com/authors-writers/author-connie-divers-bradley/

 

Which I haven't shared and will pull down as soon as you say, "Chris, what the hell?"

 

Seriously, though, instead of worrying about when to pull down the free site or push forward, you can actually use CBP as a platform. People see my work and your work. You can write those lovely posts that you do here and begin building a little bit of a background (while of course helping CBP :-) Go ahead and take the real plunge and let me create you an account and then I can share this page with my twitter followers and Facebook peeps, (which doesn't help a lot, but hey it's something). What do you say?

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Well, Chris, I trust you and I don't think I have anything to lose. For some reason I'm just not inspired enough to get myself together enough to promote this book so I need somebody to push me.  Lulu said it will also be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in 6 to 8 weeks. That was about a month ago and I've just kinda put things on hold.   

 

I don't have a problem with your offer as long as I can just keep on doing what I do when I want to do it. I suffer from writer's block and a lot of times, I don't have anything to say. I tend to feed on other people's posts. I'm assuming hooking up with you will not infringe on my affiliation with Troy so, OK.

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Thank you for the trust. I won't request you to write for the site at all. If you click the link your page already has a link to amazon and Barnes and noble. I took care of that. When you feel like writing something you can. In the meantime you have both the page you've made and the page on CBP. I will also add a backlink to your page here on aalbc.

What I will do is tweet and share the page and at the worst all of the work I'm doing will bring more attention to your page. It won't hurt at all.

I think the more author's pages I host on the site the more links we have out there which improves search for our books. I'm going to wait on Troy to weigh in on where he wants your links to aalbc to go. We all need motivation and this is my way of showing support.

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I'll need a bit more time to reply on what to do to build traffic.  I'm trying to get my enewsletter out and I have a will be teaching most of the day today and tomorrow.  I'm glad you created a website Cynique; you are technologically sharper than the average bear :-)  I'll post more before the end of the week.  

 

 

Chris you can link to Cynique's AALBC.com page: http://aalbc.com/authors/connie_bradley.html and of course this discussion forum is named for her so you should link here as well: http://aalbc.com/tc/index.php/forum/5-culture-race-economy-discussion-forum-cyniques-corner/ 

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Thanks Troy. I updated your page Cynique and oh boy it got three likes already! LOL. Every little bit helps. Troy I'm thinking if we begin to use my page as an additional place for information you want to share then it will continue to build a small network. If you have ideas on how to do this, let me know. I'm ready.

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Thanks a lot, Guys!  I  can't tell you how great it is to "get by with a little help from my friends"!  I'm very grateful for your support and expertise.  I'm also honored to be included in the networking that you 2 are creating for the very commendable purpose of showcasing black authors!  I consider myself very fortunate at this stage of my life to have my indifference transformed  by the assistance of 2  dynamic young black men. You are shining examples of the best our race has to offer -  its hope for the future. You rock!  Luv ya! :)

 

BTW, I have tweaked my bio to correct the oversight of not mentioning my affiliation with AALBC. Also, I didn't realize the book was on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  I will add this info to my web page.

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I updated the bio on CBP and while it isn't a lot the idea of being able to help is always good for the soul. Your page actually had 5 visits today which is pretty cool since the primary reason for people visiting today was due to Paul C. Brunson. I'm working on a post about the power of a retweet (when it comes from a power broker). I think using the package you did on Lulu was perfect because your book is showing up on every platform and when you do a search it shows up on bing as well. In my book One Hour I talk about conquering your region first. I should follow my own advice. I think you have a great story and the local morning talk circuit would eat your story up if you simply sent them a letter and let them know you are writing and publishing. It would be an empowering feel good story for those people out there who think life is over after retirement. You go girl (lady)!

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