How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

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hat1 How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

Sound the alarms! Alert the press! You have a new article on your blog and it is not to be missed!

If you are an author and you are on Facebook, you have likely seen those posts that say, “I just got my book. Please buy it! Here is the link.” What about those that ask, “Please visit my web page and let me know what you think!” (Which means, “Compliments please! No criticisms.”)

Or we see the status updates that say, “I have a new article here, I hope you will read it.” What about, “I just did a podcast interview. It is only 47 minutes long and I know you won’t want to miss it.”

How do you know I won’t want to miss it? I think. I am sorry, but that is exactly what I am going to do.”

Everyone is busy!

We all want to support each other, but that doesn’t mean you have to sell in your posts. Instead you can write effective Facebook status updates that will build a relationship by helping others. Selling books and trying to build that platform all the publishers and agents want us to have is a hard job. But each of us are also trying to figure out how to juggle it all, right?

Sadly, we just don’t have time to write reviews, vote, comment, and promote the hundreds of the members web sites, books, events, interviews and more–even when we believe in what they are doing.

We want to be able to help others

We do want to point the people we serve in the right direction, however, and that means referring those we serve to other people we trust; to a good book we think could be life-changing; to a web site we know where they will be encouraged.

We want to tell the people we serve that we have just the place or just the resource that will help them through this specific place they are in, and we can take comfort in knowing they won’t get lost in the shuffle.

But why would I refer those I serve to other people, not my own books?

What about my own book? you may ask! Well, does it meet their needs? It may. . . but they may be looking for something in addition to it. For example, my organization, Rest Ministries serves people who live with chronic illness. But I also receive emails from people with chronic illness or chronic pain who are going through a rough divorce, have kids with behavioral issues, have a parent with Alzheimer’s Disease. I know they need more than what I can offer them. And I love to be able to narrow down the thousands of books on Amazon to one or two that I know will meet their needs because I know the author personally!

Try to avoid asking for favors if the other person has nothing to benefit from it

gift How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase SharingWhen you are posting status updates in an author’s group, it can be tempting to think, “Well, we are here to support each other, so I need people to go vote for my web site for this contest, because then I will rank higher and sell tons of books and I will eventually return the favor when I have more time.”

We all love a party and with that party comes gifts and favors, right? But do your best to resist the urge to ask for a flat-out favor more than twice a year in your writers group. Like “vote for me to win this category!”

When you start typing out a status update about your latest article you just wrote, the web site updates you slaved over all weekend, or a radio show you are going to be on in thirty minutes, stop and ask yourself, “What is in it for them?” Then write your message with what would interest you if you were them. People constantly are saying they want to have the best Facebook status message, or the funniest Facebook status, but in the end, I see authors who are rushed and they just slap up a generic message with little emotion, except for pleading and desperation.

“Pleeeease come to my site and vote today! I really want to win this bad! You will be making a difference in my life!” I sense desperation and I just click away, because, honestly, there will be a few people a day that ask me to do this, and then someone will question why I did it for one person and not for another. Now, I do vote. When someone is a friend or a peer who I know well and respect their work a great deal, it is worth it to me to see their outreach grow. I have also been the recipient of some awards because people took time to help me and I am very grateful. But, I really don’t have a lot of time online, and I want to invest it into people who understand what to write (and not write!) as their Facebook status messages. Pleading for votes for a different contest every couple of weeks won’t get my attention.

Make your Facebook status update stand out with specifics

What is the message you have and who is it important for? It only takes a few extra minutes for authors to write effective Facebook status updates that will increase sharing of their posts, as well as build relationships with peers online.

For example, if you are talking about parenting styles and how we have to learn both our personality style and that of our child to most effectively make wise parenting decisions, you may be tempted to write, “I will be on the radio today talking about parenting styles. I’d love it if you’d take a break and listen in!” Don’t.

Because what most of us think is, “That’s nice for her. But I don’t have time to finish my own work, much less listen to hers. Oh, well. I am sure she will do fine.”

Instead, tell us who would most benefit from this program. For example:

“If you serve people who are struggling with their kids who won’t get dressed in the morning, kiddos who won’t eat their lunch, and children who won’t go to bed at night, they will gains some new parenting tools they may not have ever heard of before! In my podcast interview today, parents will quickly understand how personality styles can impact how well a child listens to his or her mom and dad. If they miss it, it will be archived later.”

See how that sounds more interesting? Will everyone now tune in? No. Will it not apply to some people? Of course. But will other authors think, “Oh, that describes some of the people I serve. This could be a handy resource for them”? Sure. And you have made it easy for them to click “share” and edit it just a bit so it sounds appealing for their audience.

Would that have shared your message that said, “I will be on the radio today talking about parenting styles. I’d love it if you’d take a break and listen in!”? It’s unlikely.

Make it easy for people to help you

mouse How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase SharingBy simply telling your colleagues what is in it for them, you will save them time, they will recognize you as a certain type of expert, and you are giving them quality descriptions they can easily pass along. For example, future posts could say, “If you serve people who are frustrated parents then you will be interested in . . .” or “If you outreach to teens who are dealing with depression, you should know about my . . .”  These are examples of effective Facebook status updates that will increase sharing online.

You will be reaffirming your expertise in your niche

This is also a great way to not just self-promote but narrow down the different areas of your expertise and make sure those who have callings that overlap with your own to know about it. If you cannot come up with who may specifically be interested in your article, perhaps you should go back and rewrite it for a better niche market (which will improve your Google rankings too!)

Whenever you write, “People who ___ would be interested in this because ___” you are telling people what you do and who you serve. If you are a parenting expert, for example, you will never run out of material! Beside parenting, you can go into issues with adult children, adoption and foster children, children with special needs, children with chronically ill parents, and the list goes on. An article on conflict resolution can be rewritten and adapted dozens of times for all sorts of scenarios, and each of these can be made into a status update that describes, “If you are a parent who ___ .”

Say thanks

As we participate in writers groups, it can become easy for us to get so focused on our own marketing steps, we forget to say thank you. As a writer, you know how easily time can get sucked away when you are sitting on the computer, especially if you are able to access the internet. When colleagues take time away from their own work, to support you, say thank you.

Tell them how much you appreciate it. Go to his or her website and see what you could do to help out. Can you comment on a few blog posts, let them know you visited and found it hard to maneuver around their shop, tell them you loved the clip art they chose, introduce them to someone on LinkedIn.

Little things mean a lot and they will remember that you took the time to offer some encouragement back to them.

lisa copen small How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing
Lisa is the woman behind the screen who enjoys sharing marketing tips that she has learned along the way as an author, speaker, and director of a nonprofit organization. She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis nearly two decades and is a wife and mom.

 How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

I Love My Kindle

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kindle I Love My KindleAfter saving money little by little for over a year for Kindle: Amazon’s Wireless Reading Device I Love My Kindle (and wondering if I would ever get to that $350 mark) I was very surprised to get it as a birthday gift from my husband mid-September. I was scheduled to have wrist surgery a few days after my 40th birthday, so was even more thrilled that I would still be able to read easily with a cast on my arm. Due to an infection, the surgery was postponed, but I have read about 7 books and am in the middle of a few more.

My advice would be (1) If your book is not yet available for the Kindle, ask your publisher to do it. It’s a 3-minute step to request your book to be made available.

HOWEVER, that said, I’ve been trying numerous times in the last week to create an account to upload the books and Amazon says, “try back later.” After visiting multiple forums I see that many people have been having this problem and Amazon’s answer has been “just keep trying until it works.” I have better things to do right now than fill out a form over and over to be told they are having technical difficulties, so my faith in their customer support is lacking at the moment.

That said, the Kindle has been easy to use. With my rheumatoid arthritis and painful hands, it’s been a blessing physically. I’ve also loved having one book-size gadget to carry and it includes my bible (purchased for about $5 on Kindle), the 550-page fiction novel I am reading, and numerous non-fiction.

The ability to be able to highlight text, write notes near it and then export it all into a text file will make my writing and researching for my future books and articles so much easier. And I plan to get rid of some of the boxes of books I’ve saved for years and buy the Kindle version so I can use the search feature and scan all my books for a particular word.

I am still discovering all the functions of this handy gadget, but am pleased. The screen is easy to read (no glare) and I’ve found as I am getting tired, I just make the font larger!

The price of the KIndle may or may not make it worthwhile to you as a writer. But if you do a lot of reading and researching for your own books and find yourself highlighting text and then typing in your notes later, definately consider it!

Lisa

 I Love My Kindle

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