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(Disclaimer: This post assumes prior knowledge of Facebook terminology such as “like” and “fan page.”)

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Maybe you’re a late adopter who hasn’t joined Facebook or are skeptical about it. Maybe you are on Facebook, but you use it for personal use, not as publicity for your book. Here are some quick tips to start building your brand through Facebook.

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Why Facebook?
Facebook started as a simple tool for college kids to connect, but has since then absorbed every brilliant idea invented by other social networking sites. By doing this, it makes it almost unnecessary to need to ever leave Facebook–it has everything (well, almost). That’s why people gather here. And you need to go where the people are.

Start a Fan Page
It’s easy. There are plenty of video and written tutorials out there on how to do it step-by-step. But the baseball rule isn’t true here: If you build it, they won’t come unless you give them reasons to.

Offer Good Content
The number one thing that will give you fans on your fan page and keep them coming back is to provide engaging content and to do it regularly. Offer excerpts, hold contests for giveaways, start discussions. Do not be passive! Use graphics and video. You can add tabs to make this page really your own.

Tip: Create a welcome page that all non-likers will see before they see your wall. This should be a simple page with a photo or maybe video. It should quickly tell the user exactly what this fan page is and what they can expect from you.

Tag Pages and People
Like with Twitter, you can tag people and ideas. Start “liking” other fan pages related to your book. When you post on your fan page Wall, you can tag those pages by putting a @ symbol and typing the word (it then lets you pick one from a dropdown menu). The word will turn blue to let you know you’ve tagged them. Now this post will not only show up on your fan page wall, but theirs as well! It will help drive traffic to you.

Tip: You can only tag 6 pages or people per post.

Add Friends
Don’t just start a Facebook account to create a fan page. Add your friends. Then invite them to “like” your face page by clicking on “suggest to friends” under your logo. Encourage them to invite their friends too. Your friends and connections are the big drive behind word-of-mouth. If you’re worried about people getting your personal information, this is a myth–don’t put anything on Facebook that you don’t want to go on it. All you really have to display is your name (or pen name).

Interact
And don’t be a hermit, living on your own fan page. You want to interact with those people, of course. But you also want to interact with fans of similar pages. Get chatting with them, and when the time is right, mention that you have a book on that subject too, and look, you have a fan page, and would they like to join?

How’m I doing?
Facebook has made it easy for you to see the success or failure of your fanpage. Invisible to other users, the left column displays the stats of how many people are interacting with your posts and the increase and decrease in fans and their activity.

In another post, I will get into specifics like how to add tabs, the best applications to use, how to use Facebook Markup Language (FBML), and more of the technical details. This is just to get you thinking about the possibilities.

And just for fun, a little song from internetainers Rhett and Link on the subject of Facebook…

 

Useful links:
7 FB marketing tips from pros (Social Media Examiner)
How to get the most out of your business facebook page (Mashable)
7 Reasons You Need a FB Fan Page (Book Marketing Maven)
3 Ways Facebook is Killing Your Website (Convince and Convert)
21 Creative Ways to Increase Your Facebook Fanbase (Social Media Examiner)

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