Sunday, 16 September 2018

What's the Story with Facebook Stories?


Facebook Stories

Have you noticed Facebook Stories when checking your News Feed? They're usually to be found top right on a computer (under your profile photo, as per screenshot below) or across the top with a phone app.

What are Facebook Stories?

Short slideshows which include one or more of: photos, videos, and sometimes short pieces of text on a blank background. For the purposes of this post, I'll refer to each 'slide' as a photo.

Facebook Stories

What’s the Story with Facebook Stories?

According to an article via TechCrunch, published in May 2018, Facebook Stories had 150M daily viewers in May 2018 (compared to 300M for Instagram Stories in November 2017), and Facebook's goal is for Stories to be the place where the ads are: bad news if you don't want to see ads, good news if you're looking for a new way to create ads on Facebook.

In February 2018, Mark Zuckerberg said:

"We expect Stories are on track to overtake posts in Feed as the most common way that people share across all social apps."

Facebook wants us to view and create more Stories, and the expectation is they'll grow in the same way Instagram Stories have done. I've talked about Instagram Stories a bit this year (11 Ways to Promote a Blog Post and 16 Ways for Writers to Use Instagram-these posts are linked again at the end) as they work well for authors.

Facebook Stories seem to be taking off more slowly. Perhaps this is because it’s easier to type something quickly than to upload photos or videos, adding text, stickers and gifs to make them look pretty. You can add a text post to a story though, by ticking 'Your story' when posting where you usually would. And you can share your Instagram Stories to Facebook Stories, meaning you don’t have to create a story twice. One benefit with Instagram and Facebook Stories is that you can see who has seen them, which means you know who your engagement is with, and whether it’s who you’re aiming to reach.

Facebook Stories

How do you create a Facebook Story?

Directly on a personal profile or page-by finding Stories and clicking '+', or by creating a post as you usually would, but ticking 'Your story' or 'Your Page's story' as well as or instead of News Feed. Or you can share an Instagram Story to Facebook.

They disappear after twenty four hours, although remain in your archive. There's likely to be an option to add a story to your profile soon though, as with highlights for Instagram Stories (see Social Media Today article linked at end of this post).

Facebook Story Archive

Facebook Stories get attention:

With Facebook Stories, as with Instagram Stories, your profile is at the top of a News Feed, and therefore is easier to see. The profiles you see first (i.e., more towards the top of other profiles on a computer, or on the left with a phone app) are likely to be those Facebook Friends you interact with the most. Sometimes, Facebook will notify you to say one of your Friends has added to their story (I can imagine many people find this a bit annoying though, and with more Stories, I expect it will stop). So, a key reason for using Stories is to get attention.


Facebook Story

Is anyone using Facebook Stories?

I asked my Facebook Friends what they thought about Facebook Stories, and-of those who commented, many didn’t know what they were. Of those who did, many never viewed them and had no interest in creating them.


Facebook

Some of my Facebook Friends are creating and viewing Stories, but they're in the minority. Some use them on pages as well, but not many. Thank you to all my Facebook Friends who took the time to comment (I haven't shown likes and comments here as the privacy setting was Friends only).

Facebook Story, RHS Wisley

So, it will be interesting to see if the feeling about Facebook Stories changes. It's certainly happened with Instagram Stories in the past year or so.

RHS Wisley, Facebook Story

Trial and Error:

I've been playing around with Facebook Stories a little over the past couple of weeks-creating them directly in Facebook: on my profile and on my neetsmarketing page; and sharing them from Instagram Stories. At the moment, I don't get as many views as with Instagram Stories (7-11 rather than 30-50 and 100+ when in nice locations such as Italy), but different people in my network are viewing them. So, it's a way to expand my reach and I expect with more Facebook Stories, more viewers will appear. This is what happened with Instagram Stories, and as with all social media, the more regularly you post, the more engagement you're likely to get. The content needs to be right as well, of course: not too much in-your-face-buy-this; more what you get up to behind the scenes.


neetsmarketing, social media for writers


That first photo:

Often you'll find you get more views on the first photo of a story than on the photos that follow-this is likely to be because someone clicked on the story by mistake (I've done this in Instagram many times), or their attention wasn't grabbed enough. That first photo is important-how do you entice someone to carry on viewing the story? Use a good photo, add text, stickers, gifs. Make the story interesting. This all comes with practice, and by observing those who know what they're doing. At first, I found Instagram Stories tricky, but after around six months of posting regularly, I've got the hang of them-although there's still plenty to learn.

I'll keep experimenting with Facebook Stories, and will update you if I discover anything new.


Anita Chapman, neetsmarketing

I'm Anita Chapman, a Freelance Social Media Manager with clients in the world of books. I train authors one-to-one (phone/Skype/face-to-face in London/Surrey) on how to prepare for that first book launch or how to take their online presence to the next level. I also run one day Social Media Courses for Writers in London (next courses, 6 October 2018 and 15 June 2019). Find out more and contact me via my website. You can follow me on Twitter @neetsmarketing, Instagram @neetswriter, and my neetsmarketing Facebook page is here.

Popular Posts:
11 Ways to Promote a Blog Post

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Are You Taking Social Media Breaks?




At the moment, there’s a lot of talk in the media about those who choose to give up their mobile phones; and a couple of days ago I heard about the new Apple digital detox initiative, where the goal is to help Apple users monitor and limit time spent on iPhones and iPads. There's more info in this article via The Evening Standard.

I don’t need to tell you that authors and bloggers need to use social media to be effective, and publishers expect authors to have a social media presence; plus if you're an indie author, being on social media is a great way to raise your profile.


But sometimes, doesn’t it all get a bit much? 

The smart phone really has made life easier. When I first set up my neetswriter blog and social media accounts back in 2011, I used to spend hours at my computer updating everything and ended up with back and neck ache. Then I got an iPad and loved it so much, I got an iPhone not long after that. This meant I could do some of my social media stuff while sitting in a comfy chair, rather than at my desk, or at the kitchen counter while waiting for things to cook, in the car while waiting for the kids to come out of school etc.

Having an iPhone meant I could leave the house and reply to notifications, plus keep up with important emails. But I've always left my phone in the kitchen in the evening-when sitting in the living room or upstairs-although I do still check it when loading the dishwasher or making a cup of tea. At night, my phone remains downstairs. One habit which is not good for you, I've heard, during a talk I attended last year about screen use and social media for teenagers-is to use your phone as an alarm in the morning

I still love my iPhone, but I keep myself aware (or rather my right hand does) of how much I’m using it. There may be occasional days when I’m using my phone almost continuously because there's a lot going on, and my right wrist begins to ache, as well as my brain. That’s when I remind myself to stay off it more.

But this post isn't just about phone use. Social media is available on our computers and tablets too. And sometimes there seems to be no escape.

Why take social media breaks?

You’re not enjoying it: 
Social media should be fun; that's my view. On my courses and with clients, my aim is to find a way for writers, authors and bloggers to enjoy using social media. There can be days or short periods where there is a lot of negativity due to events in the news, or because some of the friends in your network are not getting on. A key reason for not enjoying social media is because it’s not working-i.e., you’re getting little or no engagement on what you post (see below-Using the break to try something new or come up with a new strategy).

It makes you feel drained and irritable:
This can happen when you reach for your phone as soon as you wake up, and you're attached to it at times when once you might have spent time thinking or reading: on the train, in the waiting room at the dentist, if you arrive somewhere early and you’re sitting outside in the car. I’ve recently started a new regime of walking to the local shop in the mornings at 7am to get the paper, and milk when I’ve forgotten to buy it (often), while waiting for the kids to come down for breakfast. Who knows how long this will last?-but it means checking my phone isn't the first thing I do when I get downstairs.


It’s stopping you from writing:
Sometimes the only way to get the book finished or the edits/re-write done is to take time off from social media. It's OK to do this-as long as you don’t have a book coming out in the near future-in which case, scheduling can help, and a date in the diary for a break when things calm down.

You can incorporate social media breaks into your daily life or week, and/or you can take longer breaks. I try to do both when I can.

Daily Life:

Finding a way to switch off the phone or put it away during parts of the day can be helpful.



One reason I love yoga classes is because I’m getting away from my phone.

I recently started taking a book to hairdresser appointments-just like in the old days, and put my phone in my bag. I used to sit there skimming through my phone, feeling irritable afterwards. See my neetswriter post, Not Wanting the Book to End, inspired by Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Longer Breaks: a few days, a week, a month:

If the time is right-i.e., you don’t have anything important going on, it’s worth taking a longer break, and you’re likely to return to social media with renewed enthusiasm, refreshed and ready to go again.

I take longer breaks during school hols. Going to a place where there is no phone reception and WiFi’s only available in one place in town is always nice.

Southwold, where my phone rarely works
Using the break to learn something new or come up with a new strategy:
My longer breaks help to clear my head. During these times, I often still think about the way I use social media and teach myself how to do something new. At half term, I taught myself how to make an iMovie with the help of my kids (ha!), and I’ve been playing around with video in general and Instagram Stories. This keeps your social media interesting and less predictable. 

If you’re getting little or no engagement on your tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts and stories-ask yourself why. What can you do differently when you return?


Pancake video for Instagram Story

A kind of break:
During my longer breaks I still post on Instagram (which is undemanding), as I’m usually out and about doing lots of lovely things like visiting country houses and eating cake; and I keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook, checking once a day or so. I can’t miss a big discussion in the media about a book prize, a viral article about commercial fiction versus literary fiction, a new publisher with a different business model, a big change to Twitter etc. Because I’m teaching and training clients on social media in the book world, I need to stay up-to-date with this stuff. I still mostly take a break from managing notifications (as I'm not posting on Twitter and Facebook), which I like to keep a close eye on when I’ve fully active on social media. Sometimes (well, usually!), someone will tag me in a Facebook group when I'm away, asking a question about Twitter or something. In that case, I reply quickly and get back to my break.



Scheduling:
If you really can't take a break, try scheduling tweets (I use Tweetdeck) and Facebook Page posts. This helps to take the pressure off, and you can then check notifications at certain points during the day. 

You may disagree about taking longer breaks:
But I think it’s better to take a break from something than to abandon it altogether. I’ve seen a few authors disappear from social media and blogging completely because they’ve had enough.



Returning to social media after a longer break:
Do bear in mind that if you take a longer break, when you return, it can take a bit of time to build up engagement again-tweets on your first day back for example might not get much attention. Those in your network have got used to you not being there, and if you haven’t been supporting others in your network during your break, you'll need to start doing that again.

Are you planning on taking a social media break this summer? It may be just what you need.

Other posts:
11 Ways to Promote a Blog Post

neetswriter posts:
What’s Your #amwriting Journey? (about being a finalist in The Write Stuff at London Book Fair 2018)
Not Wanting the Book to End (about Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine)

My recent guest post, via Emma Darwin:

About me (Anita Chapman):


I'm a freelance social media manager with clients in the world of books. I run my own one day social media courses for writers in London and York (next course London, 6 October 2018), and I'm a tutor at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College (Surrey, UK), where I run Social Media for Writers and Bloggers courses (next course due to start in September 2018). I also draft social media plans for author clients and do training over the phone and Skype. Find out more with course booking info via my website. You can follow me on Twitter @neetsmarketing, Instagram @neetswriter, and my neetsmarketing Facebook page is here.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

11 Ways to Promote a Blog Post



During my last ten week course, Social Media for Writers and Bloggers at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College, I put a slide together for my students on how to promote a blog post, which gave me the idea to write a post on the subject. This post may be useful if you're new to blogging and social media or if you've been blogging for a while and you're looking for ways to get more page views.

Social media promotion is essential for driving traffic to blogs, especially early on when the blog is unlikely to come up in a Google search. Most of my page views are via Facebook (through groups or a post boosted on a page-see more below), Twitter; and Google searches-but both of my blogs have been around for a while now, so that's more likely to happen with time.

Firstly, write an engaging blog post, i.e., one that someone would want to read. With my neetswriter blog (on writing), I always try to make the post about the reader as well as myself, and the aim of my neetsmarketing posts, as you’ll know if you follow this blog is to provide useful information. Try to find a different angle on a subject that everyone blogs about and use a succinct title which will grab attention and entice-you can ask a question, or posts with numbers work well too.

Think about how you can encourage someone to click through to your blog rather than all the others being promoted on social media. There’s more info in this post, 9 Ways to Engage a Blog Audience, and there are links to other posts at the end (including to those explaining what to do when you are a guest or host on a blog).

Remember to word the promotion of your blog post differently, depending on the platform. When you have more space, you may want to go into more detail and some platforms or Facebook groups/online forums may be more chatty and informal than others.

1.Twitter:




When you publish a blog post, tweet the link immediately, using wording which encourages clicks through to your post, and ideally with a suitable graphic or photo from the post. Videos can be used too (more on graphics and videos below). And of course use hashtags. Research hashtags relating to the subject of your post, and there are blog sharing hashtags too. Find out more in my post, What are Hashtags, Why Use Them, and How?

Think about your audience, and set up tweets for other time zones apart from your own, where relevant.

Tweet at least once a day for a week (more on the first day), at different times using different wording and hashtags (you can vary photos and graphics), then every now and again after that. I save versions of my blog post tweets (as well as other promo tweets) so I can copy and paste them into Twitter or Tweetdeck when I need them.

If someone sets up a tweet linking to your post, do retweet it. This helps them and you. If the sharing buttons on your blog don't produce a tweet with your username, you can search for the title of the post to pick up who is tweeting about your blog, or better set up a column in Tweetdeck (or similar platform) with the url of the post.



2.Facebook:

Facebook profile:
Facebook profile




Post on your personal Facebook profile, although don’t expect to get much engagement here. It depends on the topic of the post and whether your Facebook friends are particularly interested in it as Facebook doesn't usually put posts with links high up in the News Feed. You'll probably get more engagement if you set the post up to be viewed by Public (rather than Friends). This also makes the post shareable which is important. Don't forget, if you usually post to Friends only, and you want to make links to blog posts Public, check the setting on your next post-as often Facebook assumes you want the same again.

Facebook profile: tagging Emma Darwin, Overcoming the Social Media Fear #amwriting
Sometimes blog links posted on Facebook profiles get hardly any engagement at all. However, with a popular post, this can change. My recent neetswriter post about the The Write Stuff gained more attention than usual on my profile-although still not much-because lots of my Facebook friends followed what happened on the day.

If you have a guest or are a guest and you tag the other person, this can make the post go further on a personal profile, especially if that person opts to add the post to their timeline.

Post from my neetsmarketing Facebook Page


Facebook page:

If you have a Facebook page, post the link to your blog there. It’s unusual to get much engagement on a Facebook page though unless you have a big following already (i.e., lots of Likes and regular engagement), or unless you pay to boost a post, or to create an ad via Ads Manager. I boost all of my blog posts on my Facebook pages. If you make a graphic for a Facebook post to boost, use the Text Overlay Tool (you are only allowed a small amount of text) as otherwise it won't work.

Facebook groups:

If you’re a member of any Facebook groups, post the link to your blog in the groups where you think members will be most interested-and always remember to check rules with Facebook groups which are usually at the top in a pinned post. Some groups don’t allow any promo, or only at certain times.

It’s not good form to post links in groups and run if you don’t interact or show interest in news from others the rest of the time. If there are common members in your groups, try to avoid posting in each group one after the other. Leave a bit of time between each posting (and you don't have to post in all groups you're a member of), otherwise when these common members log into Facebook, they'll see your post in several places all at once (especially if you're friends and they've liked your page as well). This can give the impression that you are a bit too present, which isn't always good on social media.

If someone shares your post to their profile or page (you can't always view where the post has been shared to, depending on privacy settings), do click through via [3 shares]:



and like or love the post and thank for sharing. It's always good to say thank you on social media when you can, and this adds to the engagement which is likely to take the post further (i.e., Facebook shows it higher up in the News Feed):





3.Instagram:

You have a few choices with Instagram: photo, graphic, screenshot, stories. You can use more than one option.

Links aren't clickable in Instagram, so it's common to put 'link in bio', and amend the link in your bio to a new blog post. The link in my bio is for my website which has tabs for my blogs, so I usually put 'link in bio, writing blog tab', or 'link in bio, social media blog tab'.

Don't forget to use hashtags. Find out more about hashtags and Instagram in the posts I've linked to at the end.

i) Use a photo from the post. I used to do this, but now use a graphic or screenshot instead. The reason for this is that I found myself re-posting photos I'd used already (as I often use my most popular Instagram photos in blog posts), and it wasn't obvious without looking at the text that I was linking to a blog post. It's still better than not posting on Instagram at all though.

ii) Create a graphic especially sized for Instagram using a photo from the post.

Instagram post for What's Your Writing Routine? (via neetswriter)



iii) Screenshot a part of the post on your phone/tablet so the text comes out at the right size-this can be the beginning of the post, or a part which you think sells the post.

Instagram: screenshot of opening to blog post, Staying Motivated When #amwriting a Novel

iv) Instagram Stories:

Instagram Stories take a while to put together at first, but are growing in popularity, and they are effective, as your profile appears at the top. Your story may not appear on the left (ideal place) initially, but once certain users engage with your stories, they're more likely to appear on the left when those users login to Instagram. You could use a few photos from your blog post to create an Instagram story, and add text and stickers etc too. There's a lot of useful info re Instagram Stories in this article via CNET, Everything You Need to Master Instagram Stories.

One of the students on my course, Social Media for Writers and Bloggers at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College, Alessandra Cervetti creates wonderful Instagram stories to promote her blog, and the rest of the time too. Her photos are also amazing. See more here @pennaaspillo.

Instagram profile for @pennaaspillo

4.Google +:

It’s worth sharing all of your content on Google + as it increases the likelihood of this content coming up in Google searches.

5.Online Forums:

If you’re a member of any forums (e.g., Yahoo etc) where there is the opportunity to promote your stuff, then it’s worth posting a link to your blog (if the rules of the forum allow it).

6.Photos and Graphics:

Usually my neetswriter blog posts include a bit about what I’ve been doing-e.g., going on spring walks, visiting art galleries and country houses; taking part in The Write Stuff at The London Book Fair, being interviewed on Brooklands Radio. I post photos as I go on Instagram and use them in blog posts; and if I have to choose between lots of photos, I pick the most popular ones. I’ve mentioned before on this blog that Instagram is a great testing ground for photos-to see what works and what doesn’t. If a photo really takes off use it to promote a blog post! A recent example is the photo of me holding a microphone, with the agents standing behind me, just before I pitched at The Write Stuff, The London Book Fair, which got 100+ likes on Instagram.

Instagram photo from The Write Stuff at The London Book Fair
Over the past few months, I’ve created graphics to go with my blog posts, and they work well. I create graphics in different sizes for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using Canva.com, but there are other apps you can use.

7.Other Social Media Platforms: 


Pinterest board for neetsmarketing posts
If you are on Pinterest and LinkedIn, it’s worth adding the link to your blog post on these platforms too if you have time. I'm seeing more authors post on LinkedIn, but still it’s nowhere near as busy as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for authors.

LinkedIn post for Sue Moorcroft on Using Facebook Live


I keep hearing that Reddit is the next big thing, so will be interested to see what happens. Find out more in this article via Social Media Today (20 April 2018), 'Reddit Now Has as Many Active Users as Twitter and Far Higher Engagement Rates', and note that Instagram is no.2 after Facebook on the list of major platforms in order of monthly active users. Also that Reddit is on a par with Twitter as no.3.

8.Newsletter

If you have a newsletter, include your recent blog posts in it somewhere.

9.Video:

If you’re brave enough, you could make a quick video about your blog post, and use the video to promote it on social media. Or you could make a video of something relating to the post. Videos get a lot of attention on social media.

Joanna Penn does this well. Here's an example, Comparisonitis Or "Everyone Else is Better Than Me" 

10. Sharing buttons:

I added 'proper' sharing buttons to my neetsmarketing website and blogs last year, and find them really effective. If a button shows that a post has been shared on Facebook 200+ times, it gives the post credibility and others are more likely to share. I use Shareaholic, but there are lots of options.

11.Link in bios:

Don’t forget to include the link to your blog in bios, where possible. If you only have one option-e.g., on Twitter, you may want to include the link to your website or latest Amazon buy link instead.

That’s it!-will update if I think of anything else. Now, I guess I should go and use some of these ways to go and promote this post...See what I've been up to below:

Me arriving at Brooklands Radio
My recent interview on Brooklands Radio:

Last Tuesday (17 April 2018), Jackie Mitchell interviewed me as part of the Just Women Show on Brooklands Radio. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed meeting the other guests, Petrina Johnson and Victoria Dorman.

L-R: Petrina Johnson, Victoria Dorman, me (Anita Chapman) with host, Jackie Mitchell at front
In the interview, I talk about my former commuting life, writing, my experience of being a finalist in The Write Stuff at The London Book Fair (from 3:20), my courses; and Jackie asked a few questions about social media. I have to say, it’s different answering questions on the spot compared to having chance to think about them, and there’s a lot more to say about social media than I said here! Anyway, the link is here, in case you’d like to listen:

Other posts:

9 Ways to Engage a Blog Audience
16 Ways for Writers to Use Instagram
19 Tips on How to be the Ideal Blog Guest
12 Tips on How to be the Ideal Blog Host
What are Hashtags, Why Use Them, and How?
Sue Moorcroft on Using Facebook Live (recent guest post)
What's Your #amwriting Journey? (neetswriter post about The Write Stuff)

My recent guest post, via Emma Darwin:
Overcoming the Social Media Fear

About me (Anita Chapman):


I'm a freelance social media manager with clients in the world of books. I run my own one day social media courses for writers in London and York (28 April, 19 May, 6 October 2018), and I'm a tutor at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College (Surrey), where I run Social Media for Writers and Bloggers courses  #neetsrhacc (next course starts 7 June 2018). Find out more with booking info via my website. You can follow me on Twitter @neetsmarketing, Instagram @neetswriter, and my neetsmarketing Facebook page is here.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Sue Moorcroft on Using Facebook Live


Bestselling author, Sue Moorcroft has taken part in a few Facebook Live videos recently, and I invited Sue to write a guest post about her experiences. I've known Sue for a few years and we often chat on social media. I'm also a member of Sue's fantastic street team. Sue has been a guest on this blog (and on my neetswriter blog) previously, and I've linked to the other posts at the end. Thank you, Sue for visiting with another really informative post, and over to you!

Sue Moorcroft on Using Facebook Live as a promo tool:

I’ve been involved with four Facebook Live (FBL) videos — all different and mostly fun. Engagement ranged from 488 views to 2.4k. Here’s a summary:

Alone in my study


Hosted on: my Facebook page, facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor
Views: 488
Purpose: launching a new book. Device: desktop computer

With author Bella Osborne at the News Building, London


Hosted on: the Facebook page of Avon Books UK, the imprint of HarperCollins that publishes my books
Views: 1.7k
Purpose: talking about our latest books (both summer). Device: smart phone

With author Maggie Sullivan at the News Building, London


Hosted on: the Facebook page of HarperCollins UK
Views: 2.4k
Purpose: talking about our latest books (both Christmas). Device: smart phone

With Jo Askew at Icarus Falconry, Holdenby House, Northampton. Special guest: Lily the barn owl


Hosted on: my Facebook page, facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor
Views: 498
Purpose: Ben in The Little Village Christmas looks after a rescue owl. Jo and Icarus helped me with the research and invited me to their premises for joint promo. Device: smart phone

How did these experiences compare?

Alone in my study was my first ever Facebook Live and I approached it with trepidation. The digital media manager at Avon Books UK talked me through the process before I went ahead. I received a lot of questions and comments but I’m sure I came across as a rabbit in the headlights. I didn’t find it a particularly natural process, although I’m usually happy at events or on the radio and have been interviewed on camera. Not knowing where to look and talking to myself felt foreign in comparison.

With author Bella Osborne at the News Building, London was a big improvement. Bella and I are friends, both writing for Avon. The team at Avon set the whole thing up for us and organised the flow of questions. Because we talked to each other it felt natural, and I think the product was better. Because Avon has a wider reach on its Facebook Page than I do, we got great engagement. It was fun. It meant a trip to London - a plus for me, but not for everybody perhaps.

With author Maggie Sulllivan at the News Building, London was a repeat of the above positive experience. Maggie is published directly by HarperCollins UK and their reach is even greater than Avon’s, so the viewing figure was larger still.

With Jo Askew at Icarus Falconry, Holdenby House, Northampton. I was beginning to see possibilities for FBL by now! Jo and I chatted about The Little Village Christmas and owls while manager Tom Morath filmed us on my phone. Engagement was more modest but it was another great experience.


 What do you need for a Facebook Live video?

   A Facebook page to host. The more followers that page has, the greater your engagement is likely to be.
   A device such as a computer, tablet or phone, that has a camera and the capability of connecting to Facebook on the Internet.
   A stable internet connection so you don’t vanish ahead of schedule or break up.


 My tips:

   Advertise the FBL ahead on all your social media channels. Mention the time you’ll be live and provide a link to the relevant Facebook page. Say how long you’ll be live. Ask people to have their questions ready. If you can get your publisher/agent/anyone else with a large social media platform to do the same, do it.
   Schedule social media posts to go out at the time you know you’ll be live to say something such as ‘I’m live now over on XXX. Come on over! Ask me something fun’.
   Plan ahead. Do you want to use props? Or something to talk about if there’s a lull in the questions? Have what you need within easy reach.
   Look good! Think about hair, clothes, make-up (if you wear it). Maybe dress up - a sun hat for a summer book or a Santa hat for a Christmas book, for eg.
   During the FBL, keep inviting the audience to ask questions in the comments section. Say the question aloud before you answer, so everybody knows what you’re talking about.
   Make it fun for those watching. Try not to be too solemn.
   If something goes wrong, laugh it off. FBL isn’t meant to be too polished and a dropped prop doesn’t matter.
   If you can get someone else involved to operate the device, it can help.
   If you’re going to FBL when there are others around, tell them what’s going on. You don’t want one of your loved ones barging into your study to talk to you while you’re broadcasting. Especially if they tend to chill at home in their underwear. Or birthday suit.
   Remember that if you swear a lot of people could hear you!
   Sharing an FBL with someone you know and trust can feel more natural than being alone.

A couple more thoughts:

   Facebook Live is a free service. There might be connected costs though, such as travelling to a venue.
   The video remains on the Facebook page even when you’ve finished the live broadcast so you can continue to use it for promo.

A quick overview of what to do:

Fancy doing an FBL of your own? It’s quite easy. Go to your Facebook page. Click on Start a live video.




You may need to allow FB to use your camera and microphone.




Then fill in the relevant boxes. This is an opportunity to hook people in.


When you’re ready, click Go Live. A countdown appears on the screen and then … Go! You’re live. Talk! Smile! Watch the comments section for questions.

When you’re ready to end, say goodbye and click End Broadcast.

That’s it! Now, that wasn’t hard, was it?

I can’t guarantee book sales but it’s a great way to engage with readers and be accessible to them which, to me, can only be a good thing.

Good luck!

Anita: Thank you, Sue for taking the time to write this wonderful post, which will be very helpful to anyone thinking about dipping their toe into the scary world of Facebook Live! Find out more about Sue below:



Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times and international bestselling author and has reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle. She’s won the Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary, and has been nominated on several other occasions, including for the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards.

Her short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared all over the world.
Twitter  @suemoorcroft
Instagram @SueMoorcroftAuthor
Google+ +SueMoorcroftAuthor 
LinkedIn suemoorcroft

Other posts on this blog:

Other guest posts by Sue Moorcroft:

About me (Anita Chapman):


I'm a freelance social media manager with clients in the world of books. I run my own one day social media courses for writers in London and York (28 April, 19 May, 6 October 2018), and I'm a tutor at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College (Surrey), where I run 10 week courses, Social Media for Writers and Bloggers #neetsrhacc (next course starts 26 April 2018). Find out more with booking info via my website. You can follow me on Twitter @neetsmarketing, Instagram @neetswriter, and my neetsmarketing Facebook page is here