Whether you’re a reader or an author, here are some handy tips for navigating the wide world of Facebook.
1 – Leave Groups
Been invited to a group you don’t want to be part of? Don’t just leave! People actually leave groups all the time, by accident. If you leave and someone you know added you in the first place, they’ll just add you again and again and again. Instead, hover over the Joined box, which has a drop down menu. Click “Leave Group”, then a little pop up window will say – “Are you sure you want to give up your admin privileges and leave [group name]?” – Right alongside the part that has the buttons “Leave Group” or “Cancel”, there is a tick box – “Prevent other members from adding you to this group again”. Click that and you’ll be free from numerous attempts to add you back into the group. Simple!
2 – Avoid drama!
If someone tags you in a post you don’t agree with and FB won’t allow you to remove it – example, the tag is in a comment – try clicking the little X beside the comment with your tag, to hide it. It’s not a 100% solution, but it might help. Also, if it doesn’t work, try asking the person nicely to not tag you in similar posts. If the post is spam, feel free to report to the admin of a group or report to FB.
3 – Stop/Hide notifications
Ever have those naughty groups that you’re in for your book, constantly popping up in your feed when you’re around kids or non-appropriate audiences? Well, there are two options to avoid seeing these all the time –
Click the “world” notifications tab and scroll down to the last notification from that group. On the right of that notification is a little drop down symbol. Click it and then click “Hide this notification” or “Only get [highlights/notifications about friends’ posts] from this group”.
Alternatively, open up the group in a safe place, then go to the Notifications bar and choose from “All Posts”, “Highlights”, “Friends’ Posts” or “Off”.
4 – BLOCK in advance
Recently, I noticed that one person was spamming groups (most noticably MM groups). The spam was simple and shockingly clever – instead of being caught by FB for their porn/spam posts, they left their spam as a comment on someone else’s post. Which meant that a lot of authors were posting promo for their books and ending up with porn/spam as a comment. It makes it harder for admin to deal with, as they can’t simply delete a post. They have to delete the individual comments.
So, my solution was to go to this spammer’s FB page and block them, before they could do it to me. Now, in theory, this should prevent them from ever commenting on my posts, my timeline or anything to do with me. Until they get a new profile, which most do. However, taking this preventative action can help. Also alerting the admins to this person’s profile name can have them banned from the group, so that it won’t keep happening.
This also applies to people that you’ve been warned are book pirates or trolls. Just make sure your info is right, before you accidentally block the wrong person.
5 – Read the rules
I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but whenever you’re running through promo groups on FB, always check the rules of the group before posting. Groups change their rules all the time and the last thing you want is to share a post from your Author page, without checking, and end up being tagged/removed or reported for spam.
Usually, the rules are posted in a pinned post at the top of the group or in the description. If you’re not sure, ask the admins. They’re always willing to clarify things if you’re uncertain or can’t find what you want.
7 – Use Search
In every group, there is a search box at the top right hand side. If you’ve posted before or if you’re part of a street team, PLEASE, PLEASE, check to make sure you haven’t already posted there. As I mentioned above, some groups change their rules. Promo can be every day, but once a day; once a week or on a specific day; promos only go into pinned posts or files. If you want to remain in the group, check to make sure someone else in your street team hasn’t already shared what you’re about to. There is nothing more frustrating for other group members than to see the same post 6 times, because street team members or authors haven’t checked in with each other or have shared to the same group over and over again, without realising it.
Most of it is innocently done, but it’s frustrating. So make sure YOU are not the person doing it!
8 – Schedule!
Did you know that you can schedule posts for your Author page? No?
It’s simple. Go to your page and type in your status, just as you always would. But, instead of pressing “Post”, click the drop down button beside it and choose “Schedule”. I’ve scheduled hundreds of posts, one a day, for months in advance. This is handy for when you’re busy in your writing cave, when you have a lot of work hours or when you know you’re going to be on holiday. Mostly, it’s just good practice. One you get into the habit of scheduling posts for months ahead, you’ll find so much time freed up for doing other things, like writing. It’s also a great way to keep good content always visible on your page.
Using Hootsuite and such is good, to schedule your posts. Simply link it to your Author page and you can plan ahead in the same way. Right down to what hour and what minutes you want your post to go live. But beware of how links show up. Some work and some don’t show posters well, once it’s moved to FB.
Another good idea for scheduling is to have a system. My fans know what they’re going to get any given day, because I have a set schedule of “events” for each day. This still leaves me room to add my own updates, book releases and such. I also leave Monday and Wednesday open entirely, for a break and to allow the #MadeItToSunday and #TeaserTuesday posts to be seen a little longer.
#TeaserTuesday – where I copy my information from a document (hashtags, taglines, blurb, buy link) and only have to attach a poster when I’m done copying the information.
Thursday – #MM #LGBT #Appreciation #writinginspiration – where I post an image of anything LGBT related. It’s always positive, sometimes funny or just an image of a couple, to inspire stories.
#FangFriday – #vampire #gothic #writinginspiration – same as above, only for vampires.
Saturday – #GeekOut #fun #writersblockrelief – this is where I post anything geek, fandom related (images, jokes, TV show posters etc.)
#MadeItToSunday – #writing – as it says, a writing related post. Either a quote, an image, a joke about authors, a Sunday morning meme or something inspirational (a sentence or image to provoke stories)
9 – Be active!
A – I will never stop saying this. If you’re an author, you need to be a person first. So, if you’re limited on time, pick 5 groups that fit your book/genre/target group, and make sure you’re seen there. Comment on posts, interact with the other people, share other people’s work and stay active in those groups. DO NOT bombard people with “buy my book” or self promo posts. That’s a sure fire way to get kicked out.
If you have more time, feel free to up that 5 groups number to whatever you’re comfortable with.
Here are some good groups that you might want to join –