I love the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego. Its massive footprint of stores and eateries thrills even the pickiest shopper. The airy outdoor walkways are the perfect place to enjoy the San Diego weather and do some serious window shopping at the same time.
So picture yourself on a leisurely day of window shopping. How do you decide which stores to walk into and explore? There are basically two barriers to getting you in that door. First, the merchandise. Does the store carry products you are interested in…or dream about? Once that barrier is crossed, the window display is the next trigger. Does it lure you inside?
Facebook pinned posts are the most underused piece of real estate on your Facebook page. They have the ability to entice people to walk in your door. But let’s start with why. It’s all about the numbers.
People are spending more time on Facebook. Data tells us that time spent on some social media channels is either stagnant or going backwards (Twitter, Snapchat, Google Plus, LinkedIn) and going up on others (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube). The Sprout Social Q1 2017 Index discovered Facebook still sees the most interactions and is the preferred network among millennials, Gen X-ers and baby boomers. Facebook users like the convenience of doing all things on Facebook, and the platform is obliging that desire by offering more services to keep people there. So how can pinned posts hook potential readers?
Search is King
Facebook’s search engine is powerful. When readers are browsing through their newsfeeds and see your name or the name of one of your books, do they leave Facebook and go to Google to find out more? No, they just stick your name in their Facebook search bar. This is part of the important discovery or introduction stage of your sales funnel. When potential fans land on your Facebook page, what is the first thing they see? Your cover photo. Sidebar: what kind of first impression is yours making?
The Most Important Message
While they are perusing your page, what is the first message they see? What copy are you using to hook them?
On Facebook, you have the ability to pin an important post to the top of your page newsfeed. You can change these as often as you like, but I always recommend having a post pinned at the top to hook new and old visitors alike. Here are five essential ways you can use that pinned post.
- Book Launches: during the first 30 days of your book launch, your cover photo and pinned post should coordinate to point people towards your new book. Think of this post as a sales post, but not something that just says “buy my book.” Think short here. I suggest you limit the description to 150 characters—the length of copy for an Amazon Marketing Services sponsored product ad. That is a tight bit of copy that entices readers to get the book. It will also help you multitask if you use Amazon or Facebook ads. This is what’s in the window—make it good. Add a call-to-action and buy link(s) and you’re set. Don’t forget to add the buy links to the cover photo as well. After you post your copy, use the pulldown menu (blue arrow below) to pin the post to the top of your feed (red arrow below). It will stay at the top until you replace it with another pinned post or unpin it. These posts look like regular posts in your followers’ newsfeeds.
- Email list sign-ups: Once a month or so I like to run a short email list sign-up campaign. I prefer to “wed” my cover photo to my pinned post again here. Your cover photo becomes the billboard that directs visitors to the pinned post. Again, copy is key here. Give readers a benefit. What will they get by signing up? Do you have a lead magnet? If you don’t have a tangible one like a perma free book, use the connection factor. Invite them to a deeper relationship with you by offering regular exclusive content such as news of free books, giveaways, opportunities to connect, or insider news. Remember to speak human.
- Short-term discount campaigns: Do you have a BookBub featured deal coming up? How about Kindle Countdown Deal? Promotions on FreeBooksy, EReader News or others? Backlist book discounts? Blog tours? Short term discounts can get a turbo boost with a pinned post.
- Giveaways and sweepstakes: Ah—the giveaway. You can use short-term contests or sweepstakes to get new likes for you page. I recommend you run at least two page building campaigns a year. Inexpensive Facebook ads can help laser target potential readers. Make sure you are enticing your loyal readers to participate as well and make your giveaways worth their while. I like to use an app called 22Social for this. It has a monthly subscription fee.
- Other short-term campaigns: Do you participate in book bundles? How about newsletter shares? Maybe you have a live book signing or other event coming up. Are you trying to grow your advanced reader team? One of your books going on a blog tour? Doing a Facebook Live? Whatever it is that needs short-term promotion, consider using both the pinned post and your cover photo to help promote.
I’ve found that pinned posts and cover photos are two of the most underused resources Facebook gives us to promote. Don’t forget that new people are visiting your Facebook page all the time and many of your loyal fans prefer to access your posts on your page rather than through their newsfeed. How are you using that discovery opportunity?
Also, remember you can change your pinned post and cover photo as often as you like. Just remember to unpin outdated posts and change your cover photo back to the generic image after a campaign is done. A neglected and outdated pinned post or cover photo spells “meh” to visitors.
How are you using your pinned posts? The comments are yours.