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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Facebook Group Tools - Did you Know They Exist? #TipsTuesdays 24

So I am in the middle of a book launch (The Machine: Rise of the Gifted - still free LAST DAY), and one of the ways to promote our books is Facebook Groups, some of which have hundreds of thousands of members. Hence my choice of topic today.

Facebook Group Tools
Did You Know They Exist?

Wittegen Press
$4.99 FREE
23 Feb
So I downloaded a spreadsheet a couple of months ago which listed Facebook groups for promoting books, but there didn't seem to be very many on it, so I went searching as well. I visited many, many, many groups and eventually found 70 or so (I'll post a list at a later date) that:
  • a) let me in
  • b) were suitable for my book launch
I admit, I was a bit perturbed by how many there were. Hence I went looking for a solution and I came across ToolsStar. This is a tool which allows you to post to multiple Facebooks groups in the same way you would send an email to a whole selection at a time, and it spaces out the posts.

Like with email you need to be careful of spamming. The Facebook police will come and ban you if you break their rules, so using a tool has to be handled sensibly.

What I like about ToolsStar:

  • there is a FREE option (less functionality, but still usable)
  • it has an import groups function which makes it very easy to add all your FB groups
  • it allows FB Groups to be put into lists so they can be categorised and it's easy to send to only a few at a time
  • when you have added a group to a list it removes it from the pool so groups may only be in one list at a time - this prevents accidental spam
  • it is possible to create multiple campaigns (posts) in advance
  • it makes it very straightforward to create the campaigns (posts)
  • it spaces out the posts so not to spam Facebook (in the free version it uses a 15 min interval, in the paid version you can schedule it yourself)

What is a bit frustrating about ToolsStar:

  • it keeps logging me out and there is no option to stay logged in
  • some of the actions are a little less than intuitive

Things to be watch out for:

If you use your account to spam it can be banned from groups and even deleted by FB, so make sure you are careful with the way you use a tool like this.
  • Don't ever post to multiple groups too quickly - if you have the free option, you can't, but if you are scheduling yourself, make sure the FB algorithms aren't going to think you are spamming. 5 mins or more space between posting at least, is a good idea.
  • Don't continuously post all day - you don't have to run your campaigns continuously, in fact breaking them up is a good idea.
  • Don't use the same campaign over and over again - change the link and/or the image and/or the text so people don't see the same thing everywhere. They might ignore it in one form, but click your link in another. Also FB is less likely to think you are spamming.
  • Don't manually post to the closed groups at the same time as your auto-poster is posting to the public ones - FB is likely to think someone is trying to hack your account and make you jump though many hoops to prove you are a person.
  • Don't post in random groups - make sure the groups you pick allow the type of post you want to make. Some book groups allow promotion of free books but nothing else, others allow free and 99c etc.
People don't like spam, so if you spam them, even if FB doesn't jump on you from a great height, they are less likely to buy your book anyway. The golden rule is: be considerate.

For my launch, what I did was break up the groups into lists of 10, then I set off a different campaign to a list every now and then over 2 days. In between campaigns I posted to the odd closed group.

Most groups specify not to post to the same group more than once in 24 hrs, some say once a week, and others have different time frames, so make sure to read the rules of the groups you want to post to. Basically, just be sensible.

Do you have any tools you can't live without during a book launch?

Men in black aren't usually associated with figure skating, but when MiBs try to arrest men's champion Louis Hayes, his ex-rival Rafe Derouet finds out to his cost that telepathic x-files really do exist.

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