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Tech Tips for Author Marketing
Why and How to Tag People on Facebook

Published on Monday, May 15, 2017

Why and How to Tag People on Facebook

The stereotypical author writes alone in their room and shies away from making contact with other people. Of course there are plenty of outgoing authors, but for many of us, socializing is still scary and something to be avoided.

Online contact can be much easier for the introvert, but even so, folks have a hard time being social on social media when it comes to marketing their books. Shrieking “buy my book” is never a good strategy. Quietly posting general statements in broadcast fashion works, but you can get an even better response if you actually reach out to individuals by tagging them.

“Tagging” someone on Facebook is when you mention someone by their profile name so that Facebook notifies them of the tag. For instance, if you are appearing at an author fair at your local library with several other authors, you might write a Facebook post that says:

Looking forward to Saturday’s Author Fair at Anytown Library! I’ll be there with Mae Mysterywriter and John Novel.

Your followers will see that post – which is great. You want to share event news with them. But you also want to reach readers who are NOT already your followers. Tagging can help you get in front of new audiences. Here is how to write the same post, but with tags.

Looking forward to Saturday’s Author Fair at @Anytown Library! I’ll be there with @Mae Mysterywriter and @John Novel.

When you add the “@” symbol to a name, Facebook tags that person or business. They will be notified that you have tagged them and your post may show up on their timeline and may also be shown to their friends which expands your audience. The post will look like this:

Looking forward to Saturday’s Author Fair at Anytown Library! I’ll be there with Mae Mysterywriter and John Novel.

There are also a couple of caveats to be aware of when tagging:

  • Some folks turn off tagging in their profiles so you can’t tag them
  • Facebook may offer more than one possible profile or page to use in a tag. Be sure you’re tagging the right one!
  • If you can’t find the profile or page you want, try going to their website to see if they post a Facebook link there
  • Tagging fellow authors or event planners who are also trying to market is usually welcomed
  • But obnoxiously tagging folks is a major faux pas. Be sure you tag in context and with respect
  • How Facebook actually works is a mystery – your results will vary

Check your stats and you will probably be pleasantly surprised to see more views of Facebook posts that have tags. You may also get “Likes” or comments such as “Thanks for posting!” from the tagged people. Remember to be social back and say “You’re welcome.” It could be the start of a beautiful mutual marketing relationship!

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Author: Kate Gingold Host

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Using Tech for Book Marketing

Kate Gingold from Sprocket WebsitesKate has been building websites with her husband Don since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Kate is an author herself. She writes books on local history, including the award-winning "Ruth by Lake and Prairie," a fictionalized account of the true story of Great Lake pioneering to the shores of Chicago and beyond to found Naperville, Illinois. 

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Following a presentation for In Print Professional Writers Group, Kate's husband (and publisher!) Don was interviewed by author Louise Brass for WBOM Radio. During the conversation, Don shared many of the marketing tips from his presentation. You can listen to it online here.

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