I’ve read that one of the fastest ways for an author to gain new social contacts on Facebook (FB), is by joining a FB Group. These, as the name suggests, are collections of FB users who have banded together to communicate directly with each other about their favorite subject. This represents a fantastic opportunity for authors looking to promote their book – If you can track down a group of like-minded people who are interested in your particular genre; you basically have a captive audience who are already interested in what you are selling.
Not having much of a social network to speak of, this sounded to me like the perfect platform to reach out to potential readers of my novel, Towards Yesterday. It’s a sci-fi adventure story, so naturally, I was interested in connecting and participating in any groups interested in science fiction.
But tracking down these groups was quite confusing, as I’ve not been a big user of Facebook until recently. There didn’t seem to be any reliable information on FB’s help pages on how to find a group, neither was there anything particularly useful that I could track down on the web. So, after a lot of trial and error, I decided to throw together a quick-and-dirty guide for the social networking newbie on how to find and join groups on Facebook.
Here we go: how to find and join Facebook groups in 6 easy steps:
1) Look at the top of your Facebook page and you will see a white search box. Type in the name of the kind of group you are interested in joining. For instance; if you’re target market is Young Adult, type in YA or Young Adult. My book is a science fiction novel so I tried Sci Fi and Science Fiction.
2) As you type you will see a list of suggestions matching your entry pop-up beneath the search box. These will include user names, pages, accounts and groups that match what you are typing. The important thing here is NOT to hit the enter key, that will just select the top item in the search results and take you to their page. Instead, you can either click the magnifying glass at the far right of the search box or click-on the See More Results link at the bottom of the list.
3) When you’ve clicked, you will be taken to a results page that lists the first 20 or so matches of your search term. Rather than page through the list to find what you’re looking for, you can filter out everything except groups with a single click of a button.
4) Here’s how you do that. Look at the column on the far left of your screen. You should see a list of clickable filters. One of those will say “Groups”. Click it and you will immediately be presented with a list of all the groups containing your search term. The group results will include the name of the group and the number of people who are currently members.
5) To the right of each Group you will see a clickable button that will say either “Request to Join” or “Join Group”. This merely denotes which groups require you to be approved before gaining access and which ones you can simply click and immediately join.
6) Just click on the join button for the group you are interested in and you are ready to go.
Remember, these are groups of people who are there to talk about their particular interest. I’m pretty sure that constant spamming of links to your website or book’s Amazon page will only result in getting you banned. Use the groups for what they are, places to talk with like-minded people about a subject that is close to both theirs and your hearts.
There may be an easier way to do this, but as I said at the beginning, I couldn’t find it. Feel free to email me any other suggestions and I’ll incorporate them into the guide.
Good luck and I’d love to hear about your successes.