Facebook's Ever-Changing Role

Before posting in this marketing forum, please try to read 10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book: Online Book Marketing on Any Budget. This forum is mainly for followup questions and discussion after reading that book. This forum does indeed allow for much broader discussion of marketing and promotion than just that book, but it's good for everyone to be on the same page about the basics.

Please note, this forum is not for self-promotional plugs. It's for discussing how to promote your book or other writing.
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Leigh M Lane
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Facebook's Ever-Changing Role

Post by Leigh M Lane » 29 Jun 2016, 16:13

I'm wondering what others' observations on Facebook, writers groups, and FB advertising have been over the recent years. There was a time, right before the indie bubble burst, when Facebook was an effective promotional tool. About five years ago, using an Amazon giveaway timed with a FB ad, I was able to give away 10,000 copies of one book--and then see it bob along the bestsellers lists (top 5-10 in paid horror) for a few weeks. These days, that same approach doesn't seem to do much at all. (And forget "boosting" posts ... a total waste.)

I belong to numerous groups on Facebook, and it's nice to network, but I don't think any of them contribute notably to my overall sales. Anyone here still use Facebook as a means of selling books? If so, what's your approach?

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Post by Scott » 06 Jul 2016, 08:46

You are absolutely correct that it has changed with time. That's actually the standard long-term bait-and-switch of social sites in my opinion. Nowadays, I think Facebook is awful for marketing, both organic and paid. I went to this in a little detail in the 10 Step Plan.
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Post by Leigh M Lane » 06 Jul 2016, 10:01

I think your 10-step plan is right on. I've learned most of what I know from trial and error, and I've been lucky enough to stumble upon much of what you've outlined. You definitely need a good plan before and when you publish.

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Post by bradystefani » 06 Jul 2016, 13:55

I have been using Facebook ads to drive potential readers to the amazon page for my book that came out in June. I'm perplexed to say the least. On some days FB will report that I had hundreds of clicks (which means visits to my amazon page). However, those visits to my Amazon page do not translate to sales. If a potential reader is interested and motivated enough to click on my FB ad and visit my amazon page, you think they'd be willing to pay $10 and buy the book.
Side note: 90% of my visitors are age 13-18. That is right in my readership, but perhaps they don't have buying power??

Sooo, if not FB, then what?

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Post by Leigh M Lane » 06 Jul 2016, 15:38

The most effective tools I've found so far have been doing promotional discounts or freebies--which you have to advertise well or else they'll flop--and researching book bloggers to query for reviews. FB clicks absolutely do not translate to sales. Once upon a time, FB drove sales well, but the last several ad campaigns I ran were total wastes of money. If you're going to spend money, spend it on a handful of book blogger websites that will advertise your promotional price. You still might not break even, but you'll see some sales.

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Post by e-tasana-williams » 06 Jul 2016, 16:01

I'm not a writer, but what about other social media outlets like Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and such? Are they pretty much the same as FB as far as return on investment?
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Post by Leigh M Lane » 07 Jul 2016, 15:17

Eatsleaves wrote:I'm not a writer, but what about other social media outlets like Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and such? Are they pretty much the same as FB as far as return on investment?
I have not actively used any of those for marketing. I have accounts, and I do post to them, but I just can't make much sense of how to use them for promo. I know, for example, that posting at certain times is better than posting at any random hour, and I know attaching photos makes them more visible, but don't ask me how that equates to sales... :(

I'd love to know if anyone here has recently used any social media as an effective marketing tool.

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Post by Rachel McClellan » 15 Jul 2016, 18:22

So interesting topic and the timing is perfect because I just recently looked at all my FB advertising for the last 6 months. I'll share those results here, because they are truly perplexing. I can't tell if they work or not! FYI - I always have at least three ads running for the first book in one of my series (I would never pay these fees if it wasn't a series) that take people right to my Amazon book page.

# Sold KU FB AD Spent
January 289 178264 $39
February 275 169,195 $457.12
March 155 106530 $469
April 267 170,703 $217
May 543 363602 $286
June 828 625,754 $652

As you can see, I sold the most in June. I also spent the most in June. But other months I spent a lot but sales didn't reflect this. Maybe this is all word of mouth sales finally kicking in?? To test my theory, I've shut off all but one ad and I'm only spending $5.00 a day. It will be interesting to see if this makes a difference.
(Sorry my formatting is all jacked up!)

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Post by Leigh M Lane » 16 Jul 2016, 15:48

Rachel McClellan wrote:So interesting topic and the timing is perfect because I just recently looked at all my FB advertising for the last 6 months. I'll share those results here, because they are truly perplexing. I can't tell if they work or not! FYI - I always have at least three ads running for the first book in one of my series (I would never pay these fees if it wasn't a series) that take people right to my Amazon book page.

# Sold KU FB AD Spent
January 289 178264 $39
February 275 169,195 $457.12
March 155 106530 $469
April 267 170,703 $217
May 543 363602 $286
June 828 625,754 $652

As you can see, I sold the most in June. I also spent the most in June. But other months I spent a lot but sales didn't reflect this. Maybe this is all word of mouth sales finally kicking in?? To test my theory, I've shut off all but one ad and I'm only spending $5.00 a day. It will be interesting to see if this makes a difference.
(Sorry my formatting is all jacked up!)
I'd be curious to know the results. Could you share them when you're able?

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Post by Rachel McClellan » 17 Jul 2016, 10:16

I guess I don't understand the rules of this forum. Apparently, I can't message you or comment about any other services, even recommending a FB group. It keeps marking it as spam. So I guess go on FB and friend me. If you can't find my personal page, message me on my author page and I'll give you the info there. :)

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Post by emthomas1 » 28 Jul 2016, 19:11

Thanks for sharing, Rachel. When you say you have three ads running, do you mean three different ads through Facebook or three different ads including Facebook? If the latter, what's been your favorite source?
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Post by Adhen Surrain » 25 Oct 2016, 05:26

Facebook is a most easy and affordable way to promote your ebook. Joining with promotional groups and posting on trafic pages made your book viral.

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Post by karolinka » 25 Oct 2016, 13:49

I think Facebook is probably best for selling books to the existing people that are in your Friends, the ones that already know you and know about your book. For reaching new customers, Twitter might be better than Facebook.
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Post by proflangley » 07 Dec 2016, 08:46

Interesting to read everyone's experience because I'm trying to figure out what works and what doesn't, as well. I just did a general add for my Facebook author page and have five new followers, which isn't a lot but I wouldn't have been able to find them otherwise. I can't tell if any of them bought anything.

As for Twitter, I've tried to be as active as possible but it seems I have more writers as followers than anything else. They are probably doing the same thing I am...looking for readers.

I've decided to hire an assistant to take care of the social media so that I can concentrate on writing. I have 9 books out that need promoting, another coming out in September and several more in my laptop. While I love social media, I find myself drowning in it. I need time to write!

On a final note, I've been using Facebook live...And that's working...

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Post by rainbow08 » 28 Dec 2016, 23:51

Facebook is one of the most influential social media platform in the world. It is a powerful tool for promotion any products or services. Keep it mind that the primary motivation of people for facebook is for entertainment and not to buy something, thus ads and post should be very entertaining, helpful and leaving audience with great impact and not too pushy. I am so great! and Buy now! scares people away.

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