1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Does advertising on a Facebook increase your sales enough to make it worthwhile?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by TermiteWriter, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. TermiteWriter

    TermiteWriter Scribe

    39
    4
    8
  2. djutmose

    djutmose Dreamer

    11
    2
    3
    I did and it didn't seem to do anything. From what I've heard from other writers, it's pretty useless. Of course, it might depend on how much you want to spend ... The more you can spend "per click" or "per exposure" the more audience you can get. I tried to narrow my demographics and not go over $100 for a campaign and it didn't do anything for my sales.

    EDIT: OH, my misunderstanding, I thought you meant the Facebook advertising that you buy, the little ads that show up on the right side of your screen ...
    Having a Facebook author or "Like" page is free and can't hurt, and it does give a way to connect to fans. I'm skeptical that it actually increases sales for new writers, though. Now, if you're popular and established, it would be a good way to get the word out about a new book.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
    Jessquoi and Orkasen1022 like this.
  3. TermiteWriter

    TermiteWriter Scribe

    39
    4
    8
    I was thinking about the paid advertising, but I'm happy to get your opinion on both matters. I have no plans to pay for advertising. And I can't see many people visiting my page, except when they go there to "like" it. But can't hurt anything to have it, I guess!
     
  4. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    4,369
    947
    113
    I missed this post since it was under promotion instead of marketing.

    Good topic.

    Though some have advised me to the contrary, I haven't started an author FB page yet. I plan to contact friends and family through my personal account. I'll probably get around to starting a business one shortly before I publish my first book, though I don't hold out a lot of hope that it will help any. I think it is, however, an expectation that the readers have.

    If they do find your book, they're going to expect a "professional" writer to, at a minimum, have a website and a FB page. Better not to disappoint them.

    As for "it can't hurt," it can cost you time that you could spend writing. Just be careful with it.

    As far as paid advertising, I haven't read of anyone advocating FB too highly. I did read one author who indicated he (or she, can't remember) had some success with paid advertising on Goodreads. If anyone tries it, please let us know the results.
     
  5. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

    1,084
    203
    63
    I have the feeling that things like Author Pages on Facebook are (rather like actual webpages) another way to make yourself visible to those who are already looking. Until you gain a certain amount of notoriety I doubt many people will make initial contact with your work (or its existence, at least) through a Facebook page.

    I have to admit that I have checked out a couple books through Facebook ads, though, so my personal opinion is that maybe it works pretty well. I didn't end up buying either of those books because they were... sub-par, to put it lightly. However, the Facebook ad DID get me to take a look at the blurbs and samples, so in that sense the advertising was successful.
     
  6. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    4,369
    947
    113
    That's good info. Nice to know that it does have some impact.

    The thing about a FB page is that it does have the power to reach a lot of people. I'm no expert, but my understanding is that, if a friend like's your page, some of his friends see the like, which may get them to your page. If that friend then like it...

    It can grow exponentially if you get enough likes, apparently.
     
  7. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    7,945
    3,659
    313
    I'm moving this to Marketing.

    ((edit))

    As for the actual marketing principles, you need to remember that each new type of contact makes an impression that builds on the ones before it, making it difficult to take any given marketing piece on its own.

    It's easiest to understand that principle by talking about direct mailing (which you shouldn't be doing for a book). If you send someone a single flyer, it doesn't matter how good it is, you'll have almost zero response. But if a company is doing it right and sends someone a flyer, a letter, a postcard and a coupon over the course of the year, they can start to expect something like a 5% rate of response.

    That's because each time they see something you've put out there, you're building legitimacy that sticks with them over time.

    Rather than expect any specific advertisement or social media piece to bring people in, you should be thinking about whether that piece will help "prep" someone to be more inclined to consider you at the next point of contact. That's why they're ad campaigns. If you think an ad is going to be the only time someone ever hears about you and your work, then you probably shouldn't buy it.

    Also, don't forget, when you ask a reviewer to consider your book, they're definitely going to check out your facebook and twitter accounts before they say yes or no. But they won't care about any paid advertising that you've done.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  8. TermiteWriter

    TermiteWriter Scribe

    39
    4
    8
    Thanks for all the good advice! My goal has always been to make people aware that I'm here and to try to show my books in a way that would make people want to try them. If reviewers want to know what I'm all about, they would do better to read my blogs rather than my Facebook or Twitter accounts, because the blogs are where I reveal myself.
    Also, I'm sorry I put my query in the wrong category. That's one thing I find annoying about forums and groups - I never know which is the right category to post in.
     
  9. scottmarlowe

    scottmarlowe Dreamer

    19
    2
    3
    I have a FB fan page but it hasn't gained much traction and, to tell you the truth, it's another thing I have to keep updated and maintain to some extent. I primarily use my blog/web site and Twitter as my platforms. However, it's a good idea to have a presence on all of the major social media sites, so I'm there.
     
  10. I don't know anyone who has earned back their expense from paid Facebook ads. There's probably someone out there who's done so, but it doesn't seem to be the norm.

    Think about it this way: how often do you see major publishers putting ads on Facebook for books? Why do you think they're very rarely doing so? ;)

    Most of your typical sorts of ads do not work well for books; that's been true for many decades. A lot has changed as book buying moves online, but that truism seems to be holding strong.
     
  11. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

    2,624
    890
    113
    I have a FB page. It's in the link in my signature. I tried a test ad campaign. After investing $250 over a 3 month period, I gained over 70 extra followers. I was getting over 27,000 visits a day to the page (mobile visits mostly) and about 2 or 3 likes. All this, and I really don't have anything to offer to those fans that "like" me. In my opinion, it works. When I actually have a story to share, I'll definitely use FB Ads.
     
  12. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    4,044
    1,950
    163
    You have a lot of great art associated with that page though Ankari. As FB is a largely visual medium, I'd speculate that a lot of that attention is garnered from that artwork. No offense intended, Im sure your writing is quality. I just don't know if a page without artwork like that would get as much attention and boost sales.
    For a lot of authors, the visual artwork will be limited to a cover image & a map or two.
     
  13. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    7,945
    3,659
    313
    Facebook has an absurdly low click-through rate, except for maybe some of the on-Facebook games and apps. I interviewed for a marketing job once where they told me the best place to advertise was Tumblr, but I don't know how true that is or for what industries. Tumblr has a clear audience, though, of visual creatives, so I don't know how useful that would be for books or not.

    I've been trying to avoid giving specific advice on paid advertising because it requires a bit more research than I have time to do. For instance, with Facebook's low click-through rate, I've no idea how many views you would purchase, for what price, or what kind of targeting facebook does with your ads. If Facebook does any targeting, and the price is reasonable, then conceivably running three or four different advertisements over six months might get some kind of result - if the targeting means that you can expect many of the same people to see all three or four ads. But these are all things I don't know.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  14. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

    2,624
    890
    113
    FYI:

    I'm going to perform a marketing campaign with a modest $100 budget. I'm currently at 122 likes (Facebook Page). I'll update this thread with any significant news.

    Facebook allows you to change your ad in the middle of a campaign. I've set the timeline for one month. The current push is to draw potential readers with a short story I wrote and showcased here. I want to compare that to the artwork campaign I mentioned I did before. If the results are lackluster, I'll switch to a graphic ad in the middle of the month and compare the results as well.

    Wish me luck.
     
  15. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    4,369
    947
    113
    Good luck.

    I just read a thread on 48Days.net about FB advertising. Not a single person replying said that the ROI was worth it. In fact, you're the only person I've ever heard say anything positive about it.

    Of course, most people are focused on selling books directly and commenting on whether or not a FB ad created additional sales. Your thrust seems to be to increase friends and likes in order to get the word out to more people.
     
  16. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

    2,624
    890
    113
    I think authors are the only people who haven't grasped the art of hype building. Every media outlet does this. Movies will show trailers sometimes a year before the movie is released. Game companies will share progress updates, screen shots and concept art long before they have a working demo. Authors assume that once they've finished their awesome book, everyone is lining up to buy it.

    I'm trying to go the route of the gaming companies. Give periodic updates, whether concept art, short stories or random items, to build enough of an audience and interest before the book is released. I'm guessing that 10 to 15% of my social media audience will buy the book. That's why I'm shooting for 10, 00 followers by the time I'm able to offer a book to sell.

    That's my strategy, at least.
     
  17. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    4,369
    947
    113
    It will be interesting to see if that strategy pays off from a ROI standpoint. The main variables, of course are:

    1. How much $$$ to increase followers
    2. Conversion rate of followers to buyers

    I'm not in a position to offer even an opinion on either. I'd love to see an analysis that attempts to estimate both once you have sales numbers.
     
  18. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    7,945
    3,659
    313
    1-3% is more realistic. It's easy to "Like" something and forget all about it, even when you put out updates.

    I think you'd do better looking for ways to target the kinds of people who can multiply your reach.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  19. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

    2,624
    890
    113
    Are you suggesting things like book review sites, interviews with podcasts, and hosting writing workshops at conventions?
     
  20. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    7,945
    3,659
    313
    What I'm saying is, if I had $100 dollars to spend marketing something, I'd use it on the internet equivalent to letterhead. Pitch your ideas to people, share your enthusiasm, and invite them to help. And if you can't figure out how somebody can help, you're either looking at the wrong somebodies or you need to think harder.

    For instance, Call of Heroes is going to be an RPG? There's dozens of fantasy gamers and writers here. You could invite people to help put together a campaign story walkthrough and give a lot more people something exciting to talk about.

    You're writing a book? You're a contributing member at Mythic Scribes? Submit guest articles for the homepage here or at sites elsewhere. Or think bigger, and figure out how to approach authors to do interviews (it's really not hard). Or try and figure out other ways to show your abilities by contributing to other places with established audiences.

    Make friends, be helpful, don't be afraid to ask.

    You'll get further doing that stuff than you would with a facebook ad.
     
Loading...

Share This Page