My author page on Facebook does well. Or at least Facebook seems to think so. In fact, they think it does so well, they offered me a €20,= gift coupon for an add to reach even more people! How good am I! lol
Okay okay, this is, of course, a mere marketing trick from Facebook to push you into spending your hard earned money on their adds. But since I’ve been curious about it for a while now, I decided to play around a little with it.
In the Indieworld it seems there is a strong division into the camp that believes in Facebook ads, claiming they do wonders for their business, have a great return rate and are a Godsend to Indie writers. The other camp? Not so much. They believe the opposite. It doesn’t add to anything, is a waste of money, and that there are way better ways to spend your precious money.
Okay, not really helpful. Of course, things are easy when they work for you. You know you did something right. But when things didn’t work, you have to ask yourself, ‘why?’. Is it because Facebook ads really don’t work (for you), is it because your ad simply isn’t enticing enough, or because you used the wrong keywords or target groups?
Deciding I wanted to try it out for myself, I decided to set one up. Nothing too fancy, I took my blurb, added a few 5* reviews I had gotten, and a link (including cover image) directly to my book on Amazon. Then I had to fill in my target audience. Facebook tries to help you by making suggestions. Now I have no clue as to where they get them from, but trust me, IGNORE them! Or at the very least double check if that is what you want. In my case, Facebook advised me to run the ad in only one province in the Netherlands, among men and woman from 10 to 85 years old. This was for my book Dinner at Dawn, an m/m paranormal romance, with a sex scene in it, targeted at women and written in English…. See my problem here? I would be downright surprised or shocked if a 10-year-old Dutch speaking boy would consider buying my book. Okay, so I caught it and changed it into at least the English speaking part of the world, in particular, the countries where Amazon claims my books are most popular in. I also adjusted my targeting audience.
Next were the keywords. Thanks to KWFinder I had a nice list of keywords that should attract the right kind of people. Only to run into a slight glitch. You see, Facebook had a lot of keywords, but not always the ones you’re looking for. For instance, it does have ‘GAY PRIDE’ but not the word ‘GAY’ alone. Sigh.
After toying around with it, (read me typing in random words in hopes of finding some useful ones) I got a list that I was pretty happy with.
Setting my budget of max € 20,=, spread over 3 days (the amount of my free coupon), Facebook estimates I should be able to reach around 9.000 people… That wouldn’t be a bad thing. If only 1 percent actually clicks on the Amazon link and would buy it….
At the end of my promotion, I have reached 251people (meaning they saw my ad), with an involvement of 121 people (meaning they reacted to it, either by comments, likes, clicks or shares). Only 1 person actually clicked on the Amazon link.
Success? Failure? Hmm hard to say.
The promised 9000 people reached? >> I think it’s safe to say that was an epic failure.
But for the rest. I still got 1 sell through this free ad. And like I said, I didn’t really put much effort in the ad itself. Coincidently though, and I have no clue if this is related to the ad, but in the 2 days after my ad stopped running, I sold almost the same as I did in the whole first week… Coincidence?
Would I do it again? Not any time soon, unless of course, Facebook thinks me so good to give me a free coupon again. I think I’ll wait a bit until the next book is out (hopefully soon).