I Paid to Boost a Facebook Post and This is What Happened:

Hi All!

I wrote this holiday short story that I just love, The Group Seduction, that released toward the end of November, 2013. (You can find out more about it on my Home Page.) I don’t know whether it was the timing of the release – about a week before Thanksgiving/Chanukah, or that it was a short story at the $0.99 price point, or if it got swallowed up in the flood of e-books available for purchase, but the story didn’t sell near as well as I’d hoped.

Since The Group Seduction was published via a small press publisher, my royalty on each book sold will probably come out to be around $0.12. No, I never expected this story to be a big moneymaker. But I had hoped women, and maybe some men, would read it and relate to it and maybe, just maybe, get the courage to do what Bella did – take a risk to save her marriage.

What I love about small press publishing is their ability to get a book out within weeks, which is what happened with The Group Seduction. The downside of this is very little time for advance promomotion and setting up some blog visits. Most of the big book blogs schedule posts months in advance. So I tried to think of other, inexpensive ways I could promo the story.

I tweeted and posted on Facebook. But I got frustrated because, according to my FB stats, out of the 568 people who have liked my FB Author Page, (and feel free to do that now if you have a minute!) only between 68 and 229 people were actually seeing my promo posts. (And the 229 was when I’d managed to get some conversation comments going.)

So I decided to pay to boost a post on FB about an excellent review The Group Seduction received.

And here’s what happened:

I opted to spend $15.00 and to reach people who had liked my FB page and their friends. (I could have done a targeted promotion for fans of romance of a certain age and other pre-determined, specific criteria but chose not to.) Of note, the process was very quick and easy.

According to my FB stats this is what my $15.00 bought me:

Paid reach: 2,337

Engagement: 85 (Of note, most of the comments were from people who regulary interacted with my FB page.)

15 photo clicks

16 link clicks

2 page likes

The review in the post I boosted had a buy link for Amazon. According to Novel Rank (which is an estimate of Amazon sales), I sold 1 copy of The Group Seduction in the 24-hour period the post was ‘boosted’ on Facebook.

Was the price worth it? In my opinion, yes.  If nothing else, it was a learning experience. And there are a lot of variables I couldn’t measure. Maybe people purchased The Group Seduction on sites other than Amazon. It was a busy time of year, maybe people didn’t see the post during the 24 hours of the promotion but a day or two later. Maybe people were too busy to think about reading during the holiday shopping frenzy but they made a note of my story and plan to read it once things settle down. (If you fall into this category, now would be a good time!)

Would I pay to boost a Facebook post again? I think so. But I’ll probably do a targeted promotion and spend more time on the post I plan to boost.

So what about you? What are your thoughts on paying for Facebook promotion of your posts? Have you tried it? Were you happy with the results?

 

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12 Comments

  • Kelly Vaughan
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    I bought your story (and really enjoyed it btw) but it took me a while to do so for various reasons: work was crazy, I clicked on the link on my phone rather than my laptop or Kindle, I saw the link first thing in the morning before work and made a mental note to buy it later – I have learned that mental notes and my brain don’t go together.

    In the end I bought it after I’d seen the link a few times and I’d broken up from school. I wasn’t thinking about planning lessons, keeping 31 very excited children calm or buying Christmas presents. It was the combination of seeing the link to the story several times, being in the right time zone and not having a million things to do that led me to buy it.

    I was always going to read it as I really enjoy your writing; I just needed the right combination of events to enable me to buy it and take the time to read it.

    I know that doesn’t answer any of your questions but I thought you might be interested from a reader’s point of view and what it was that led to me buying your story.

    Happy New Year!


  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    Thank you, Kelly! You helped me prove my point that it’s hard to measure the immediate result of paid promotion. And you also proved that readers need to see a title/link/author name multiple times before they’ll make a purchase.

    I’m SO glad you enjoyed The Group Seduction!

    Thanks for stopping by and best wishes for the new year!


  • Posted January 1, 2014 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy,

    Great observations here.
    I have resisted the urge to do the paid promo on FB because of a similar experience another author wrote about.

    Where ARE the keys to the marketing warehouse? If you find them, let me know.

    I will say that her similar experience was not done at holiday time – was that truly a variable?

    Good luck on promoting THE GROUP SEDUCTION. It’s on my TBR list.


  • Posted January 1, 2014 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Hey, Wendy,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Always helpful to know how well something works.

    I’ve heard books don’t sell well this time of year . . .

    Abbi :-)


  • Posted January 1, 2014 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    Hi Paula!!

    Welcome to my blog!

    I’ve read that people have had success with FB promotions in the form of increased page likes and such but I think it may have been with ads to promote their author pages rather than paid post boosting. I’ll need to do some more investigation.

    And for sure if I find the keys to the marketing warehouse I will share them with you!!!!

    Thanks for stopping by!


  • Posted January 1, 2014 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    Hi Abbi!

    I always try to share my experiences when I think they may help people. And I really appreciate when other authors/writers do the same.

    I’ve heard books don’t sell well this time of year either…and yet there are some books that seem to be selling amazingly well. Who knows?

    Thanks for stopping by! And I’m looking forward to your next blog post on your New Years Eve celebration!


  • Posted January 2, 2014 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing Wendy.

    I’m not on Facebook so I bought The Group Seduction after hearing about it on this blog. (Great story!)


  • Posted January 2, 2014 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    Thank you, Regina! I’m so glad you liked The Group Seduction. And thank you for being such a dedicated blog follower. I will do my best to post more often this year!


  • Posted January 2, 2014 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    I did a paid boost in October (?) for $15 or $20 and probably had very similar results. I used a bitly link to track how many people were clicking on the link I posted and since I am an indie I was able to watch my sales report on Amazon to see if it was translating into immediate sales. All in all the sales from that day and the following weekend were almost as high as the week I released. All in all I considered it to be worth the money. I plan on doing it again. Try and plan your boosts around good shopping days or other promotional opportunities to widen your reach!


  • Posted January 2, 2014 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    Hi Alexis!

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I agree that my next boost has to be better timed. Doing it during the holiday season likely had a negative impact on my results. Great idea about using a bitly link. I’m going to try that next time!

    Thanks for stopping by!


  • Tara Stearns
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy,

    There may be people, like me, who waited for it to be available for nook. :-)

    Great story.

    -Tara


  • Posted January 4, 2014 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

    Thanks, Tara!

    And thanks for the great reviews! I’m so glad you liked it!


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