Those that have worked in mobile and social games can appreciate the concept of virality, that tipping point where when you send it to one person, they send it one person, who sends it to other people, which continues to fork broadly. Facebook ads use their meta-data on users to help target most likely targets for your ad. You can target your friend’s-friends, or the public at large. Interestingly enough, it costs slightly more to reach your friend’s friends than the general public.
The good news is you no longer have to throw large sums to do a Facebook campaign. You can actually throw ANY amount at it. If you want to reach a few thousand people, you can do it with $10. That’s pretty cool.
Now, the messages have to be crafted to attract the right people and convince them to click. This is standard pay-per-click strategy stuff. Don’t just “promote” a general post. Instead, craft it along the following:
– Two-Three SHORT, punchy sentences
– Get their attention and enable them to identify your message is right for them (Like Science Fiction?)
– Get the product name in (D’mok Revival: Awakening by Michael Zummo.)
– Get quickly across the value proposition (Top 20 Science Fiction Saga on Amazon)
– Include an action statement like “Get it now!” (This is the call-to-action)
– Include a time-boxing to create urgency “Today only!” or “On Sale Today!”
– Image of the product will help
Like Science Fiction? Get D’mok Revival: Awakening by Michael Zummo, on Amazon’s Top 20 Science Fiction Alien Invasion stories. On sale today: $2.99!
The better crafted your message, the more your target will be able to identify it as important to them.
In order to determine pertinent information and the appropriate call-to-action, you need to understand where in the consumer sales funnel you’re trying to hit. If your series is new and no one knows about it, a general awareness campaign may be better. In this case, send people to a free preview of your book. If you’re trying to appeal to those that know about your story but have yet to purchase it, perhaps a more sales focused message will help convince them like “On Sale Today.”
The bottom line is this: be deliberate about your messaging. Know what your goal is. And try to track your progress.
For instance, if you have a URL going to your site add a tracking tag on the end like ?tracking=Nov2013Promo. This does not hurt the URL and creates additional information in your server logs (or Google Analytics) for you to see how many people really followed THAT promotion. If you’re going directly to Amazon, I have yet to find a good way to trace it, other than watching your actual purchase numbers and trying to make weak correlations between the promo and the sales. This also doesn’t help you track the long-tail purchases that happen as a result of your promotion but after it ended, or the resulting word-of-mouth traffic it generates that leads to later sales.
This isn’t an exact science, and it’s different for each book and market. Try things out knowing you’re going to evolve your messages, links, and even targets over time.