Facebook, with its one billion users, seems like the best place to promote your latest book; am I right?
However, with recent changes to the social media behemoth, updated posts that you make on your company page will only be visible if someone visits your page. Gone are the days when your post would appear on the news feed of everyone that liked your page.
In the olden days (last year) once someone liked your page everything you wrote would be handed to them on a silver platter. Not so much anymore.
Even your personal page friends no longer see your updates unless they have decided to “follow” you as well as be your friend.
So how do you promote your self-published book on Facebook?
Sadly, the most effective way comes with a price. There are a variety of ways to advertise via Facebook but today we will focus on the easiest and most effective:
Boosting a Facebook Post
When you boost a post it is like giving your car a little extra gas to get up the hill. For a finite dollar amount (and you decide the budget) you are able to promote your update and have it appear in the news feed of people on Facebook.
Let’s talk dollars and cents.
I typically spend $5.00 to boost a post. It is the smallest amount Facebook allows you to spend and yet it is enough to get my update in front of my designated audience.
Take a look at these two examples. The first is an update on the Facebook page for Halo Publishing that was NOT boosted.
You can see that 45 people were reached. Now to put that in perspective, understand that the Halo Facebook page has 8367 followers. So I reached less than ONE PERCENT of my audience.
Compare that to a post that I boosted.
I reached TWO THOUSAND people MORE than follow my page. That means that this particular update that links to a blog article I wrote appeared in the news feed of over 10,000 people.
Let’s talk about your audience.
One of the unique components of advertising on Facebook compared to Google ad words is that you can select the gender, age and location of your recipient.
Not only that, you are also able to reach people that didn’t even know your page existed. Typically when I boost a post I not only see an increase in traffic to my blog, I also see an increase in people that like my page. Win-Win.
When you boost your post, a pop-up box gives you the option to select:
- The audience
- The location
- The dollar amount
When you select the audience, the default is to send the post to the people that like your page. However, if you want to customize the audience, you can pick cities, states and countries. You are able to select the age and gender as well as incorporate specific key words.
You may want to experiment with the audience and measure your results. You can create custom audiences depending on the subject of your post.
After you have selected the audience, you can select the amount of money you want to spend and determine over how many days you want the campaign to last.
If you are going to boost a post once a week then you may want to have each campaign be focused over one or two days. Once you select a dollar amount, Facebook gives you an idea of how many people that will reach based on the audience criteria you have selected.
Now let’s talk about which posts to boost.
Lastly, you’ll want to determine which posts you support with a financial commitment. My recommendation is that you select posts that drive traffic to your book page, your blog or a press release. It doesn’t make sense to boost posts that you’ve liked from other pages as that will just drive traffic away from your books.
Bottom Line: The best way to see what works is to experiment. The Facebook community is active and supportive. The more people see your post, the more likely they are to Like, Share and Click over to your website.
There are two other ways to advertise on Facebook; sponsored ads and actual ads that appear on the side bar of the page. Marie Page has done an excellent job of comparing the three marketing methods in her article: Facebook boost vs. ads.