Facebook has recently changed its algorithm.
I can say that with surety because it’s always true. The one thing you can count on is the talented algorithm developers behind Facebook will be tweaking and fiddling. Sometimes big and sometimes not so big. Whatever they do will usually affect our organic reach and advertising in some way. Nobody has time to keep up with everything that Facebook is up to, and yet if you are planning to buy ads, Facebook is the one place where someone who is not an advertising professional can develop and buy an ad that will sell books. So, what are you to do?
Online services are constantly changing, usually with little or no notice. I try to discover the product goals for any online service I use. I may not be able to predict the next move, but if I keep in mind where they want to go, I make better decisions.
Chris Cox, Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, said in a 2015 Time Magazine interview
If you could rate everything that happened on Earth today that was published anywhere by any of your friends, any of your family, any news source…and then pick the 10 that were the most meaningful to know today, that would be a really cool service for us to build,” says Chris Cox,
Are your posts one of those 10?
So, before you go hit that “spend” button take a few minutes and see if you are doing everything you can to maximize your organic (AKA free) reach on Facebook. The simple reason to do this is because, well, it’s free. However, there is another; your organic reach on Facebook can help or hinder your ad reach. This is something I have noticed over the past year and is wholly in line with Chris Cox’s statement above. When SavvyAuthors posts some really engaging content, my ad costs go down and my ad reach goes up. So what that means is as the SavvyAuthors page gets more interactions, Facebook algorithms are favoring my ads. Today when Facebook is mostly becoming less of a social network and more of advertising channel that’s big.
And what about your complete marketing strategy?
Your Facebook ads and posts are one part of a total marketing strategy. You have one, right? Before you buy a single ad take a moment and think everything you do to market your book. If it’s not where you want it to be consider taking sprucing it up before you buy an ad. I’ve come up with 5 things to consider, sort of a social strategy tune up.
Make your owned assets more valuable.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the next big platform are going to change. They will come and go but what will not are things that you own. What are those? Your author’s page, for one. Content you wholly control. When is the last time you updated your website? That picture from 2005 is getting a bit dated? People notice old images and outdated layouts. If you are not tech savvy and short on the funds to hire a professional designer, try some of the excellent tools like Weebly and Wix. Update your site so that any ad you buy sends someone to a site that beautifully represents you as the professional author you are.
Beef up your newsletter.
Your newsletter subscriber list is one of your owned assets and perhaps the most valuable one you have. Use a great template for your newsletter and sent out fun and compelling content. Buy ads that convert people into newsletter subscribers. A valid subscriber for your newsletter is someone who has stated categorically they are interested in your books and what you have to say. That is pure advertising gold. Newsletters are still one of the BEST investments you can make in your advertising strategy. If you don’t have a newsletter, get one now.
Post interesting stuff.
OK, everyone says this but it’s worth repeating. POST INTERESTING STUFF. You are an author and do research for your books. Post the research. You have found a great new website or tool. Post it and why you love it. You read a fantastic blog article about craft or living or anything positive and fun (yes, Kitteh videos, too), post it and personalize it with why you love it. All your posts should have images. If your post turns into a tome, make it blog article and then post the link to that! Distribute the great information in your newsletter.
Post buy links judiciously.
Post news about your latest book. Post covers. Post your appearances or classes you are teaching. You do a lot as an author to release and market a new book. Post the steps; it’s likely to be appealing to fellow authors who are also your readers. The key to this is not to just post the buy link and book cover. Post things about the new release and by the way include those…or link to your amazing website that has all your books or offer them a great short read if they sign up for your newsletter, which will also have the buy link for your books. Be creative about your books and how to sell them.
Post other wonderful books from fellow authors.
You know how hard it is to choose what to read next. OMG if I could have back half of the time I spend perusing Goodreads looking for that next book I could finish my book and the next one in half the time! Your readers are going to read other books. I know, it’s sad and a small betrayal, but there it is. Help them find books you love! And when you do this be sure the author knows you are sending eyes their way. Networking is always a plus.
After you review all this and think about it, then, by all means, dive into Facebook advertising. Facebook has done an outstanding job providing tools that are powerful enough to help someone with minimal experience have a successful ad campaign. You can very likely do it on your own, I did and with only a few bobbles had my ads up and running and doing pretty well in a few weeks. However, if you want some help, I’m teaching a class starting Monday here at SavvyAuthors, and I would love to see you there!
- The site director and owner of SavvyAuthors.com where she sits behind the curtain most days turning interweb knobs and twisting network dials.
- A complete and total slacker-writer who, if she does not get off her laurels and WRITE, is going to be flayed by the very talented writers who keep SavvyAuthors going.
- A rabid hiker who, when not on the trail, pours over the REI catalog, Sierra Trading Post website, and tries to justify buying more gear to shave another 1/2 ounce off her base pack weight.
- A medical device consultant who, when not hiking or thinking about hiking, occasionally works helping companies bring exceptionally cool and useful medical devices to market.
- A biology and chemistry Adjunct Professor at SouthMountain Community College. GO COUGARS!
- An enthusiastic grandmother of the two cutest babies on the planet!!!!
OK, I’m out..time to sort the latest crisis is to afflict SavvyAuthors ;-).