Marketing: a Facebook Experience

As I stagger through the bewildering jungle that is marketing I look, just like so many other lost souls probably, for something that might make a little sense. I have been on Facebook for sometime now, so it seemed reasonable that I try their adverts to try and garner a greater interest in my books. I composed and advert with the intention of selling more copies of my epic fantasy, The Queen of the Mountain Kingdom. I dropped the price to $0.99. I set my budget to £20 and the advert to run over 4 days. I chose the following list of countries for it to appear in based on the percentage of the population that spoke English and their probable interest in a fantasy novel:

  • Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Switzerland, Cyprus, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United States, South Africa (37 in total)

It is my fault, I know, but for some reason Facebook decided to amend my list of preferred countries to this:

  • Andorra, Netherlands Antilles, Austria, Australia, Åland Islands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Saint Barthélemy, Canada, Switzerland, Cameroon, Cyprus, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, United Kingdom, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Poland, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, French Southern Territories, United States Minor Outlying Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands and South Africa (48 in total)

Perhaps the excitement got to me, but I just did not spot those additional countries being slotted in there! I have used different audience details on previous adverts and never noticed this happening before. I put a ‘Shop Now’ button on the advert to encourage prospective customers to take advantage of the offer of buying a long book at a short price.

According to Facebook my advert results were:

  • Reach: 26145
  • Engagement: 2823
  • Reactions: 2745
  • Cost per engagement £0.01
  • Link clicks: 160
  • Post comments: 13
  • Post shares: 5

According the vendor to who’s website my advert directed these potential customers I sold 0 (zero) books!

The number of people who like my author’s page on Facebook went up to 455, which is always good to see, but none of them appeared to be from the target countries that I had originally intended. They seem to have come from people living in the countries that Facebook automatically added to my list.

As a marketing exercise I think that I will put this one down as a failure. The purpose was to sell more books, which clearly did not happen. However, as with most experiences there was something to learn from it. If I decide to use Facebook adverts again I am going to keep a closer eye on the audience details list. Certain books appeal to certain people and it seems a waste of my time and money if adverts like this are being aimed at people who are not likely to be interested in the product that I am offering.

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