Blog #6 As President Trump said About Social Media, “It’s Where It’s At” How I Generate a 300% ROI Using SM to Promote My Book
As we approach the launch date for my new novel – Attack on Nantucket (3.17.17) I have been executing our social media marketing plan. This has included FB, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Amazon.
First, some information on creating ads on these platforms – overall, it is rather easy – but you can quickly spend a lot. You need to, of course, have the landing page – so that means you need to create your FB, Twitter and Amazon Author pages and have them all link back to your website. Don’t run any social media campaigns without a website to act as an anchor – which will also allow you to convey much more information than you can fit in a Tweet or a post.
I will discuss in a future blog the effort and steps to create a website – but in a sentence – you need to reserve the url(s), hire a web dev company, get some graphics – and most importantly design the website to have your social media feeds integrated into the home page on the side bar.
Now back to the social media plan – advertising on social media can run up a lot of expense quickly if you do not put limits on your campaigns. And social media impressions have a half-life of about a nanosecond so knowing how to create the campaign and on which platform to run is key.
All of the social media platforms have easy-to-use tools that let you define your campaigns – they typically include defining the demos for your ad – age, sex and geographic locales. They also typically let your further target your ads by keywords – and you can have some fun with this. You can tailgate on others by leveraging keywords that are momentarily popular – like for this week #SCOTUS, #Gorsuch, #Superbowl, #Ban – but in general with social media you want to target your audience as specifically as you can. I’ll give you another example. My book is a techno-thriller about the US president, an ex-naval aviator, whose family is kidnapped while on vacation on Nantucket.
If you were drawing the population of people interested in my book as a Venn diagram you would have three circles – people who like techno-thrillers (readers of Ludlum, Clancy, Coonts, Grisham & Herman); people interested in aviation – Navy Aviation; and people who know or like Nantucket (ACK).
With that in mind, I ran a lot of campaigns that targeted for example –San Diego, specifically Coronado Island (where many Navy aviators live and retire to). I also run a lot of campaigns for Nantucket – clearly use Nantucket as a keyword but also Hyannis, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, Boston and Massachusetts. You get the point.
Once you have covered the main groups in your target market — you can then have some fun going into hyper-targeted groups – for example, there is a scene in the book that takes place at Tortilla Flats – a legendary bar in the West Village of Manhattan. So Tortilla Flats fans become a hyper-targeted group to hit via SM for my book.
Knowing the demos of each SM platform – if you want to reach the over 40 crowd use FB, for younger folks Instagram – and younger still Snapchat. Twitter is excellent for a one-to-many broadcast – and LinkedIn is a gold mine for business people. LinkedIn is very good too – for both contacts and marketing – I think in many ways it is much more effective than FB. Amazon is an amazing (no pun intended) platform for people who read (and actually buy books).
You would not consider Amazon as a SM platform and it really isn’t unless you happen to be selling a book. If you are selling a book I have found it to be my best ROI from a SM ad campaign perspective. Again, you can target you ad on Amazon to keywords for interest or products. I run multiple campaigns – some topical around other books that have been released – to ride some of their publicity, I run campaigns around authors of books within my genre and I run campaigns around popular books/people. For example, I used Born to Run the bestselling Bruce Springsteen book as a keyword. I also ran a campaign on Leigh Gallagher’s new book about Airbnb.
One of my ads on Amazon had the following metrics – cost: $13.24, 11,010 impressions, 39 clicks but it generated 6 orders for my book – which drove $53.70 in revenue. Think about that – a $13 spend drove $53 in revenue– for a 308% ROI.
The net is I will be spending much more with Amazon than with Twitter or FB.
My SM plan is built around five platforms – FB, Instagram & Twitter to generate mass market interest. And then my jewel – for books – is Amazon. It is the best platform to generate interest from people who buy books. If I only had one dollar to spend on SM for a book it would be with Amazon.
I wrote an earlier article about why I like Amazon – which had nothing to do with books or writers – I was writing about using Amazon to purchase items and gifts. But the more I use Amazon the more I am convinced this is the future of B2C commerce. From a stock perspective I would short malls and be long Amazon.
FB is very good to getting to a large audience quickly and you can generate a lot of followers or likes – but you need a concentrated effort to create some momentum. FB is good for visuals and a little bit of text. Put in a web link in everything you promote btw. I have run over 75 campaigns on FB for a total budget of a little less than $3,000 for that I have sent out thousands of impressions. A good campaign for me typically gets a 5% click rate – but recently as interest builds to the launch of my book (3.17.17) the metrics have improved. One of my campaigns had a record setting 45% click through rate (1598 post engagements on 3561 reaches).
In general, I find FB to be a mass marketing channel.
My Twitter ads run about a 3% hit rate in terms of clicks which is not great but what I like about Twitter is I can do some targeted outreach. Again my book will appeal to fans of the US military so Twitter always me to easily target Tweets to USNA, USMA and USAFA – which to the uninitiated is The US Naval Academy (Annapolis, MD), US Military Academy (Army West Point, NY) and the US Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, CO). Twitter also lets you have more dialogue with people – so I can send a Tweet our to an individual about the book and often get a response – and the upside is if they re-tweet your tweet. So reaching out to the right set of people on Twitter in your subject matter who have a good following can help broadcast your message. I have also had success with this on Instagram. And both platforms show you how many followers someone has (at least for now).
A side note – YouTube – I think this is also a very powerful SM channel – perhaps not for books – at least not until the book becomes a hit. As many of you know, I collect cars – so I put up a video on one of my cars an 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado. I put the video using my iPhone 6S, at no-cost it has generated over 2,800 hits – and it is a nine minute video. As Casey Neistat has discovered – there is power and opportunity in YouTube – so I am a fan of YouTube as a powerful SM channel.
It has been an educational journey the marketing of my book via SM. Because of my background in tech I am a firm believer in the use of technology as a mode of communication. Whether you are selling Volvos, promoting your school or church – or selling a book – as President Trump said about social media – “It’s where it’s at.”
In closing, keep in mind, you are reading this via a social media channel. My advice is to leverage SM for your business it doesn’t matter if it is B2C or B2B there is opportunity to connect and communicate via SM with your current and future customers – create a budget, be creative about it, measure its effectiveness – it takes a lot of effort to do it right but it really is – where it’s at.