Results of My Ad Campaign to Increase Facebook Likes

Anything useful is constructed one piece at a time and sometimes with a lot of shifting of pieces to get it right.

Most useful things are constructed one piece at a time – and the pieces shift before they’re finally right. (Image (c) Meredith Ann Rutter)

Last weekend I sprang for $120 across two days for a Facebook ad campaign to increase the Likes on my Yours In Books FB page. The true felt-cost was really only $65 thanks to a $55 “windfall” check from my brother a few weeks ago, tying up a loose end from our deceased father’s estate otherwise distributed years ago. It seemed appropriate to use the found money toward improving the reach of my book-oriented social network, since one of the last things my dad said to me was that I shouldn’t question my ability to write and get published. His belief rings in my ear like church bells, full of hope and support. And now a little wad of money, too.

I started the ad campaign with 46 Likes on my page, of which 72% (or 33) were personal friends/family. In the more than two years since I started the page, it had attracted only 13 Likes from people who weren’t already in my network. Pitiful, except for the silver lining, namely that my errors got only limited visibility while I learned the ropes. This is why “they say” you should get started early on these things, well before any book of yours might be published. But now, as I’m hard at work on a near-final draft (please oh please), it’s time to nudge the Likes upward a bit.

Facebook makes it very easy to create the ad you want within the budget you specify. Very easy. It even allows you to easily create one-offs of the basic ad in order to learn which image or wording attracts more attention. Thanks to this option, I used the same wording with four wildly different images: (a) my bathrobed arms typing on my laptop, (b) my picture – the same one you see in the right margin near the top of this page, (c) a friend’s precious gray kitten, and (d) a sepia photo-studio print of three siblings ages 8 mos to 6 yrs sitting next to each other. Care to guess which caused the most clicks? The least clicks? I’ll give you a moment to think through a rationale for your guesses.

One of the images was far, far, and away the most effective, to such a degree that midway through the test I put a permanent pause on the other three images. As of that moment, the least effective in garnering clicks was the kitten (just barely less effective than the picture of me)–in fact, you could say that both were completely INeffective. The most effective, by far, was the sepia photo of the children.

Of course, the true test in this sort of campaign is whether, when the clicking-people reach the FB page, they like what they see and say so by clicking on the Like button. I’d say I had good results. Over the weekend my total Likes grew from 46 to 179, which was a 289% increase in page Likes. And it kept growing a little, now at 190 Likes, perhaps because a few people have recommended the page to some friends. (I do see a few of my friends have recently joined in, too, unrelated to the ad campaign. Thanks, guys!)

If you’re on Facebook but haven’t yet been to its Yours In Books page, click on the button near the top right-hand margin here (the Facebook label associated with my picture) and take a look. Any posts I make to this blog are automatically linked there, but I also post items that aren’t on this blog at all. For FB users, I think that’s the best way to stay abreast of what Yours In Books finds useful or interesting in the book biz on a more daily basis than my relatively far-between blog posts.

So, did you guess the most/least effective images correctly? And if you’re on Facebook have you Liked the Yours In Books page?

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