God knows how long ago, but a while back I was looking into the Facebook ad campaign options for Black Ring.  At the time I didn’t go through with it; I just wanted to see what the pricing, GUI, etc. were like.  Well, I get an email this week saying that I have a $50 credit toward Fb ads, apparently because I wasn’t fully swayed during my first encounter with the system.  (To those who don’t know: Vistaprint does something similar.  Create a design, leave the site, and bam.  Coupon in your email to finish what you started.)

After doing some research, specifically the trials and tribulations of Matt over at Guerilla Wordfare, I chose to do two test runs.  The image attached is of the final results of the first run.  “Generic” was targeting Pennsylvanians with the broad category of Activities > Literature/Reading.  “Specific” targeted Pennsylvanians with the precise interests of “novels” and “fiction.”  Both had $10 budgeted over each of their lifetimes, which in these cases lasted from March 1 through March 7, coinciding with the first week after the 99 cent sale.  Both linked to the Info tab of the Coincidence: The Novel Facebook page, which included its Amazon links.  Both were also Pay for Clicks (CPC).


Now for the uninitiated, the CPC option is best for a product.  It can show up on someone’s Facebook a thousand times, but it won’t cost you a cent until someone actually clicks the link, which in this situation is what you want people to do.  The money isn’t touched unless the link becomes what some would call “effective.”  Once someone actually clicks, it’s completely up to you and your ability to sell through the Facebook page (or whatever link you have it going to).  CPM may be cheaper, but it’s more for show, branding, better PR, whatever you want to call it.  Viewing the ad itself is the desired result with CPM.  So CPM isn’t really appropriate for me unless I wanted “Nace Phlaux is awesome, well-endowed, and worshiped by the people of Hibberts Gore, Maine” running in the backs of my targets’ minds.

The Experiment

I started the first day with the bids set to the minimum (2 cents).  Nothing.  Half day of 5 cents?  Nothing.  2 cents below the suggested price of each?  Nothing.  Finally I picked the minimum suggested bid and got somewhere.

At first, Generic seemed to be the obvious winner.  It had the higher reach, more clicks (again, at first), and the better social reach.  However, the price seemed to go up every time I checked it.  Finally, I lost my patience and selected the maximum suggested bid.  It ran out of money and only achieved 12.5% Likes out of its clicks.

Specific, however, ended its lifetime with more favorable results.  With more clicks, 90% of those clicking Like, Specific came out on top.  It’s also worth noting that it ran its course, not its money.  Only a little more than half of its budget was spent.

The Results

A jump in Likes.  Sales?  None.  Not bad for a test run, but it still would’ve been nice if one person moved on to purchase/borrow the book.  Since I ran the campaign, though, Facebook has offered an additional $100 credit if I jump through some hoops.  I’m thinking I may try that next week, but this time I’ll have the link go directly to Amazon.  I had read external links were more expensive, but I’m not seeing a difference in price with the suggested bids.  Maybe it’s something I won’t uncover until it’s in full swing.

Overall, I’m content (if not a little underwhelmed) by the experiment.  But it was free and didn’t negatively affect me/the book thus far.  I read where others purchased a $50 credit for $8, so there’s that if you’re interested in trying it for yourself.  If you’ve found your results to be staggering or horrifying, feel free to let me know.  I’d like to continue with the testing and would appreciate others’ anecdotes.