It was a little slow getting started, since it took some time for me to really understand how Fan Pages actually worked. As an author of very niche books, I am really excited about the passion and energy that people bring to the Fan Page.
Now that I have been running this Facebook Fan Page for a while, I thought I might share a few observations:
- The Facebook Insights tool has gotten progressively better. You can actually get some interesting social intelligence from the analytics. It has a way to go before it as useful as Google Analytics, but hopefully the Insights team will continue to innovate.
- Traffic and engagement is directly related to the frequency of my posts. If I post infrequently, it seems like the page loses steam, so I try to post something new about once every two or three days.
- Posts with pictures tend to get more response. This isn’t really a surprise, since Facebook’s stark white background and spartan design seems to really make pictures pop on the page.
- Mondays and Tuesdays generate the highest response rate. Weekends and holidays are like a wasteland. Not sure if this follows some kind of typical Internet curve, but I have noticed the same trend with my search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns.
- Facebook advertising is very affordable and has delivered a surprisingly strong return on investment (ROI). At one time, all of my (modest) advertising dollars went directly to Google AdWords for SEM campaigns. I tried Bing and Microsoft Adcenter, Yahoo, and Ask, but none of those worked as well as Google. But now, for lil ol’ me, I just can’t keep up with Google’s minimum bids for my SEM campaigns. It’s gotten too competitive for an independent author. I can’t justify the budget for the number of books that I sell. So I changed my strategy recently and now I’ve been getting traction with Facebook Ads. The targeting is really good and the initial bids are relatively low.
- I’m trying to connect the content on my ComicBookSchool.com website with the content on Facebook. So far, the most effective approach has been by running contests. Contests are a bit expensive for me, since I have to pay for the prizes and ship them, but they sure do get people involved and talking.
From a marketing perspective, I’ve yet to see if my content strategy on Facebook is actually selling books. I hope that I do sell books because I need the dough to make more books.
But more than anything else, it has connected me to my audience. And it’s not just some idle engagement, like a quick note or compliment. It’s real, sustained relationships, including people whom I have met at live conferences and events. People are talking with me AND amongst themselves.
That’s something that goes beyond basic marketing and promotion. That’s real social engagement. And for now, that’s all happening on Facebook Fan Pages.