Should you Pay $5 to Promote Your Facebook Post?

If you have a professional Page on Facebook like me, I bet that every time you post something, you are constantly asked if you would like to Boost or Promote your post. So, after having it thrown in my face everyday, I finally decided to investigate to see what Facebook claims what level of exposure they can do for me if I choose to hand them my money.

First, this service becomes available to all Facebook Professional Pages once they have over 400 Likes. $5 is the minimum you can spend to promote your post, so I wanted to do some analysis to see if the ROI is worth it or not. On my page, for a $5 budget, it says, “This budget will reach an estimated 1,200 – 2,300 out of your potential audience of 140,000 people.” The more Likes you have, the higher this estimated number will be. In addition, the higher your budget, the more your estimated reach is. For example, if I spend $30, it says it will reach an estimated “4,100 – 7,700 people”. However, keep in mind that the reach you see when you promote your Page post is an estimate and may be affected by how many other promoted Page posts are running at that time.

This video shows what they claim it can do – that your promoted post will appear in the regular News feed and your exposure/audience will increase as a result. Everytime one of your followers interacts with your Promoted Post (either via a Like, a Comment, or a Share) your promoted post will become viewable to that person’s friends (and so on).

This is different from a Facebook Ad. FB ads show up to the right of the News Feed, and if look at this analysis of user’s Visual Attention Level as to what user’s look at on Facebook, you’ll see that Facebook Ads are just about useless, but Promoted Posts are great!

Source: AllFacebook.com

But in order for it to be worthwhile, business logic tells you that you need to get a Return on your Investment (ROI) for any marketing endeavor. So, as an author with a book for sale on Amazon for $0.99 (and I earn $0.35 per sale of the book), I would have to sell 15 copies of my book in order to make a profit from spending $5 on promoting my Facebook post. 

  • 15 x $0.35 = $5.25 (So I would come out ahead with a shiny quarter!)

However, maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way. Maybe I shouldn’t be thinking of money as my Return on Investment (ROI), but I should be thinking about new readers as my ROI. If this $5 gets me a single new reader that loves my book, his/her enthusiasm for my book will in-turn convince others to purchase my book. (AKA a Maven, as stated in one of my earlier posts). Such a reader would be called a fan, and building a fan-base is the lifeblood of every author. Fans will most likely purchase your other books and continue to write great reviews.

So, it appears that promoting a post on FB, especially if you are advertising a sale, is a good way to go. You may want to think about posting it during an optimal time of the day, when most people are on Facebook and can engage with your post. If anyone has promoted their Page posts before, please feel free to share your experiences below.

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I am Composing a Short Story!

If you have read my previous post, you should know that my bio/resume as an author is pretty non-existent. I wrote a 100,000 word manuscript, and that’s about it. But composing a short story isn’t just to boost my resume as an author, it’s to prove that my writing and my story are good enough. So last night, I began composing my first short story.

My story is set in the world of Thornwall that I have created for my novel. It even involves some of my favorite characters from it too, set before the events of my novel take place. I have chosen this route for many reasons:

1) Leverage. I have already dedicated a lot of time into creating this world, so showing other aspects of it through a short story is always a plus.

2) Recognition. When this short story becomes published (and hopefully wins a contest or two) then it gives credit to THE SOUL SMITH. It is a statement that my characters, my writing, and the fantasy elements of my world are worthy of an agent’s attention.

3) Fans. Any fans of my novel will love to be rewarded with a short tale that involves some of the characters; where they came from, how they met, etc. None of this would be possible without a readership, so doing everything I can to engage them is important.

4) Marketing. My name and readership will grow if my story is published and/or wins a contest. Once posted on my website, I can drive more traffic there, get more online followers, etc. Being “publishing ready” is important to agents. Additionally, I could throw in a tag line at the end to say something like, “Do you crave more? Be sure to read Adrian V. Diglio’s novel: THE SOUL SMITH”.

5) Characters. These were some of my favorite characters from my novel and I wanted to give them the spotlight.

6) SFWA Associate Membership. After getting one short story sold, I can become an associate member and therefor further my author resume/bio.

So here is my plan. I will submit my writing to Critters Writer’s Workshop to obtain additional critique. (By the way, I am blown away at the membership they have. They have Nebula Award winning authors, and presidents of SFWA, it’s insane!) Then I plan on submitting to fantasy magazines like Light Speed that pay you if they publish your short story. Sure, they have to accept your submission, but I am confidant. They pay you 5 cents a word and they prefer stories that hang around 5,000 words in length. That’s $250 and publishing credit! I would additionally try submitting to these other places that buy short stories: Llist provided by SFWA.  With money like that I will use to pay the entry fees for submitting the same short story to multiple writing contests. At my first glance, I noticed that short story contests have an entry fee anywhere from $10-$40, but you usually get a magazine subscription or something as part of it. If my short story wins… then the prize money will be money in my pocket, plus bragging rights for me! The prize money for winning a contest is usually $250 – $1,000. That’s not why I’m doing this, but it would be a nice bonus.

That’s my plan anyways. We will see how well it is executed. Though, I think this is the path to success that any new author of fiction should take.