Merry Christmas from Facebook… The changes rolling out across that social network won’t please you if your author marketing depends on Facebook.
Just when you’ve got everything set up for 2018, Facebook rolls out another change. I thought my own marketing plans were set for the first quarter of 2018, now I’ll need to rethink them.
Author marketing on Facebook: pay up
So, what’s happening? The latest changes affect authors who are currently marketing on Facebook, and of course those who want to include Facebook in their marketing in 2018.
One change which will be appreciated by many is that Facebook has decided to control clickbait. Unfortunately, the primary algorithm change which directly concerns authors who are advertising on Facebook is the withering of organic reach.
If you thought your organic reach had withered, you’re right
in Facebook’s words: “organic reach” is:
… the total number of unique people who were shown your post through unpaid distribution. Paid reach is the total number of unique people who were shown your post as a result of ads. Total reach is the number of unique people who saw your posts, regardless of where they saw it.
In 2018, your organic reach will be abysmal. It probably is now, I know that mine is… it’s woeful. This means that only a tiny portion of your pages’ followers will see your updates in their newsfeed. If you want to be visible, you’ll need to pay.
Unfortunately, paying to advertise their books doesn’t work for many authors. From How The New Facebook Algorithms Affect Authors:
If the cost-per-click or cost-per-conversion continues to rise at the rate it currently does, the ROI of Facebook ads that try to send people to the Kindle Store to buy a $2.99 ebook is simply no longer there (if it ever has been.) Running ads will be by definition be an expense or luxury, not a way of generating a direct positive return from resulting book sales.
In other words, if you’re paying $2.50 per click, and you need ten clicks to make a sale, you just invested $25 for a return of roughly $2.
I know that many authors maintain: “I don’t need a blog, I’ve got a Facebook page.” Well yes — but now your Facebook page is invisible.
Unless you pay.
Is there a solution? Yes, there is, but you’ll need to make changes; you’ll also need to recognize that Facebook is a walled garden.
Is your content trapped on Facebook?
Facebook is a walled garden, so any content you post on the site is seen only on Facebook. It’s not searchable via Google et al.
I advised against blogging on a site you don’t control in Blogging Dangerously: Oops Medium (Cough) Posterous:
That’s the lesson to take away from all those freebie blogging platforms which seem amazing, but over which you have zero control, and which are — POOF — gone. Your blog is just a single decision away from closing — a decision which is made by someone else.
As MarketingLand suggests:
If your marketing strategy hinges on promotion and distribution on third-party networks, you don’t own any of that data, and you’ll never be sure how your product is shown or discovered on the platform.
Your author marketing in 2018: do it on your own blog
I’m very pleased that I managed to make Content Witchery available before the new year.
From that page:
CONTENT to the rescue…
People respond to content. It attracts attention, and ultimately drives action.
Provide content, and you’ll get great clients, and if you’re self-publishing, you’ll sell more books, even though you’re publishing fewer books.
In summary, your author marketing in 2018 will depend on the content YOU control; not Facebook. If you’re heavily reliant on Facebook, Content Witchery helps you to get control of your content — and make more sales.
You can, when you discover the secrets of writing blurbs (book descriptions) which sell.
You can rescue books which aren't selling, and have confidence that your new books will have the best chance to find their audience.More info →
You're a busy author -- you don't have time to market your books, because you're busy writing.
Here's a cruel fact: unless you make time to market your books, you'll have minimal sales. Perhaps zero sales.More info →
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