1. S Barnwell
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    S Barnwell Member

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    Is paying for 'social media' marketing worth it?

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by S Barnwell, Mar 3, 2015.

    Hi,

    I will be publishing a book later this year and am in the process of trying to 'get it out there'.
    I have done some research and seen that you can pay companies to market your book (via sites like Twitter and FaceBook etc) and wondered if anyone else had had experience with these.
    It seemed quite expensive on the face of it and I was just wondering whether it was worth it . . . . .

    Thanks
     
  2. Krishan
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    Krishan Active Member

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    Paying a reputable PR company to manage the marketing of your book will likely be expensive, but should lead to some positive results. Buying likes or retweets, on the other hand, will be of no help whatsoever - indeed it might even be harmful to your efforts. This video provides an admirably clear explanation as to why this is.
     
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  3. Triad Editing
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    Triad Editing Member

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    Have people had experience sending advance copies of books to influential people in the field? For example, sending a book to a blogger or podcaster and asking for a review or mention.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Define 'expensive'.

    I would ask them for references, not necessarily recommendations, anyone can fake those. But ask them for books they've promoted in the past, what they did for the fee and what results were obtained.

    I wouldn't promote an average book. But if I had very positive reviews from a beta reader or two, then I think a marketing effort like the social media promo companies might be worth the expense.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    GoodReads is a good place to look into this. They have a core of readers that do a lot of reviews, giving books to them to review seems to be standard fare.
     
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  6. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't speak for the book industry, but having both been with people paying for social media PR and been paid myself to do social media PR work (very briefly - and there's a reason I don't do that anymore), it can go either way. It depends heavily on who you're working with, whether you know what you want to accomplish, whether both you and the PR company have realistic goals, and whether your target audience is on social media in the first place.

    For me, social media and "search engine optimization" are the two closest things to alchemy in modern society. A lot of people think "lot's of people are on Facebook, I want lots of people to buy my stuff, therefore if I must Facebook."...doesn't work like that. If you want to do well on social media, you have to have content targeted at social media and designed for social media's needs. If, for instance, your corporate client says "I need to make this boring speech by my CEO gov viral on YouTube," the proper response is hysterical laughter. Computers aren't magic, and if anything they make it HARDER to break through with your message because there are so many pieces of information competing for your attention.

    Before I get to far off on my soapbox tangent - I'll steer back to your original question. Should you buy these services or not? Well, depending on how much cash you have lying around, the question you should ask is whether the firm you are looking at has a track record of doing good things with books like yours. Just buying ads that aren't well-targeted is a nice way of throwing money down a rat-hole - so see if they have a plan, and (if so) how that plan has worked for other clients in the past. If they can prove to you that they can actually justify the expense by increasing sales, and don't try to oversell you, maybe it can work. If they promise you the moon and rage about how everyone is on social media these days and you should be too - walk away.

    My gut would be that the expense might not be worth it - but that probably depends on how much you can afford to pay for, how established you are as an author, etc. A lot of these ads are going to have pretty low "click rates" compared to the number of views, so you need a lot of views to get a bump - which costs more money - and the key is to make sure the ones you DO
    buy are targeted at the exact people you need to see them. So if you can, ask about how they do that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
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  7. S Barnwell
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    S Barnwell Member

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    That's a brilliant suggestion - have you got any recommendation as to which bloggers or pod-casters would be effective or have the influence that I'm after?
     
  8. S Barnwell
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    S Barnwell Member

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    Thanks for the advice - I'll check it out!
     
  9. S Barnwell
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    S Barnwell Member

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    Hi Commandante Lemming,

    thanks for the reply (and the sheer amount of helpful ideas). As you can probably tell I am not very experienced and this is my first book. As a result this means the money and resources I have to invest are very small and in fact have already been used up on the publishing fees themselves. I intend to start a "Kickstarter" fund but wondered whether this would actually achieve it's intended fund - or (perhaps even worse) simply be a huge flop and act to put people off the book completely :S

    I'm doing a certain amount of social media coverage myself and trying to target the 'Teen fiction' world but wondered if anyone had any 'top tips' on how to do this effectively and with goo results?

    thanks
     
  10. S Barnwell
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    S Barnwell Member

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    If anyone would like to give specific advice then please check out teasers from the book itself;
    www.theseraphs.com
     
  11. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    This might work if your book is non-fiction, but it looks like yours is fiction? In which case... book bloggers are inundated with requests like this. Most sizeable bloggers have access to NetGalley, where they can download any of thousands of available books for free, just in return for a review.

    I don't mean to be discouraging, and of course there's always a chance, but I wouldn't recommend pinning your hopes on this approach.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That's an interesting premise for a book.
     
  13. S Barnwell
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    S Barnwell Member

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    Not at all - thanks for the advice :)
     
  14. S Barnwell
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    S Barnwell Member

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    Thanks.
    Any ideas or feedback that you'd like to offer?
    I'm currently in the process of re-drafting and am always hungry for helpful criticisms. . . . .
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Post 2 workshop critiques for other folks and 10 more posts (or become a subscriber) and you can put a short excerpt in the workshop for feedback. Regardless, take a look around the workshop, you might find some advice that pertains to you even if it is about someone else's work.
     
  16. S Barnwell
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    S Barnwell Member

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    thanks x
     
  17. lettuce head
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    lettuce head Active Member

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    A cheap marketing idea for youtube: video someone reading your book before bedtime. They reluctantly put the book down, dim the lights, and fall asleep. A Seraph appears next to your reader and starts whispering to her. Slogan: "Some stories last all night long. . ." End it with the title of your book. Make it a 40-60 second video.

    I encourage writers to write scenes that can later be turned into short videos that can be done with little cost.
     
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  18. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that it's very unlikely that paying for "social media marketing" will work. Social media sometimes results in things being sold because people trust their friends and their friends of their friends. It's personal, or at least a weird spidery outgrowth of personal. But someone marketing your work for money isn't personal. The fact that their spammy marketing will be on the same systems as the kinda-personal conversation doesn't mean that people will value it the same way. It will be, simply, spam.
     
  19. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    89+ Book Marketing Ideas That Will Change Your Life
    Canned Tweets (examples of something one might get paying for social media promo, not suggesting you tweet these which promote the webpage, I disabled the links):
    "Tweetables:"


    Some of the ideas in that article are workable, many are not. I started a bookmarks file on marketing your book. There are a ton of ideas out there.
     
  20. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    My view on paying social media is if you have to ask do not do it, if you have time do it yourself, any money you spend hire a virtual assistant to take over boring tasks for you. I run a seo company our services like others are not geared towards authors, that is more reputation management which cost a lot more.
     
  21. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Why does having to ask mean not to do it? Not sure I'm following you there.
     
  22. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    if you do not offer a marketing plan to some one you will hire to do your social media it is going to get very expensive, if you do not know exactly what you need you can end up pouring money down black holes.

    I had a quick look at the Huffington post and your website, first follow the advice in that article, get a feel for what is out there. right now you need to be the one to try every thing and see what works.
    But first fix your website, find one that inspires you and copy the ideas, to me your web site was not clear about your book, you have a idea but I have no idea what the story is, as the basics say what the beginning middle and end.

    maybe I am wrong but that how I see things, I am new to this game.
     
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  23. Lance Schukies
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    a quick after thought would you pay some one $40 a hour to do the 89 things in that article, do them your self and hire a assistant once you know what what works .
     
  24. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    I do not agree with hiring social media unless you are a large corporation. Now it is one thing if you have the budget to do viral marketing to push the story to your book. But paying $2 a day for FB advertisement and asking bloggers to review your books going along way vs. paying someone to speed update. Get a FB page, twitter account and start with some inspiring updates or even just be personable. Join a book club online or review books yourself. You really need to put a lot of personal effort into this.

    I follow Sandy Williams on FB and she engages with her audience with discussions. I believe she takes sometime with responding which is a big plus.
     
  25. S Barnwell
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    S Barnwell Member

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    That's an AWESOME idea and I might steal it
    thanks ;)
     

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