Fiverr Community Forum

Does social media really work to promote business?

I don’t mean to sound pessimistic. It’s just that I’ve never had any success at all when trying to use social media to promote business.

Here’s a little background, so we’re on the same page.

I make my living as an author. Other than the little bit of money I make here on fiverr, I have no other source of income. I do fiverr, because it helps me stay sharp as an author. The best way to learn a craft, is to teach it. Editing for other authors helps me do just that.

Coming up through the ranks as an author, one of the things touted is promoting your work via social media. I tried to follow these norms, but never did I have any success. In a way, I can understand why. Facebook, for example, is essentially for people who want to talk to each other about things the love. If you’re into this kind of thing as a person, I can see how facebook could be an asset to you as an author. If you spend a lot of time there developing genuine friendships, then when you go to ask the people listed as your ‘friends’ many of them will be willing to give you a shot, simply because they already like you.

If you do not spend an absorbitent amount of time and care chatting with people, and you simply create an account as a means to promote your business, it’s a lot more difficult to find success using a site like facebook. Most of the people there, after all, are there to talk with other people, not read advertisements from people trying to sell their wares online. At least that was the impression I quickly came to after attempting this myself. People are more than happy to chat with you if you want to talk about somebody else’s book, especially if they have read it and like it too, but if all you want to do is talk about YOUR book, fahgetaboutit. They tune you out quicker than they swat a pesky mosquito from the back of their neck. Nobody likes a bloodsucker.

I’ve read posts in this forum where sellers talk about how a seller should 'promote their fiverr gigs on social media. Okay. Fine. In response to this, I just finished creating an account on Twitter for one of my pen names. As a test, I immediately sent out a tweet, complete with an image of one my better selling books under this pen names. Within a half hour, I had six followers.


Uh, no. Not necessarily. When I began looking into these people who opted to follow me after my single tweet, none of them appeared to be actual buyers. No, sir. (or ma’am), they were other people trying to do the very same thing I was doing. They weren’t buyers. They were sellers trying to get more attention themselves.

I’ve also seen other sellers saying that there are fiverr gigs that a seller can purchase that will help them promote their work, fiverr sellers who have developed many of their own followers and can quickly and easily get the word out for you.

Once again, I humbly disagree. I’ve tried this too and it was a complete waste of my hard earned dollars.

I tried this after one of these sellers randomly sent me a custom order offer. In this offer this seller touted having more than twenty million Facebook followers. I’m not a naive person and I was immediately suspicious of such a claim, because I find it odd that an average looking person (based on his profile pic) could have more followers than Adele, or Taylor Swift have, but for five bucks, I figured, “Why not.”

I signed up for his gig and put one of my books on a free promotion. I gave this seller all of the pertinent information and wrote a small ad for him to use.

Nothing. He ran this ad on his facebook page, a facebook page that supposedly has twenty million followers and I got absolutely no benefit from it other than what I normally get when I run a free promotion on one of my books. Mind you, it’s not like my books don’t sell on their own, and when I’ve run paid advertisements such as this through legitimate platforms, I do get results. But from this seller who supposedly has ‘twenty million’ facebook followers??? I got absolutely no increased response, despite the fact that I was giving the book away for free, a book that I have no problem selling at $5.99 ebook version and 14.99 for the paperback. All I got was the normal rate of downloads when I put the book on free promotion without any advertising.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not necessarily saying that Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest cannot or do not work in promoting a person’s business. All I’m really saying is that it’s not so easy as people make it sound. I think it can work, but I think it only works if you are the type of person who develops real friendships and takes the time to grow a list of people who actually want whatever it is that you are selling. Otherwise, you end up with a list of people who are just doing the exact same thing you are doing. Looking for you to buy what they have to sell and who don’t really care what you have to sell.

If I’m wrong, please … tell me your experience. I’d love to hear it and if you know of some way to get social media to actually work, I’d be eager to listen.

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80% chatting, building relationships, establishing yourself as an authority, building communities and sharing news.

20%–ideally less–your business. You’ve got your ratios mixed up along with 99% of people doing social media marketing. It’s not easy–it’s work. It’s all about making you a somebody that people cares about, otherwise you’re just another voice screeching about their book.

I didn’t read the last bit (your post was a little bit long) first go round: but did you really think that someone with so many followers would be using that kind of leverage for $5 unless it was a robot ring or something?

Check out how much money Instagram people are making selling out posts and you’ll see what I mean. And they’re nobodys, too. They just figured out the formula above and are working it.

There’s a HUGE market for editors in the self-publishing market. I don’t use Facebook (I prefer Google+), but there are numerous communities where writers post drafts of their latest work-in-progress in exchange for feedback. You could edit one or two paragraphs of their work to show your skills, and then skim their document so you can suggest other ways that it can be improved. The self-publishing market is a gold-mine for editors.

But also, the trick is to not talk directly about yourself: you need a lateral approach. How often do you write? Have you ever tried your hand at writing flash fiction (usually less than 1,000 words)? There are so many ways you can grab the attention of other writers and folks who like to write but hate to edit. Google the phrase, “Yeah write speakeasy.” Boom, instant writer’s community. Start a blog where you feature your skills as a writer, and include your Fiverr seller badge plus a page talking about who you are as a writer and your services as an editor.

The market for editors is VAST, and the only reason I’m not doing writing gigs right now is because it would split my time.


I totally agree with you. That’s why I don’t bother with social media as a promotional tool. As an author, I’m naturally an introvert. To be good on Facebook, requires the opposite. Thanks for your input. I completely agree.

I really like some of your ideas here. This, to me, is very specific and helpful, much better than seeing someone say, “If you want to succeed on Fiverr, promote your gig on facebook.” That’s way too vague and unhelpful. It’s what leads to people getting onto social media, spamming about their product and doing nothing else, which to me, is a guaranteed formula for failure.

Actually no. Not at all. But for five bucks, I wanted to see if I was right. If you know of any fiverr sellers who do this kind of thing but have real living and breathing followers, I’d be interested. Also, if you have any good information as to how to spot fiverr sellers who do this kind of thing and you can inform people of how to choose the good ones from the ‘bot’ farmers, that would also be useful. If I knew how to differentiate, I would have done so.

It’s one way to fill the coffers: make an offer that’s too good to be true and get people to test/buy it anyway since it’s only $5!

I have no idea really–my knowledge of SMM is more theoretical than practical. @jamesbulls below has far more useful advice that’s more tailored to your particular situation.

Read “Jib Jib Jib Right Hook” by Gary Vaynerchuck.

This guy know like nobody else what everybody is doing wrong and how to do it right in the social media field.

I took a look at your seller page and gig, and I think you should hire a copywriter to re-write your ad copy. It’s a little bit clunky, and has a lot of technical jargon that new writers probably don’t understand.

Also, you must have an introduction video - writing/editing is a very competitive category on Fiverr, and you’re losing clients if you’re not making the most out of your listing.

I’ll have to pick that up sometime, looks like a great read! (Where is the Kindle version, dammit!)

OP. Finally someone who comes out and posts about the reality of social media marketing in this forum gives handshake. For the majority marketing with social media is ineffective and difficult at best. My theory for this being that over the last 7 or so years social media marketting has become oversaturated by marketers much like a gold or diamond mine being evaded by hundreds of miners. As Em eluded to it is great tool to use for communicating with current clients however.

People have conditioned themselves to ignore posts with marketing material in them because they are on social media sites to well socialize with others. Between those people and other marketers pedaling their goods finding success with social media marketing is a rarity these days. Don’t get me wrong there are some out there that are successful with it but I would estimate they are in the minority.

What I have realized with regards to IM techniques if you are just hearing about a technique being used as a viable marketing tool chances are it is already become ineffective and will become saturated by online marketers using it to see if they too can find success with it, in this case social media marketing.

I will look into those things. Thanks for taking the time to look it over.

I never used social media to promote my business.
Your post was really helpful in making me realize that only business promotion on social media doesn’t work. You’ve to get attention of real people who really want to buy from you

Personally, I never really “intentionally” used social media to promote my work, if that makes sense. When I first started on Fiverr several years ago, Fiverr was still new, and not that many people were offering the same types of services, and with all due respect to the other sellers back then, there weren’t that many “good” people, so my work stood out, ( I apologize if I sound like a snob here) and I was able to build a solid pool of buyers before Fiverr got to the curent size of more than 2 million gigs. So yes, I’ve never done ANY promoting. NEVER. Well, I did a bit, but I never actually posted anything on Facebook, and I don’t have a twitter account.

Having that said…

When I drew something for a buyer and I was happy with how it came out, every now and then I would post that drawing on my Facebook, and people would ask me what it was, and I mentioned Fiverr. Some of my friends asked me if I can draw something for them, they created a Fiverr account, I drew it, they posted it on FB, other people saw it, they created a Fiverr account, and on and on. In other cases I had a buyer (whom I have never met) who posted an image I drew for him on his FB, and then a BUNCH of his friends created an account so I can draw something for them, and many of them messaged me saying “Hi, I’m a friend of so-and-so, I saw the image you drew for him and I liked it very much, can you do the same for me?”

So in this case, even though I never intentionally promoted my stuff, I got exposure through FB.
I guess it does help in a way. My buyers did the promoting for me. It does work!

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Certain products and services will more than likely attract buyers on social media than others. In your case your product was unique (because it was created by you) and visible therefore it attracted clients from FB. Affiliate products and oversold goods and services not so much…

I definitely agree that FB can work. In your case, I think it happened pretty naturally, but I would also point out to you, that you were able to secure sales that way, because the people who saw it were your friends legitimately. They saw your work and wanted your service.

I guess, what I was saying was different from that. If you create a facebook, or other account and mine for ‘friends’ who are not really your friends and then start blasting those people with advertisements for your product, you would most likely be wasting your time. That’s not what you did, which is why it worked for you. If you want Facebook to work for you, you must be willing to take the time to build genuine relationships with people. Once you do that, they won’t mind hearing about a product you have to sell.

Going back to the twitter account I created, I have now sent out half a dozen tweets and I’m up to thirty followers, but once again, all of these followers are simply other people trying to sell their own wares and do not necessarily have any interest in buying anything I have to sell.

There probably is a way to use Twitter and the other social media more effectively, but if there is, I haven’t figured it out yet. I have read a couple of books on the topic, and yet … I still can’t figure it out. lol

I guess the part that makes me grumble about the topic more than anything, is that this site is now giving more preference to those sellers who do use social media, which forces us to try to figure out how to make it work.

I’ve begun trying to implement some of the things James Bulls suggested, so I’m crossing my fingers to hopefully see some results. I couldn’t figure out the whole badge thing, however. When I tried it, it didn’t show a badge, just the html nonsense. (Tried it on Google +).

Depends on the way you advertise yourself.

The key to marketing in social media is to make it seem natural even though everything you say and do is designed to spark an interest in you and the services you can provide.

Despite not being a social person my strategy for marketing in social media is to establish myself as a contributor in different groups and communities without ever mentioning my businesses. The strangers who benefited from my contributions often look me up and hire me to do some work for them. If someone on my friends list contact me about work i just tell them i dont work for friends and family.

@mgjohn78 This is some really good advice!