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.