Thursday, October 23, 2014

Marketing True Magics 12: Why Facebook Rocks (no, really)

Some posts are harder to write than others and this was one of them.

I said last week, Facebook sucks for marketing, but that it was still worth it.  And then I spent a week struggling to figure out why.

Because, I was thinking about it wrong.

It’s like this:

Facebook’s Business Model is the High School Clique…

You don’t get to see what everyone’s doing. You get to see what the popular people are doing. And if you aren’t popular, well, you can use money to buy popularity (Yep. Still bitter about high school).

And Posts End Up Lost and Alone and Ignored…

It used to be that I could post to Facebook with exciting news about my books and expect a fair number of followers to see it and respond. These days, I get very excited message from Facebook explaining 8 people saw my post and wouldn’t I like to give Facebook money so more can see it?

So How Can I Promote on Facebook?

The answer is, you can’t.  Not effectively.  Not anymore. And that’s all right, because…

Facebook is Not for Promotions Anymore.

It took an hour of writing this post to reach this epiphany, folks, so listen up:

Facebook is for Fan Retention

People no longer find out about you on Facebook. People find out about you through other means and then go like you on Facebook. And someone who goes out of their way to like you is called a FAN. And fans are very, very good.

Fans like you and check your page regularly. They have notifications for your feed turned on. They are the ones most likely to buy your books, and so they deserve special treatment. Fans should see special content and get special insights and fresh gossip and a chance to speak to you.

So, here’s some ways to use Facebook as a Fan Retention tool:

Targeted Fan Events 

When you get an invite to an event, it makes you feel special. Now, most of the time you’re too busy to go, but at least you were invited, right?

With Facebook you can post an event (whether real or virtual), and invite people to it.  More important, though, is that you can target that invite to specific locations, so if you’re doing an reading in Elbow, Saskatchewan (yes, it’s a real place []) and you know you have a fan base there, you can target your fans from Elbow specifically in your event and send out a special invitation to for them to attend.


Like events, contests are now for fans.  They are a chance to reward the people who care about you and have a bit of fun doing it. Your fans get a chance to connect and to get something others don’t, like free books or autographs or posters or whatever it is you are giving away this week.

Remember: contests on Facebook cannot be used to do anything that will promote your product or yourself (Annoying, eh?). You can’t ask people to share a post, or share a page, or like your page.

However: You can to drive some traffic to your page and hopefully increase your number of fans, but you have to be careful. Use sentences like “Tell your friends about this contest so they can get a chance to win, too!” and “If you want to learn more about what Erik Buchanan is up to, please like this page and turn on Notifications so you can keep up to date on all contests, events and posts.”

What you can’t have are any sentences that imply a benefit to any person promoting your contest, because the only one allowed to benefit from promotions on Facebook is Facebook.


Q&A’s are events. You set up a public event saying “Ask Me Anything!” (or something similar) and invite all your existing fans to come to your page at a specific time and date and do just that.

When it is time for the event, in your “Ask Me Anything!” post to the top of your feed. People put their questions in the replies in the comments and then you reply to their replies.  It’s a great way for Fans to connect and learn more about you.

And, like a contest, you can ask those you’ve invited to invite their friends to come along.  Because it’s fun to meet a celebrity…

Hey, I can dream...

And who knows, those friends may become fans after they meet you.

Wait! How do I get non-fans to my Facebook Page?

Massive cross-platform promotions utilizing your website, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, blogs, Google+ and whatever else you've got.

Or, you know, give Facebook money.

Next Week: How’s that Marketing Plan Going?

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