My homemade ad on Facebook actually worked! (Even I’m surprised.)

October 21, 2009

Shit really works!

I wasn’t expecting much when I placed a tiny ad for my novel, The Happy Soul Industry on Facebook. It’s been a year since the book came out and most of my marketing efforts are complete. While I’m delighted by the mostly-positive reviews, I could always sell more copies! The “create your own ad” link on Facebook caught my eye. I figured what the hell. I make ads for a living. How hard could this be? I knew a lot of potential readers were on Facebook. Why not give it a try?

As directed, I downloaded a photo of my novel and wrote a piece of copy. While I can’t replicate the ad for you, I’ve attached its elements. As you can see, I used a made up word: sacrelicious. It’s something Homer Simpson says on an episode equating donuts with religion.


The mega-popular social network offers the ad-making service to all its users. You can either pay by impressions or clicks. I chose clicks. You also get to choose your target market(s). You do this by picking tags. Given the story, I chose “God” and “advertising” among others. Facebook informed me there were about 1.5 million users who fit that description. That’ll work. Now you offer the amount you’re willing to pay for a click, any number you want. They suggest a figure with the caveat being the more you bid the more they’ll run your ad. I went in for a dollar per click.

The next morning I checked the stats on my book’s website, which was the URL I chose for click-thru. I had three. Then I checked my book number on Amazon. Lo and behold it had gone down. Somebody had visited the site and somebody had bought a copy of the novel. Advertising works!

Well, three clicks do not make a best seller. Chuckling, I went about my business. 24 hours later, I looked behind the curtain again. This time a bigger deal. Some 200 people had clicked on my piss-ant, little ad! Lest you think I was out 200 bucks, too, bear in mind I’d capped my spending at $50 dollars a day. Not too shabby. A guy could get used to this!

Anyway, let this blog post serve as my official endorsement for creating your own ad on Facebook. It really, really works! Now, for the love of God, can I get you to read my novel? It’s right here for a song! The Happy Soul Industry on Amazon

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4 Responses to “My homemade ad on Facebook actually worked! (Even I’m surprised.)”

  1. Tad DeWree said

    I’ve had tremendous lick with facebook ads. We promoted Chuck Norris’ tv fighting league live events- great last minute couponing vehicle.

    As for your book- autograph a couple copies and some of your friend/fans will help with the talley. I’ll take two for starters. Best.

  2. SRP said

    Nice to hear from you!
    You order, I’ll sign.
    Amazon is the best price…

  3. Wheaten said

    Hey Steffan,
    Thanks for sharing the post of your success on Facebook. What I really enjoyed about it is it’s a great example of a marketing specialist, such as yourself, using his own dime to promote his own product – significantly different from promoting a client’s business or product.

    Your post got me thinking about something I would love to hear your perspective on. It seems that there are some agencies, namely Anomaly and Mother NY from what I have seen, that are promoting their own tangible products, not just marketing services, as a part of their business model. Mother’s Creative Director put it best in a recent Ad Age article about a book series they launched: “We’re always looking at other types of revenue streams.”

    I find this to be a fascinating evolution of the agency model but also conflicting with age-old business knowledge, specifically, stick with what you are really good at. You know, core competencies and all of that other fun stuff.

    Although somewhat off topic from your blog post, I am wondering if have any opinions on this business model. I would love to hear of any experiences or observations you may have.

    Thanks, as always for your insight! And for the record, I still need to grab a copy of your book – I’m on it!

    • SRP said

      First off, yes you need to grab a copy of my book! Best price on amazon 😉
      I read the piece about Mother extending their offering and…why not?
      I don’t think it’s mission critical but if you’ve got the product and think it adds value, I say go for it.
      Thank you for your readership.

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