Facebook Versus Twitter for Book Promotion

Did you know one of the main social media sites blows the other one out of the water when it comes to leading book buyers to your website?

If you had a good network of social media savvy authors working with you, which do you think would result in more clicks to a blog post and thus more sales: Twitter or Facebook? If you think like I do, you need to read on because the results were surprising.

Here’s the story:

Last weekend I banded with 16 other authors and we shared 18 books that were either free or severely on sale. My expectations were low. And my expectations were utterly blown out of the water.

These authors know their way around Facebook. And Twitter. But one of the social media sites did WAY WAY better than the other. And it wasn’t Twitter. Not by a loonnng shot.

Promotion Statistics: Facebook vs. Twitter for Book Sales and Clicks

This promotion was run off my author blog, The Lovebug Blog, primarily on Saturday and Sunday (that’s when romance readers do the most downloading of books) even though our promo was ‘Save a Tree, Read an Ebook’ in honour of Earth Day which was on Monday.

Saturday:

Twitter sent 8 readers to the blog post.

Facebook sent 329.

20% of my mailing list subscribers clicked to the post from their subscriber email that mentioned the post.

The average reader clicked on approximately 1.3 book links to download a book.

Sunday:

Twitter: 5

Facebook: 279

Mailing list: An additional 20% of subscribers went to the post according to WordPress stats.

Totals:

Total for Twitter over the two days: 13

Total for Facebook over the two days: 608

And yes, Facebook continued to outstrip Twitter as the promo winded down.

Facebook:

4,362 saw the book cover collage (image) I had made on Facebook and it had 37 shares. That’s just from my Facebook page. I also emailed the image to others so they could use it as they felt fit and possibly uploaded it to their own pages rather than sharing it from my page.

Save a Tree, Read an Ebook--a free romance ebook

This is the image we shared for Save a Tree, Read an Ebook.

 

Number of people reached with an image on Facebook.

I had to look at the number reached several times and then take a screen shot. It still doesn’t feel like it could possibly be real.

Twitter:

On Twitter, we used hashtags and wrote delectable things and sent way more tweets than we had paid back in visits. It felt like things were happening on Twitter. We were getting retweets, etc. But in the end, I suppose we pretty much got lost in the Twitter stream and while people thought the tweets were interesting, many people did not click on the link and come to the site. (Again, these stats are from the WordPress stats built into this site which tells me where people clicked from to get to the blog.)

Social Media Promo Tips

We didn’t have a lot of clicks to the blog post from Twitter (at least not compared to Facebook!). Twitter still has value though. While it might not be great for directing people to a blog post in order to sell books–you aren’t converting people to buyers–it can be good for building a brand, identity, and even title awareness. But the thing we need to remember is that you probably aren’t going to sell many books using Twitter if our experience is anything to go on. People aren’t on Twitter to buy. I would say they are there to gain knowledge.

As well, you have probably been hearing more and more people complain about people tweeting endlessly about their wares on Twitter. They are clogging up the stream with things people just aren’t interested in. So use Twitter to connect with readers, other authors, industry experts, and the like. Twitter is the cocktail party where you can network and socialize and chat about the biz, not press your business card into the hand of each and every person who walks through the door.

On the flipside, there is Facebook (and yes, there are other sites out there but these are the two main ones at the moment for most writers). With Facebook there is the added benefit of an image right there–all nice and visible without any extra clicking–to catch a person’s eye. In other words, use an image if you can. I used Easel.ly and while next time I will probably use Photoshop Elements so I can customize my image more and get the crisp look I want, Easl.ly is a free infographic service that does just fine and anyone can figure out.

One of the benefits of the group of authors I worked with are that they are fantastic with Facebook. They knew many places to share the image (waaaaaay more than I know!). With their help we reached a lot of readers. And while the promo is over, that image is still hanging out nudging people’s interest when they stumble across it, catching their eye and making our book covers become familiar.

In summary: Romance readers use Facebook. They click on links they see there. On Twitter it is easy to lost in the stream and bother people with your sales pitch.

Takeaway: Use both, but knowing the pitfalls of each service use them wisely. Twitter to network, not sell. Facebook to use an appealing image and encourage sharing of that image to increase your views and clicks. No matter what form of social media you use the stats on people following through and clicking to an external site (such as from Twitter to a blog) aren’t superb so get it out there. Make it fun! And make it about the reader. If you’d like to read more about this promo you can read about it on From the Write Angle where I am sharing a Five for Friday post on 5 Tips for Asking and you can also view the actual promo on The Lovebug Blog.

*Note: The problem with using Facebook to market your promotions, etc., is that there are many rules and regulations around using their site for promotion. Be careful. Follow their rules–or else they can (and will) lock down your account. End game. You might find this post helpful. (From Rafflecopter.)

What do you think? Which do you prefer? Which site are you more likely to buy from?

Tweet this delectable post: Guess which social media site rocks at getting book sales?

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5 comments on “Facebook Versus Twitter for Book Promotion
  1. Jemi Fraser says:

    Those numbers still amaze me! I’m definitely going to have to join FB before I put my books out! 🙂

  2. How is this going since Facebook dropped organic reach to 1%? I have hardly anyone seeing my FB page as a result and get far more clicks on twitter.

    • jeanoram says:

      That’s tricky isn’t? It is becoming more vital to become more than just another voice in the din out there. But yes, it isn’t anywhere as easy to reach readers now compared to a few years ago.

  3. John says:

    How many followers/contacts do you have on FB and Twitter?

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