For a short recap, I decided to try out a short Facebook ad campaign to promote my Author page on there. With a budget of $30, I gave it twenty eight days to promote the page. The only changes I made in the campaign were from targeting people who either have an interest or like “librarians” to “American Library Association” and lowering the maximum bid. (You can see how the data changes on December 8th when I made that change.)
Here are the screenshots of the Facebook reports of the ad campaign:
Clicks by gender:
Clicks by region (highest percentage is at the bottom, for whatever reason):
I’ve looked at the data of the final results and it seems that there would be a consistent building of fans to the Author page as time went on. It’s certainly a lesson in brand building in trying to attract people to have you as part of their Facebook feed. While I didn’t try other configurations for ads, I found that you can seriously low bid and get your ads seen. They may not run every time you want to them to, but you could easily set aside a specific amount of money, set the bid low, and just wait till you run out of the budget money. It’s pretty cheap, cost effective, and you can target the audiences that you want out of it (whether by interest or demographic). It’s totally within the budget of any library or librarian out there who wants to market their online identity or library services.
In stepping back and looking at the experiment from a distance, I was thinking about how librarians approach those who self promote in libraryland. It does remind me of some of the talk around library rockstars and promoting the people who staff the library. I still get a feeling that the preferred method of self promotion is letting one’s work speak for itself. And while there is a humble merit to such an approach, it is so passive in its nature as to be practically inert. The hope that someone will come along and then promote it by word of mouth or other social means is a risky strategy that gives up ground when there are cheap, easy, and effective ways of reaching people.
And why is self promotion seen as exclusively a bad thing? While there are certainly cases of ego massaging that go on (as is true in all the other professions in the world), no apparent connection is made between the ability to promote oneself and the ability to promote other things around you. If you can promote yourself, you have the capability of promoting something else. While there are differences between promoting a person as opposed to a product, material, or service, the types of communication mediums and methods do not change. I find it strange that people would talk about library relevancy in modern life and either ignore or shun ways of promoting it. If the people don’t know what the library has to offer, how will it be relevant in their lives?
Overall, I’m glad I did the experiment. It was fun to track the data and do a bit of fine tuning to assess the impact of this kind of small scale marketing. If it gets anyone thinking about how they can promote their library or library staff members, then it’s a good thing. There are a ton of talented people and exceptional libraries out there; they just need someone to point them out to the rest of the public.