#MKTG – Part 2 – Facebook Ads and Passion Pages

Hello, SE’ers! Jan here to talk a little more about that ugly word we all hate – Marketing.

In my last post, I promised to share something that is a new discovery to me. But before I get to that, I want to talk a little about Facebook Ads. We’ve all tried ’em. We’ve all been disappointed. So what went wrong? Why didn’t we sell any books?

Courtesy Getty Images

I recently attended a Facebook Ads workshop. Yes, there is such a thing. The woman presenting the workshop swore that it was through effective FB ads that she hit the NY Times Bestseller list. However, when asked how much she spent per month on ads, I almost fell out of my chair because it was well over $1,000. That is not in my budget, and I highly suspect it isn’t in yours either. So, I ignored that dollar amount and took in the rest of her advice.

First of all, she said to think of a FB ad as a piece of real estate. An ad should tell a story because you want to invoke some sort of emotion from the viewer. She also said it is a proven fact that a viewer will see something seven times before they take action. I don’t know who figured that number out, but I’ll buy it.

I don’t want to make this too long, so I’m going to hit the highlights. Did you know there is a Creative Dynamic Option when you have a business page, for FB to create the ads for you? I didn’t either.

Bottom line, here are her suggestions:

  • Start by creating several small ads
  • Once they are up and running, take a look to see which ad is performing best, and either pause or eliminate the ones not performing.
  • Sometimes it’s a matter of changing the wording or the image that makes a difference.
  • If you have a series, you might offer Book 1 of the series for free in an ad.
  • Let Facebook create an ad for you
  • KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE (I cannot stress this enough. Look at your Insights and see who is engaging with your posts.)
  • Stay on top of your ads and their performance. Don’t just put it out there and forget it until the campaign ends.

The next thing she talked about is something called a Passion Page.

Here is Andrew McCarthy’s explanation: “Chances are that you have already encountered plenty of Passion Pages on Facebook, and you might even interact with them regularly. They’re Pages that, rather than focus on a specific brand or product, instead post content that is centered around a specific theme or idea, either serious or silly – but mostly the latter.”

Author unknown

So, basically, a Passion Page is a FB page you create around a passion that is relevant to your brand, but NOT your brand if that makes sense.

It needs to be very general and not connected to a single brand. For example, the leader of this workshop, who is a romance writer, had a passion page she called 50 Shades of Book Boyfriends. It isn’t tied to any specific book she’s written, but instead a general theme. However, she claimed that ads she ran on that page resulted in lots more book downloads than ads she ran on her author page.

I am dabbling with a Passion Page, and I mean dabbling in the deepest sense of the word. I have three things I am passionate about in life and those are gemstones, stories, and music. So I’ve created a page I am calling, “Stones Stories Tunes.”

I haven’t had it long enough to tell you whether or not it’s effective, and I am just now starting to run ads to gain more followers. Also, based on Andrew McCarthy’s definition, this page might be too serious to gain many followers. So we shall see. If you’re interested, of course, head over and give it a like and follow. 🙂

What I walked away with from the workshop are some basics that I feel will benefit everyone interested in trying marketing on Facebook. If you do give any of these suggestions a try, I’d love to hear from you. Tell me your success stories and share what didn’t work for you as we can all learn from each other.

Happy Facebooking!

92 thoughts on “#MKTG – Part 2 – Facebook Ads and Passion Pages

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  17. I’ve never had luck with FB ads, but I admit to not watching them closely or tweaking them. A Passion Page is a new one for me. Mine would probably be filled with Marvel, zombies, cats, and Star Wars, lol. Thanks for the info, Jan!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I have a personal FB account and an author page but I haven’t done anything as far as marketing. I got invitations for boosting the posts or ads, but I’m skeptical. Perhaps I should look into it again. Your Stones, Stories, Tunes FB page looks wonderful, Jan. Wishing you success with marketing on Facebook. Thank you for the info and tips on marketing on Facebook.

    Liked by 2 people

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  20. Hi,
    I haven’t used FB yet but I have read a marketing book that said it takes at least six times before a potential customer thinks about buying a product or going to a movie, or a concert, and I definitely believe that is true. I have experienced this phenomenon when I am booked for a concert. If I ask the sponsor how many tickets are sold and he tells me they didn’t get the advertisement out until late, then I know the auditorium will more than likely not be filled. People need time to register a concert in their brain. They can pass the poster every day and not see it until the last minute.
    Thanks for also introducing Passion. it might be a good tool to look at.
    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is so true, Pat. Some marketing experts say it takes seven times before a potential customer might buy a product. Your example about concerts is confirmation. Thank you for stopping by and chiming in! Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Thanks so much for sharing this information. I’m still on the nursery slopes of FB but this is fascinating stuff and now I can put a name to the Passion Pages I’ve been seeing.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Hi, Ben. I’m not sure if your question is directed to me or to Vashti. But the answer depends on the author’s goals, work, and preferences. There are so many social media platforms. It just so happens that Facebook is the largest, with Twitter coming in second. The ROI is dependent on many factors but include targeting the right audience, having a stunning book cover, and a compelling story. Thank you for your question.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. What is the difference between boosting a post and creating an ad? Both require you to set a target audience. I get so confused, lol. My passion page would probably be about gardening, not sure it would help sell books, lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your comment, Jacquie. Boosting a post is an ad. They are the same thing. I still have a lot to learn about passion pages, but the whole idea is to get folks to follow you for a different reason than your books, then slip things in that relate back to the books. Or at least, that’s my interpretation. You post some stunning photos of the results of your gardening. The passion shines through!

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Huh. I’ve never heard the term “Passion Page” but I’ve used my personal timeline that way for years, centered around dark humor and murder memes. And I actually have more engagement on my personal than my professional page. I wonder if that’s why. Thanks, Jan!

    Liked by 3 people

    • It is entirely possible, Sue. You had a Passion Page going and didn’t realize it. It’s a proven fact that people enjoy engaging in something other than “buy my book.” Thank you for sharing! I’m headed over to check out your page!

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Seems very few people have heard about Passion Pages, if the comments are anything to go by. I’ve never used FB ads. My ad budget is almost non-existent. That’s probably why my sales aren’t very high, but what do you do when the money isn’t there? You need money to make money in this day and age.
    I will certainly try a passion page, though.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Thanks for such an interesting post, Jan. I’ve never run an advert on FB, or heard about Passion Pages. My main sales have always come from book fairs and book signings and talks – which is probably why I’m broke this year, LoL Been nowhere, seen no one! So, perhaps I should be adventurous and give these things a go. Thanks again.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. I never heard of Passion Pages, but I think they sound like an awesome idea. If I were still on Facebook, I’d definitely give them a try.

    I was never an FB fan, but I had fairly good results with the ads I ran. One thing I did consistently was target my audience. I studied the stats, knew who to market to and stuck with that audience. Then, one day, when I used the same target market I had in all of my ads, FB sent me a notice that I had violated their policy with my target audience.


    The note said I needed to fix my ad in order to be reinstated. I wasn’t happy, but tried to log into my ad manager to take care of the issue only to find FB had locked me out of the ad manager for violations. That was when I hit the delete button and I’ve never looked back.

    I do think FB can be a good platform (it was for me I the past), but it requires more work than I’m willing to invest and a tolerance for constantly changing policies and algorithms. I guess you have to pick and choose your marketing platforms.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh my goodness, Mae! That is a Facebook horror story! I cannot imagine what you did that violated their policy. That’s just crazy! And I don’t blame you at all for deleting the account and moving on. You are so right about having to invest time, money AND tolerance for their constantly changing policies and algorithms. And you are right.l You choose the marketing platforms that are the right fit for you! Thank you for your comment and for sharing!

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Why have you not told me anything about Passion Pages and your Stones, Stories, Tunes page???? I have not ever heard of them, not in all my years in the business. We need to talk. I have questions. I used to buy more FB ads in the past but I never saw much benefit and that’s probably due to the fact I’m not real active on my author page. Not consistently. Sometimes there’s just not enough hours to do everything and some slip through the cracks. But this is very interesting and different. Thanks for sharing. Love you, sister! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, sister. 🙂 We always need to talk. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought to tell you about passion pages and the new page I’m trying to get started. We always have too much other stuff to talk about. You are SO right. There are never enough hours to do everything AND still write books. It’s a juggling act for sure. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment and I promise, we’ll talk soon. Love you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. One of the things that makes sense to me for those who have a series is to give away or sell the first book at a reduced price simply to build one’s audience. I tried Facebook ads and sold some books that way, but I probably broke even in the process.

    Passion pages are a new term for me. I appreciate you sharing your insights, Jan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lol, Michele. If you are in the stone ages, so am I, as I only first heard of passion pages two months ago. 🙂 We just keep learning and trying to keep up with technology the best we can. It’s a struggle. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  29. I have got a FB business page, one for Sir Choc Books and one for Roberta Writes. They used to work very nicely but a few months ago, FB delinked my Sir Choc page from my personal profile. I now have to change profiles when I used that page. I also can’t tag anyone who hasn’t like the page. I find it a real nuisance and have stopped using that page to a large extent. I have a Baked Delights passion group and a Poetry Sharing Group. These do quite well but I don’t think I’ve sold any books through them. I haven’t had much success with FB, but maybe it depends on the type of book.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your comment, Robbie. I agree that it is a total nuisance to have to switch profiles to interact between the pages, but maybe they’ll decide to change it back at some point. At least I hope they do. The groups you mention are totally different than passion pages. A passion page is just you. There are no other members, but hopefully, there are followers. 🙂 I see your posts on FB often, so you are getting out there. I honestly do not see how you juggle all that you do, Robbie. My hat is off to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Great post, Jan! I have ran Facebook ads when I first started with minimal success. I’ve learned a lot since then and might have more ideas on my audience. Although, It’s always been confusing with adult and kids books with marketing and focus. Passion Page is new to me but now that I know what they are, I’ve seen them 🙂 I’m going to give this some thought, thanks for the great information.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are most welcome, Denise. I think for you, your target audience would change with what you are promoting. Since you are a multi-genre author, you might want to create three different audiences. You have the capability of giving them names, so you’d know which was which. I’m glad you found the post helpful and best of luck with whatever you try!

      Liked by 2 people

  31. I mentioned in your last marketing post about trying FB again. Jan. You just posted another convincing reason to go for it. My marketing budget is no where near $1000/month. LOL. But I do like the idea of a passion page. It actually sounds fun. Good luck with Stones Stories Tunes, and thanks for the great ideas. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Oh, boy, I still don’t have a clue:) I’ve tried Facebook Ads, coming at them from different angles, but they never do anything for sales. I’ve given up on them, don’t seem to have the knack. I’ve never heard of a Passion Page, but good luck with it. Who knows? It might do the trick.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The biggest component to Facebook Ads, Judi, is getting to the right target audience and it’s pretty much trial and error. Thank you for stopping by today and leaving a comment. Good luck on whatever marketing avenue you try!

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Pingback: #MKTG – Part 2 FB ads and Passion Pages @StoryEmpire – Writing and Music

  34. This is a fascinating post, Jan. I’m clueless about ads but as I read, what really stood out was your entrepreneurship. You’re amazing. Bravo!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lol, Gwen. A few years ago, we coined the phrase Authorpreneur and it truly does fit. I love learning every aspect of this craft from writing to publishing and dare I say it, to marketing. And the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  35. I’d not heard of passion pages. I think I’ve only done one Facebook ad (or maybe I boosted a post). I have a like/hate relationship with Facebook. Sometimes I want to chuck it but I do like to keep up with friends and family who live far away. I can see me having a Legends and Lore passion page.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a page I’d follow, Joan. And I think we all probably have that love/hate relationship with FB. I too like to keep up with family and friends and with so many users, FB is the biggest platform we have available to promote our work. Thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  36. Thanks for sharing this information, Jan. I’ll definitely keep this handy. I’ve done FB ads in the past, but I certainly didn’t spend $1000 a month! Lately, I’ve had a better bump in sales with Instagram ads so it’s been a while since I’ve run one on FB.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. I had no idea FB would generate an ad for you. I’ve never run a single ad on FB. Never even boosted a post. I tried to set up an ad once (years ago) but I had so much trouble with the interface, I gave up. Maybe it’s time to revisit the process. And I never heard of passion pages, either. I thought maybe you were talking about groups, but this was totally different. Great information in this post. Thanks, Jan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s so hard to navigate the waters of marketing, Staci, and I think each author has to find what works for them. I have learned so much and tried so many different things over the years and I enjoy sharing what I’ve discovered. Some of it worked. Some of it didn’t. I’m no salesman and certainly no marketing guru and in fact, absolutely hate that part of my job as an author. But it’s a necessary evil. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I’m never sure if what I am sharing is something that will resonate with anyone. So, thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 2 people

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