Heads up if you’re using Facebook Groups to spread the word regarding just about anything promotional

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,225853

I scraped the following from a couple of posts (in the event the thread, URL listed at the top, gets pulled):

“FB has been banning authors from posting in book related groups. We do not know what the actual trigger is, whether it’s the timing between posting or if it is the exact same post on the various groups or the number of posts done in succession, but once you are banned, you are out of the water for 14 days minimum.  It’s a 14 day black out from any group activity, and what is worse, when they ban the user from posting to groups, they delete ALL their posts from the beginning of time, not just the ones that may have triggered their algorithms.

This includes deleting entries in groups that that author created, even closed or secret groups.

So if you use this option in your marketing strategy, you might want to think twice or at the very least, spread out your posting throughout the day to gain exposure without risking being banned.

Unfortunately, I got hit with this while trying to advertise my new release coming out this week.  So any exposure through Facebook is completely gone.
Lesson learned and passing along so someone else doesn’t get slammed at a critical time if they use this strategy.” 

————————

To recap/clarify some things:

1) No one is being told how much posting is too much
2) FB has a “for sale” option in groups, which makes it seem like they are OK with people using groups to sell things
3) The authors who were banned (myself included) spend TONS of money in ads an boosted posts, so in essence, they are  p*ss ing off customers, not forcing them to use more ads, because it’s group posting that helps us have enough money to make adds (which often operate at a loss because the royalty on a book share versus FB promoted post conversion just don’t level out–it’s more used when you are willing to spend more to make the sale because you need the ranking boost)
4) It’s NOT spamming. It’s people posting book posts to book groups. I know a lot of non-author readers in groups like these and they have told me that is often how they browse for books. They just wait for something that looks good to come up in their feed from a group. I’ve met some of my most loyal readers through groups like these–the saw my book, bought it, then friend requested me and some have become close FRIENDS of mine, not just readers, but people I hope to meet some day. Also: 1) You can turn off group notifications for groups you are in and only see the posts if you GO to the group 2) You can leave the group if you don’t want to see the posts anymore also. Calling this “Spam” is a bit unfair. That’s a but like if you went to a book fair where the sole purpose was for authors to read excerpts from their books, and you started doing just that and they told you to leave because you’re spamming people. Come on.
5) Sorry, but since a lot of groups I am in are getting LEGIT spam (IE, porn videos and sun glasses) and FB hasn’t handled that but is stopping the book posts from being posted, I find it hard to believe that “all spammers are being dealt with”

Ultimately, if people don’t want this to be part of their marketing plan, that’s fine. But let’s not make things up or shame those because they use the tactic.

And you know, however you may feel about it, think about this:
Some of these groups have files that people can update. When this ban happens, the posts and files are being DELETED. Yes, deleted. Completely. Like even the pinned posts. So even if you think these people are spamming (which they aren’t) what about the people who AREN’T spamming, who are just in the group to READ, and now files that THEY helped create and contribute to have been deleted because ONE of the contributors were given a ban? Sorry, but as angry as I may get at other authors sometimes, I would NEVER say that a READER deserves to be punished because of their actions, and if you think it’s right that FB is blindly doing just that, then you are against the reader in that situation as well.

If you aren’t familiar with the group dynamics and the purpose they serve and the way authors and readers often work TOGETHER in these groups, then it may be best to not comment on it. Just sayin. Do what you want, but some of the things said here could actually be construed the wrong way by readers who are lurking these forums and were ALSO affected by FBs actions.

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8 thoughts on “Heads up if you’re using Facebook Groups to spread the word regarding just about anything promotional

    • I am likely to keep my Author page because it is still a place for people to reach me (and it allows more extended and group communication than Twitter or email).

      I think if they put the screws down too tightly they are going to breathe life support into Google+

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      • Yeah – the author page will stay I expect, but really I only use that as an ad hoarding and don’t ‘entertain’ on there too much. That’s mainly because I haven’t had a personal book launch for nearly 2 years now though, so I won’t totally give up on FB just yet… 🙂

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  1. Interesting. I use the FB groups from time to time, mostly when I have a book on sale. I hate using the Sell feature–takes too long to fill in the form when you’ve got many different groups to post to. They would rather for authors to buy their ads rather than sell this way although they do allow it. They just keep changing the rules. I think rather than say you can’t advertise this way, they as you said, “keep tightening the screws” so people will get irritated and buy the ads which I hear give you a better outcome but can run into some serious cash.

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    • I’ve used their ads with limited success with “Another Sunset”

      Having said that, I am going to release the third book in the “I, Hero” Series in the next 40 days or so and based on timing, I may do some Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon direct marketing (ads) and see how things go.

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      • From free some training videos I’ve seen, there’s a way to target a particular audience with your ad that works best. Say there’s a famous best selling author who writes similar books or in a genre you write in, there’s a way to target that authors fans. I’m not sure exactly how it’s done and of course there’s a course from a proven expert that teaches you how but I can’t afford it. 🙂 I have learned a lot from free videos, so I help I can find them again when I get ready to try it.

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