The Value of a Pound of Facebook

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So you know about my Facebook addiction and my Facebook fast, and if you don’t, well, yeah…

Think years of hours-a-day commitment to Building My Brand Online and Creating Reader and Fan Engagement in My Self-Employed Professional Career of… of…

Writing the occasional short story!

While doing this I kept thinking (and dear god I see the meme of that cat behind the newspaper) I should really be blogging, because at least, then, I own that relationship and maybe it is, ah, worth something.

Well. I should really be writing fiction (or non-fiction) that I can sell, right? Well, if you see this, and you know my NO BLOG BEFORE FROG rule you know I wrote my 1800 words today, so I’m indulging myself with conversational typing.

So part of this indulgence is making sure this bullshit I’m typing now actually get’s read. My blog, after publishing professional fiction presented to maybe, total, a million people over the last few decades, gets one to five hits a day. Mostly, people are interested in my post about The Stranger from the Depths, a scholastic YA SF novel from the late sixties.

Because that’s what google is for. Finding out about that stuff.

So, irony of ironies, I decided to use Facebook ads to advertise in Facebook about my Facebook addiction and withdrawal. I popped into my author page (which, in my rules, isn’t cheating, I’m allowed to be there and engage with both of my fans.) and plugged 3 bucks into my Facebook ad account.

I’m also looking for new Indy Author clients, so, you know, soft-sell. Get them over here. See if they want that service and click on that link, there, that one, in the previous sentence, he says, slyly.

Which gets us to the point of this post. Seen in the graph below:

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.33.09 AM

My time in FB, in terms of converted clicks, turns out to be worth about 37 cents an hour when compared to paid post boosts. (My FB fast is irrelevant; that pre-boost level of clicks from FB never changes. Unless I pay.)

Putting 3 dollars in, two days in a row, more than doubled my traffic from FB; I replaced my 2-4 hours a day of liking, writing, sharing, commenting with 3 bucks, the price of a cup of coffee, and doubled the amount of monetizable movement from FB to something I’m kinda trying to monetize.

So.

Four hours a day of Facebook is worth a dollar fifty, to my brand, to my little frozen banana stand.

So, again, remember, at Facebook, you are the product served. You are the customer for the product you make. You make your friends on FB, you give them your content through the application–and Facebook sells them back to you.

You work for pennies an hour, playing in your feed. Which is fine, as long as you realize, it’s just for fun. It isn’t a professional activity; it isn’t building your personal brand. It’s a waste of time. You build your brand by creating great work that your fans love.

Facebook sells your friends back to you. Thats all it does, until you start plunking big money in. Which I may someday do. But I won’t be splashing around in the feed anytime soon, unless something happens to change my mind. The more I think about it, the more information I gather, the greater my horror is, at having spent so much time there.

My time is worth more than pennies an hour.

So do your work, and skip FB. If you ever want traffic, from your painstakingly built friends list at FB, you’ll have to pay for it anyway.

Posted in Making a Writing Life, Social Media Suicide

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