If you’re new to this author thing like me, you’re looking for any and every possible way to build your social media platform. After all, the more people that follow you, the more people that see your work, the more downloads you get. If they’ve learned to like you via your social media platform, they’re more likely to support you.
I recently learned about Amazon Giveaway. I’m not sure how I missed it, especially considering I worked for the company for almost a decade, but I had honestly never heard of it. After doing some super high level reading (like seriously just barely skimmed the help page) I decided to give it a try.
Why did I give it a try so quickly? Well, for one I trust Amazon. Like I said earlier, I had spent a long time working for them, so I know how well they treat their customers. I also am a *why not* type of person. Unless I’m going to loose a bunch or money, or it’s going to drastically hurt my newly created fragile author reputation, I’ll give it a try. If I fail, at least I tried.
My biggest reason for even considering it was to build my follower base. This was really my only reason for even reading (aka skimming) the help pages. I know most people don’t leave book reviews, so I don’t expect to see any reviews from the giveaway.
Also, it was super cheap if it didn’t work. Even if I found that my new followers immediately stopped following me after signing up, or it didn’t work at all, it only cost me $4.75 to fail. That’s a pretty cheap risk if you ask me.
Best of all, if nobody signed up I still get my purchased copies. You’re given gift codes for any unawarded copies, so I was going to do a “Like and Tag Your Friend” thing on Facebook to give away the unused codes. But, happily I found this wasn’t a problem. I had more then enough people sign up!
Before we get into if it worked, let me give you my Giveaway facts. I created a Sweepstakes giveaway for five free copies. I required entrants to follow me on twitter, provided the twitter handle I wanted to use, set it to expire after fifteen days, and created the giveaway!
Before I started sharing, I took a look at my starting twitter count—35 followers (now you see why I needed to boost this number). I made sure to jot it down because I wanted to be able to compare this number to my final number at the end of my Giveaway. I really recommend doing this so you can see if the Giveaway actually worked for you.
Next I created a shortened URL to spread the word. I used the Google URL Shortener to do this because I love that you can track the click-through analytics. I also wanted to share the Giveaway on Twitter, but didn’t want the long ugly URL provided by Amazon (seriously, URLs that end like “/p/7cb6a61358f8aece” annoy me) and chew up precious character space.
Next I made this cute little marketing image because I find that posts with marketing images do way better than those without, and I’m pretty artsy so they are easy for me to whip up. If you’re not artsy, or don’t want to take the time, make sure you have a catchy one-liner to get people’s attention.
Finally I shared the image, along with the shortened URL, on all my social media sites. I posted to Twitter with the hashtags #AmazonGiveaway #Giveaway and #Sweepstakes. I also added it to my Instagram with a boat-load more hashtags (I try to add at least a dozen catchy hashtags there). I then reposted it every few days on each site to push it back into people’s news feeds. If you do this, please make sure you delete your old post, there is nothing worse than seeing the same post multiple times in a row on a professional page.
Because most people don’t follow Facebook hashtags like they do on other social media sits, I took a different approach there. I shared it on my author’s page and pinned it to the top, and then I shared it to every single book group I am part of that allows marketing (make sure you check out the groups rules or you could get kicked out for posting incorrectly). Depending on the group, and how many followers/posters, I posted again every couple days to bump it to the top.
So what type of results did I see? I personally think it was pretty good, but I’ll let you be the judge.
|24 Hour Count||Final Count|
|Giveaway Signups: 62
Twitter Followers: 103 (+68)
URL Clicks: 100
|Giveaway Signups: 97
Twitter Followers: 134 (+99)
URL Clicks: 115
Important things I learned:
- The account you’re creating the giveaway under cannot have an Author Central account linked to it, or it won’t work. I’m not sure why Amazon would set it up this way, but if you keep your author account and your personal account separate like I do, just create the giveaway under your personal account.
- People love free stuff. Even if they don’t plan on reading your book, people still sign up. While I know my readers come in every shape and size, I find it very hard to believe that some of the twitter followers I gained would actually purchase my book.
- Expect to get some spam account followers, or followers that only use their account to sign up for free stuff.
Would I do it again?
Yep, I’m actually going to try it with another title. However this time I think I’ll switch it up a bit and try to increase my Amazon followers instead of Twitter followers. I’m going to cut the sign up time down to a few days too. Well over 75% of the people that signed up did so in the first three days of the Giveaway.