Thunderclap Thoughts

falling-into-darkness-email

It seemed like a good idea at the time.  How many times have we all said that?

Well, an idea that sounded good but was more trouble than it was worth was definitely the Thunderclap Campaign.

For those who don’t know what it is, it is a service that is used by authors and many others who want to promote something on a specific date and time.  For as long as the campaign runs people sign up to support the campaign with one or more form of social media (Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr) so that at the end of the campaign a message set by the person running the campaign (in this case me) goes out automatically via the social media of those who have supported the campaign.

I signed up for the free version and have to say I am probably not going to do another one of these.

The first big drawback is the number of supporters required.  100 is the minimum.  I have no doubt if it weren’t for a handful of my friends on Facebook, two or three in particular, I would not have got that minimum at all.  Thank you to everyone who did support the campaign and extra big thanks to those who shared my posts about it and encouraged other people to help too.

I had no idea it would be so hard to get people to help, especially since it costs nothing and you don’t have to sign up to Thunderclap as it works via the social media that you are probably already using, and if you don’t have one of those forms of social media, you just support with one you have.

Many people I thought might help, didn’t, and while I was expecting to be struggling by the halfway mark, I was in fact struggling well before that point.

With over 800 Facebook friends, over 1000 followers on Twitter, and over 500 people liking my page, I had no idea it would be this hard.

As those who follow me know, I was posting about this wretched campaign on an almost daily basis for the entire length of the campaign  I also chose the maximum amount of time available to run it for.  Honestly, I posted more about the campaign than I do about my books themselves.  I feel like a spammer and suspect that most of my friends were as sick of seeing the posts about my book’s campaign as I was of posting them begging for help.

But was it worth it?

Because I wanted to see the results for myself, the only way to really do that is to have the link from the campaign posts come here to my blog/site, and so that is where they go – to the book page for Falling into Darkness, to be precise.

So, how about those stats?

The number of visits yesterday was increased with 38 visitors.  Considering this blog rarely gets over 10 visitors on a single day, I have no doubt that the Thunderclap campaign is responsible for most of those visitors.

The two days following were slightly increased as well with 18 and 20 visitors each day respectively.

Interestingly, the stats on the Thunderclap campaign page say that the total clicks is 332 – hmm, so where were they going, because they didn’t make it here?

Does it equal an increase in sales?

Probably not.  Clicks away from the site to the online stores selling Falling into Darkness were half a dozen yesterday, and of course not all of those clicks will be guaranteed sales, and it could be that none of them are.

With a campaign reach of 243,442, I have to admit I had hoped for at least a few more visitors than I got.

So no, I don’t think it was worth it.

I am aware that there are similar schemes with lower targets for supporters, but I am not minded to try any of them instead.  It might be easier to get to the target number of supporters, but the return visits would be even lower than the number for this Thunderclap campaign.

Getting the supporters was tougher than marketing my books themselves.

I worry that I have put off people from taking a look at my book simply because they are sick of seeing the posts about the campaign.

I have spent lots of time trying to get the supporters, that could have been used far more productively.

To get 100 supporters you need a big fanbase who are prepared to help.  The problem is, if you have a big fanbase, you don’t need a Thunderclap campaign anyway because those fans will be buying your books and telling their friends anyway.

It’s a vicious circle and I am highly unlikely to attempt another Thunderclap Campaign in the foreseeable future.

Thank you again to everyone who helped out, and if I can ever return the favour, just drop me a line, tag me in a post, or give me a nudge.

2 responses to “Thunderclap Thoughts

  1. I just wanted to stop by and give you a big hug after reading this. As a reader, I don’t think thunderclap works, and I don’t participate in them. It feels really manufactured. I don’t honestly know what really works, but if you wanted to put that time and effort you did into something that may grab attention, I’d say create a quote graphic to share that’s tied to a small giveaway, a copy of the book or even $5 at some etailer. If it’s a good excerpt and graphic, it’ll grab positive attention and then with the giveaway attached might get shared quicker. Readers know it’s a business and you need to sell copies, but it shouldn’t feel like a cold transaction. Marketing can turn people off, but if you can do it in a way that feels more natural, I think readers respond well. There are definitely some authors that I see on social media where it just feels like all they’re doing is going through the motions, and that’s not really fun. From my perspective, I’d rather authors stay off of it rather than turning off potential readers with too much marketing. I’m sure it’s frustrating for authors who are trying to find what works, but sometimes it seems you can only see what doesn’t. I don’t know if any of this helped, but I just wanted you to know someone was listening and offer up a big online hug if you want it! And if that doesn’t make you feel better, I’ve added Falling into Darkness to my wishlist, and I hope to enjoy it in the new year. 🙂

  2. Thanks for your comments. I will certainly be taking the advice not to participate as much in social media in the new year.

    I have a giveaway scheduled in January, and am hoping it is more successful than the last one that had a grand total of zero entries. Says it all when you can’t even give the books away!

    If you do read Falling into Darkness I hope you enjoy it.

    *hugs back*

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