Organic growth on social media is a terrific way to create an engaged and loyal community around your book — but when you need fast results, social advertising is the tool to use. That being said, not all social ads are created equal. Each platform has unique benefits and some challenges.

Facebook & Instagram

These are the ones we recommend most frequently. Since Facebook owns Instagram, you can create an ad in Facebook’s ad manager and deploy it on Instagram too, saving time and money.

Facebook ads also provide the most robust targeting. Facebook allows custom audiences that are very specific — around interests, locations, and age groups, for instance. There is also an option to upload an email list or create a Facebook page look-alike audience. These targeting options help ensure your ads get in front of the people most likely to be interested and take action.

Another option we find very helpful is the low point of entry. We’ve seen clients have very successful ads with an investment as low as $20. Low budgets also allow you to test an ad before making a larger investment.

For authors trying to promote a webinar or sell a book, we recommend putting your ad spending money on Facebook.


Twitter has a unique new ad option: for $99 a month, every tweet you send (up to 120 per month) will be boosted to non-followers. It’s an interesting idea. We haven’t tried it yet, but Buffer did. You can read more about their experiment here.

Twitter also offers traditional ads and boosted tweets. Ads can be created with small budgets. Targeting is available, though it’s not nearly as robust as Facebook targeting.

Overall, our experience with Twitter ads has been lackluster and we don’t often recommend ads there to our clients, even though the new “promote mode” is intriguing.


LinkedIn ads are often said to deliver the highest rate of conversions or results. That has not been our experience, although we have seen strong results with LinkedIn ads. If you have a product that directly benefits a working person or provides skill growth and learning opportunities, this platform may be the place for your ad.

Targeting on LinkedIn focuses primarily around job titles and/or interests, but it can be very beneficial if you need to target HR managers, for instance.

The downside to LinkedIn ads is the cost. The cost per engagement on these ads is often 5x what you’ll pay for similar engagement on Facebook or Twitter. Advocates say the PPE may be higher but that the conversions are warmer leads, or people more likely to take action or purchase based on your ad. For very specific types of books or initiatives, LinkedIn ads are worth the price.

Social advertising is powerful — that’s why brands spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per month advertising on these platforms. You can spend significantly less and still reap the rewards of greater exposure, awareness, and book sales.

Have you ever experimented with social media ads?