Originally posted by ICv2

In my last column (see “It’s a Noisy World Out There“) I talked about why data is important.  It’s a way to find out who is a fan of the product you’re selling.  Facebook itself says that a benefit to acquiring fans on pages isn’t just the distribution and messaging that goes with it, but getting more insight about who your audience is.  Keep in mind, this is your audience on Facebook, and lacking other easily accessible data points, like customer purchase data, it’s the easiest “customer” data to find on our industries.

As of today, there are about 22 million people who have identified themselves as interested/like/fan of comics books and/or manga.  Of that about 55.45% are men and 45.45% are women.  A quirk of Facebook’s system is when you get to such large numbers, percentages can equal more than a hundred, as the system rounds its results for you.  That’s 22 million potential customers, and that’s the key potential.  Many have taken my stats as claims these are purchasers, and I’ve never made that claim.  Instead I look at this as the potential pool of customers.  They have indicated interest in comic books, there’s something about the product or brands they like.  I point out the majority of this 22 million comes from individuals who have said they have an interest in “comic(s),” “graphic novel(s),” “manga,” “Marvel Comics,” and “DC Comics.”  These aren’t fans of specific characters, but of comic books themselves and specific publishers.  So why then do comics sell 10s of thousands of copies, and are considered a success at that level?  Where’s the 22 million?  My thought is, they’re not being talked to.

Here is a captive audience that self-identify their interests, and I’m not even going into specific interests like characters or comic series.  This is the broadest of audiences.  I, “liking” many of the terms I use in my report, look towards the side of my Facebook interface looking for ads from publishers, and I find none.

So, here’s how I’d use these exact stats to run a campaign and hopefully boost sales. Facebook tells me, out of the 22 million folks interested in comics, 4 million are parents, about 18%.  I am a marketer and have an all-ages comic I’m trying to get out in the market, or one that is and I want to boost sales.  I feel that book is appropriate for children 12 and under (those older might not be interested).  Facebook returns 460,000 individuals in that universe, a little over 2% of the total universe of comic fans.

Here’s how the math breaks down:

Facebook suggests a bid of $0.07 to $2.23 per 1000 impressions, and defaults $0.18 per 1,000 impressions.

460,000/1,000 = 460 x $0.18 = $82.80 in theory to reach all 460,000 individuals.
(yes I know you won’t reach everyone by doing this and some multiple times)

So, for a few hundred dollars you can reach a pretty large audience.  Now, incentive this group by offering a free download/digital copy of the first issue, or send them to a local store with a coupon for a free issue.  These have proven to be successful techniques that you can watch, measure, tweak and repeat better for what your budget allows.

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