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Join Laurie and author Nicole Filippone as they talk about the Facebook strategy that Nikki used to group her following from 200 to over 18000 in a matter of months!
A Full-time Writer at Heart
Nikki and I had such a great conversation the other day, but it did last for over an hour. This is a the second half of our chat, where Nikki is sharing all the details of the strategy she has used to grow her following exponentially over just a few months.
Nikki talks about how she had no money to invest in book marketing, so instead she figured it out herself, and her methods are sure getting attention.
Nikki wrote her first book in 2018 and published it in 2019. She chose to self-publish because she was too impatient to attempt the traditional route… and is so glad that she did.
When you’re sharing in groups, you want to be your authentic self. And you know, I’m going to be very honest. This is definitely strategic. There is definitely a strategic element here, but it’s also genuine. I’m not creating a fake story, a made up story, that I thought my audience would resonate with. I told a true, honest story.Nikki Filippone
Did you catch the previous show, where Nikki shared about her Kickstarter strategy and its evolution? Listen to the last show, when we were just getting warmed up!
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View episode transcript
Nikki’s social media strategy has received a LOT of attention!
Hello writers! Welcome back to the writers way podcast. I’m here with the second half of my fabulous conversation with author & educator Nicole Fillipone.
And the reason was because on day two or so, I decided that I was going to join every single group I could find related to this book, this, the subject and what I did. I didn’t, I didn’t spam the group I came in as myself as my authentic self and I introduced myself and I said,, you know,
“Hi, I’m Nicole Filippone. – cause most of these groups were parents groups. ‘ –so I said, I’ a mom, you know, three children, pretty much all of them have sensory issues. I myself had sensory issues. I became very passionate about educating people on this, within the past year or so, and I wrote this story that I hope will help people. And I’m wondering if any of you guys would, you know, find this story valuable.”
And then I included a couple of pictures from the story from the book and group after group, the post was approved. So it was admin approval. these groups, you know, required an approval and they were approving the posts.
They weren’t getting rejected, which shocked me. And in some of the groups, the post exploded – but the thing is, I didn’t put a link in there cause I didn’t want to seem, it was a very soft pitch. Yeah.
It wasn’t. “Do you want to buy it? It was, you ‘Do think you find this valuable?’.
Right. And so in the seven days I was probably private messaged by like couple, a couple of thousand people. Holy. Yeah. It was a lot. And to the point where I got shut down by Facebook, cause I was replying too quickly to people. people were commenting on my thread and I would get like a hundred comments in like an hour.
And so I tried to reply and too quickly. So Facebook blocked me from being able to do that. It was. You were obviously a robot. So, so that was that. That was pretty amazing. And then the next thing that I discovered was that teachers. Teachers were really interested in this subject because they are not just interested in cute stories, but they’re interested in books that will enrich their classrooms.
And so I started joining all the teacher. just interested in cute stories, but they’re interested in books that will enrich their classrooms.
And so I started joining all the teacher groups.
You know, I’m an educator, I’m an adult educator who teaches children at church. So I didn’t lie about what I do. I just presented it in a way that allowed me to get into these groups. I didn’t say, you know, I teach kindergarten or anything like that. I said, I’m an educator.
I work with special needs kids on the weekends, at church. And, I’d like to join a group for support or whatever. And so I did the same thing, the teacher groups, except I presented myself as an educator. I used the word educator. cause again, I was trying to, you know, yeah. Be as honest as possible, but also.
Come across as one of, you know, as people that, that as one of their people. Anyway. So between the, parenting groups and teacher groups in seven days, I got my $9,500 and the campaign ended and I still was getting influx after that. And I basically lost a lot of pre-orders because I didn’t have a plan.
I learned from this. I ended up starting a Indiegogo campaign. I didn’t do it the right way. Apparently there’s a way to funnel it in. So your old, amount that you collected shows on Indiegogo, so it’ll say, Oh, you see, you know, indie Gogo will say 9,500. Oh. But I didn’t do it that way. So I started out zero and it was not the most.
You know, flattering thing for people to come to the page and see zero. So for, and I had it set up for like 90 days. And so for about 80 of those days, very little activity, I had like three people, you know, one of them was an author, awesome person. Who’s just like, she was like, I want to support you. I’m so sorry.
I missed your campaign. How can I support you? So she was one of them. And then I got another couple. So I was like $99 when I had six days left to this Indigo campaign. And I was like, you know what, why don’t I just do what I did with Kickstarter all over again? So I did, I pushed for six days and I was able to get another 1500 bucks, that way.
And then after Indiegogo ran out, I had the same problem all over again, because Indiegogo shut down and then people were still con contacting me saying, how can I get your book? So I was like, okay, okay. I need to figure out what I’m going to do. And at that point I set up my author page and I set up a preorder on his book, author page.
My I’m sorry, your Facebook author.
Sorry, a website. Okay. This time I didn’t have a website. So I was like, I need to set something up. Like it’s gotta be now or I’m going to lose these orders. so I set my website up. I got the preorder stats and was able to funnel people that way and I’ve gotten another couple of hundred bucks.
In preorder since then, but I haven’t been pushing it. It’s just right there. Cause you’re exhausted probably. Sorry. Cause you’re tired. You’re tired of pushing and pushing, but you, you haven’t maintained the group strategy. So what does it look like now sort of day to day when you’re not doing a lot?
I feel like the group strategy is multi faceted.
There’s a lot to it. And every, each aspect of it. Has a different goal in mind. So if I’m looking to sell books, if I’m looking for example, to fund a kickstarter my groups, it’s still going to be a group strategy, but it’s going to be different. Like I went into these groups and I presented myself as myself as genuinely as I could.
And I actually put my content out there, but it was very, a very soft pitch. But if I’m looking to build my social media audience, I’m not going to do that. It’s going to be very different. and so that is more of like what Josh Becker does. and I had already started doing it, but Josh Becker came in and said some stuff and I was like, I have to try it out.
Like, for example, my Facebook page name used to be Nicole Filippone author illustrator editor. Cause that’s what I am. And it had a picture of me. and so what I found was that anytime I shared something as myself from my page, so like I would share a link of something from my page. it was immediately apparent that I was sharing my own content.
And so I was, my posts were rejected a lot. I’m in groups that way. And it’s really important if you’re sharing in groups to follow the group rules, but there’s some amount of gray area and you don’t know what that gray area looks like without testing it out a little. So, you know, every admin has a different thing.
Some admins consider what you know, that spam and other admins don’t. But it’s all about how you share now, when, so Josh posted one day and he said, you know, you shouldn’t have your author name, be your page name because that people are not going to follow up. They don’t. He didn’t really care about you.
They care about the thing that you care about. Your passion is their passion. That’s why they’re there. So make your page name more thematic, like about what you’re, what you’re about. So I changed my page name to Sensory Stories, which is what I’m all about. Yeah. And my following shot up after that, like I went from 2002.
I’m actually currently. At over 10,000 followers, I’m at like 10,500 followers. Wow. On my page. And I did that in, two or three months. Wow. and so that’s that, that goal requires a totally different take approach. If I want to build my Facebook audience, what I have to do is I have to share things that resonate with my audience.
A lot of the time that’s a really, profound meme.
And I’ve seen some of yours.
Yeah. It’s funny, but they’re so true. Right? So it’s like, you don’t want to just sorry, like you see it and you think, Oh, that’s so me or so my life or so my child or resonates,
but you don’t just want to share the name. You want to share why the mean matters to you. Like people are following my page because I add something to what I’m sharing that resonates with them on top of what I’m sharing. And so that’s one part of it. And then when you share in groups, You have to tailor that even further, you have to, you have to make it about the group now. So if you, if I were to just copy my link and share it in a group without adding anything that spam people are like, why are you sharing this?
But if you share it and you explain why this matters, like just the other day, I shared a meme that said, I’m the type of parent who believes in apologizing to my kids when I’m wrong. And so my post on my page was simply, can I get, you know, raised hands on this or whoever you was, something like that.
But then in groups, I was much more of a person. I said, you know, I, I literally my son had a meltdown and I didn’t talk about what my son has. We’re pretty, we’re pretty sure he’s on the spectrum, but he’s not been tested yet. So we don’t know. And then my daughter has SPD and my other daughter has some kind of anxiety.
We don’t quite know what, so everyone’s got something in his house. and still I said something like, you know, my son’s meltdown triggered my meltdown, which triggered my daughter’s melt down. And at the end of the night, like, all I could do is apologize. I said something like, an apology really goes a long way.
, even though I still feel terrible,
Oh, that’s very authentic. That’s not preachy. That’s not a, so the graphic would have gotten their attention and then your story made it so much more. Right? Exactly.
Exactly. And so it’s really, when you’re sharing in groups, you want to be your authentic self and you know, I’m going to be very honest.
This is definitely strategic. There is definitely a strategic element here, but it’s also genuine. Right. I’m not creating a fake story and make up a story. Right. That I thought my audience would resonate with. I told a true, honest story.
Right. But ifyou weren’t looking to grow your audience you probably…
I wouldn’t have shared. I wouldn’t have shared it in 40 groups. I might’ve shared it in one
And you share, like from your personal profile, you share your business page into the group, right?
Yeah. Yeah. So, it’s, it’s important. There’s an important distinction. I don’t go into the group as my page.
Cause I spent this before share from my page and people misunderstand what I’m saying. I don’t look I’m in the group as myself. Right. I copy the link to the posts from my page and then I share it in the group so that it links to my page. There are some groups that literally will not approve posts with links.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your page, someone else’s page, they won’t do it. Right. So, you know, you gotta keep track of what the group rules are. but I’m in 47 SPD, autism related groups.
How do you keep track? How do you keep track of 40 groups and what the rules are?
So I actually, I, so I have my social media marketing group.
It’s called. Children’s book Author, Social Media Marketing. And I actually did a Facebook live about this the other day. I’m going to try and remember what I said. so from my mobile phone, on that, so I’m on an Android phone. I don’t know how it is on an iPhone. I’m on the top of the, yeah, there is a group icon, like the little group icon.
And so when you click that and then you click my groups, Can you scroll down a little bit, it’ll show you all the groups you’re in. Yeah. Now you can sort that alphabetically, you can just work. Yeah. That is very, very important for me. If that functionality goes away or they change it, I would be totally S O L so I sorted by out in alphabetical order and a lot of my like groups are, have similar names.
Yeah. So a lot of my parenting groups, obviously. So P a lot of my SPD groups start with casts. A lot of my teacher groups start with T a lot of my children’s book, coffee groups start with C. So, my local I’m in a town called gross point. So all of my local groups start with G. so, and then there’s some sprinkling of other things throughout, but that’s one of the ways I do it.
And, and because I’m in so many groups, I have to be careful how quickly I share. I can’t share in every group in one go or I’m going to, Facebook has shut me down. So I go, I go by grouping. So I’ll do like a, you know, a through D or something. And then I’ll, I’ll do. You know, like grouping of letters, to share my content.
And then how do I keep track of, what the group rules are? Here’s a, here’s my, one of the tricks I put in my life. I look at the content that I shared previously. I searched for my name, so go to the group. I searched for my name. And it brings up all my posts and I go, Oh, I shared a link in that one.
Okay. I know I can share a link. Now, there are some groups that don’t let me share with links. And if I see that nothing that I posted has a link not to do it. that is my, My shortcut. So no spreadsheets. I was picturing spreadsheets. No, because those become so cumbersome. You know, you can’t, every time you share and go to a spreadsheet and check, it’s just not time effective.
so this, this way I can share pretty quickly and easily without having to like look up. You know what each group? Yeah, absolutely. It does hate spreadsheets. Yeah. That’s too much spreadsheet.
So you’ve mentioned your social media marketing group and you are so generous with your information and your time and your knowledge. Are you accepting people in because people listening to this might. You’re thinking, how do I get into that group?
Yeah. So of course we’re accepting people in. so, I have a co admin, her name is Samantha Callen and I don’t know if I’m pronouncing that right. but she’s awesome. And we, the only thing we care about is that you’re there to either, and this is Samantha’s phrase.
I love it to either ask for a mentor or be a mentor. if you’re there to spam the group with your stuff, like we’re not cool with that. And we, we will remove you. but the group has become extremely active and not, it’s not about me, which I love, like when I first started it, I was like, I have ideas I want to share.
I think they can be helpful. And I was nervous that it would just be like my stuff and then people would get bored of me. Yeah. And it’s a lot of work. Yeah. But I was just like, people will get tired of me, you know? but I, what’s happening is that, first of all, I am not an expert on Instagram. In fact, I am the opposite of an expert, Instagram.
I know nothing about it. And there are other people in the group that know a ton. So I’ve already learned a whole bunch about Instagram from others. and I’ve asked her the questions about Instagram and I’ve asked questions about Pinterest. So many platforms and the only one that I feel I have any, expertise.
It’s a strong word. I don’t even know if I’d call it expertise, but the only one that I feel confident on is Facebook. The rest of them not. So what I love is that the community of people there, it is a mix of people who have expertise on different platforms, expertise on different subjects. You know I’m not an expert in this, but I I’ve been doing pretty well with my website and my subscribers.
I got I’m about just under 800 subscribers.
Yeah. They’re really cute. That gets so appealing
and I did that a very specific way. and it’s working really well for me. It’s getting people to, It’s getting people to my website because of, free resources I created. And it’s the resources that I’ve created.
Sorry, there’s noise out there. And the reasons that the resources that I’ve created still the need, they still, and he just liked my books. And so people come to the resources don’t exist anywhere else. Okay. So that’s why people go to my site, but it’s, it’s how I present the material. It’s a whole bunch of stuff that strategy can go on.
I can talk for hours just on the strategy.
Well, I hope you come back and then we can, if people want to look at your site, it’s Nicole Filipponeauthor.com, but I’ll put that in the notes in case they can’t spell Fillipone. Yes. FILIP P ONE. Yes. Cool. nicolefilipponauthor.com and I sped it up very specifically the way I use Wix love Wix it’s drag and drop.
It’s so easy. It’s so easy to organize content and make it look beautiful. I’m still happy with it, but also it allowed me to, set up my page so that if a person tries to click on the graphic of my resource, They’re asked to subscribe and there is a special page on my website for subscribers only that says free printables.
And so in the, click into that, they get even more stuff than what’s just on the home page. So, really giving a lot of value. Yes. Yeah. And I try to do that too with my, my emails. So I only sent out one so far to my subscribers and I didn’t in a very careful way. I said, first of all, I wanted them to know how they got on the mailing list.
I wanted them to remember. I said, you know, you’re here because you did this thing. I said, I’m not going to bug you. I promise anytime you get an email from me, there’s going to be something that I believe will add value to your lives. And I gave them access to a free download of my ebook. And so. Well, I was able to get over 50%.
There was an over 50% open rate, which is considered very high based on what I researched. And I forget the percentage, the percentage now of actual people who clicked into my website, but it was also very high and back to your website for more resources. Clever. Yeah, that’s great. You know, strategic very strategic.
Yeah. There’s so much to it though. It’s like, and I, and I’m so happy to, you know, share the wealth because why not? my success is not contingent on, you’re not being successful. Right. Like we can all be successful. and what I’m doing with my books, Is unrelated to what pretty much anyone else in the group doing their books.
And even if they, even if they were related, even if you were on the same plane, it wouldn’t make a difference. Cause you know, Just more than one book. Yes. Yeah. Parents are happy me, you know, especially like mine, which they don’t have any books, but even if there were 10 books in the space and mine were just one of them, that’s only 10 books.
Yeah. Yeah. And there’s room for this one for everybody. For sure. Thank you so much for coming on. I’m sorry that I took so much of your time but you are a fountain of information, and I know that everybody’s going to really love this episode. So thank you. Thank you. I will share where people can find you and if other authors want to join that group, it’s children’s.
I think it’s called children’s book, author, social media marketing. We just opened up the topic pool to general marketing. Although we’re still focusing in on social media. but you know, it’s all to get. It’s all tied together.
It really is tied together.
Cause like you said, once you go from the social media, then you bring them to your website.
Cause then you do the email, but then you bring them back to your website. So yeah, that’s really, that’s really nice. I have that people join in and learn from you there and I’ve learned a ton from you. So thank you. Thank you so much. I’m glad. And you know, feel free to. Yeah, totally. Okay. Totally. Okay. Thank you. You’re welcome.