Gregory Levey, the author of Shut Up, I’m Talking, a memoir about his experience as a speechwriter in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, started a Facebook group for his book a couple of years ago. The group’s number of “fans” staggered along in the hundreds for a couple of years until recently, when, unexpectedly, it skyrocketed. To nearly 700,000 fans.
What happened? Over on TheNervousBreakdown.com, Levey explains: Even though the fan page shows the book’s cover and its synopsis, and informs visitors that it was published by Simon & Schuster, the vast majority of these supposed “fans” were somehow totally unaware that it was referring to a book at all. They had simply joined because they were fans of the phrase “Shut Up, I’m Talking.”
He goes on: “They were the sort of people, I soon discovered, who were also fans of such inane but popular Facebook fan pages as “Punching Things” and “I hate it when I get fingerprints all over my phone.” But each time one of them would become a fan of Shut Up, I’m Talking, their circle of Facebook friends would blindly do the same– causing its frighteningly viral spread.”
Levey (pictured, via) has yet to capitalize on his new, er, platform, but he probably could do so with a well worded message–”Hate when people interrupt you? So do I. And that was basically my job when I worked for the Prime Minister of Israel!” Or something. Either way, let this be an object lesson, marketing folks: It’s not a bad idea to title your book after a popular phrase that people might want to become “fans” of on Facebook. Not that that’s a secret.