And the options only continue to grow creating an even larger chasm between small business and accesible self promotion. It is a large enough deterrent to keep the average marketer from taking advantage of a seemingly complex Facebook advertising campaign.
So how can you capitalize on the power of Facebook ads while maintaining your sanity?
Say hello to Facebook promoted posts.
The Scoop on a Facebook Promoted Post
Added to the list of Facebook advertising options in May, promoted posts are a straight-forward way for business page owners to build engagement and invigorate a potentially fatal fan base.
Promoted posts offer two basic opportunities: Gain the attention of fans that no longer see posts in their newsfeed and build a new fan base by reaching the friends of your fans.
With Facebook promoted posts, a business page can now pay for the promotion of an individual post. This gives a page increased exposure by placing it in the news feed of more fans and friends of fans than typically reached.
A promoted post is also quantifiable. Similar to a Facebook ad, page admins are able to track the metrics of each promoted post. At the bottom of your post you will see how many people that specific post reached along with how many new likes to the post or page you received.
If you want to test out promoted posts, there are a several key things to remember.
- Promoted posts are only available to pages with a minimum of 400 likes.
- You are only able to run promotions on posts published after June 21, 2012.
- You cannot choose the date and time your post runs. Once your promoted post is approved, it will run until your goal has been met.
- Any type of content can be promoted including images, links, videos and status updates. A good rule of thumb is to promote a post that’s visually appealing, offers exclusive or time restrictive content or promotes an upcoming event.
- Once you’ve promoted a post you can always pause it, cancel it or adjust your budget. You will only be charged based on the results received at that point.
How to Use Facebook Promoted Posts
1. Choose the post you wish to promote and click on the promote button on the lower right side of the post to get started.
2. You now have two options: do you want to promote the ad to your fans only or to friends of fans as well? Depending on your product or service, spending money on friends of fans may not be wise.
3. Now set your budget based on how many people you want to reach.
4. Click save and your post is submitted for review to the Facebook ads team. Once it’s approved you will receive a confirmation email. You’re now off to the races!
Monitor Your Progress
Savvy marketers monitor their progress and then adjust their strategy based on statistical data. A few best practices when using Facebook promoted posts:
- Assign an ad name to each of your promoted posts making it much easier to track their effectiveness. By default, Facebook targets the United States plus many other countries. If reaching fans in say the Ukraine isn’t your target, go ahead and make the necessary adjustments so you don’t waste time or budget on an irrelevant audience.
- Perform a split test to check the effectiveness of this new tool rather then just pushing ahead blindly. A simple way to conduct a split test is to send out a Sponsored Page Post Ad and a Promoted Post to page fans only. Monitor your progress and determine which method garners the best results.
- Determine what type of post you want to promote. It might be a sweepstakes or a new product rollout. Whatever the case, choose wisely. Your goal is increased engagement so make the post fun, appealing and easy to respond to. You will receive a lot more feedback when you choose a topic your fans are passionate about and one that doesn’t require much thought to take action.
- Be careful not to get too “click happy” with promoted posts. There is an option to always promote my most recent post. Facebook marketers who choose this option can blow a media budget quickly. You might be better off to specifically select the posts you want to push into the news feed.
The Pros and Cons of Promoted Posts
If you typically receive 30-40% reach on your posts, promoted posts may not be for you. Those statistics prove that you are already doing an excellent job engaging your community. Spending additional advertising dollars is not necessary as your base is already actively seeking out your page.
If your reach is under 10% then promoted posts are worth considering and may help you re-engage and reconnect with fans that haven’t seen your posts in a while. One excellent advantage of the promoted post? Unlike regular Facebook ads and sponsored stories seen on the right sidebar, promoted posts can reach mobile users. That feature alone makes them an intriguing option for many marketers.
Will you consider Facebook promoted posts? I’d love to hear your future marketing plans in the comments below!