Facebook: Advertising – Yes or No?

Should I use Facebook Promoted Posts for my business? 

One thing we can count on.  Just about the time you nail something down online, it changes.  So it is with Facebook’s promoted Facebook Promoted Postsposts.  Facebook used to use the word “promote post” at the bottom of a status update, but that has changed to “boost post” to lead people to a “promoted post”.

Confused?  Don’t be.  It leads to the same place.

I want to answer the question – should I use Facebook promoted posts – because it is one that many a business owner ask.  To do so, I’m going to use the term “promoted posts”.  It just sounds better in my mind than saying “boost post”.  The tips and information below apply regardless of the name.

But before discussing the value of  Facebook promoted posts, you, the business owner, need to have your ducks in a row.

Promoted posts make sense if…

  • …the audience targeted is actively engaged on Facebook.
  • …the business owner is committed to using Facebook consistently in their marketing efforts.
  • …the business owner has a plan as to how to convert Facebook fans into serious prospects and ultimately into paying customers.

Let’s assume these conditions exist and you’re still wondering if promoted posts are right for your business.

Here are few distinct advantages of Promoted Posts.

Advantages of Facebook’s Promoted Posts

1.  Expanded Reach

Your current Facebook posts only reach about 16% of your Facebook fans at any given point in time thanks to Facebook’s edgerank.

Simply put, boosting your posts extends your reach beyond your current Facebook fans into their networks of friends.

As an example:  if you have 1000 Facebook fans, then only 160 see a regular post. Yeah, I know it stinks, but it is what it is.

Through promoted posts, your reach can expand to 10,000, 20,000 or more.  The degree to which the viewers act upon your promoted posts is dictated by the post content.

2.  Increased visibility

Eye tracking studies have shown that promoted posts appear in the most heavily viewed area of Facebook – the newsfeed.  The result is increased visibility over standard Facebook ads of 200%.  (Source:  Business Insider)

Facebook Promoted Posts - Newsfeed Heat MapFacebook Promoted Posts - Visibility 3. Promoted Posts are relatively inexpensive

Those same studies show that promoted posts represent a very economical buy – 30% of the price of a display ad in Facebook.   For less than $10 a business owner can reach thousands of new people on Facebook and do so far less expensively than a Facebook display ad.

 Facebook Promoted Posts - CPV costs

4.  Ability to target

Through Facebook’s advertising settings you can zero-in on exactly who you want to see your promoted posts by country, demographic,, gender, age, interests, etc.  This comes at an additional price, but it can be well worth it.

5. Mobile Reach

Promoted posts are also displayed within the mobile Facebook application. Considering Facebook announced that 78% of its users are visiting via mobile.  This additional exposure is critical these days.  (Source: TechCrunch),

Facebook Promoted Posts - Mobile Convinced? Good!

The next question is:  How should you use Promoted Posts?

That depends on your goal.

Promoted Post Goals

Do you want to increase your Facebook fans, increase your Facebook engagement, send people to your website, capture new email subscribers or actually convert visitors into leads or into sales?

If you want to collect email subscribers for your mailing list, generate leads or make sales, then you need to make a compelling offer.  So what can you offer that your audience really wants?

It could be a discount, a course that is opened for a limited time, a video that includes valuable information or a free report that covers an important topic.

You can also use promoted posts to encourage engagement by asking thought provoking questions or asking people to provide a caption to a really great photo.

Tap into your competitors’ Facebook Pages to see which of their posts have received high engagement.  Or like your competitors’ Page so you can monitor their promoted posts in your newsfeed and use their ideas for inspiration.

The point is you want to have a very specific goal in mind before you create your promoted post.

Promoted Post Formatting Check List

Once you’ve determined your goal and the type of promoted post you want to create, here are a few tips on formatting.

1.  Select a powerful image and be certain the image you use has less than 20% text or Facebook won’t approve your promoted posts.

2.  Make your links clearly visible early in the ad.  The rule of thumb is to position your link within the first 90 characters or less and use a link shortener such as bit.ly so your link isn’t too long.

3.  Have a strong call to action and include specific instructions to viewers.  Tell them to click on the link or point to the link and encourage them to take the desired action.

4.  Have a landing page that works with and matches your promoted post.  If you’re advertising a free offer, then the link in the promoted post needs to lead directly to a landing page that talks about that offer and nothing else.  The worst thing you can do is to stimulate action and disappoint or confuse your visitors.

5.  You should also leverage the fact that your visitors are in Facebook.  So include the Like or Recommend buttons in your promoted posts so they can easily spread the word about your promotion.

How To Create Promoted Posts

Facebook makes it pretty easy for you to buy promoted posts.  You can create a promoted post from your Facebook wall at the bottom of your post or in your Admin Panel.

Facebook Promoted Post - Admin Panel

 

Select the type of promoted post you want and your budget.  The more money you are willing to spend, the more people who will see your promoted post.

Facebook promoted posts

You can also access promoted posts through Facebook’s Ads Manager or Facebook’s Power Editor.

The Power Editor has one very cool feature which is the ability to create ‘custom’ target audiences.  An example of this might be your email subscribers or those who have unsubscribed.  You simply upload a CSV file of your email subscribers into Facebook.  You can find out more about the Ad Manager and the Power Editor using the links above.

Promoted Post Results

Don’t stop now.

You want to track your ad’s performance.  So be certain to keep an eye on your Facebook Insights in your Admin Panel to track the progress.  If a post is performing well and is meeting your goal, then you may want to increase your budget and extend the run of the promoted post.

You can also use your Google Analytics to track which pages are being visited on your website as a result of the promotion.

Bottom Line for Promoted Posts

Promoted posts are perhaps the easiest and least expensive way I know of to get your company, your products and your offers in front of a lot of people – in front of a lot of targeted people.

I encourage you to play with promoted posts to see how it performs for you and your business.

Experiment with free offers, discounts, urgency offers as well as with graphics, videos and text.  It is only through such experimentation will you determine what works and what doesn’t for your business.

Have you tried promoted posts? Share your experience with Facebook advertising below in the comments section.

The Marketing Bit CTA - 7-13

Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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