Facebook Promoted Posts – sizzle or shizzle?

Since the marked decrease in Facebook reach, everyone’s been talking about Promoted Posts and whether they are worth the bucks.

I’ve been running a review myself and it concurs with what the industry is saying … reach is down by more than 50%.

Of course there may be some room in the calculations for the ‘time’ and ‘day’ that posts are made or changes in the consumer reaction to the actual messages, as well as market-place ad spend, but regardless this drop speaks volumes about the way Facebook is restricting  communications into the newsfeed.

Facebook Promoted Posts

With this dramatic drop in reach I did a test using Promoted Posts on a campaign that consisted of a nearly identical competition run over two consecutive weeks. The difference between the promoted post and the non-promoted post was an increase in reach of 7%.

Now you will need to do the maths whether Facebook promoted posts are worth it or not, as your page is likely to have different rates for CPC’s and CPM’s or you may find market place ads/ sponsored stories more beneficial. But if you do decide to use this feature here is what you should know …

4 Tips for using Facebook Promoted Posts:

1. Facebook approve promoted post content, so the promotion may not start immediately. Also for new users Facebook limit spend, increasing your daily allowance as you use it, so plan for that if you have upcoming content that you want big-reach for, by doing a few smaller promotions in advance.

2. You can cease your promotion (and therefore spend) at any time by ‘pausing’ it and choosing not to recommence it. Once your promotion has ended (budget/time frame) however you cannot restart … so choose your budget wisely.

3. Page admins are reporting strange geo-targeting while using Promoted posts, and I’ve experienced this too. Unless you wish to attract that ‘international audience’, you may be able to avoid some of this by working within your time-zones―pause your post overnight, resume it in the morning.

You can also restrict visibility to your page to the countries you wish via- “Manage Permissions>Country Restrictions”. Also see point four …

4. With several Facebook ad-style options available it’s important that you determine what you are using Promoted Posts for.

You have two audience options – choose to promote to People who like your page, or People who like your page and their friends.

As a marketer gut instinct says: choose ‘People who like your page and their friends’, after all, won’t that mean new Page Likes? But I think this may be misleading (and one of the reasons we are receiving oddly targeted users).

Your Fans have already connected with you and value your page, but are probably not seeing it anymore, so use Promoted Posts to reach back out to them.

They are the users most likely to like, comment and share, thus their actions will be displayed to their friends anyway.

Finally, remember that results WILL vary.

I wish I could be more specific …

Facebook is not a free-platform, so while I’m not thrilled about the severe reduction in reach we are now receiving, don’t expect me to have a rage-against-the-machine here.

What I will say is Facebook at the very least owe some transparency to its paying clients―we do have a right to know what we are paying for, and to get what we are paying for …

We are also exploring ways to make ad targeting capabilities more built into the ad creation process by default, so that when you promote a post the delivery takes into account the right audience more often.

-Philip Zigoras, Facebook Ads Engineer Facebook Studio Blog,

so sorry Philip but – ‘more often‘ just doesn’t cut it.

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