Facebook’s new ‘pay to promote your posts’ feature: what does it mean?

At the end of May, Facebook launched their new Promoted Posts feature. This allows businesses (who have between 400 and 100,000 likes on their page) to pay money in order to increase the number of people who see one of their posts.

Currently, Facebook estimates that only about 16% of people who like a company’s page see all of their posts (assuming the company doesn’t pay to promote them). This new feature won’t change the number of people who see your unpromoted posts, it simply gives you the option to increase it.

Every piece of content that a business posts can be promoted, including status updates, pictures, videos and offers but this certainly doesn’t mean that every piece of content that a business posts should be promoted. It would be a waste of money to promote everything you post on Facebook so the key is to identify the most important and engaging content and promote that.

In general, the type of content that works best with Promoted Posts is the type of content that you know from past experience has the highest levels of interaction, for example, asking a question through a poll or holding a caption competition. The reason this works so well is that it means that the money you spend not only increases the amount of fans that see your post but, when they like or comment on the post, more of their friends will see it.

You may be wondering what’s so different about Promoted Posts compared to the more traditional ways to advertise on Facebook-Ads and Sponsored Stories. Well, the key difference is the placement of them. While Ads and Sponsored Stories are separated from the rest of the user’s content, shown at the right hand side, promoted posts are shown in their newsfeed. The only difference in appearance of Promoted Posts compared to other things shown in the newsfeed is that they’re labelled as Sponsored.

Example of Sponsored Post

Another thing that’s different about Promoted Posts is who they target. Both methods allow you to target your audience based on their language and/or location but Ads allow you to further specify the audience whereas Promoted Posts do not. Also, Promoted Posts will only be seen by those who already like your page and friends of people who interact with your content compared to Ads which allow you target anyone who’s on facebook.

This means that Promoted Posts are ideal for informing your current customers of new offers or reminding them about how amazing you are but not as good if you’re trying to gain new fans/customers. For those purposes, Ads/Sponsored Stories would definitely be more appropriate.

So don’t worry, this new feature doesn’t mean that it’s necessary to pay money in order for fans to see your post. Facebook is still a free way for businesses to market themselves…for now.

Have you used Promoted Posts yet? Let us know how it went by commenting below or tweeting us?

-Jack

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