22 August 2013

Facebook Promoted Posts: What are they and can they help your business

Facebook Promoted Posts

Facebook Promoted Posts

Reports have recently shown that Facebook now has over 1.1 billion followers globally. The same reports have also shown that approximately 70% of Facebook’s North American users are connected to local businesses on the social media platform. A Facebook representative went on to state that there are now over 2 billion connections between users and local businesses on the platform. In turn local business Facebook Pages on average gain over 645 views and 13 million comments each week.

If you want your business to gain a wider audience on Facebook, you may want to consider using Facebook Promoted Posts. These are a good way to increase brand exposure to both existing and new clients.

Facebook offers several ad products. The platform has over 1 million active business advertisers. Each format functions slightly differently, however Facebook Promoted Posts are useful for content marketing, whether it be a photo or video. Since the feature was launched last year over 7.5 million posts have been promoted. Within small businesses, a large number of those who used these received noticeable growth. Therefore, for these companies and businesses it is money well spent. Beneath is some further details about Facebook Promoted Posts to help you get the most out of them.

Facebook Promoted Posts: what are they?

In May 2012, Facebook revealed that a mere 16% of a Brand Page’s content was viewed by the pages fans. Facebook Promoted Posts were released in reaction to this, offering businesses the opportunity to pay for their content to reach a wider audience.

However this is built on the assumption that the page already has a solid fan base. In reaction to this Facebook updated the package in August 2012. The update enabled brands to promote to “Friends of Fans”. Statistics have shown that 70% of consumers trust brand and product recommendations from friends. This means there is a good likelihood that your fans friends may have already heard of you and therefore be interested in your products.

If you utilise Facebook Promoted Posts in unison with consistent and well delivered content, you are sure to see your pages reach grow. In theory a greater reach should create more engagement with your business which in turn develop preference to your brand. In order to do this, having the right fans is essential. Promoted Posts enable you to easily and effectively tailor your content to your target audience.

However there are some strict rules for Facebook Promoted Posts. Businesses wishing to utilise an image based Promotional Post must be aware that the image can contain no more than 20% written text. If your Promotional Post does not conform to this rule then it will be rejected. In order to help businesses the platform provides a grid tool, which enables you to determine whether your chosen is under the 20% rule. If the ad exceeds the 20% your post will still be displayed on your brand page newsfeed, where you can still promote it organically. However you will be unable to pay to promote it.

Targeting Demographics

When using Facebook Promoted Posts, you can select to promote to fans and friends of fans, or since June you can utilise the targeting option. Utilising the targeting option enables you to post content to the entirety of Facebook’s audience. Spending options enable you to ensure that your post is seen by a specific gender, age group or market type. Despite this Brand Pages are currently unable to target Facebook Promoted Posts by interest or category. In order to do this you will need to make use of other Facebook ad products.

In order to promote a post you first need to create a piece of content which you wish to promote. Once you have done this, select either the megaphone at the top of the post, or the boost button at the bottom. Then select your budget. After doing this, select the audience you wish to target with the Promoted Post. The options enable you to select from fans, friends of fans and also the targeted options. It is important to note that the content itself needn’t be aimed at a specific audience as you are paying to have the post receive more views. If you opt for the targeting options then select how you would like to target, whether that be through age, gender or location. If you select location, it can be further broken down into countries, states or provinces and even individual cities.

Once launched Facebook Promoted Posts run for between one and three days, beginning with the first promotion. Facebook implemented this measure to ensure that Promoted Posts feature content which is both fresh and relevant. Once you have made your selections click the boost post option. After which Facebook will commence to promote your post unless it breaks a particular rule.

Do Promoted Posts Work?

At the end of a Promoted Post campaign, Facebook will send you an itemised receipt. This itemised receipt shows how much of your budget was spent on fans or friends of fans, or by targeting.  The receipt also shows how many clicks and impressions were created by the campaign. Facebook does not promise that Promoted Posts will result in engagement. However the idea is that by placing your content in front of people in a relevant demographic, it is likely to result in an increase in engagement.

Facebook Promoted Posts receipt

The Admin Panel is at the top of your Facebook Page. This tool shows organic reach compared with paid reach. Using this tool enables you to easily view how effective your campaign has been.

This tool also enables you to see how many likes, shares and views were driven as a result of your Promoted Post. You can also view the number of people who liked your page following your Promoted Post.

It is clear that these micro advertisements have a massive impact on a limited budget.

When embarking on a Promotional Post campaign, there a few points to consider. Firstly a minimal investment of £10 will go a lot further for a page which has 10,000 fans, than for a page which has 22,000 fans. It is worth taking some time to experiment with budgets. If a piece of content is already receiving large levels of interaction, you can then use it as a Promoted Post and watch it gain even greater levels of interaction.

Results have shown that Promoted Posts do result in a growth of both revenue and audience. Facebook provided a number of case studies from local businesses who had used Promoted Posts to good effect. One of these examples was Sam’s Chowder House, after using promoted posts the restaurant received an increase of 19% in both their monthly guest volume and revenue.

In order to use Promoted Posts you need a Facebook business page. If you don’t have one, then it is time to set one up. This can be done quickly and easily. The hard part however is creating engaging content and growing the following of your page. This is done through interaction on a daily basis and consistently posting engaging and interesting content. However once your page has developed a core following, Promoted Posts are an excellent way of ensuring your content has a greater impact.