Using Facebook Promoted Posts For Some Great Results

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After they initially launched in late May, I had hesitations on using this feature. For those that need a quick refresher course, Facebook Promoted Posts allow you to gain extra exposure of a post on your wall be getting more of your fans to see it in their feeds.

 

First, Lets Clear Up Some Confusion

One of the many reactions I initially saw is that people thought Facebook were hiding their posts from their fans and now they had to pay for the privellege. This is incorrect and posts on your Facebook page will be seen by the same amount of fans as previously.

Not every fan sees all of your Facebook posts, this has always been the case. What determines who of your fans see your posts is based on the EdgeRank algorithm. In short, this means the more interaction you have on your post the more people in your fan base will see it. Facebook users have so much content in their feeds that Facebook has to filter it to ensure only the best quality for their interests get surfaced.

This is actually a great feature meaning people who run Facebook pages must try their best to provide high quality, engaging content.

The Hesitation

Now businesses can bypass creating great content and just spam you with their content if they have the money to do so. But thankfully Facebook does punish under performing posts meaning the cost to promote a bad post is higher.

The Benefits

Simply put, the main benefits are

  1. Lets you re-engage people who haven’t seen your posts for a while, meaning it will organically start appearing in their feeds once again.
  2. You can get new likes.
  3. The estimated reach spans beyond the total number of fans you have, which can only mean that people who don’t like your page also see the post. How this works I am not sure, but I could assume it may be through seeing that a friend (who is a fan) has liked or commented on a post, hence showing it to all of their friends.
  4. Ensures that you can get important messages out to your fans when needed.

Lets Take It For A Spin

I chose 2 posts to see the results. The first post is an article written on Binkd and was getting limited engagement, even though it was a great post. The second was a photo that also prompted people to leave a comment and was getting some great engagement initially.

Post 1: Link to article, limited engagement

Post 2: Photo, existing engagement

I spent $5 on each one. At this point in time Binkd had 1,500 fans and normally saw a 300-400 people saw this metric on everything we posted. We also managed to get 2-5 likes per post with maybe 1-2 comments per post, a few would slip by with no comments.

Note: You can’t start a promoted post if you have a fan base of under 400 fans. (when we checked on the 2012-07-29)

What Happens When You Start A Promoted Post?

  1. Like any ad, it first needs to be reviewed by Facebook before being accepted. Depending on when you try to start it, it can start within 30 minutes or a few hours.
  2. It starts being promoted and accrues costs as per a normal ad. This means that the $5 is a budget for the ad spend, not that you just spent $5.
  3. You will see the reach, statistics and total cost of the ad spend thus far.
  4. It will run for up to 3 days or until the ad budget is spent.
  5. The amount you spend for the reach is based on performance of your post. The more engagement the more people you will reach for a lower cost.

Results

When a promoted post has completed it’s ad spend or time limit, it changes to Promotion Complete and you can see the results. You can see the results during the promotion as well.

Post 1: Link to article, limited engagement

Comments: 4; Likes: 11; Seen By:1,837

 

Post 2: Photo, existing engagement

Comments: 78; Likes: 17; Shares: 83; Seen By:3,814

What We Learned?

As you can see from both promoted posts, the boost in views, clicks, likes and comments all increased. The great thing about the statistics is they are purely what happened because of the promoted post. Each link click, comment or view gained in those statistics was due to the ad spend.

The link to the article gained an additional 81 clicks. Directly, I paid 6 cents per view of my article and high quality traffic too. Now that is some good value traffic. StumbleUpon charge 5 to 25 cents per view and that is low quality traffic from my experiences. This doesn’t include the additional shares and engagement I may have gotten from Twitter or other social networks as a result.

Tip #1: Make sure your post is getting good engagement before promoting it. This way you can have greater assurance it will perform.

Tip #2: Photo’s work great with engagement but don’t bring in any views to your site. Use Photo’s if your main aim is to increase engagement and likes.

Tip #3: Great source of quality traffic. Use promoted posts instead of StumbleUpon. The results are FAR better.

Tip #4: Make sure it is done when you get the most engagement on your posts, which may be the weekend or a particular day of the week. Engagement drives greater views.

Is It Worth It?

Yes.

  1. I saw my fan count increase however I can not definitively confirm the numbers of this caused by the promoted post.
  2. I managed to engage with fans who hadn’t previously engaged.
  3. I saw really cheap traffic and high quality traffic to an article I wrote.
  4. I will now appear in more news feeds organically, however I can not confirm any direct statistic on this.

As always, test and measure. Give promoted posts a go, I will certainly be delving deeper into them. Are you willing to give it a try?

Bonus Stats

Want to know more about your promoted post? Go into your Ad Manager and look for your promoted post campaign. It will contain some more great insights.

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