Recently, Facebook introduced a concept called promoted posts. This feature allows anyone, whether from a page or an account, to increase the prominence of a post. You can promote anything, a post, picture, video, or for Pages, an offer. For details, see Facebook’s help page on promoted posts.
Promoted posts, especially on personal accounts, are a bit controversial because, unlike regular ads, they show up in the Facebook feed. Of course, showing up in the feed is what makes makes promoted posts work so well. A lot of people ignore items that are in the advertising area (on the right side of the screen.) This behavior has limited the effectiveness of regular Facebook advertising. Promoted posts are Facebook’s effort to make their ads more useful and successful. Promoted posts are labeled as Sponsored in the Facebook feed.
Keep in mind, promoted posts for accounts are just starting to roll out. I do not currently have the ability to promote a post from my personal Jennifer Ellis account, but I can do so from any of the Facebook pages I manage.
Increase your Reach
Promoted posts increase the reach or your page. You can promote a post not only to those who have liked your page, but to their friends. So, if I have a Facebook page that 100 people like, normally the reach of my post is only 100. With a promoted post, that reach will be expanded substantially.
Mashable states that promoted posts cost $7 from a personal account. Since I cannot send a promoted post from my personal account at the moment, I cannot comment on the pricing.
The cost for a page promotion varies based on reach.
You can control the budget for your promoted posts in a limited fashion, and you can change the budget or even pause the promotion once it has begun. Facebook will provide you with the options when you click on the promoted post option.
Unlike an ad, you cannot run a promoted post for as long as you like. You are limited to a period of eligibility set by Facebook. Of course, nothing stops you from creating a similar post after the first promotion is over, and promoting the concept all over again. I would not, however, copy the post exactly, nor would I delete the original if it has seen success. If you have a post that you have promoted, resulting in a lot of likes, it would be a shame to delete that post just so you can create a new one.
Does it Work?
This past Friday I tried my first promoted post on behalf of a law firm client. The promotion cost $20 and lasted for three days.
This particular client has over 1600 likes, a lot for an attorney’s page. An average post tends to be seen by between 20 and 75 people, according to Facebook’s statistics. From time to time we get a like on a post.
On the other hand, the post we promoted has the following statistics:
Seen by over 4,000 people
Liked by 18 people
Resulted in 8 new page likes
This promotion actually runs for another 12 hours still. As you can see, it has definitely been successful in bringing both attention and interaction to the law firm’s page.
Think before you promote. Make certain the post(s) you promote are interesting and likely to attract readers who happen to see the post in their Facebook feed. In the case of the post I am analyzing here, I linked back to an interesting blog post. I made sure the post I promoted was interesting, brief, and clear. So not only am I promoting the Facebook post, but the blog post as well.
I am impressed at the results with my first effort. Facebook’s promoted posts are certainly something I will continue to try for my lawyer clients seeking to increase their social media presence.