Facebook just launched an initiative that will allow each fan page to pay to “promote” posts – an effort from the social network to increase revenue following negative press about the effectiveness of their advertisements. Unlike a regular post, a promoted post will appear more frequently and prominently in fans’ news feeds, for a fee. While this feature is still in beta and is slowly being rolled out to all Facebook fan pages, expect to see the ability to promote posts from your page sometime within the next few months.
How promoted posts work
Once a Facebook page administrator creates a promoted post, it will be seen only by users who already “like” the page, appearing with the indication of “Sponsored Post.” When administrators select a budget for a promoted post, Facebook provides an estimated number of people that the post will reach. These posts run for a maximum of three days and can be deleted or paused at any time to stop payment. If users like, comment on, or share the post, it may appear on their friends’ newsfeeds.
Fan pages defined
While Facebook profiles are meant for individuals, fan pages are designed for companies or organizations. The content of fan pages includes basic items, such as contact information, location, website links, etc., but the manager can also post blog articles, events and photos. Fan pages are accessible to unregistered visitors but can also be configured to show more in-depth interactivity when people “like” the fan page. By liking a fan page, you are more or less subscribing to that page. Subscribed fans will see the news displayed on his or her home feed about the organization or company that the manager of the page posts in “status updates.” Fan pages are also used to engage with customers as they can leave comments on the “wall” of the page. To set up a fan page for free, go to the bottom of any Facebook page and click on Advertising. Fan pages are free.
One major drawback of promoted posts is their limited reach. They do not aid in promoting content to new audiences because they cannot reach people who are not already fans of your page. The most successful promoted posts will be those that invite users to participate and engage with the content, such as attention-grabbing photos and videos, exclusive offers and questions likely to elicit responses. Over time, statistics regarding the average click-through rates of promoted posts will also begin to tell a better story about their effectiveness.
Trying out a promoted post
If you are interested in exploring promoted posts when the feature is available, you can follow these steps to get started:
- Set up an advertisement account in Facebook and purchase credit.
- Once your account has been updated and your credits are purchased, go to status update window and create a post.
- To promote it, on the bottom of the post, click the drop-down menu titled “Promote.”
- Choose a one-time budget. Then click “save,” followed by “post.” Target a specific location or language by clicking the gear in the bottom, left-hand corner and selecting your parameters.
The following template outlines the process of creating a promoted post:
Tracking a promoted post’s progress
After promoting a post, page administrators can view its performance by selecting the number or percentage of people reached in the bottom, left-hand corner of the post. This breakdown displays the overall number of people who viewed your post, the number of people who viewed it from an ad or sponsored story and the number of people who viewed it from a friend.
Below is an example of a promoted post’s progress report:
For a more in-depth look at promoted posts, please visit Facebook’s help page for videos and updates on this topic. Do you plan on using Facebook’s promotional post feature? Let us know!