If you use Facebook to promote your business, you may be impressed with what a powerful branding tool it can be. On the other hand, you may also be frustrated at how difficult it is to pinpoint what does and doesn’t work.
Promoted posts (or paid media) are now one of the leading ways to get traffic to your Facebook page or website. The big question, however, is which posts should you promote?
Let’s look at some of the benefits of promoted posts and then identify how to know when to use this tool.
The Advantages of Promoted Posts
First of all, Facebook has both boosted and promoted posts, which are similar but not identical. You can boost a post by clicking a button. Promoted posts, which are managed through the Facebook Ad Manager, give you more options for managing and targeting.
Promoted posts are sort of a hybrid between conventional social media marketing and paid advertising. You can promote any post that you create for your page. Facebook even gives you the option of creating special promoted posts that don’t appear on your timeline.
Promoted posts appear as a “suggested post” to targeted users. One of the best things about promoted posts is that they look more like regular posts than ads. If users look carefully, they’ll notice that it says “sponsored” at the bottom of the post. This, however, is very small and is likely not to be noticed by many readers. One limitation of promoted posts is that you can only target your own fans and their friends. This, however, still allows you to reach a potentially wide audience.
If you’re looking to reach a huge audience with few restrictions, you should consider using Facebook Ads, where you can target people by any demographic or any criteria you choose. Promoted posts, however, have certain advantages of their own, especially if you already have a well targeted audience for your page. In fact, Facebook requires you to have a minimum of 100 likes on your page before you can promote your posts.
Facebook has a complex algorithm that determines what users see. Facebook limits the number of page posts than fans can see. For this reason, even people who have liked your page won’t see all of your posts. Promoted posts are a way to showcase your best content or to call attention to a timely event or promotion. Promoted posts also let you reach friends of fans, who are often a fruitful source of potential fans and customers.
Possible Uses for Promoted Posts
You may have your own unique reason to promote a certain post. Here are a few examples of when this could be a good idea.
- Announce a new product. This could be a book, album or film release. It could be the opening of a retail store or the release of a digital product.
- Promote a sale, whether for a physical store or a website.
- Share a coupon or promo code. This is a good way to test the responsiveness of your audience. For example, you could give people a 10 percent discount if they mention or show a copy of your post.
- Promote unpublished or dark posts. This allows you to test posts on segmented audiences. The promoted post feature allows you to target specific groups within your audience from within the Facebook Ads Manager.
- Build your email list. You can use promoted posts to direct people to your opt-in page where they can sign up for your list.
These are just a few of the possibilities. You can really use promoted posts for as many different purposes as ads or regular posts. Because you are investing money in these posts, however, it’s important that you carefully track your results.
Facebook Analytics and Promoted Posts
No matter what kind of marketing you do, it’s essential to track your results. This is true on Facebook, Google or any other advertising platform. While Facebook itself provides useful tracking tools, you may find that you can benefit from an additional Facebook analytics tool – ahem, like Sysomos Scout – to make your task easier.
- Engagement. Facebook considers any response, including likes, comments, shares or clicks a form of engagement. This is one of the most important metrics to track with paid advertising.
- Click-through rate. This is one of the most important metrics that tells you how successful a post has been, whether promoted or not. You can track your click-through rate by using an URL shortener such as Bitly. You can also find CTR information on Facebook Insights.
- When are your fans online? You can use Facebook Insights to track when your fans are most active. You can use this data to help you plan your campaigns. You may find its most advantageous to post during certain hours or days of the week.
- ROI. When you pay for advertising, you always have to consider ROI.
- Negative feedback. This is a metric that is often overlooked and not one you probably enjoy thinking about. However, it’s essential to know when people are motivated to react negatively to your posts. Negative feedback includes people unliking your page or choosing to hide all future posts of yours. Users also have the option of reporting a post as spam. If you’re getting a large amount of negative feedback, you need to find out what is causing this.
Facebook provides a wide array of marketing tools. Promoted posts are a good option if you want to increase the reach of certain posts. You can manage these posts just like ads, choosing whom to target. Knowing when to promote posts is something that requires research and testing. You can start off on a small scale to test the responsiveness of your audience. Whether you’re promoting an event, a product or trying to build your brand, promoted posts give you an economical platform to do so.