Why should I pay Facebook for people to see my posts?
I get this question all the time. I taught a Social Media Management workshop this week and when I opened it up for questions, the first thing one of the attendee asked was, “What do you think about Facebook promoted posts? Should I pay the money?”
I replied back with, “I love the idea of promoted posts. I love the way it works and yes, you should pay Facebook some money to help you reach more people.”
Facebook’s official definition is as follows: Promoted posts are an easy way to get more people to see your posts. Promoted posts appear higher in News Feed, so there’s a better chance your audience will see them.
If you have any other questions about how they work or how to set this up, the best place to go is Facebook’s Help Center about Promoted Posts. Instead of me talking about the basics of promoted posts, check out this link. Facebook does a great job of explaining how everything works.
Let’s get right down to what you really want to know
How do I use this Facebook feature to help me grow my business? First, I want you to understand that Facebook is basically its own marketing machine. The usual rules we have when we create a marketing message in other media outlets are different than what you want to do in Facebook.
The main element in a successful marketing campaign is to make sure it has a CTA – Call To Action. What do you want the person to do? Will they register for something on your site? Are you running a discount deal this weekend and they have fill out a form and submit their email?
What do they need to do when they get to your site?
While a CTA is still needed with a Facebook promoted post campaign, you need to take this a step further. I like to call it creating your C T V – Content, Time and Visual.
The content you decide to use in your promoted posts will be the main reason your campaign succeeds or fails. You want to make sure that you’re promoting something of quality not some text that says, “Hey, yeah … click on this link and go to our site to see our cool stuff.”
Take a look at this screenshot I grabbed from one of our clients. Notice the area that Facebook has highlighted in a bright yellow color:
If you’re not sure what is compelling, engaging or fill in the blank with your own active adjective, Facebook will give you a prompt by highlighting a recent post. They’re making suggestions about which type of content post will connect with your community.
If this post is something that your fans are already clicking on, liking and sharing, then hitting that Boost Post button will allow you to turn up the volume on the reach of your marketing message.
Keep an eye on these recommendation in the posts – notifications section of your admin panel of your fan page. These highlighted hints will help you focus on what your fans want to read and most likely, will share with their friends.
These are the posts that are promoted-worthy and will help you extend your reach so more people can see your message.
Promoted posts will run on Facebook for only 3 days. So if you’re running a 24 hour close-out deal, placing a Facebook promotion post on the last day of the sale won’t make sense in your marketing plan. Think about promoted posts as one of the elements of the pre-launch or pre-sale program.
Your content should still be available up on your site after your 3-day Facebook promotion runs. For most people, we move through the sales process in our own time. Unless a person has the issue your post is saying it can solve at that very moment, most people will bookmark your link and come back to it at a later time.
Don’t miss out on a sale because you promoted something on Facebook and by the time I get to your site, it’s gone. Promoted posts are best to use for events, pre-order items or something that is a top seller on your site that you always have for sale.
Promoted posts work best when there’s an image connected to the marketing message. But – and this is a BIG but – Facebook got a little tricky with us on what will be approved for a promoted post.
Facebook promoted posts will only run if your image follows their 20% rule – meaning only 20% of the image can contain any text. Their little spiders check all the posts that go through their system and if it’s over their 20% rule, Facebook will shut down your campaign.
I had this happen on two separate occasions where our text was larger than 20% of the image. Facebook shut off the posts and we only had to pay for the time that the promoted post ran on the site. It was very frustrating and confusing to figure out how much was 20% text or less until I discovered the Grid Tool.
Hello easiest tool ever! The Grid Tool works like this: This tool is a 5×5 grid with a total of 25 boxes. To meet the 20% text, text may appear in a maximum of five boxes. If the image has text in six or more boxes, it is not eligible for an ad in the News Feed.
Of course, if you use an image that tells a story without any text, then you won’t have to worry about whether your campaign will get shut down. A Pinterest-type of image should be your first choice to run with your promoted post but if you need to add text, just pull it into the The Grid Tool to make sure it works with the 20% rule.
One quick secret marketing tip: Create your promoted posts links as trackable. Either use a program like bit.ly, tinyurl or setup a specific landing page. Use what ever you feel comfortable using but just TRACK your links back to your site. Think about how cool it will be to see how many people saw your post on Facebook during that 3-day run AND how many people clicked on the link.
Let me know in the comments if the C T V (content,time and visual) tips help you create a successful Facebook promoted posts. I’m always looking for small business success stories and would love to add your story to my list of companies that I promote!
PS Having trouble finding time to fit social media into your already crazy busy day? My new Strategy Builder workbook is available NOW! It’s an easy to follow marketing strategy workbook that shows you the step-by-step process to develop successful social media campaigns. Click here to download your copy of the Strategy Builder.
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