Facebook ruffled some feathers back in June with the roll-out of “Promoted Posts,” a new service that allows page managers to pay Facebook to expand the reach of a particular post on their Timeline… Or as some angry page owners dubbed it, Facebook payola.
More than a few Facebook activists revolted, and still are, I suppose. But now that the protesters have mostly lost interest, the more important question for digital marketers is: Are Promoted Posts actually effective?
Clearly, Facebook has a vested interest in making sure that Promoted Posts are worth the money. At the same time, Facebook can’t afford to look like a place where money trumps real, viral engagement.
At a price range of $5-20, I can’t imagine that anyone would really expect any massive results. But for an individual or small business owner — many of whom cringe at the thought of losing money on a media buy — they’ll certainly want to see results to justify the expense.
Here in the office, our social media manager Luis Ramirez has been experimenting with the promote button on our social pages. According to him, he’s not overly impressed with his results across the board, even at the bargain basement prices. In his opinion, the Promote function is too short-term to pay any real dividends.
“Just because more people see your post, that doesn’t mean you’ll get any more engagement out of it,” Luis explains. “Marketers should really focus on finding out what kinds of posts their fans react to organically.”
In other words, if your post isn’t compelling to the people who’ve Liked your page… why the heck would it be compelling to anyone else?
Still, the “Promoted Posts” function has its fans. Here are a few insights that will help you decide if Promoted Posts are worthwhile for your page.
Promote Button Insights:
- Your page must have at least 400 likes in order for you to use the “Promoted Posts” feature.
- You can’t promote a post that’s over 3 days old.
- Posts over 48 hours old can reach greater visibility for additional costs (up to $30)
- The amount of visibility you can purchase changes between pages. We think this is based on engagement levels, i.e. more engagement is rewarded with better, cheaper visibility (see nearby images).