Can you guess which one it is?
The emergence of Facebook’s promoted posts, a version of in-stream, content-based advertising has a ton of appeal for brand pages who have spent the last few years collecting fans.
What Are Promoted Posts?
These Facebook ads differ from the pervious versions of market place ads and the controversial sponsored stories in that they are created directly from a status update on your fan page and then served into a higher percentage of the News Feeds of the fans your brand chooses to target.
Huzzah! There are two very important implications here.
- Promoted posts from your Facebook page will show up right along side status updates that are shared by your fans’ family, friends and even their ex-high-school girl or boy friend who they’ve been stalking in secrecy.
- Because of this placement, Facebook is banking that you will be willing to carve our some of your ad budget to essentially game their own EdgeRank algorithm, which distributes status updates organically across the News Feeds of your fans, but in significantly lower reach percentages.
If you’re not up to speed on these new Facebook ads, make sure to watch the short ‘official’ video from Facebook below. Our friend Merriam does do a nice job succinctly explaining how to use promoted posts right from your page.
What You Get With Promoted Posts
For promoted posts, you can choose any budget you wish to commit to any Facebook status updates you want to push, starting at a minimum budget of $5. Upping your budget will increase the percentage of fans who see the content. In Facebook Insights, this is measured in ‘reach‘.
Because these ad units are served in the News Feeds of your fans, those fans who are actually your brand advocates can opt to share the post and create more virility around the content.
7 Quick Tips for Getting Optimal Results with Your Promoted Posts
- Grow a targeted fan base first. Unlike other Facebook advertising units that are micro-targeted to demographics, profile information and interests, promoted posts work by delivering content to an increased percentage of your fan base. What that means is that Facebook pages with larger fan bases will have more opportunities to convert fans into the purchase funnel. Savvy marketers will use well-targeted sponsored stores and market place ads to increase page Likes, while using sponsored stories to convert fans into action.
- Promote status updates that are already engaging your fans. Remember that your status updates will be delivered to a percentage of your fans organically via EdgeRank. Stay tuned in to your Facebook Insights or other social media tools to discover what organic updates resonate with your fans and spend your budget promoting those first.
- Don’t promote your brand’s sales pitch. At FSMU this week, I really liked how my friend Jay Baer framed this up:
Remember that Facebook is not television. Choose to spend your dollars promoting content that is helpful or useful to your fans, and leads them to give you their attention, before they give you their dollars. We marketers call this ‘brand engagement’. Increasing engagement with your brand is what breeds the top of mind awareness that will drive a customer to buy at the time when they have an actual need.
- Make sure to include media when you promote. My former client Scotts Miracle Grow does a nice job using bold, colorful and emotionally positioned imagery on their fan page, placed at just the right time to insight action from their fans. See below:
If I were the Scott’s folks, I would be committing some of my Facebook advertising budget to promoting posts like the one above. For one, using images in promoted posts takes up more of your fans News Feed real estate which can work to bury other posts below the fold of their profile page. It’s a classic web marketing tactic, but still very effective.
- Give your fans direction on what to do with your promoted post. For some reason, most humans like to be given some direction — even if we won’t admit it! When your creating status updates that have potential to become your promoted posts, make sure to place a simple call to action that tells your fan how you want them to convert. This could be as simple as ‘share this post with your mom‘ or leading a question with the text ‘by a show of likes‘ or even ‘tell us in the comments‘. Give the fan some direction and in more often than not, they’ll follow your lead.
- Promoting a post is only the beginning, so be ready. Always keep in mind that your are promoting a Facebook status update to your fans to get them talking in a conversation with to you and your brand. Don’t make the dreadful mistake of using a promoted post to push content to your fans, and then not showing up as an active participant in conversation you’ve paid to create. Good and attentive Facebook community managers goes a long way in stewarding online brand advocacy and customer retention.
- Don’t lean on promoted posts as a crutch. Here’s the thing. If you pay to promote crappy content, it’s still crappy content. Spend the larger majority of your time experiment with different types of content, measure the effectiveness and identifying the types of stories that your audience finds useful and compelling. Promoted posts will then help you give good content that extra boost it needs to get in front o more eyeballs.
Which One of These Tips Makes You Think Differently?
Let’s talk about it in the comments, okay?
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