So, what exactly are Facebook Promoted Posts?
According to Facebook:
Every day, news feed delivers the stories you post to your friends and subscribers. Promote important posts to help people notice them. Promoted posts appear higher in news feed, so there's a better chance your audience will see them.
Who Can Use Facebook's Promoted Posts
On your Personal Profile, you can promote posts you've shared recently (Facebook say normally within the last six hours) on your wall (unless you have more than 5000 friends).
On your Business Page you can share posts that were made after June 2012, providing you have more than 100 likes/fans.
You can promote any type of post that was made using the status update function - videos, images, etc. However, Facebook has new rules coming out on January 15th which say that only 20% of any image posted can be text.
Neither Groups nor personal profiles with more than 5000 fans can use Facebook Promoted Posts.
How much do Promoted Posts cost?
Once you press on the Promote option under the post - or it may be next to Like, Comment, Share depending on what mood Facebook are in - you will see a price with a dropdown menu. Depending on how many fans you have, you will have an option for £4, £7 or £10 which will allow you reach an every increasing range of your fan base with the promotion.
Who Can See My Promoted Posts?
The promoted posts will be seen in the regular newsfeed of fans (and friends of fans if you have selected that option) but also in mobile newsfeeds for the next three days.
Facebook says: "Promoting a post does not affect who can see it. Instead, it bumps the post higher in the news feed so more of the people you shared it with are likely to notice it."
People in your audience who've hidden posts by you or your Page will not see your promoted posts in their news feeds.
We have had some good success with these for competitions and to promote discounts for businesses which are available to a national audience but it is more difficult for smaller local businesses where, realistically, many of the friends of your existing fans are going to be well out of geographical radius.
And, it's always important to remember that it's going to take a really exceptional image coupled with a great offer to make new people come over and check you out. You have to appeal to something within them that makes them want to buy and, remember, according to, Sheryl Sandberg, the woman who runs Facebook ads - people go to Google if they want to buy, they come to Facebook to relax.
Remember, these promoted posts will still only appear in the feeds of those who have already liked your Page, not new customers. These are not sponsored ads. It's just a way to manipulate Edgerank to allow you to be seen by those fans who do not regularly engage with your Page already.
In terms of specifying a location for these promoted posts, we are still awaiting that feature - despite the announcement of post privacy gating and the appearance of a button that allowed such a facility on the status update box back in September 2012. You will need to go into your admin panel to switch this on but more on that later when it is functional.
Can I Stop a Promoted Post?
Not on personal profiles but on Business Pages, you need to click where it says Promote for £** and then the cog option will give you a dropdown menu that allows you to pause it. Click where it now says Promotion Paused and you can restart it again.
Why Promoted Posts?
If you have been affected by Edgerank because your fans haven't visited page for a while, leading Facebook to assume that they don't want to see your updates in their newsfeeds, a great way to redress that issue is to run a successful promoted posts. Re-ignite the engagement of your fans by putting your promoted post at the top of their newsfeed to excite likes, shares and comments.
The extra activity from a successful Promoted Post will have a knock on effect for your next few organic posts in terms of its appearance the newsfeeds of more of your fans.
Facebook Offers are now also available for Pages with more than 400 fans.
Facebook Promote Page Posts for Businesses With Less Than 100 Fans
So, yet again, those small local businesses whose fan base does not extend beyond double figures are left out... But, not so, there is now a form Facebook Promoted Posts for them too. Find out more here - once I've had a chance to clarify a few things which are very confusing.
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Give Lollipop Local a call on 01702 476517 or 0121 249 1306 to find out how to get more online exposure without having to spend all day on Facebook.