Facebook is pushing out new features for brands and Page admins—and in a hurry. With the real-time nature of social media and its ever-changing landscape, it can sometimes be quite a feat to explain the plethora of new features and how they can be leveraged for brands. In the spirit of keeping everyone in the know, let’s tackle one of the newer Facebook features: Promoted Posts for Brand Pages. We’ll explore what they’re all about, and how they can be leveraged for your brand, business, or client.
What are Promoted Posts?
- Promoted Posts for Brand Pages: a Facebook feature that allows brands to pay for posts to be more predominantly displayed in news feeds
What do they look like?
- Promoted Posts appear in users’ new feeds (much like an organic post would) instead of in the traditional ad format found on the sidebar
- Posts are marked SPONSORED in the bottom left hand corner, as seen above
How much do they cost?
- Pricing varies depending on the size of your fan base, who you’re targeting, and the number of fans you wish to reach
- Prices can range anywhere from $10 to $5,000
Who do they reach?
- Promoted Posts have the ability to target people who like your page OR people who like your page, plus their friends.
Why are Promoted Posts an attractive advertising option?
1. Not all (or even close to all) of your fans are seeing your content. We’re all aware that not all of the individuals that Like a page see the content that a brand page posts. In fact, according to TechCrunch, Facebook estimates that only 12% of a brand’s fans will see a post that a brand page generates in their news feed. However, according to social experts, people are “40 to 150 times more likely to consume branded material in their news feeds than on the actual fan page itself.”
If Facebook users aren’t actively visiting brand pages, and the chances of Facebook users seeing posts from brand pages in their news feed are slim, how do brands ensure their content is seen? It would seem that Promoted Posts help to close this gap by allowing brands to reach a greater percentage of their fan base and the networks of those fans.
2. Facebook users spend more time in the news feed than anywhere else. No surprise here—Mashable studies indicate that Facebook users spend more time in their Facebook news feed than any other place on the Facebook platform. If the news feed is where all the cool kids are hanging out, it only makes sense that businesses and brands would jump at the chance to get more playtime in this prime location.
3. Facebook users engage with content their see in their news feed. Promoted Posts appear in a fashion that is more natural to Facebook users than the traditional ad sidebar format. Where a sidebar ad might fall short or go unnoticed, Facebook users actively engage with content they see in their news feeds. Mashable research shows that the news feed is 110-times more engaging than other features.
4. They perform well. Initial studies show Promoted Posts generate a lower CPC, higher number of clicks, and overall better engagement than a Sponsored Story found on the sidebar. The jury is still out as to whether or not everyone is seeing the same positive results, but the deciding factor in whether or not a Promoted Post will succeed has to do with the content of the post.This leads us to the inevitable question:
What kind of post should be leveraged as a Promoted Post?
Facebook suggests the following:
Vibrant photos and videos: People tend to respond to bright, simple, and attention-grabbing images, particularly of people using your product or promotion. Keep in mind that your Page’s profile picture will show up next to your promoted post, so everyone will know that it’s connected to your brand.
Offers: Promoting an offer can help increase the number of people who see and claim your offer. This can help to drive more people towards your brand and increase engagement on your Page.
Exclusive events or news: Promoting posts with exclusive content gets people to talk about your Page and share your posts with their network of friends.
Questions: Promoting a question tells people that you value their opinion. For example, you could promote a question asking people to vote on a new product, which encourages people to have a direct impact on your brand decisions.
All the usual engagement rules apply. Here’s my short list:
1. Don’t make it seem like advertising. Facebook users are creatures of habit—they are used to seeing the ramblings of their friends, links to interesting articles, and cooing babies in their news feeds. In short, the news feed is where all the magic happens, which causes Facebook users to become disgruntled if they see things that don’t belong. From a brand or business point of view, the more organic and natural your content is, the better it will perform.
2. A picture is worth a thousand words. The numbers don’t lie; according to Facebook’s internal data, posts that include a photo album or a picture generate about 180% and 120% more engagement than the average post respectively. The use of compelling and eye-catching photos can help to set your post apart from a new feed full of written content.
3. Keep it short and sweet. According to Buddy Media, posts with 80 characters or fewer in length have 27% higher engagement rates; the longer the length of a post, the lesser the fans engage with it.
Have you experimented with Promoted Posts yet? Have any tips or tricks? Share with us on Twitter.