After running a promotion a couple of weeks ago that resulted in some new Facebook fans, I decided to try out the Facebook Promoted/Sponsored posts advertising option for the first time. By way of background, my page has about 3800 fans–not too big, not too small. So the advertising costs were low enough to allow me to try it out a couple of times. Plus, I lucked into a $50 Facebook advertising credit for taking a quiz.
What is a Facebook Promoted Post?
When you post on your Facebook business page now, you have the option of promoting a post. A lot of other articles go into more detail on this, so I will just stick to my personal experience. (see 4 Critical Things To Know About Facebook Promoted Posts for more information). Here’s the button in case you have missed it:
You just click on that button and decide how much you want to spend and how long you want the promotion to run.
What Do Sponsored Posts Look Like?
Unlike the Facebook ads you are used to seeing on the right side of the page, these sponsored listings are included just like a regular status update in your customers’ stream. Because they are already a fan of your page, they appear very unobtrusively.
You have to actually look closely to see that it is sponsored. I have heard different things about how Facebook is handling the sponsorship disclosure, so I would not be surprised to see this still changing.
Facebook provides you with some good statistics once your campaign gets going. The first shows you how many people are seeing your post. We know that unless users engage with your page, they are not seeing everything you post. This is a way to get them to see the posts even if they are not engaging with your page.
One interesting thing to note is that you can set an upper budget for your campaign, but it does not mean that Facebook will spend all of that money. I allotted $20 for my first campaign but only ended up spending $12.20 based on the number of views before my 3 days was up.
This data did not appear in the first promoted post that I ran, but it appeared in a subsequent one. It showed how many people clicked the link in the post, how many people liked the post, and how many people commented. Clearly this one didn’t go over so well.
This last data is particularly helpful in determining whether the promotion is worth it for the exposure. It shows that 45% of my fans saw the promoted post. This is way up from the 8-12% who usually see my posts. It also tells me that 25% of the people who saw the post only saw it because I paid for the promotion.
Was the Facebook Promotion Worth It?
In the end, extensive data and promotion are only worth the money if you see a return on your investment. In this case, I cannot say that I got a lot of additional traffic on my links as a result of my promoted posts. However, I only spent around $20 total between the two of them and did reach over 1000 of my fans I would not have otherwise reached. I did get some sales for the deal that I advertised and good participate for the contest that I featured. Both were good but neither was a huge increase from my usual.
The key now that I know how to use the system is to figure out what types of posts are best to promote. This may include running some specials that I only promote through Facebook and not my other channels. It may also include setting up some special landing pages and using more specific links on Facebook that will allow me to track the sales better.
Have you tried the new sponsored posts? Have you seen them in your stream? What has your experience been?