Promoting Posts on Facebook Pages is a Net Positive
I’m going to take a contrarian view on a subject that has a lot of people riled up: Facebook’s Promoted Posts feature. But first, let me begin with the story of my Facebook Page. I started it a few years ago because I believed then that Facebook was an important platform for a small business to develop a community upon.
Although as a small business coach and consultant I’m clearly a B2B entity I still feel that way. Most of my clients and prospects use Facebook personally and they’re happy to engage with my Page from time to time.
I’ve stayed persistent and consistent to keep steadily growing the Page’s Likes mostly organically. The growth has been slow, but steady and rewarding. You could call me the turtle in this case.
Early last year I moderated a panel on social media that had the likes of Facebook, Yelp and HP represented on it. I’ll never forget one part of Facebook’s mini-presentation that explained the difference between Paid, Owned and Earned media, and why it’s important to have all three working in tandem.
In case you’re unaware, Paid represents advertising. Owned is your content. Earned is when that content is shared. Many small businesses focus all of their attention on Owned and Earned. I was in that camp for a few years. I’ve since moved to the other camp that understands there is a role for advertising in social media.
This is especially important on Facebook because of EdgeRank, which is Facebook’s secret algorithm that determines what content users will see in their News Feeds at any given time. The point of Edge Rank is to give users what they’re most likely to want to see. It’s something like Amazon.com recommending certain items for you to buy based on your past behavior and what the greater community tends to favor.
EdgeRank has its pluses and minuses just like Yelp’s dreaded ‘filter’, but it is what it is. It’s not going anywhere that I’ve heard of. So, we must bend and flow with it like the reed in the stream. This is where Paid comes in. With Paid we can go further, faster regardless of EdgeRank.
For example, I’ve used Sponsored Stories to generate more Likes for my Page by advertising it to friends of Fans. As new Fans climb aboard, their friends see my ad. And so it grows. The money I’m spending on this campaign is so minor I’m not even really tracking it. It does help though.
Some time back I heard about Promoted Posts. I got pretty excited about this because I would sometimes be really stumped as to when would be the ideal time to post something that I really wanted maximum exposure for. Usually it was a post that was selling something. Of course, right? Well, no matter when I posted it I was never satisfied with the number of people who saw it.
So, when I realized with Promoted Posts I could be artificially exposed in to News Feeds I thought this is a very good thing. Then, along came the huge opposition. I have read a ton of negative comments on this rollout. The negative commentary can mostly be summed up like this, “Why should I pay Facebook to show my Post to people who’ve already Liked my Page? That’s extortion!”
I can see why people feel this way. I really can. But I don’t agree with it. For one thing, Facebook has to make money. If they don’t, guess what happens to it? Second, EdgeRank isn’t going anywhere. So, your choice is to resist and complain or be the reed. Third, it’s not that expensive for small Pages and is potentially very effective when used sparingly.
I recently posted an ad-type Post. Now that I’m up over 400 Likes, which is the required number to have this feature enabled, I decided to give Promoted Posts a try. If I didn’t promote it I probably would have hit about 120 people. I decided to spend $10 and over the course of a few days my post reached 543 people. In the screen shot below you can see exactly how much I paid to reach how many people.
These results are very pleasing to me. To now I had no option to reach so many people with one of my posts. Now I have a very real option that I will use when it counts. Best of all I can easily afford it.
I don't understand why there is so much rancor over this new feature when it’s reasonably priced and it gets you what you want: More exposure. There are many things in life we disagree with these days. To me, this is one we can live with and profit from if we’ll simply adopt a new perspective. Go ahead and let me have it in the Comments below. I’m ready.
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