Facebook’s Promoted Posts Versus Ads


Photo: TechCrunch.com

In the last week or so you may have noticed Facebook has added some new tools, one of which being Promoted Posts. For fan pages with at least 400 likes, they are a new way of using the status updates you create or have already created as a means of advertising.  According to Facebook, they will be seen by a higher number of people that have ALREADY liked your page via their newsfeed.  How is that helpful?

Keep in mind only a small percentage of the people who initially liked your fan page actually see content from it–only 16% admits Facebook. This is illustrated by the number and percentage you now see at the bottom of your posts by the phrase “People reached.” Clicking that percentage illustrates it for you.


Interestingly, this could also potentially impact your page’s Edgerank for the better by increasing engagement (liking, sharing, commenting) with your content. Generally, the rule is the more people engaged with your content, the better your Edgerank. The less they engaged with, the less its appears in their newsfeeds overtime.

So what do Promoted Posts cost? The answer will vary for everyone. Facebook provides an estimate of what it will cost to reach a certain amount of people based on the number of your page’s likes. The minimum I’ve seen across various pages I manage is $5 but the maximums vary. The good news is this cost is for as long as the promoted post runs, basically three days. So you will not pay as certain amount per click nor per 1000 impressions.

Can they be targeted? Yes. Like the CPC and CPM Facebook ads, promoted posts can be targeted by location and language. But they will appear at the top of people’s newsfeeds, not off to the right, and will be marked “Sponosored.”  Keep in mind also, that only new posts or those less than three days old can be promoted.

But what are Promoted Posts good for since they run short term where in traditional CPC and CPM run so much longer and to a much wider audience?  Here’s a few ideas:

• Limited time special offers, discounts, and coupons

• Company news

• Event promotions

• Contest promotions

• Gain the attention again of people that initially liked your page, but no longer engage with its content

And what are the advantages of using these as opposed to traditional Facebook ads? There’s a few:

• Location. These ads will occupy prime space in your newfeed, not the right side of the page where traditional ads exist and are often ignored. So the odds that it will be seen are higher. HOWEVER, seeing and doing are two different things. If you desire people to take some action after seeing your ad, the image and written copy are still very important.

• There’s no bidding. The cost and the estimate reach are displayed taking the guess work out of how much to bid.

• More room for creativity. The text for CPC and CPM ads is very limited. Facebook posts allow hundreds of words now.

• Cost. Instead of paying $5-$10 a day over several days or weeks. You’ll pay the displayed fee to reach an estimated number of people one time for the length of your mini-run, which again is for  only 3 days.

Are there disadvantages? Yes. You are only reaching those that have already liked your page. Which means, you’re not reaching new people unless your promoted post is shared to those that have not liked your fan page. But that may not be a downer  if you have lots of fan page likes.  

Secondly, the longest the ad will run is three days. Is that long enough for an ad to be effective? And lastly, if you like several fan pages, the chance your newsfeed may begin looking like a bunch of billboards is high. But let us hope people will use Promoted Posts wisely.

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Contact alice@sheersocial.com