The Polarizing Promoted Post – Facebook

Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out…

Let’s discuss the hotly contested issue of Facebook and Promoted Posts, shall we? As Facebook began to seriously tinker with the now infamous EdgeRank Algorithm in 2012, more and more savvy social media marketers started looking for clever loopholes to slink through. But Zuck and company didn’t get where they are by being naïve. Facebook was able to get out in front of many of these issues when they began offering Facebook pages the opportunity to promote their most popular posts/content – for a fee, of course.

And so the backlash began…followed by advocacy…followed by confusion…

Opinions on Facebook’s introduction of Promoted should i use promoted posts on facebookPosts have really run the gamut – from, “I hate you so much right now!” to, “Just generate compelling content every time and you have nothing to worry about.” Many page owners feel that it’s unfair for Facebook to make them pay to reach people who have already liked their page, while advocates pretty much agree that the heart and soul of social media is content, content, content. And if your content is on-point you’ll have nothing to worry about. I fall somewhere in the middle – the more and more promoted posts making it into your newsfeed, the less the opportunity for my awesome, un-promoted post to fit in. No matter how fantastic the level of interaction.

For those of you considering the polarizing Promoted Post…

So if you’re looking to experiment with Promoted Posts you might be wondering what types of posts would get you the most traction, bang-for-your-buck, etc. The answer is quite simple really – go back through your insights and see which of your posts have generated the most interaction. Bingo. You even have the option to go back and promote a post you made days, weeks, even months ago. So if you’re lucky enough to have experienced one of those magical moments when your little-old post blew up in a way you never saw coming – try promoting that post to see what kind of response you get.

More good options for Facebook Promoted Posts

  • Photos and Videos – If you’ve been actively managing a Facebook page for any amount of time you’ve probably come across an article (or 100) touting the virtues of visual content. And they wouldn’t be wrong. We’re human. We like shiny, flashy, moving parts, etc. Visual content is golden for generating interaction among your fan base and great for testing out Promoted Posts.
  • Offers – If you’re lucky enough to be able towhat posts to promote on facebook hand out a few social-media-specific offers to your loyal Facebook fans, well then more power to you. Offers are perfect Promoted Post fodder because once one of your fans claims the offer, their friends see and claim it (hopefully), and then their friends see and claim it, etc. – drawing big-time page interaction and engagement. Promoted promotions – give it a whirl.
  • Exclusive Events or News – Social media is all about the human side of things. People want to be entertained, to have fun and to (gasp) socialize. Build a relationship with your fans by letting them in. Post pictures of a team-building outing. Post video of the company softball game. Is your business doing charitable works in the community? Let people know. The stronger the connection you can build with your fan-base the better. Promote away!
  • Questions – This option falls much into the same vein as “exclusive events” or “news”, in that we are once again showing a softer side and letting fans know that we value their opinions and feedback. So – ask questions. “Have any of you tried our (enter product/service here)?” “How do you feel about ….?” Not only have these sorts of posts proven to draw huge engagement and interaction, you also are able to obtain some truly invaluable nuggets and insights from your fans. How do you feel about Promoted Posts?

No matter where your opinion falls in regards to Promoted Posts and Facebook – it really does all boil down to a few key ingredients. Be strategic about the content you’re posting. While yes, we want every piece of content to blow our fans’ minds every single time, it’s simply not always possible. You have to try new things. Experiment. But if you’re promoting worthless content it could very easily blow up in your face and seriously turn people off. Content is King! And don’t forget, it’s called “Social Media” for a reason. Be fun, conversational and responsive. Consider every complaint an opportunity. Have fun – in the end, isn’t that what life’s all about?

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Steven Mayo is the Director of Client Services for Valet Interactive. He has over 8 years experience in marketing with a specialization in web content and content marketing. Off the job you'll find him brewing beer, listening to death metal and spending time with his family.