Advertising on Facebook has been seized upon by many businesses eager to reach millions of eyeballs.
The practice has also attracted controversy due to privacy concerns, but it appears users are becoming more, not less, engaged with Facebook ads.
An interesting new study by TBG found that click-through rates to Facebook ads increased by 11% globally in the last quarter, while the cost-per-click ratio has fallen.
Interestingly, ads shown in news feeds were doing well, but the majority of impressions come from ads on the right hand side of the page.
But what if, like most start-ups, you don’t have the budget for a Facebook ad campaign? If so, it may be worth looking at some of the other tools offered by the social media giant.
We’ve picked out one of the newest – promoted posts – to see if it is a good option for new businesses.
Below, David Klein, co-founder of social media agency Orange Line, runs through the pros and cons of promoted posts:
What are promoted posts?
Launched in the summer of 2012, promoted posts enable page owners with at least 400 fans to reach a larger audience by engaging not only their fans, but also their fan’s friends.
And although the best part about promoted posts is their success rate, the next best thing is the inexpensive price – Facebook charges as little as $1 per promoted post and these posts are also visible to mobile users.
The benefits of promoted posts
Let’s face it, simply posting about your product or service on your Facebook page is much like fishing with a very large net.
You toss it out there and hope that it reaches your target audience. Sometimes it does; sometimes it doesn’t.
However, with promoted posts, you can use the “People who like your page and their friends” radio button, and you now have an electronic fish finder to help you, allowing you to connect directly with your customers and their friends at the same time.
This allows you to build brand loyalty by being able to reach more people – but it doesn’t stop there.
By targeting friends of your fans, you’re initiating a conversation between them about your brand.
In turn, you’re increasing your prominence during a consumer’s breakthrough moment along their decision journey.
If you’re like me, you’re interested in the numbers. That’s where Facebook Page Insights comes into play.
They display at the bottom of each post and you can use the drop down arrow menu to get the information you need, such as page post likes, page likes, video plays and link shares.
Page Insights are a valuable tool to help you discover the types of posts that engage the largest amount of people.
This means you can use Insights to see if adding a video, asking a specific question or offering a certain tidbit of information is the most effective, and then hone your posts accordingly.
Promoted posts let you engage with people on Facebook in a much simpler way than having to wade through the Facebook Ads system.
Many businesses find that promoted posts are a quick and easy way to announce upcoming sales, new products and daily specials to their customers while freeing them up to focus on quality content, instead having to spend inordinate amounts of time trying to figure out how to run an elaborate ad campaign.
The antithesis to EdgeRank
EdgeRank is the newsfeed algorithm that Facebook uses to determine what to show in each user’s newsfeed.
It uses a variety of factors, such as the type of content users display; how often two people communicate on Facebook or how often a story has been shared or talked about. With EdgeRank, if your fans haven’t engaged with you on Facebook – or you with them – your posts no longer show up on their newsfeed.
Promoted posts is the way to fix this, because they reach all of your fans – and their friends too.
Customer service opportunities
Facebook allows brands to conduct customer service, as long as they stay on top of posts and messages.
If you use Facebook as part of your customer service strategy, you’ll be able to help more of your customers faster and easier, creating loyalty and word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising.
Now more than ever, consumers are turning to WOM advertising to sort through the barrage of media marketing being thrown at them each and every day, at every turn.
Promoted posts allow you to reach more customers at once, so if you happen to have a problem or issue with your product or service, you can put that fire out quickly.
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