The 5 Myths of Facebook Promoted Posts

The Facebook Promoted Posts feature is the simplest way to start an online advertising campaign anywhere. Hands down.

Click “Promote.” Click “Save.” Campaign starts…

Sure, if you’re a first time advertiser you’ll need to enter a billing method. And you can adjust your budget and whether you’re targeting Fans or Fans and Friends of Fans.

But man. That’s easy!

Because it’s so easy, it’s incredibly tempting to promote nearly every post I write. The Reach screams at me immediately after publishing. It’s no coincidence that this statistic is right… next… to the Promote button.

So it’s easy. Almost too easy. And I’ve gotten great results from Promoted Posts. But I know that many of you still need to be sold. In fact, you’ve already been sold something, and that’s a bag of lies.

There are several myths about Facebook Promoted Posts that are making their rounds, likely started by people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Don’t perpetuate these myths. Educate!

1) “I don’t have the budget.”

Some people are bound and determined never to give Facebook a single dime of their money. Others are convinced that the cost to make any sort of difference isn’t in their budget.

This is simply not true.

Look. I’m one cheap dude. I hate spending money. I am a small business owner. An entrepreneur. I have struggled fast and I have struggled hard. I’ve been at this for one year, trying to support a family of five.

In the beginning, I refused to spend money. But eventually, I realized what all of the successful people have long told us to be true: You’ve gotta spend money to make money.

And I don’t mean spending a fortune. I don’t mean throwing hundred dollar bills around and making it rain. I’m talking about spending as little as $1 at a time.

One. Dollar.

Most people don’t realize this is possible. When you start a promotion, you can choose options of $5, $10, $15 and on up, depending on the size of your Page. But you can stop that promotion at any time.

Just click the Promoted button and then the drop-down on the left to get the option to stop your promotion.

Here’s a recent example when I did this. I wrote a blog post about the 27 WordPress plugins I use. It’s admittedly a little off topic since I focus mainly on Facebook marketing. The Reach out of the gate was awful, and I ended up only reaching 801 people without advertising. That’s poor for my posts.

So I wanted to give it a little boost and promoted it for $.96 and reached 581 more people while getting an additional seven links clicks.

Seven link clicks not a big deal? Maybe. But considering the blog post had affiliate links in it, every click has value.

Since this is the type of post I would promote with Google AdWords, I’d consider $.14 per click to be pretty freaking good.

I’ve heard complaints that the cost is higher per impression when using Promoted Posts. Sure, this is true. But look beyond that.

I’ve seen the impact that a single dollar can make. Understand that your audience is qualified and extremely targeted. You know they dig your stuff. So you’ll find quite a bit of success by reaching a few more people who wouldn’t have otherwise seen your post.

2) “I shouldn’t have to pay to reach all of my Fans!”

Oh, man. When people say this, I just shake my head (I’ve written about this topic before). I know they are going to be a difficult sell. But let me do my best…

First, understand that Facebook and its EdgeRank algorithm aren’t the main reason you aren’t reaching all of your Fans. The main reason is that they simply aren’t online when you post. Only half of your Fans are on Facebook on a given day, and the average amount of time is 30 minutes.

Facebook Fans are a moving target. You expect to reach 100% of them? Well, how about your email list? That is a stationary target, yet you only get an average open rate of 20%. You expect to do significantly better than that?

Anyway, it’s a hot topic for me. But that’s my first rebuttal. Paying for Promoted Posts simply helps you reach more people who weren’t online when you posted. When they are on, this will slide to the top, even if you published your content three days ago.

Second, a major misconception is that Facebook keeps it so that only 16% of your Fans see your content, “forcing” you to pay for advertising to reach the rest. The truth is that advertising won’t help you reach the rest. In fact, I’ve found that even when I advertise I’m unable to reach more than 35% of my Fans.

Promoted Posts won’t assure you of reaching everyone. There is no way to guarantee that. But you can reach more. Given how difficult it is to reach your Fans (for numerous reasons), this is a fantastic tool.

3) “I already reach a high percentage of my Fans, so I don’t need it.”

You’re rocking your Facebook marketing. You’ve never advertised and your Fan base is qualified and strong. You reach, on average, 35% of your Fans every time you publish.

Alright, smart guy, you’re pretty awesome. But you know what? Promoted Posts can still help you. A lot.

Not only will Promoted Posts help you reach those Fans your awesome marketing skills somehow missed, but you can also reach Friends of Fans. When you click that Promote button, you’ll have the option of targeting only your Fans or both your Friends and their friends.

That’s some powerful stuff. People are more likely to buy a product or engage with a brand if it’s been endorsed by a friend. So by casting your net a little wider, you are increasing the possibility for growth.

4) “I don’t need it to reach my goals.”

You just use good old fashioned hard work. That’s to be commended. But just know… By refusing to spend just a few dollars, you are missing some significant opportunities.

You could reach your goals without Promoted Posts. But you can set the bar higher by making a very small investment in Facebook Promoted Posts.

Let me provide an example…

I published a post a week ago that was a review of the Genesis Framework, a WordPress theme. I use Genesis, and I am also an affiliate. So when people go to that review, click my link to Genesis and make a purchase, I get a cut of that.

Without promotion, this post received nine link clicks to my review. I then paid $5 and received 22 more, more than tripling the amount of views of that blog post (from nine to 31). So I spent $5 to get 22 clicks for a CPC of $.23.

Let’s put that into perspective. I also ran a Google AdWords promotion that drove people to that same blog post using a search ad. I spent $17.62 to get nine clicks for a CPC of $1.96 with AdWords.

Did I need to do this? Nope. I could have continued to promote the way I typically do and hope people click and eventually buy. But by promoting my post, I reached more people, more people clicked the link, more people then clicked my affiliate link and I then received revenue I would not have otherwise received (well over the $5 cost of the ad).

5) “It doesn’t work.”

Simply. Not. True.

I’ve shown some of my results already. But let’s provide another one for the skeptics.

My results are small potatoes when compared to an example provided by my friend, John Haydon.

John spent $14.62 to reach 21,612 more people, get 836 more comments, 119 more Page post Likes, 77 more link clicks, 35 more Page post shares and 10 Page Likes. All on one post!

That’s insane!

You won’t get these kinds of results every time you promote a post (if ever). But the value is there for the taking. You just need to be strategic!

Closing Thoughts

Before I go (thank you, Amy, for allowing me this space!), I just want to make one more thing clear. While I love Promoted Posts and think they are a great tool, you should be smart about what you promote.

Not everything is “promotion-worthy.” Spend money on posts that will lead to direct or indirect income that you can track. Or at minimum, promote posts that help lead you to a business goal.

For example, as a blogger one of my goals is to write viral content. When I write viral content, I get more page views. When I get more page views, I get more ad and affiliate revenue as well as more clients (assuming the traffic is qualified).

So in some cases, I will promote a post that I believe in with hopes of helping push it to the next level of virality. But also feel free to promote anything that drives direct revenue, subscriptions or downloads.

What types of content are you promoting with Promoted Posts?

About Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer is a solopreneur with more than five years of
experience in Facebook marketing. Beginning one year ago, he put that
experience to the test by starting his own business as a Facebook
Marketing Coach, blogger and consultant. Read his tips at JonLoomer.com or Like his Facebook Page to learn more about how you can build trust, build a business, build a brand and make a difference with Facebook marketing.

  • Raghu Jaga

    First the post was good with information and it is inspiring. I did tried Facebook ads just a week back. I started a Senior Dating site and created Facebook page for the same, the FB page as pretty much new and do not have any activity as of now. I thought to use FB ads and get couple of 100s likes and then take active participation on the page.

    I had limited budget, but still thought to try and I fixed $5 per day budget and ran the ads for about 3 days just to check and see how it goes. But I am really unhappy as my FB ads does not even show a single ad impression nor any clicks nor likes. And even it did not charged me either.

    Am pretty confused as what did happened, I selected age group of 40 to 65 and targeted US, UK, UAE, Kenya, South Africa, Australia an India for this.

    Why did that my ad did not yield me any results not even impression not even clicks nor likes and even not billed either. I am not sure whether I set the ad properly.

    Can you just share you thoughts on this?

    Raghu

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  • Malina Tysonh

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  • http://jasonhjh.com/ Jason HJH

    Hi Nika,

    Just came across your question. If you haven’t found an article to this, here’s my explanation, hope it helps.

    When you launch an ad, how your budget is utilised is highly dependent on 2 things:
    1. The time that your target audience are online
    2. The bid type and amount you chose

    Assuming that your target audience are online, your Facebook Ad mechanism should start the bidding process to show the ad to your audience. If your bid type is oCPM without any limits/specific actions, usually it means that most of the time, Facebook will bid sufficiently to show the ad to your audience.

    If it’s spent quickly, it’s usually because you have a large number of audience online at the time.

    If you want the ad budget to be expended throughout the day, I’d suggest that you run the campaign starting at the time just after the peak hour.

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  • cat mario online

    Very interesting and very well done. I take exception to only one point: that “anything that returns a positive ROI is worthwhile”. Perhaps it’s true when selling a virtual product and the cost of adding one new user is close to zero, but for real world, brick and mortar
    businesses, where the cost of each product sold is typically 33 to 50% of the sale, a business really needs to reap a 5 to 1 ROI and the email example is close enough to call it a success.
    You are to be commended for this insightful article and all that went into it. Very few businesses will take the time to evaluate where they spend their time and money and hopefully business owners will see this and look for ways to evaluate their own marketing investments
    Regards
    cat mario online

  • Rob

    I have just promoted my latest post but I was wondering if anyone can answer the following: After most of my cash had been used it asked do I want to increase my budget by $4 and estimated I could reach another 70 -160 thousand people, the original post reached 133k so I was like hell yeah. So I added the cash and after $4 it had reached 1300 people. Whats up with this is it a FB trick or a very bad estimation?

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  • Abhiyan

    Thanks Jon, But this is very costly method and seriously, you wouldn’t like a sponsored page if it has 20 or 23 likes to begin. My suggestion, Buy facebook likes . They are fake for sure but they give your audience a level of confidence to like your page.

    Think for yourself, would you like a page with 20-40 likes or 2000-4000 likes?