Facebook launched a new promoted post option today…I hope this blog helps people understand how to use this new option strategically…
Step 1: What are the constraints?
Promoted posts are designed to reach more of your existing audience, as it stands this is not a way to grow a page. Promoted posts are another paid workaround for edgerank (sponsored stories did this a little bit). AKA Facebook’s math equation that decides what you do and do not see.
Step 2: Define the purpose
This is the step where we look at the 3 options for using promoted posts:
1. The page no longer gets engagement and there is a new content strategy
A content strategy that didn’t work was run too long and now the audience no longer sees any posts because the page isn’t relevant. Its time to pay to bring the page back to life… Community managers should use every option available to restore edgerank.
2. Improve edgerank by promoting engaging content
This is how most brands use sponsored stories. Generally they use them to increase engagement and awareness of entertaining posts. The new option promoted posts have a built in advantage of falling within the timeline and will help brands increase their audience with people likely to engage with their posts.
3. A big announcement
Big announcements are things that would get placed into a major press release. Investor news, acquisitions, sales etc. They also include announcements you would spend 5 Million in advertising for in a short period of time (Out of home ads). Stores will, and probably should use promoted posts as a way to announce sales and events. If an announcement provides value it makes a lot of sense to do anything possible to increase the size of the audience.
Step 3: Triggers
The community manager should define triggers that explain when promoted posts will be used. Big announcements on the content calendar should be marked ahead of time and a budget should be established coming out of regular ad spends. If visibility is falling consistently the community manager should trigger a 2 tier spend sponsored stories and promoted posts. Expect every network to adopt options like this in the near future.
It is logical to think Facebook wouldn’t start forcing brands to buy audience they already own. However, Facebook is Facebook and they can do whatever they want to including forcing brands to pay to communicate. ”Facebook is Free” might be a thing of the past, in the near future.