In my last post, I blogged about EdgeRank, Facebook’s algorithm that dictates what posts are shown in a user’s news feed and how you can use what is known about the equation to optimize your posts. Now, it is time to talk about how to use Facebook advertising to get your posts in even more news feeds.
Facebook has understandably put a focus on increasing advertising revenue since they went public. They have added a number of new Facebook advertising types and features. Because of this, we now have a full arsenal of ad units that we can use together, with each playing a significant role in increasing user engagement with your posts.
If you have good content and you built your Facebook community right, post engagement becomes a numbers game. Your fans will engage with your content as long as they see your content. We know that most Facebook posts will not be seen by more than 16% of the people who like the page, and Facebook has addressed this by giving us the promoted post ad unit. Page admins are now able to create a post and then pay to ensure it is seen in X amount of news feeds.
So when should you use your limited ad dollars to promote a post? The two best times to use this feature are when you have a post that is full of “red meat” and you know will be particularly popular with your base and when you have big news that you really want your community to see. In the first example, you want to promote the popular post because we know that the users that engage with the post are more likely to see your posts in the future. Very helpful!
Facebook allows you to create ad units out of actual page posts. These can be shoe-horned into the traditional Facebook ad model, the sponsored stories ad model or a mixture of both.
A traditional Facebook ad that promotes a particular post can be targeted to anyone that you could target a normal page or external ad to. This is helpful in building post engagement beyond your community, which often results in new page likes. The sponsored story page post ad units can be targeted to friends of people who like your page and show your post along with a listing of the viewer’s friends that like that page. This also is likely to spur post engagement and new page likes.
Sponsored posts can also be targeted to news feeds, which give you an additional way to build post engagement. If you combine promoted posts with sponsored posts targeted to news feeds only, you are ensuring that your posts will be seen in an expanded number of news feeds of the people who like your page AND the news feeds of those people who don’t already like your page. Think about the exposure your one post can gain from doing this!