In January 2015, Facebook announced that business owners would now have to “Pay to Play” if they wanted their existing posts to show up anymore in a newsfeed. What did this mean to the local business owner both big and small? The idea of “free” advertising was going away. It was moving towards the goal of having strong content and engaging comments if you wanted a post of yours to show up in the organic newsfeed. To some business owners they may not have even noticed the change. It has now been almost 15 months and in my experience in talking to business owners they still aren’t aware that the “sale” status that they just posted is considered SPAM to Facebook and NOT going out to everyone who has liked their page. So what are the best ways to get your post or message seen? There are basically 3 ads to choose from:
- Boosted Post(Most basic of paid ads)
- Promoted Post (using the Ad Manager/Power Editor)
- Newsfeed Ad (i.e. no ORGANIC reach but looks like a normal post but with the word “sponsored” at the top & is created in Power Editor)
In the past year, Facebook has really improved their targeting options for all of these options, but it can still be confusing on what to use and when to use it.
- Boosted Post-this is as simple as hitting the “Boost Post” button on the lower right hand corner of any post that you create or created in your timeline if you are the admin of that page. With new updates you can choose to just target your fans, add friends of fans, or exclude your fan base altogether. You can focus on targeting new users by using other targeting capabilities such as age, gender, interests….
- Promoted Post- for this option it really is just an enhanced targeting of the previous boosted post. For a Promoted Post, you actually will use the Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor that gives you more options to control who exactly you want to target. You also have other options for pricing and bidding to set up that can give you more control over who sees it. Another advantage is that you can use a conversion pixel, which for a business owner, is great to actually see who took what action.
- Newsfeed Ad- These are also created in Power Editor, however, unlike boosted or promoted posts, these ads WILL NOT show up organically on the wall of your business’s Facebook page. These are sometimes called “Dark Posts” as they are dark on your own timeline. They only show up in the newsfeed of the specific and targeted users you have selected. Another advantage of the newsfeed ad is that you can use a vanity link instead of just sending to the website address. Think of this message as an enhancement of a display ad that is being delivered to a desktop site or mobile site, but this is the “social” display ad. Of the 3, this has the most targeting capabilities.
In the end there is a good reason to use all 3 of these options. As a business owner, the biggest thing is to be aware that with the changes in Facebook in the last couple of years, you can’t just post a message and think you are reaching your audience, let alone growing the existing.
It is so hard in this digital marketing world to be the expert at it all. So either find someone to do this for you internally, or find an expert to help you tie all of your digital goals into one specific campaign that can reach all the channels you want to.