3 Tips to Leveraging Paid Posts to Boost the Visibility of Your Facebook Content

@Will | Social

It used to be that brand posts into the news feed happens when the people who have liked the page engage with the post: commenting on it, sharing it, viewing photos and videos, and liking it. Facebook has changed the rules; if you want your posts to be seen by your fans and beyond, you need to pay, period.  A wise digital media marketer named Matt Wurst recently said: “The bar has been raised. Create better content, supplement it with paid media. This is separating the proverbial ‘men from the boys’ and that’s a good thing.” He’s right, but what he doesn’t tell you is how.

Facebook’s New Unofficial Rules: The Need to Pay to be Seen

1.Choose an Action: Consider what kind of action you are hoping to drive with your post. There are currently three ways in the Facebook marketing platform to optimize your promoted post ads and sponsored stories and they each drive a different type of result.

Optimize for Clicks: if you select this setting, Facebook will serve your ad and/or sponsored stories to users that are more likely to click on your post.  This can take the form of a ‘like,’ comment on the post or a visit to your Facebook page.  If you are including a link in the post, it is a good idea to optimize for clicks (and remember to have your link within the first 90 characters of the post!).  One key note, you use your budget more quickly when optimized for clicks.

Optimize for Impressions: impressions are cheaper than clicks, but bring less engagement.  Accordingly, if you are interested in many eyes ‘seeing’ your post, but not necessarily clicking on it, this is for you.  An appropriate situation for impression optimization is when your post is not designed to drive an action (no link) but includes a branded image (like a logo) and in turn, grows your market mindshare similarly to a banner or newspaper ad.

Optimize by Facebook: this setting is a blend of optimizing for clicks and impressions. Facebook claims: “Your bid will be optimized to help you to make users more engaged with your post given your budget.” If you are looking for a mixture of clicks and impressions or are a Facebook marketing beginner, this may be the setting for you.

2. Create Ad Groups Optimized for Each Outcome: duplicate ad groups, one optimized for clicks and one for impressions.  This gives your campaign the best of both worlds. Then you can monitor your promoted post ad groups, see which is preforming better and adapt. Key note: try to never make more than 5 ad groups within a single campaign (Facebook doesn’t like that and all your ad groups in the campaign will suffer).

3. By-Pass Facebook’s Bidding and Over-Bid! Do not have Facebook optimize your bidding, just take the bull by the horns and manage your own bidding. Here is the good news about over bidding; it does not drastically spend your money faster, it just allows you to out bid others competing for the same audience. In other words, most people are bidding low enough that even if you bid a CPC or CPM of $50.00, on average you will still often be paying under $0.50.  I am currently employing this strategy on multiple campaigns. Key note: start low with over bidding (around $5 to $8) and be sure to check on the campaign often. Only bring your bidding higher as you get more comfortable with the platform and process.

What it Means for Brands: An Opportunity for Higher Engagement

What this demonstrates is the convergence of earned, owned, paid, and social media. Content strategies require that these previously silo’d disciplines work together in lockstep. Coordination is key. Therein lies the opportunity – yes, organic no longer works (dropping about 35%, according to most reports) — engagement with organic posts from brand pages is actually rising, from from .76% before Facebook tweaked the algorithm to 1.49% in the weeks since. According to AdAge, those that see a brand’s posts are more likely to have a real affinity for the brand, as opposed to users who may have clicked on the ‘like’ button to enter a contest — and that’s a good thing!

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