Facebook’s move to limit the organic reach of posts from Pages puts Chattanooga Tn businesses in a position of needing to pay in order to promote messages if they want more than a dozen of their fans to see them. Those who are serious about using Facebook for social marketing must accept the reality that it pays to now pay to play.

Some of the methods that Facebook uses to adjust the parameters to determine what articles should be displayed in a user’s News Feed are proprietary and not available to the public. So how do you decide what’s worth paying to promote versus not?

Five criteria to consider are:

  1. Importance – Is the post you’re considering promoting important to an event you’re hosting and need warm bodies to attend? Are you telling your customers about a giveaway that you need them to sign up for to be eligible to win? If you are needing to prompt some behavior other than merely getting fans to “like” the post, you probably need to promote it.
  2. Impact – Is it a particularly effective post that you anticipate getting a lot of likes, comments and shares? Ideally, all of your posts are potentially hits, but some are naturally going to be more viral than others, such as sharing funny behind the scenes photos. Posts generally have more impact if you include a photo as opposed to being text-only.
  3. Frequency – If you do not post daily, you need to make sure to promote a post whenever you do share something.
  4. Investment – Are you sharing something that you invested time in creating like a video blog presenting a recipe or schematic drawings illustrating your company’s future plans? Did you spend a lot of time doing research for a blog post?
  5. Relevance – Does the post have a long shelf life or are you talking about something that won’t be as important in an hour? If you’re promoting a lunch special, for example, make sure you promote far enough in advance for more people to have seen it before noon arrives. The best posts to promote are “evergreen” and will matter just as much in four days as they do in four hours. You can add money to promote a post again if it worked well the first time.

Even if your page has a devoted following and anything you say makes a big splash, it can be worth it on occasion to amplify your message. The fees charged by Facebook vary according to your fan count, but even spending $5 or $10 can make a big difference. This is why we recommend budgeting some amount for promoting Facebook posts. Luckily, other social networks have not followed Facebook’s lead, but Twitter is rumored to be considering a similar formula for determining what gets seen.

One advantage of paying to promote posts is Facebook’s tools allow you to target specific categories of people, perhaps users who’ve like a competitor’s page or a national brand that offers a similar product. Your reach can extend beyond just those people who’ve liked your page and focus on location, interests, age, gender, etc.

It becomes increasingly important to build your email list so you have more control over getting your marketing message out to your customers on your own terms rather than being at the mercy of a social network. Facebook sets very specific limitations on how contests must be run and what types of posts it accepts or rejects, but marketing agencies like Riverworks follow the guidelines so we can generate effective posts that meet these specifications and help your brand achieve greater impact.

To talk about your brand’s social media strategy, give us a call at (423) 710-3866.

Written by Steven Stiefel