Let’s say you wanted to say hi to your Facebook followers – no not just to the ones currently being served your hilarious cat pictures based on edgerank, but also to the ones who have long since stopped clicking “Like” and are no longer commenting on your posts. Well, currently for $7 per post, you can force your way into (correction: increase the odds of showing up in) your friends’ news feeds.
As to what you will receive for your fee, Facebook officially states, “Promoting a post simply bumps it higher than it would otherwise appear in your audience’s news feeds.” And “Promoting a post does not affect who can see it. Instead, it bumps the post higher in news feed so more of the people you shared it with are likely to notice it.” There is no defined indication of how long the post will persist, you may not define the audience, and it seems clear that there is no guarantee that ALL of your friends, or subscribers, will see the post. This would certainly include people who have chosen to hide your posts in the past.
While Facebook doesn’t say how long the promoted post will persist, the feedback from friends points to them staying visible for a much longer period of time. One friend saw my test message, for the first time, 60 hours after it had initially been posted.
According to Facebook, any kind of personal post may be promoted, except those in groups and from third party applications like Instagram. Events can only be promoted from posts used to share the event, not from the event creation page.
Promoted posts for both personal accounts and Pages share some similarities, but there are also some key differences. For starters, anyone can promote a post from a personal account, except for accounts with over 5,000 friends. Facebook Pages must have 400 “Likes” before they may promote a post.
Unlike page promotions, which can be paused, your only recourse for an errant or unwanted personal post promotion is to delete the post.
An odd quirk is that personal posts must first be published before they can be promoted. Once a post is published it can still be enrolled for promotion for up to six hours after. Promoted posts from a Page can be set up before you post, if acting as the Page, and although Facebook claims there is a 3-day shot clock, I have seen posts that are weeks old which still have the promote dropdown option. Additionally, you can set a budget on promoted Page posts, whereas personal post promotions appear to be currently fixed at $7 (though indications are that that’s open for change).
Now, if you are going to pay for your post to be promoted, you will likely want to know how it performed. Sadly, the sponsored analytics are sorely lacking. Upon clicking on the sponsored indicator of your promoted post, you are given nothing more than a percentage breakdown of regular views versus paid views. For my money, I’d at least like to see a total number of people who saw the post, but this is currently only available for Facebook Pages.
Do you see yourself paying to promote your content? And how will you feel about receiving promoted content from your friends? Comment below.