Facebook "Promoted Posts" Revealed

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with RealEstate.com
https://activerain.com/droplet/MP5

There are a lot of interesting features that have been rolled out for Facebook page managers recently. The scheduling function and admin roles assignment have been the two most talked about features within the real estate, social media sector of Facebook. Yet there are two other features that deserve attention because they will doubtless change the way we look at Facebook as a networking channel from a community manager/marketer’s point of view.

If you manage or own a page, you may be familiar with some of the features I’ve mentioned above. Let’s take a look at what happens when you try to create a post as a page. You’ll notice that on the bottom left side of the status bar is that little clock, which is the new scheduling function. Closer to the “Post” button is the brand new “Promote” button.

Once you click on this button, a nifty drop-down bar will appear, giving you a list of prices with an estimated reach number next to them.

The price-range will vary based on how many fans you have. It’s strange because the estimated reach is not even a percentage of your total fan base. If you already have your billing information entered into Facebook, then save and you’re done! If not, it’ll ask you to enter your credit card information to check out.

Wait, that’s it?

Yup, Facebook made it so that you can now create an ad as easily as you created the post itself with the purpose of getting more people who like your page to see your posts.

I know what you’re thinking. Why would I even bother about this to begin with? There is another function that came out around the same time as the promoted post function. Coincidentally, Facebook also started showing you the reach of each post you’ve ever posted, and it ain’t pretty. It’s about as depressing as when they started putting up the number of calories next to menus in restaurants.

It might just be me, but I first thought, with a 5,000 fan base, I’d be able to reach at least half of my audience just by posting, right? However, an important thing to realize is that you could never reach 100 percent of your audience all the time. I like about 20 different pages could you imagine what my newsfeed would look like if I saw every post they ever posted all the time? Chaos. This new statistic (I’m guessing) was put there to invoke the same initial reaction I experienced when seeing these numbers right in my face.

Just as a disclaimer, prior to running this test, I had no idea how Facebook advertising worked. After fiddling around with it for about an hour, I came to the page shown above, which allowed me to see the overall performance of the ads I’ve created (aka the ads that were created from clicking the promoted post button).

It made zero sense to me.

It was only after an intense workshop followed by heavy tutoring from one of my co-workers, that I was able to understand what it all meant. The more I look back on the tests I’ve run on this promoted post function, the more I’ve come to realize how dangerous it is for page administers, and how this is an ingenious way for Facebook to make money.

I’ll avoid getting technical, but this is basically what you need to know. When you click that “Promote” button, you are in essence creating two ads for a post. One ad will target those who like your page, and another will target friends of those who like your page. Basically, you’re advertising your post to people who already like your page, and then advertising their activity to their friends, thereby expanding your reach to beyond your circle. In theory this is a good plan, but take a look at the targeting parameters Facebook automatically sets up for you. 

I’m not so sure how this list of countries was generated but it is not the target audience I want to aim for. This is a huge waste because not only am I targeting whole countries I don’t need my ad to be shown to, I’m decreasing my chances of getting someone who sees my promoted post to like my page.

Furthermore, there is a new metric that has been introduced by Facebook, and it is extremely important to understand the difference between the two. CPC (Cost Per Click) pricing is set for those who want people to click on their ads whereas CPM (Cost Per Impression) is set for those who want to increase more likes. The idea behind CPM is that Facebook will now charge you every time someone sees your ad versus charging you for every click. The idea behind this type of pricing is that cost per 1000 impressions sounds nice, but you’re still guaranteed no action. It will be up to you to decide which pricing will be more beneficial to you, but during my time advertising with Facebook, CPC has proven to be a much more cost-effective plan.

There have been some great updates made for Facebook page admins which makes managing a page easier than ever. That said, be wary of the allure of gaining more social awareness for your content and page by using “Promoted Post.” There’s nothing wrong with spending marketing money on Facebook advertising, but please take the time to research how it works instead of just clicking the easy set up button. This button was made for page managers like you and me who don’t know anything about Facebook advertising. Having Facebook auto-generate our ad campaigns can only mean more spending less efficiently. 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Nikesh Parekh 06/19/2012 03:13 PM
  2. Inna Ivchenko 06/19/2012 05:47 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Tags:
facebook
social media
real estate

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Ambassador
2,791,411
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Eric - Very interesting and useful post. There's lots of new stuff here to digest, understand and evaluate for use, and I have to admit, my FB efforts have been on cruise control lately.

Jun 20, 2012 01:16 AM #12
Rainmaker
39,788
Eric Proulx
RealEstate.com - Kirkland, WA

Dick – Thanks man, Facebook is always wheeling out new features on us so it’s hard to stay on top of the ball.

Jun 20, 2012 01:35 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,036,603
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Eric - as in all promotion it's return on investment we need to look at. ..... my understanding is that somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10% for any one actually looking at what you send/provide is about average ..... so congratulations 680 out of 5,000 (13.6%) is above average

Jun 20, 2012 02:08 AM #14
Rainmaker
39,788
Eric Proulx
RealEstate.com - Kirkland, WA

Kathy - You're right! That much organic exposure is excellent, but initially when seeing 13.6%, it can seem low and even startle some people at how little exposure they're getting. The point I was making was to let Facebook page owners know that the exposure percentages they're seeing for their posts are nothing new and that it shouldn't be an alarm for them to start cranking out promoted posts.

Jun 20, 2012 02:14 AM #15
Rainmaker
570,170
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA
Thanks Eric. I had seen that promote button but knew I needed to find out more about it before clicking.
Jun 20, 2012 02:34 AM #16
Rainmaker
39,788
Eric Proulx
RealEstate.com - Kirkland, WA

Christine -  No problem! Hopefully this helped you out a bit :)

Jun 20, 2012 02:40 AM #17
Rainmaker
655,882
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Thanks for sharing ---- we stick with "organic" -- but this may work for some.

Jun 20, 2012 02:52 AM #18
Rainer
49,328
Bob Caldwell
Fitzgerald Financial, a Division of Monarch Bank - Annapolis, MD
VA Mortgage Specialist and Military Relocation Services
I saw this feature but had no clue what it meant since Facebook updates it's design every other week (lol)....thanks for explaining it!
Jun 20, 2012 02:55 AM #19
Rainmaker
39,788
Eric Proulx
RealEstate.com - Kirkland, WA

Exactly, different strokes for different folks. Thanks for the read.

Bob - Haha I know, it'd be nice if these people could make up their mind for a little while. Thanks for the comment!

Jun 20, 2012 03:08 AM #20
Ambassador
460,927
Terrie Leighton
Ferrari-Lund Real Estate - Reno, NV
Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno

Eric ~ let me tell how happy I am to read I am not the only one getting a little depressed with the "low" % of people being reached with my fabulous updates! Thought it was me lol. More importantly, the info you provided about how promoting and ads work helps understand a little bit more how it all works.

Jun 20, 2012 04:12 AM #21
Rainer
75,263
Vanna Siackhasone
Real Estate Brokers of Alaska 907-720-4663 - Anchorage, AK
Anchorage Real Estate 907-720-4663

Wow! Awesome illustration of how Facebook really works! Thank you!

 

Jun 20, 2012 04:16 AM #22
Rainmaker
579,727
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Great information Eric.  These things are changing so fast, it is getting harder to know what to do...

Jun 20, 2012 04:27 AM #23
Rainmaker
39,788
Eric Proulx
RealEstate.com - Kirkland, WA

Reno - Haha we're in this together. it's too bad this is the way FB is operating these days, we just have to make the most out of it now. I'm happy to hear you found value in the post! thanks for the comment.

Vanna - And thank you for the read!

Chris - No kidding! you need a refresher just about every week to make sure you're still managing the system correctly, it's crazy.

Jun 20, 2012 06:06 AM #24
Rainmaker
810,011
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Eric:

Wow, you have all the information.  I have to reread this post so I can be sure to glean all the important information from it.  I'll be back.

Jun 20, 2012 08:38 AM #25
Rainmaker
1,036,603
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Eric - my webguy hubby sasy organic is the only way ..... there are simply to many sites that want to dip into our pockets ..... those who don't want our money (and some that do) want our inventory for free to boost the value of their sites in direct competition to us

Jun 20, 2012 02:31 PM #26
Rainmaker
39,788
Eric Proulx
RealEstate.com - Kirkland, WA

Kathy - I would agree, organic is the way to do it. The main point of my article was to encourage Facebook page owners not to give into the promoted post function as it is a huge waste of money. However, there is nothing wrong with spending money on Facebook advertising to market your content. You have to see Facebook advertising as marketing money. It takes money to market your brand and spread brand awareness which is essentially how Facebook advertising can be used to market your page.

 

I hope I'm addressing the points you're bringing up correctly!

Jun 20, 2012 02:39 PM #27
Ambassador
2,008,677
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Eric - Thank you so much.  I am now far more educated on FB advertising for pages than I was a few minutes ago.

Jun 20, 2012 04:19 PM #28
Rainmaker
2,558,827
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

It is continually a challenge to know how to best spend dollars for marketing and promotion.  This blog has provided insight into the Facebook equation of that.

Jun 20, 2012 08:22 PM #29
Rainmaker
452,605
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Thanks so much for doing the legwork on this. I was considering and just had not had time to dig into it. 

Jun 20, 2012 10:54 PM #30
Rainmaker
39,788
Eric Proulx
RealEstate.com - Kirkland, WA

Christine - Haha good then I'm doing my job!

Myrl - Thank you, I just wanted to make sure everybody was informed before they started making spending decisions that they didn't need too.

Bourbonnais - My pleasure. Thanks for stopping by and the comment!

Jun 21, 2012 01:16 AM #31
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