Would You Pay to Promote a Post on Facebook

Facebook just started rolling out the Promote feature that allows you to pay them a certain amount to promote a post on your Facebook Timeline. How much you pay is based on how many fans you have.

What does it mean to Promote a post on Facebook?

Featured on BlogHer.comWhen you post something on your Facebook Fan page it used to go out to everyone who Liked your Fan page. Every single person that was a fan of your page would see your posts. Overtime Facebook has done some changes to make it so that only people who interact with your page on a regular basis with Likes, Comments and Shares to a status update will see what you write on a regular basis.

To promote a Facebook post you must have at least 400 Facebook Fans on your Fan page. When you click in the status box to write an update you will now see the Promote option. Click on it and you will see how much it will cost you to promote a post. It is based on how many fans you have and there are payment levels.

One of my Facebook fans pages has around 18,000 fans as of the writing of this post so I was offered $10 to $100 campaigns to promote that post.

How much I pay depends on how much I want to spend. I notice that out of the 18,000 fans I have, about 3,000 to 4,000 see my posts on a regular basis. I know this because I can see the Insights and percentages under each post (see below). If a post is already getting 3,000 to 4,000 views I don’t even want to pay anything. If I want to reach a lot more I might consider the higher reach option they gave me.

When you click to write a Facebook status update you will see the Promote option.

facebook promote a post

You can set your Facebook budget and you can only promote updates you have made up to 3 days old. Older posts cannot be promoted but you can start a new update to promote.

facebook promote a post payment option

Set the amount you want to pay based on how many fans you want to reach.

Promote a Post on Facebook

Facebook Reach is shown by the Insights at the bottom of a status update you already posted on Facebook.

facebook post reach insight

It is quite interesting to me that out of the 18,000 fans I have only 3,310 saw this post and that includes the Viral portion.

facebook insights

When you click on Viral you it tells you that this number is the amount of people who saw the Facebook post from a story in someone elses timeline, very interesting.

facebook viral post insights

Now, this is downright depressing when you see that the average amount of people who see your Facebook posts is 16%.

facebook viral post insights

When you pay to have a post promote, it does have to be approved first so there is no guarantee you will be allowed to promote until you find that out.

Just like with regular ads and sponsored stories, promoted posts will be reviewed by our Facebook Ads Team, but generally they should start running as soon as they’re created. Just like with posts you don’t promote, your posts will show up in the news feeds of some of the people who like your Page right away. Facebook

You are probably asking, why do I want to give Facebook more money than they already make? As a blogger you have to look at it from a business point of view. Will promoting a post help me get more traffic to my site? Could it help me get more Facebook fans? Could I earn that money back with a post that has an affiliate offer in it?

If Facebook wasn’t free in the first place, a lot of us wouldn’t be getting the kind of traffic we have today. Yes, Facebook has all of the power because they have so many members now. They decide who sees what posts and they have come up with a way to have some of your fans see the posts and not all of the fans. Yes, they have come up with yet another way to make more money and if we buy into it we will be making them richer than they already are. I think you can’t really think of it like that. You have to say, that is them and this is me and my blog and I am going to use whatever tools are out there to help me grow my reach, traffic, fans, and income. If this tool works then I may use it and think of it like that, another tool in my blogging business.

Note: Whether a big brand pays to promote a post shouldn’t have any affect on your own Facebook posts because each account is separate.

Any kind of advertising is a risk. You advertise to get more fans, more traffic, sell more products, get more people to sign up for your email list, or some other reason. You may want people to see an affiliate offer you have on your blog. If you are a mom blogger and use MySavings Media, Logical Media, or Escalate Media, you may be promoting affiliate offers all of the time. They are a great way of making money with your blog. Imagine if one affiliate offer earns you $1.00 for each person who signs up and you post it on Facebook with your regular traffic and earn a certain amount of money, how much more you could make if you paid Facebook to promote the status update. It’s a gamble that could pay off or could tank, you just never know. It’s like buying keywords from Google Adwords. You could get traffic that converts to click-throughs on offers or you could just get traffic that does nothing.

I want to know…

What about fans who hide my updates? Will they see the update I paid to promote?

Why does Facebook say this:

All promoted posts will show in the news feeds of the people who like your Page and, when they interact with the post, to their friends. These posts will be labeled as “Sponsored” in the news feed. Promoted posts will not be shown in the right-hand column of Facebook.

I thought that posting something on Facebook would be seen by more fans if they Liked, Commented, and Shared anyhow. If Facebook is charging for Promotion why is it the same thing?

And this…

If you don’t promote your post, many of the people connected to your Page may still see it. However, by promoting a post, you’re increasing its potential reach so an even larger percentage of your Page audience and the friends of those interacting with your post will see it.

Does that mean that friends of fans will see it? I guess that is what the previous quote meant. Friends of current fans will also be able to see your post. I wonder if the current fan has to interact with the post though. You’re confusing me Facebook.

Facebook answers come from the Facebook Help Center.

Will promoting your Facebook status updates pay off?

There are still too many questions left unanswered and untested at this point. I guess the verdict is still out on Facebook status update Promotions. Until it is tested we will all have to wonder if it is a good thing or worth it. Have you tried Facebook Promote yet? I would love to hear about your experience with it.

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  1. Thanks for this post. This is the first I have seen of this in detail. I love this statement “If Facebook wasn’t free in the first place, a lot of us wouldn’t be getting the kind of traffic we have today.” We can complain all we want, but Facebook has definitely become a way that a lot of us have made money due to the viral traffic we get for FREE through it. I don’t have a problem testing the waters of this new paid promotion system. If I don’t want to see paid posts from pages I have liked, I can always unlike them. We may very well see a lot more of that if companies use it too much.

  2. I’m not a business or have a fan base, I’m just an average social FB user- I think this may push people to begin looking for the next hot social site- FB HAS built this platform and it IS awesome, but now it seems just from a casual users perspective they’re milking the life out of it, and the cash cow might run dry if they keep it up. Eh, I’ll find what I want, I’ll keep using FB until or if something cooler, newer, etc. comes along, but I do find this to be a manipulative tactic. Maybe it’s a great business plan, I don’t know, crack dealers give out samples to hook people before they start charging them don’t they?? lol. Either way, I personally GO to most of the pages that deeply interest me, I don’t rely on the feed anymore anyway, since they’ve started the changes I don’t see the things I want all the time, so I don’t trust that I’m getting the info that’s important to me.

    • Mom Blogger says:

      Dianna, you are absolutely right. For bloggers and business Facebook is great for driving traffic to our sites, but for people just wanting to use it for personal uses, it is getting way too busy. I also have a Google Plus account now and see more people moving over there for personal use because so far, there aren’t any advertisements on it and less people promoting their sites.

  3. Buyer beware!!!

    now the tests are over and the system has gone gone worldwide, very disappointed. i run facebook page with over 30K of followers, if I use the promote function, I get 10% more reach, all fine and good a few more likes of the post it self maybe not very significant amount all told, but if you look deeper I do not not gain new page likes actual I get a large increase i un-likes for my page.why this is all promoted post mark sponsored facebook users do not like stuff pushed on them through friends etc, fine but not really stuff paid for.

    So why should i pay to prompt my post, I cant think of a reason, unless facebook actually promotes to Followers who actually like to see my post Ie. like the fist 10 to 15% who do for free anyway, why pay for more and shoot your self in the foot and loose followers of your page.

    never going to use again unless there is a significant change. if i post very regularly I can get the same reach with out the negative affect of a sponsored post. What are facebook

    • Mom Blogger says:

      Thanks for letting us know your experience Pierre. I have seen a dramatic drop in traffic from my Facebook page that has 19,000 fans to my blog and the average of 16% reach has gone down to 10% reach, without promotion. I did find that if I upload an interesting photo and then link to a post it does better. Sometimes even a funny photo does more than anything else because people love those and then share them, which seems to increase the reach a lot. Facebook has done a very bad thing to all of us. I don’t even see the pages I personally follow and want to see and I haven’t done anything different. It’s all because of greed and they will probably fall just like eBay did when they got greedy. Now we all need a new place to go to promote our blogs. Maybe Google+ will catch on soon.

  4. I won’t expend a penny promoting my updates.

    In the past run a campaign (CPM) to promote my games site.

    According to Fb my ads had almost 11,000 impressions and not a single click.

    How is that possible. In all other medias I get between 1% and 5%.

    FB ads no more.

  5. This discussion was very helpful to me…for understanding the promote feature and for the feedback through your ideas. SO glad I found this!

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