What Nonprofits Need to Know about Facebook Promoted Posts

first_imgDo nonprofits have to pay to get their content seen on Facebook?  We wanted to get the scoop, so Network for Good’s Katya Andresen turned to Facebook expert, John Haydon. He provided easy-to-understand, practical insight on the most common questions about Promoted Posts on Facebook.Katya: Do you have to pay to play to have success on Facebook these days? Should you do promoted posts and if so, how?John: No, you do not have to pay to play to have success on Facebook these days. But you do have to publish awesome content. Again, Edgerank is nothing new for Facebook Pages. Updates from Pages have never reached all of their fans. But Pages with awesome content reach more of their fans, and some even go further than that, like George Tekai’s page.Promoted posts are certainly an option to reach more fans. However, promoting posts alone will not create success. As you know, you have to do many things right to be truly effective on social media.As Alison Carlman points out in her experiment on using Promoted Posts, you have to have a goal, and you have to measure what works for your organization. They also learned that Promoted Posts did increase engagement and net revenue on posts they promoted.How to think about promoted postsWith promoted posts, all you’re paying for is an increase in reach. There is no guarantee that you’ll get more comments, likes and shares, even though that’s what you want for long-term success (the more comments, likes and shares you get on a post, the more you’re leveraging true word of mouth).So the key to investing your ad dollars wisely, is to ONLY promote posts that are already getting a lot of likes, comments and shares. You do this by ranking your most recent posts by virality within Facebook Insights (the analytics tool every Facebook Page has).Two benefits to promoting high virality posts1. You will get more likes, comments and shares from the promotion.2. You’ll increase organic reach for your Page updates.An example of how this works Let’s say you have a post that 20 people have talked about (liked, commented on, shared) among 200 people total who saw that update (reach). If you pay for this update to reach an additional 2000 people, it’s reasonable to expect that the update will receive approximately 200 likes, comments and shares, when adjusted for affinity.What does “adjusted for affinity” mean? Many people who see this promoted post have a lower affinity for your Page than people who are see this post organically. This is why they’re not seeing your posts in the first place. When you promote a post, remember that you’re promoting it to fans who haven’t talked about your posts much before (low affinity), and that they’re not as likely to talk about your post as someone who sees it organically (high affinity). In the few pages I’ve analyzed (10 pages), this adjustment seems to be about 20%. Using this adjustment with our example, the total number of likes, comments and shares would be around 160.People who hate math should just know one thing: if you promote posts that are already getting a higher number of likes, comments and shares, your promotion will yield much more value than if you promoted posts that have a low number of likes, comments and shares. Another way to say this is this: if you promote posts that are not already interesting, you are throwing money out the window.For more insight, check out John’s video on getting the most out of promoted posts and a blog post on extending your Facebook reach.(This article was adapted from a post that originally appeared on Katya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog.)last_img