social media how toAre you thinking of using Facebook Promoted Posts?

The feature officially rolled out in late May.

Many people are wondering where this new advertising option fits into their marketing mix or if it even fits at all.

What are Promoted Posts?

Facebook has enabled you to pay for an individual post to be seen in more of your fans’ news feeds. You have probably noticed the new metric Facebook has on the bottom of every post showing how many people it reached.

percentage of people reached

Each post shows your percentage of people reached and the exact number.

Why are the Posts not Already Being Seen by Your Community?

Facebook has been trying to educate people that nothing has changed recently, just the information is new.

Facebook posts were always only seen by a portion of your audience due to the fact that people may not be on Facebook at the time of your post or they may have a lot of friends and pages, which results in too much activity for all of it to show in their news feed.

EdgeRank is Facebook’s news feed algorithm for determining what is shown to people based on weight, affinity and time. Promoted Posts are a way to push posts more prominently into people’s news feeds.

Facebook has a great Help section where you can learn more about Promoted Posts.

Here are 12 things you should know about Promoted Posts:

#1: Facebook Promoted Posts are only available to pages with more than 400 Likes. And not all countries have Promoted Posts yet—they are still rolling out.

#2: You can only run a Promoted Post on posts that are newer than 3 days old and the post will be pushed into the news feeds of fans for 3 days following the start of the campaign.

To start the campaign, just click the Promote button on the lower right side of the post.

promote button

Click the Promote button and set your budget from the drop-down menu.

#3: Once a Promoted Post is running, you can stop the promotion by clicking on the Promote button again and then click the wheel to edit. Note you can also change your budget from here.

stop promotion

Stop the promotion or change the budget during the campaign.

#4: Your post will show a Sponsored tag underneath the post.


The post will indicate that it is sponsored.

#5: You can see the performance of the Promoted Post while it is running and after the campaign.

see activity data

Click the Promotion button (or Promotion Complete) to see the activity data.

people reached

Click the People Reached link to see a breakdown of the people who saw the post.

#6: You’ll also be able to see more statistics in your Ads Reports area. Go to Facebook Campaigns and click Reports on the right sidebar. Select Advertising Performance as the Report Type, Summarize and Filter by Campaign, select Promoted Posts, Summarize By the dates you want to see, and then select Generate Report.

ads report

Configure the Ads Report for Promoted Posts.

You’ll then see a more detailed report to show you exactly how much each click cost and how many actions were taken. You can then get a better picture of how the Promoted Posts stack up next to the other types of Facebook Ads you may be running.

advertising detailed report

Analyze your statistics in the Ads Reports area.

#7: Rename each of your Promoted Post campaigns to be more meaningful by clicking on the campaign name. Go to Facebook Campaigns and click the pencil icon next to the campaign name. Then you will be able to rename it to something more meaningful such as “Promoted Offer June 7” as an example.

rename your ad

Click the pencil icon to rename your ad.

#8: Use Facebook Promoted Posts to increase engagement. One of the main reasons I see Promoted Posts as a good option in your marketing mix is to give your engagement a boost and to reconnect with fans who haven’t seen your posts in a while.

Clicks, comments and shares can get your posts back into the news feeds of dormant fans.

But if you are typically getting 30% to 40% reach naturally with each post, then I don’t see many reasons to use Promoted Posts. You’re already doing a good job getting into your fans’ news feeds. But if your reach is below 10%, you need to try something new to make your page more effective.

#9: Choose the right type of post to promote. I tested a “salesy” post and a more “fun” post and the fun Promoted Post got over twice as many clicks for two-thirds the cost. Not surprising that a fun post is going to get more engagement. If you need to increase your engagement, push something fun into the news feed.

#10: Promote your Facebook Offers. Free stuff and discounts are always a big hit on Facebook. Take advantage of two new features of Facebook by promoting your Facebook Offer. While you are at it, pin it to the top of your news feed.

facebook offers

Use Promoted Posts to promote Offers and special deals.

#11: Use Promoted Posts to get into the mobile news feed. Regular Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories appear on the right sidebar of Facebook. These are not visible in the mobile app, but with Promoted Posts you are now able to reach mobile users.

#12: Make sure you split-test. I would recommend split-testing your results between a Sponsored Page Post Ad sent out to only your fans and a Promoted Post to see which one gets better results for you. They have the same idea and goal, but may get very different responses from your fans.

Ultimately Facebook’s Promoted Posts are another tool to connect with your fans. I think they can be worthwhile to give your engagement a boost or to promote something fun like an offer. But there may be better ways to spend $20.

What do you think? Have you tried Facebook’s Promoted Posts? What results have you seen? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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  • $44796859

    Hi Andrea, some really good practical tips. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Andrew.

  • I think #12 is one of the most important things to do. In social media marketing, it’s all about testing out which option works best for you and then expanding on what is the most successful. Great post, Andrea.

  • Absolutely!  It’s easy to try one thing but if you have nothing to compare it against, then you don’t know how well it works!

  • Lisa

    Helpful post, Andrea. Thank-you!

  • Rich

    Key differentiator – promoted posts show up in mobile news feed vs FB ads no show for mobile.

  • Rock solid tips Andrea. I have yet to really utilize promoted posts. The biggest tip here is promoting the right kind of post. There are going to be a lot of pages who use this new feature to throw out some ugly sales pitch and then they see a little bit of cash go down the drain.

  • Corno

    What about costs? Is it similar as ads?

  • Talking Finger

    We love promoted posts. We use it for our own important posts, and the two dozen or so clients we have implemented them for are seeing very good results.

    The science is to determine what to promote and not to promote. It isnt always about self serving. Sometimes it is a funny video clip or a great image for the coming weekend. Through analytics, you need to discover/understand what your audience wants to see and what they will engage with. That is the true backbone of social: not only what your audience wants to see/hear/read, but what they will engage with and *share* with others. This is where it creates success for the business.

    Unfortunately, most companies do not collect analytics or understand correlations, so they fly blind.

    PS: #4….we do not see “sponsored” in our posts or any of our clients, did this change? We looked at them from test profiles we have who are not admins, and it does not appear, but looks organic as a regular post in the home feed.

  • I think that’s a big one too, Rich, as more people access Facebook from mobile!

  • I totally agree Mike!  So many people think of new tools as a way to use them to showcase their latest pitch.  I think this makes more sense as a re-engagement tool.

  • This is a very informative article, thanks for sharing! I particularly liked step 11; mobile browsing is giving desktop browsing a run. It is important every company optimizes their site to fit such browser.

  • Kelixpartners

    I have been confused by the ‘people reached’ number and
    percentage. Even with the example you provided, I am unsure what is the breakdown
    of unique people (organic and viral) really means. Could you explain?

  • ‘Roberto ‘Arteaga-Arias

    Great post, it really help understand completely this way of promotion, Thanks

  • NataliaEL

    How would you suggest “split-testing” promoted posts vs. sponsored stories?  Thanks for the feedback.

  • This is a great post and I love Promoted posts.. I have a major issue that i cant get Facebook to answer. Maybe someone can advise.

    If you are an admin on a page, as I am on several, when you promote a post logged in as the “Page”  Click on the billing icon – i keep noticing that the billing card is my company card and not the clients that we have access to like in the AD manager. 

    Only when I log in as the actual page owner does the billing card change. You cannot activate Promoted Posts from the Ad Manager, so I am stuck. We don’t keep personal log ins for all our clients.

    Any suggestions or is anyone else facing this? 

    Saboohi from Dubai

  • Thank you for writing this article!

    I didn’t know that traditional FB ads do not show up on the mobile FB app. So promoting posts is a great tool to push a marketing campaign.

    Thanks again!

  • No the cost is fixed depending on the size of your Facebook Page.  So when you select Promote, it will tell you exactly how much it costs to reach a certain number of people.  If you have a large page, it will cost a lot to reach a reasonable percentage of your audience so it may not be a good avenue.  Hope that helps!

  • Great feedback!  Yes, I agree, promoting fun posts is a good way to go.  I don’t know if the Sponsored notification has changed or not.  I’ll see if I can dig into this further!

  • Glad you liked it Peter!

  • I would recommend doing a Sponsored Page Post story and see what the results were from that – you can see how many people took action on the ad but you aren’t going to get the same level of detail so it’s a bit difficult.  But you can compare the number of actions on the Sponsored Page Post with the actions on the Promoted Posts and then see what those actions cost you with each as well.  Hope that helps!

  • Yes that is true, with Promoted Posts you can’t select billing options that you have in your ad manager, it is only tied to your personal ad account (which I think is odd since you can do it in the Ad manager).  But you will have to log in as the page owner to bill the correct card.  I hope Facebook is working on changing this!

  • Glad that was helpful!

  • Thanks Andrea, you’ve nailed it, this is a great article 🙂
    Each and every of your 12 tips are great advice.
    If there is one article to read about Facebook Promoted posts, this is the one!

  • I actually run a business just for the two cities only.

    If I set a custom, then the like amount will be reduced
    dramatically compared If  I set it public

    But if I set it public, I would have to bear the loss due to
    advertising is not my target market.

    And my business is more focused on women, but I do not see
    the sponsored post can sort out the gender (unlike facebook ads)
    thank you Andrea for your explaination 🙂

  • Sorry for the delay in getting back to you!  I was trying to research the exact number because you are right, they don’t add up.  I don’t know exactly where the disconnect is because the help doesn’t explain the breakdown exactly.  Organic is defined as the number of people who saw your post in their News Feed, the Ticker or on your Page.  Viral is defined as the number of people who saw your post in a story from a friend.  So that means that because your fan clicked Like or commented on or shared your post, then their friends see that activity.  
    Hope that helps some!

  • Thanks Emeric!  Glad you liked it and hope you had fun at your conference last week!

  • Yes, unfortunately there is no way to target Promoted Posts further other than to use the restrictions that are available in general posts.  In that case, the Sponsored Stories may be a better option for you.  

  • NataliaEL

    Thanks, Andrea!

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  • Vicki Girard

    Nice article and you explained things very well. I didn’t know about the mobile application, so that will factor in my future decisions. Initially I am do not like the paid promotions on Facebook, but your article gave me some new points to consider. Thank you.

  • Amelia

    We had the sponsored notification last week. 

  • that’s wonderful
    you just made me consider using that option 

  • Is it just me or has anyone else lost the percentage figures about how many people see you posts?

  • steve

    Question: When I choose to spend a budget of $10 on the post and facebook states that it (3 days later) only spend ~$9 – does that extra $1 still sit in an account with facebook, or do they not bill for it?

  • While we still don’t have this feature in India, updates from around the world seem to indicate that this is a rather more expensive way of promoting posts. But as you rightly mentioned we will need to do a split test and analyze! 

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  • Sroth

    Hi Andrean, I dont understand number 10…post facebook “offers” I do not see an option to run an offer. Can you explain this please? thanks, and always love ur info.

  • Sroth

    oops Andrea, sorry about the “n”

  • Margaret

    Are there additional ways to track the results of promoted posts than just through the information Facebook provides?

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  • good ,quality info thnx

  • Hi there,

    I was wondering where exactly the promoted statuses are showed on Facebook.  

  • Wendy

    Hi!  I am admin for 5 fan pages, and none of them have the ‘promote’ button anywhere on the page where you write the post.  They are fairly new businesses, so I am wondering if you have to have a certain number of fans before Facebook gives you that option?  Do you know why they may be only offering it to certain pages? Thanks!

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  •  Lots of really great tips in here, especially #8.  Very important to remember to that the reason behind these posts is not so much to get the brand name out there but to engage the fans that you already have.

  • Jverseghy

    Hi Andrea,
    When you say “But if you are typically getting 30% to 40% reach naturally with each post, then I don’t see many reasons to use Promoted Posts. You’re already doing a good job getting into your fans’ news feeds. But if your reach is below 10%, you need to try something new to make your page more effective.” can you please explain whether you mean strictly organic reach or whether that 30-40% includes viral reach as well?


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  • Nathan

    Although nearly all of my “likes” are from the US, when I promote a post, 70% of my “reach” is to users in Argentina! What gives? Since I don’t sell outside the US, it’s very bothersome. Any help would be appreciated.

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  • Excellent Post Andrea. While i have been tweaking and looking at the promoted posts from the Ads Manager. I have a question. We saw that facebook created 3 Ads for the promotion campaign.

    1. To our fans
    2. To our friends of fans
    3. As a sponsored story

    We saw that the first 2 got excellent CTRs and CPCs 8.8% and 13.33% but the 3rd one was showing a pathetic result. I have just now deleted that 3rd ad created for that campaign. The 3rd option actually consumed more 80% of my budget! , i have now deleted the 3rd ad from the ads manager in the respective campaign while i wait to see the results. My question to you is that does facebook allow us to tweak / remove  such ads from a promotion campaign through Ads manager? It sure deleted that ad, didnt give me any error or so. I am just wondering if such tweaks have are allowed and will have an effect on the backend for the promoted posts created from the front end.


  • Just an update to the previous post that it has been almost half an hour since i made that change, I dont see any change in the “People Reached” number or budget spent number of my promoted post as of yet

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  • I’m having a lot of problems with Promoted Posts for one of my pages. My page has 3800 Likes, and an average post reaches about 500 people (300-900 People Saw This). A 5$ promotion gives an estimated reach of only 900 people, which is like a normal post for me. On one of my other pages, which has the same amount of followers, a 5$ promotion has estimated reach of 4.1k-7.5k people. Do you have any idea of why this is? I’ve written to Facebook about this 7-8 times with the “Report Issue” function, but of course, not even an email back!

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  • Oscar Sagastume

    Can I have more than 2 promoted posts running?

  • I’d be interested to hear what other ideas you suggest for spending $20 to promote a small business…

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