Are you thinking of using Facebook Promoted Posts?

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.

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.

#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.

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

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

#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.

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.

#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.

#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.

#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.

#13:  Bonus Tip: DO NOT select “and their friends”.   This sounds like a great idea but I’ve heard too many reports of very untargeted people then connecting with your page from countries all over the world.  It’s not worth the strange connections.

Promoted posts and their friends option

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.

Note: This post originally appeared on Social Media Examiner and is reposted with permission.