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The $100 Difference

Written by Guest Blogger May 6, 2014

The $100 Difference

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a blog post about Facebook’s promoted posts. At the time, I was pretty against them.

Since then, I’ve gone from writing against promoted posts to recommending them to everyone. Why? I stopped thinking about the price tag, and started thinking about the potential.

The reality is that when Facebook changed their algorithms, it negatively affected the reach of business pages. Ironically, at the time I published that blog post, most businesses were up-in-arms (guilty) about their expected reach dropping to a mere 16%. Today, Facebook estimates most brand pages will only reach 2-6% of their audience without promoting posts. As businesses, we can either whine about the changes that now require us to “pay to play,” or we can choose to play the game their way.

Facebook is NOT the only platform doing this. There will continue to be changes. So my advice? Pay up. I know some of you are getting frustrated at this advice, but really think about it: you don’t expect to get free spots on radio or TV, do you? Then you shouldn’t on Facebook, either.

The good news is, Facebook ads and promoted posts WORK, even with a small budget.

When writing this blog post, I compared two non-profit business pages that I manage. While they differ in some ways, they are similar enough to make a fair comparison. One of them, Business A, chooses to allocate $100 a month for Facebook advertising while the other, Business B, does not have an advertising budget for Facebook.

For the sake of the post, I compared the eight most recent posts for each page. Business A has a mix of promoted and regular posts:

Reach - % of Fans Promoted - Yes/No
197% Yes
391% Yes
6% No
175% Yes
13% No
458% Yes
15% No
345% Yes

What a difference! Promoted posts’ organic reach was much higher. Their lowest percentage of fans reached was 6%.

Business B statistics without the help of promoted posts or ads:

  • Reach - % of Fans
  • 13%
  • 3.5%
  • 6%
  • 8%
  • 30%
  • 8%
  • 7%
  • 0.06%

No, that last one is NOT a typo. Less than 1% of their fan base saw that post.

Business A with both promoted posts and non-promoted posts, averaged a reach of 200% to their fan base. Business B averaged a reach of 9.4%. While both pages are currently averaging higher than 2-6% in post reach, I anticipate that trend to continue downward.

At 200% vs. 9% reach, it is clear that promoted posts have become a necessity for businesses using Facebook.

We would love to hear your experiences with promoted posts and ads on Facebook in the comment section below!

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