You got the Facebook "Like" – Now what?

Did you know that when you publish a Facebook post, only 10 – 16% of your fans will see it? That means that if you have 500 fans, fewer than 1/5 of them are seeing a given post.

So what’s a brand to do?

“Promoted posts” can be a big help here. You can use them to push content to a broader audience than you would normally have access to – for a price, of course. According to Facebook, “Your promoted posts will be seen by a larger percentage of the people who like your page than would normally see it. It will also be seen by a larger percentage of the friends of people who interact with your post.”  This means that Facebook will distribute your content to a much broader audience, outside of the fans who are already engaged with your brand.

You can set up a “sponsored story” the same way you would a standard Facebook ad, using the expansive list of interest category and targeting options provided by Facebook to target your story. The big difference between standard ads and sponsored stories is that the stories look like Facebook ads, so they only appear on the right sidebar of the Facebook Page, along with all the other ads. In addition, they will mainly target people who aren’t already fans of your Brand Page.

So which type of ad should you choose?

Facebook Ads tend to work well to increase reach, while promoted posts tend to help increase engagement & traffic, and sponsored stories are good for boosting the effectiveness of both ads and promoted posts. When used together, these ads can compliment each other because, as more people engage with your post , all metrics will improve. So while standard Facebook Ads might not be great for generating traffic, they can drive likes and comments, which will improve the effectiveness of your promoted post and sponsored story.

If you’re considering running any of the above ads, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Go for quality over quantity.

Many people believe that you should try to get as many followers as you can, regardless of whether their interests are really a good match with your organization. This philosophy is evident in ads that use gimmicks or contests in an effort to gain new “likes.”

But what you really want are quality fans who are genuinely interested in what you do and what you have to say. They will stick with you for the long haul and be more likely to convert into actual customers.

2. Target your ad 

By all means, take advantage of the targeting options and interest categories that Facebook offers! This will go a long way towards attracting those quality fans discussed above. In addition:

  • Put some thought into the image you choose for your ad – make sure you choose or design something that will resonate with your audience
  • Give your ad a brilliant headline
  • Use powerful keywords in your ad to make it engaging

3. Track your results

Use Facebook’s Ads Manager to track the results from your ads. If you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t, you can’t refine your strategy to get better results.

At the end of the day, you need to discover which ad, or combination of ads, will work best for you. Just because a particular approach is working great for one of your competitors, doesn’t mean its the right strategy for you. Test, test, test, and refine, refine, refine.

Have you used Facebook Ads, Promoted Posts, or Sponsored Stories? What have your results been like? Let us know in the comments!