The last blog that I wrote covered how to improve your organic reach on Facebook. In this blog, I will be focusing on how to get the most by paying to improve your reach.

As I explained previously, there are different types of reach within Facebook.

  • Organic reach: is defined as the number of people who saw a post in their newsfeed, tickers or on your page.
  • Paid reach: is the number of people who saw a post as a result of a sponsored product and this includes ads for page post or sponsored stories.
  • Viral reach: this is the number of people who saw a post as a result of some action from a friend. This means that the story was initially published in a friend’s newsfeed. Your friend then actioned this story, meaning they liked, commented, shared, accepted an offer, responded to an event or answered a question.

The focus of this blog will be on paid reach. Facebook has kindly introduced a load of ways for you to spend your money with them. Our focus is on increasing your reach by paying to do so. We will not be looking at paid advertising or sponsored ads.
Whenever you put a post on your page (both personal or business) Facebook gives you the option to Boost post. This is what is known as a promoted post. This is how a promoted post works:

  1. Choose your audience – the option is to choose either people who like your page and their friends or people you choose via targeting. Targeting can be done by age, gender and language and location.
  2. Set a budget – Facebook provides default amounts and gives you an estimate on how many people will see your post based on the money you spend. So the more you spend the higher the reach.
  3. Once you have paid, your post will start appearing in the newsfeed of the audience you have selected.

When Facebook first introduced this paid service, it did so at the same time as it introduced Edgerank – its algorithm for determining who sees your post. Many people have invested considerable time and money in growing their LIKERS only to find that there posts were reaching a small fraction of them and in order to reach all of their likers they now had to pay to promote the post. Regardless of how controversial it was at the time or how frustrating it can be that people who like your page don’t automatically see your posts in their newsfeed, things are not like to change. In fact, I am certain that over time, Facebook will introduce further methods of monetising their products.
For now, know that paying to promote a post works well. You do get the results that Facebook tells you that you will. However, the need to promote posts means that you now need to allocate a bigger budget to your Facebook strategy.
I recommend that you consider only promoting certain posts – some big news, offers, promotions or discounts. If you aim to promote 1-2 posts per week, you will see good returns in terms of audience visibility and sadly the more you spend, the greater your reach and the better your page will perform on Edgerank. This has changed what was previously a fairly level playing field for all businesses with those that can afford it getting greater reach than those that cannot.
The best advice I can give to anyone is to test, test and test some more. Try promoting a post for a low amount and see how it goes. Keep a track of the day of the week, time and also the content of the post. Over time you will start to understand what your audience engages with and you can choose to promote only these kinds of posts.
Remember the golden rule for Facebook: ultimately, Facebook wants users on their as much as possible and you can assist them in this goal, they will reward you.