Monday, June 25, 2012

Facebook Promoted Posts – Worth a Share of Facebook Stock?

A few weeks after Facebook’s IPO, they announced details on “Promoted Posts” as a new way for brands to spend advertising budget. As this is still a relatively new development, there are not a lot of reports out on the value of this new option but there are a couple of aspects about the option that I think are worth discussion.

First, the audience for Promoted Posts are fans who already liked your company page. We all know that not all of a brand’s fans are engaged with the page everyday and that Facebook is now showing posts based on its own algorithmic assessment of user interest (which a conspiracy theorist might believe was implemented with “promoted posts” in mind). However, it seems to me that marketers would be better off looking at lack of fan engagement as more of content/editorial problem first before throwing money at it. But that’s the content marketing side of me speaking and Facebook appears to be counting on brands who want to take the simple “paid” approach vs. the “earned” approach we favor at DBE.

The second aspect of Promoted Posts worth noting is the three day time limit for having it appear at the top of your news feed. So in addition to only targeting existing likers, your exposure to them is further limited to a window of less than half a week. Then you have to do another promoted post. Seems like it could be an “addictive” format for those willing to pay for an engagement “fix.”

I’m not saying there aren’t possible marketing situations where promoted posts might be a reasonable option or that we won't be recommending them to our clients in the future. I’m just saying that it’s early on and I would like to see some proof of performance from other early adopters before investing in Promoted Posts – which is the same approach I’m taking before buying Facebook stock.

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