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4 Things to Know About Facebook’s Promoted Posts

I’ve been talking a lot about Facebook’s Promoted Posts feature recently, mostly because I think it’s a fascinating new advertising unit. Being so enamored with them has led me to make a few discoveries I thought I would share with our readers.

They’re Not Very Targeted

**UPDATE: The method below to change targeting on the posts won’t work. In order to change them now, you either have to target the post itself before you publish it, then promote it. Alternatively, you can create a Page Post Ad and Sponsored Story Post in the Power Editor that targets the newsfeed of people who are connected to your Page. For more on how to do that, check out this post on how big brands can emulate Promoted Posts.**

There have been a few recent reports about Facebook’s user base and the quality of the clicks that Facebook Ads have been getting. An important message has arisen from these discoveries – target carefully when using Facebook Ads. Promoted posts are no different – when you start them, they automatically target a wide variety of demographics that you might not be interested in. Are they targeting the people attached to your page? You bet. But some of those followers are more valuable than others. If you’re promoting a post about an upcoming in-store promotion, for instance, you probably don’t need to waste ad spend on fans on the other side of the world.

How can you change this? Simple, just navigate to your Ads Manager on the left hand menu, expand the promoted post, and click the ‘Edit’ button next to Targeting.

Facebook-Ads-Menu

That will open up a new tab with all of your ads information. Scroll down to the ‘Location’ box under ‘Choose Your Audience’ and remove any unnecessarily targeted countries.

Facebook-Ads-Targeted-Countries

You might have noticed something else while you were in there, which happens to be my next tip…

It Runs Two Ads, Not Just One

Yup, that’s right. When you go into your Ads Manager after promoting a post, you’ll notice that there are two ad units running instead of just one. When you take out a promoted post, Facebook creates both a Page Post Ad and a Sponsored Story. These are both targeted for users news feeds. The Sponsored Story is set to target the news feeds of users who have a friend that interacted with the post that you are promoting. Make sure you make adjustments to both of these ads whenever you change anything.

You Can Adjust the Length and Spend Manually

Facebook likes to give you predetermined spends when you promote a post, usually in increments of $5 or so. For larger pages, they can go way, way up – I’ve seen $500 before, and I imagine it can get even bigger as you approach the 100k fan limit. If you don’t see a Reach/Spend combo to your liking, or a post is going very well and you want to juice it, you can adjust your spend directly in the Ads Manager. Just expand the Campaign (Not the individual Ad) that you want to increase and click the pencil icon next to the ‘Budget’ and ‘End Date’ boxes to make changes.
Facebook-Campaigns-Editing-Menu
If you think that you won’t get the reach you’re looking for when you’re taking out your post, hold off before making any immediate changes because…

The Predicted Reach Is Garbage

I have run a ton of these ads and haven’t seen them accurately hit their mark on Reach yet. Better still, they vary for the same unit on a day-to-day basis. I’ve started a promotion, decided to add more the next day, and then seen both a wild increase in price and a huge swing in predicted reach for the post. Start your promoted post with what you want to spend, not how many people you want to reach, and adjust the spend as you go to achieve either goal. They clearly are still working on the kinks in their algorithm.

And that’s all I’ve got. I’m still very into the idea of promoted posts, and I think they’re an effective ad unit. Don’t walk away from this with any other impression. That being said, make sure you follow these steps to get the most bang for your buck. Otherwise, they might leave a sour taste in your mouth.

Have you tried Promoted Posts yet? What kinds of results have you gotten?

http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2012/08/20/4-facebooks-promoted-posts/

33 Responses to “4 Things to Know About Facebook’s Promoted Posts”

William says:

Dan, the promoted posts CAN’T BE EDITED.

For an examples: you can delete or add any country in the “location box”. However, when you clicked on the save button, the error message shown:
“This Promotion Can’t Be Edited — This can’t be edited because you promoted it from your Page. Find the post on your Page to pause or delete it, or to change your budget.”

Can you show me the screenshot? I might be wrong. Thanks!

Hey William,

I don’t seem to be having any trouble adjusting either the date or spend or date range on a Promoted Post at this moment – they might be rolling out changes, however, that I haven’t received yet. Send me a screenshot if you can, I’d be interested in seeing what it looks like – wilkerson [at] lunametrics.com.

Here’s a before/after of me changing the spend on a post I just promoted:

Before:
http://i.imgur.com/1Stzr.png

After:
http://i.imgur.com/ewJ8S.png

I adjusted it by navigating to the Ads Manager on the left-hand side and then selecting the campaign that was created for the promoted post. In that menu, I was able to adjust it as you should see in the images.

Let me know if this helps.

Best,
Dan

George says:

Hi Dan,

I have the same problem as William……is there a solution?

Ro says:

Actually, I have the same issue as the others. BUT I can edit date, spend, etc, the same way you did, Dan. Editing spend has no issues for me. It’s just if I want to edit my ad targets, I get that message. I click the first ad “Promoting to fans”. Then, I click Edit which appears in the Targeting bar. It takes me to the ads creator page. There I make my changes (target audience, interests, etc). But I run into the same wall as William.

Joao says:

same problem here, can’t get out Countries i don’t need-have to promote…

i already pause the post campaing and nothing happens, can’t ‘save’ the editions :(

Hey Joao,

It appears that you’re no longer able to adjust those countries after you’ve started the promotion. Not to worry, there’s a solution – when you are creating the post you want to promote, target the countries you want to promote your post to explicitly BEFORE promoting the post. The downside is that your post will be viewed by fewer of your following organically, but this will be offset by the larger percentage of your targeted following seeing the post.

Alternatively, you can take out a Sponsored Story and Page Post Ad in the Facebook Ads Power Editor that are targeted for the newsfeeds of users connected to your page in your target countries. This is a bit more of a pain, but would allow you the granular targeting you’re looking for.

Hope this helps!

Dan

Joanne says:

Hi, Im having trouble changing target – changed it before promoting – in the share option changed public to specific target area. Changed my page setting to uk only – tried again and post is still going worldwide….. driving me crazy.

Hey Joanne,

Are you targeting your post before you actually publish it to your Timeline? To do this, you click the Public dropdown to the left of the Post button and select ‘Location/Language’, then enter in your relevant targeting. That should do the trick.

If that’s not working, you’ll have to promote posts using the Power Editor, a bit more of a roundabout way. Open the Power Editor and create a Page Post Ad, then target it to your relevant areas and specify Newsfeed placement.

Best of luck!

Dan

paisley walsh says:

Hey,
So can you help me grasp something. If you promote a post…everyone will know you have done so? The “sponsored” sign will be public? That seems like a downfall to me.

@YfranG says:

@Paisley – Promoting a post and Sponsored Stories aren’t the same thing.

If you ‘promote a post’ on your fan page, no one will know that it’s promoted.

If you run a ‘Sponsored Story’ ad, then it will say that it’s sponsored, yes.

@YfranG

Iris says:

Hi, can you please help me, I get this error message “Ad Manager Error”
Our systems have detected unusual payment activity on your account. As a security precaution, the payments functionality on your account has been disabled and all of your ads have been stopped. For more information, please contact us.”
I sent the for to them but no response. I don’t know how to get them to solve my issue because I have urgent need to run a campaign for my client Page
Thanx

Hey Iris,

Afraid there isn’t anything I can do – you’ll just have to wait to hear back from Facebook. In the meantime, you could try setting up another account and running ads from there!

Best,
Dan

Tom says:

Guys,

Just a quick one regarding post page targeting – you need at least 5,000 fans to be able to use this tool.

Sucks, I know.

Hey Tom,

Interesting. Did you find some documentation of this? Just curious – our page can target and it’s got just over 1400 fans, so I’m wondering if it’s a hard and fast rule or if there are exceptions.

Dan

Tea says:

Your promotion was not approved. It will still show in the news feeds of many of the people who like your Page, but it won’t be promoted.
why i can’t promote my post?first i have such problem(

Wow, Facebook is NOT taking your money? Unbelievable!

Jokes aside, that is really odd – can you tell me more about your post? It’s content, your region, where you were promoting it, etc.?

Dan

bobo says:

I tried to promote a post from my page, and I notice that it limited my fans’ region, I have no where to change, I swear, I have been looking and doing what i can, i find nothing to change. Only the ads can be changed and edited, but the not the post. we can’t edit any post. and while we try to promote, i don’t have the option to choose the countries too..

eventhough I downloaded the power editor, it can’t be done.

my goshhhhhhhhhhhhhh.. it is killing me.. please help.

bobo says:

I figure out something it may help you guys.

1.) You can change anything on the page post once it’s promoted.
2.) Only Ads can be changed.
3.) When I try to publish a new post, I can’t should the location on page post, HOWEVER,I can do it when I share the post.

what I did was..
1.) create a new post, share the post immediately, and the hide the previous post.
2.) When you try to share a post, you will notice a “public” on the left side. PLEASE choose from there, you can choose the location and languages.
3.) You MUST ONLY choose from the share -> public -> location/language.

This is what I found after spending the half days trying the errors. I hope it helps you guys.

bobo says:

SORRY, I got a seriously typo on my previous message . “You CANNOT change”

I figure out something it may help you guys.

1.) You cannot change anything on the page post once it’s promoted.
2.) Only Ads can be changed.
3.) When I try to publish a new post, I can’t should the location on page post, HOWEVER,I can do it when I share the post.

what I did was..
1.) create a new post, share the post immediately, and the hide the previous post.
2.) When you try to share a post, you will notice a “public” on the left side. PLEASE choose from there, you can choose the location and languages.
3.) You MUST ONLY choose from the share -> public -> location/language.

This is what I found after spending the half days trying the errors. I hope it helps you guys.

bobo says:

woohooooooooooo.. confirm it.!

go to Edit page > Manage Permissions.
Check the box next to Post Privacy Gating – Allow me to control the privacy of new posts I make on my Page

dadaaaaaaaaaaaa.. you got it.

Nice work Bobo! I wasn’t aware of that feature myself – I think Tom will be very pleased to hear about this.

Tom,

Take a look at Bobo’s comments here – http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2012/08/20/4-facebooks-promoted-posts/comment-page-1/#comment-1112229

He figured out how to solve your problem.

Cheers,
Dan

Shan says:

Ad Manager Error
Our systems have detected unusual payment activity on your account. As a security precaution, the payments functionality

I’m using my Visa card to pay for ads so what can i do now anyone help me please

Nik says:

Hey Dan,
Today facebook glitched and I ended up getting charged about $40 more. During the day the campaign said it spent no money and then in the evening BOOM $40 extra! Now, when I promote a post, it doesn’t promote, just says your post will be promoted after it gets reviewed. Any idea?

Nik,

Not sure on the $40 charge. Definitely something to get with Facebook support about.

The reviewing is something I’ve heard of – they’ve instituted some changes to what they accept for post promotion, like the 20% text rule. Keep me updated!

Dan

Yurkoz says:

Got the same problem as Nik.
I promoted post on march 14th for 50$
Trough all day it spent 1$
next day it’s 44$, and remaining 6$ for next 2 days(Plus estimated reach dropped from 12-23K to 5-8K)
same thing with usual ads
Facebook support is speechles…
What is wrong with FB???

Yurkoz,

Are you targeting your posts? What does your reach graph look like overnight?

As for estimated reach, I was never a fan of that metric. It’s variable based on available ad inventory i.e. space in the newsfeed. That means it will change from day-to-day.

However, I can’t help you without more data. Just because the ad served overnight doesn’t mean that anything was afoot, really.

Best,
Dan

Yurkoz says:

Targeted to 205K people in one country
on 14th it got 126 actions/5,5K reach/spent 43.41
on 15th it got 1 action/89 reach/spent 0.39
on 16th it got 74 actions/930 reach/spent 3.81
on 17th it got 33 actions/615 reach/spent 2.39

About estimated reach: before 14th all my promotions had estimated reach 2-3 times more than it has now for the same money

now, no new ads aren’t reviewed and no comments from FB support…

Adam Rowley says:

Facebook are being really sneaky with this! I am really unimpressed with the way they hide the information about the demographics…
We have got lots of new likes for the comments and the page, but within the first few days they all came from the Dominican Republic… None of the comments make any sense if translated, all are full of emoticons, half lower half upper case and generally look as though they come from people who wouldnt care too much about our product (if they are even real in the fuirst place).
I think if anything, it is going to damage our reputation rather than boost our popularity.

Hey Adam,

I agree! We had an (non-social) client ask us to check out their post promotions, which sort of spawned this post. Same kind of thing; totally unrelated areas with nonsensical comments and tons of likes/shares. Definitely frustrating, but once we set them straight with post & ad targeting, they’ve been right as rain since.

Best,
Dan

Choadfish says:

Your promotion was not approved. It will still show in the news feeds of many of the people who like your Page, but it won’t be promoted.

Did anyone find out what this message means?

This message is probably appearing because the post you have selected for promotion violates one or more of Facebook’s ad standards for promoted posts and page post ads. The most common way this happens is if the image you are promoting is > 20% text.

Best,
Dan

Sole says:

I have this problem:
There was a problem setting up your promotion and we are working to resolve the issue. It will still show in the news feeds of many of the people who like your Page, but it may not be promoted.

I want to promote my event. That event has few events inside him, so I made for every day one event and that event like a hole one. In text of that big event i put links for our website and links for every single event. Maybe you know if its a problem or I have problem with something else?
https://www.facebook.com/events/123674227831800/