Paid Content is King: Promoted Posts vs. Organic Reach

More brands are using Promoted Posts to proactively engage their Facebook fans. But making the most of social advertising isn’t only about engagement. Analytics and optimization are keys to informed social strategy and repeated success!

Paid Content is King: Promoted Posts vs. Organic Reach

When Facebook launched Promoted Posts in June 2012, the Internet vented suspicions that brands would have to start paying to reach their fans. The backlash that follows any small change on the social network slammed Facebook for neutering organic reach to monetize fan impressions. A year since, however, the petitions have disappeared and Promoted Posts are recognized as a clever trick of quality assurance.

Want to know how Red Bull and Nike build their content strategies?

Essentially, Promoted Posts encourage brands to be selective with the content they publish and boost in the news feed. Low interaction and spammy publishing habits are now ranked out of sight by Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm (which powers the news feed). While organic reach is still an option, paid media forces brands to boost only their strongest content, producing an economy of quality instead of sheer quantity of posts.

Take It From Us

A Socialbakers study on an anonymized aggregate of several thousand pages based on Socialbakers data has found that 77% of Pages’ reach has been achieved with Promoted Posts in 2013, up from 71% in 2012. Most impressively, between July 2012 and July 2013 paid reach increased by 221%, where organic increased 74% during the same period.

“Paid media has become an essential part of developing effective social strategies,” writes Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab. To paraphrase Rezab, three primary reasons for this are:

  • People are fans of many pages—including the competition’s—creating fan overlap and reducing reach for any one Page.
  • More brands are making strategic and effective use of Promoted Posts which puts those that aren’t at a disadvantage.
  • Only a small percentage of brands’ posts exceed organic growth and go viral.

Building an audience can happen organically, but having an impact on a large community is how Promoted Posts raises the value of brands’ Facebook content.

Get A Headstart With Ad Analytics

Techcrunch blogger Josh Constine has insightfully explained Facebook’s initiative, offering this advice to Page admins: “Focus on high-quality content. Be entertaining and informative. Then follow your analytics closely.” With social advertising available in the news feed, the difference between talking to and talking at your fans is knowing what they want—and that takes analytics!

Metrics on what, when and how (on what devices) fans interact with content becomes intelligence that drives decisions on how best to engage and what content to boost.

Ad Analytics (coming soon!) is an ad optimization tool from Socialbakers that helps Pages amplify reach without betting on organic growth alone.

As we prepare for the Ad Analytics launch on September 24, we’ll be talking more about it right here on this blog. Stay tuned and informed on how ad optimization gives your brand a headstart with every Promoted Post.

Social Media Analyst

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