Recently, I went to the ‘dark side’ [paid media] on Facebook to experiment with Sponsored Posts on our Facebook Page. I’ve tried previously a couple weeks before with a good level success advertising a series of local events. However, this time, I tried it simply to amplify a simple question asking the first thing that comes to mind when people think about our company.
In the example shown above, I was able to listen more effectively to our audience — instead of just those who are loyally attentive to our Page. This is a big and meaningful discovery for me. It’s not just for advertising. It’s a new way to listen to customers and brand supporters.
What I’ve found is that Sponsored Posts on Facebook are incredibly powerful for a number of reasons. I think when it’s done thoughtfully and selectively, they can be very powerful and affordable tools in a social marketer’s toolbox.
Here are a few reasons why I like Sponsored Posts:
- You reach more of your audience. We know that most content posted to Facebook averages about 1% or less response rate. (It’s lower than email marketing, now that I think of it.) While it’s hard for many to believe, Facebook has a duty to only deliver the most relevant content to their 900 million users in their News Feed. Not every post from your Page is going to beat their friends sharing baby pictures.
- You reactivate your audience. This is the real value. While the interaction is initiated in a paid way, the interaction is still quite organic. People can like, share or comment on your content. This activity helps people re-engage with your page in a long-term basis since they are interacting with it. (Anecdotally, I’ve seen more people engage with us that I haven’t seen for quite some time — so I suspect it works.)
- It forces you to be disciplined with your message and call to action. Given that you’re paying to engage with your fans, what is it do you want them to do. That is, what is it really that you want from them? Or the better question, what is it that you can give to them. Affection and appreciation go a long way.