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Facebook Promoted Posts: Don’t buy into the hype

Once upon a time, Facebook was this fun little platform where you shared a few details about your life with an intimate group of friends. The enticing factor was that Facebook was “free.” They make this claim right on their home page before you sign in however now it has morphed into an empire with hungry shareholders and the pressure is on.

Last week, Facebook announced promoted posts for your personal profile. I was on board with their targeted ads (hey, everyone needs to make money somehow even a “free” site) and I even supported promoted posts for fan pages however why would anyone pay to promote a blurry shot of the food they ate or that they’re bored on a Friday night looking to go out? What’s the advantage?

A promoted post will cost you about $7 and sit on the top of your friends news feeds. I’ve seen a few and I’m already annoyed. People are promoting things like the new flavor of chips they created to win a million dollars (contest by Lay’s chips), a link to their fan page, or a blog post they’ve written. The only advantage I see here is marketing your own material however it’s against Facebook’s terms and policies to use your personal profile as a business tool so why is Facebook doing this? Is this some kind of trick to make us break rules?

The announcement of promoted posts has caused some paranoia amongst businesses and individuals. People are now beginning to wonder if they’ll have to pay to be top of mind in a news feed and if the Facebook algorithm will bury their content if they don’t pay up and fatten Zuckerberg’s wallet. However, there are always ways around this madness. Facebook works best when you focus on quality content. No matter how much you pay to promote your post, people will still judge it based on the content and they will choose to like it based on that criteria only. Sure, it may stay with them longer if it’s sponsored but it will also frustrate and turn people away from an individual or brand.

To get away from Facebook’s marketing tactics, I suggest focusing on what you do best and developing a stronger strategy. Facebook has revamped their website to put more of a focus on pictures. Pictures tell a story better than links. People shop with their eyes first. If your picture can sell your item, focus on “pinning” it to the top of your page or making it a featured story on your page. On your personal profile, if you’re looking to market something or if you think you really need people to see your status updates or food photos, post them twice or perhaps pick ideal times that your friends are online. Also, do your friends a favor and don’t let them get sucked into the hype. Your news feed might accidentally be set to show “top stories” vs “most recent.” This is actually where the paranoia starts and people begin to think their stories aren’t being seen. Simply go to the top of your feed, click on the arrow and voila! You’ll finally see what ALL your friends are posting.

What do you think of Facebook’s latest marketing scheme? Have you bought a promoted post for yourself or your fan page? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.


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