Are Facebook Promoted Posts Worth a Damn?

By Brandon Whalen     |     January 11, 2013
promoted-posts-turkey

Love them or hate them, Promoted Posts are here to stay. When they first came out, the interface was almost too simple. I had to do a test run. Besides, anyone who has played the Facebook Pages game since 2009 knew that page posts only reached about 18% of total fans anyway. Heck, we were excited at the chance to be able to reach all of the fans we worked so hard to earn.

For me, the excitement faded. After spending hundreds on promoted posts for a very important campaign I learned that ~80% of the people I reached were outside the USA (most of them in Turkey, to be specific). Dollar bills burning. Babies crying. Time floating away.

How did I discover this devilish nugget, you ask? The promoted post analytics most of us see on our page fail to show any location data. Facebook has cleverly tucked the useful data for promoted posts into the ads interface.

Here is where you can actually pull useful data about your promoted posts:
https://www.facebook.com/ads/manage/reports.php

Use the settings below when you get to that page. You will find a list of all the folks, separated by region, who saw your promoted post:

  • Report type: Responder Demographics
  • Summarize by: campaign
  • Filter by: campaign (then select the promoted post you want to analyze)
  • Select date range

Are we doomed to promote our posts only to hit the home feeds of a completely irrelevant audience? No, it can’t be so! I found this from Facebook that leads me to believe that when you target your post (say, to the U.S.) and then promote it, your ad spend is only used on fans in the U.S.. This works down to the city and state level.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll definitely target all of my posts to at least US/Canada before I click that sneaky little “promote” button. Hell, I may even go through the painful Facebook ad interface to create sponsored stories instead. At least then I’ll know I can clearly target my ad spend.

I may reach fewer people this way, but at least the audience is relevant to the content. Remember, EIGHTY PERCENT (4/5ths, THE LARGE MAJORITY) of my promoted post audience was in Turkey.

No offense to my friends in Turkey, but who knows what language my posts even appear in on a Turk’s Facebook feed. Actually, it’s probably in english. Last time I checked english was not the most dominant language in the great Republic of Turkey.

Şerefe!

About Brandon Whalen

Brandon is Head of Marketing at Room 214. As a social media strategist he has worked on the social media presence for multiple world-wide brands including Travel Channel, Anthony Bourdain and Hello Kitty. Brandon's work has resulted in growth of multiple millions of new fans on various social media networks for clients. As a contributor to Capture The Conversation and Word of Mouth Marketing Association's All Things WOMM blog, Brandon covers a big range of topics from social media marketing news to digital marketing strategy guides. Outside of work he is an active musician and lead singer for a band called My Body Sings Electric. You can catch the band playing shows around Denver or the west coast a few times a year. Want to connect with Brandon when he's not singing, writing, rooting on the Colorado Rockies or staying fit? Check his Facebook account, follow him on Twitter @Brandonsings, or head to Brandon's account on Google Plus.

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