Facebook has begun rolling out Promoted Posts, a new tool that lets Page owners spend money to show status updates to more fans.
Only new status updates can be promoted this way; you can’t go back to an old post and pay to promote it.
If Promoted Posts is available on your Page, you’ll see a new “Promote” button below the empty status update box. Note: You have to be using Facebook as the Page in order to see this.
At the moment, the “Learn More” link in the lower left leads to a “page no longer exists” message, so there’s not a lot of support material to rely on right now.
After you click the “Okay” button, you get access to the Promoted Posts interface. In our case, with a little less than 5,000 “Likes,” Facebook gives us four options that range from $5.00 (USD) to $20.00. As the price increases, Facebook tells us how many of our fans we can expect to reach.
If you have more fans/Likes, you’ll get more price options — see SocialFresh.com’s post, where they can spend between $5 and $75 to reach varying levels of their audience. The maximum price is reportedly $300.
The full interface shows that your promoted post will have a life of up to three days in your fans’ newsfeeds and, if they interact with the post, in their friends’ newsfeeds, too. There’s also an indicator that we haven’t provided payment information yet — the small icon in the lower left (see below) is where you do that.
After you’ve promoted a post, Facebook will tell you how many fans saw it. Cindy Ratzliff posted a photo showing how the analytics appear right inline with the Promoted Post.
For some brands, Promoted Posts may be the perfect tool to increase visibility. Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm means that only a very small percentage of Page fans ever see its posts naturally.
For Facebook, Promoted Posts opens another income stream — always important for any business, but more so for Facebook now that it’s gone public and has investors that need to be impressed.