Promoted Posts for Friends of Fans

Becky Doles

It’s time for another round of testing for the Facebook Promoted Post feature. Facebook now allows page owners to extend the reach of a Promoted Post campaign to People who like your page and their friends. In the past, Promoted Post campaigns were limited to fans only.

You may remember that our past comparison of Sponsored Story and Promoted Post campaigns resulted in Sponsored Story being the clear winner in terms of performance. On the other hand, SEOMoz published results three weeks after our test with Promoted Post clearly winning on all performance metrics.

Facebook hasn’t offered up any specifics about why they made the change to include friends of fans, but I’ve heard from several page owners with over 100,000 fans that they aren’t seeing their total Promoted Post budget being spent when they purchase larger campaigns. Adding in the friends of fans may be a way for Facebook to deliver more impressions and meet the expectations of ad buyers.

This definitely fits with the overall Facebook efforts to make advertising easy. The new Facebook Ads interface dramatically simplifies ad buying, but the Promoted Post feature is still an insanely simple method for increasing distribution. Friends of fans may be a sensible extension, in part because your existing fans probably pay attention to marketing efforts in other channels as well, so they may not feel the need to participate on Facebook. Friends of fans are less likely to already know your brand, but could be compatible.

Chris Luo, Head of SMB Marketing at Facebook, indicated to the Inbound conference audience that they are seeing about the same levels of engagement for both fan-only campaigns and campaigns that include friends of fans. That doesn’t sound great based on our own experience with the posts, but it’s definitely worth testing – maybe the friends of our fans will be more likely to engage with a Promoted Post than existing fans.

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.

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