Get to know more about Facebook’s “Promote” feature

If you are one of Facebook’s more than one billion active users, then that “Promote” button that pops up underneath each status update that you post has already gotten your attention. Out of curiosity, you may have probably clicked on it, only to be taken aback by a popup window that gives you a rundown on how to pay for promoting that particular post. Like most users who have encountered this button for the first time, you may have a lot of questions about it, some of which may sound similar to the ones listed below.

What is this Facebook “Promote” thing anyway?

Actually, the “Promote” button was introduced over the summer as an advertising feature for business and fan pages which have 400 or more fans. It has since rolled out to personal accounts on an experimental basis, which is why you can now see a “Promote” button alongside the “Like” and “Comment” buttons under your status updates.

Why did Facebook come up with it?

Aside from the obvious fact that it is one way for Facebook to generate some revenue, it is basically a direct result of findings that any content put on any fan page reaches only 17% of Facebook fans. With this feature, Facebook promises you a much wider reach for your posts. That wider reach, however, comes with a price.

How much does it cost?

According to Page administrators who have actually used the feature, it cost them $7 to promote a typical post that lasts three days from when it was first created, although the cost could vary depending on the total number of fans you have and how many fans you’re trying to reach.

So what exactly are the benefits of using the feature?

While we’re not really sure how the “Promote” button could benefit those with personal accounts who often talk about their pets or what they had for breakfast other than serving their own whims, it certainly promises some good things for those who are using Facebook pages for marketing purposes.

  • The feature gives them the chance to show up at the top of fans’ news feeds. A post promoted using the “Promote” feature shows up just in that sweet spot, and not as an ad unit on the side of the page which people hardly pay any attention to.
  • Some campaigns are more important than others, and users will be happy to know they can opt to vary the levels of exposure for each campaign or post according to their needs.
  • Users have the option to target a certain location or language for their promotion.
  • Results can be easily tracked, and can even be done in real time.

The question is, will people really be willing to pay for anything on Facebook? Remember that most, if not all, of Facebook’s users were drawn to creating accounts on the social media site because of the promise that “It’s free and always will be”, or so the note on its Home page goes. This feature certainly goes against that promise, and is already generating some not-so-favorable reactions among users. Still, only time will tell if this newest Facebook feature will eventually become an integral part of its offerings, or will just be another experiment gone wrong.

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