Facebook began a gradual rollout of promoted posts for brand pages about a week ago and the social networking site has now posted its first demo video today, letting advertisers know what to expect from the feature.
The video explains that a promoted post will show up as a sponsored story in a fan’s newsfeed, both on desktop and mobile, and as Facebook users interact with the post, their friends will see it as well.
The video also walks users through how to promote a post, so that once the feature is available on their pages, they can get to highlighting the best of their updates straight away.
Telling users to “select the price that best fits your budget and goals”, what the video doesn’t tell you is that the more you pay, the more users your post will reach.
Facebook also recommends that you take advantage of one of the features made possible thanks to the Timeline layout – and that is to pin your promoted post to the top of your page.
New posts, and existing posts that have been live for less than 3 days can be promoted. Promoted posts can be paused and resumed, and will be live for a total of 3 days.
While in the past we’ve only seen Facebook’s promoted posts are akin to the option available to advertisers – Sponsored Stories – slipping into a user’s newsfeed, in an attempt to opt for a more subtle advertising that feels like a natural extension of user generated Facebook activity.
The practice hasn’t been without its criticism, and we have yet to see how Facebook users will begin to react to promoted posts in their news feed.
As far as Page administrators are concerned, the video doesn’t clear up some of the confusion surrounding the new feature. While promoted posts give brands the added advantage of reaching friends of their fans, Facebook isn’t giving much insight into why or how the promoted posts will appear for a longer period of time, or whether or not they will appear even if a user has hidden stories from a specific page.
Like much of the advertising and marketing tools available in social media, it will be hard for page administrators to know what effect, if any, their promoted posts had on ensuring they reached a wider audience.