Study Shows Paying to Promote Posts on Facebook Boosts Viral But Reduces Clickthroughs
They say there are two sides to every story and ShopIgniter’s new Facebook report makes that abundantly clear. The benchmark report compares the performance of different types of Facebook posts – photos, status updates, offers – both on the free and paid to promote side.
I was very surprised by the results. Take a look:
Status posts have 5x the organic reach of any other type of unpaid post. That’s wonderful news. Except that clickthroughs and viral are almost non-existent. That means plenty of people are reading your news but no one is interested enough to share it with their friends or click to learn more. I’d guess that this is because most unpaid status updates are just boring facts with no actual call to action.
“Yesterday, we joined our employees on a bike-a-thon. What fun!”
“We’re having a sale on Tuesday. Stay tuned for details.”
Facebook must like posts like that because the high organic number means they’re showing up on the customer’s feed. Customer’s, however, don’t care.
If you want them to click, you need to add a photo. Customers like photos. They also click for offers, videos and links. Trouble is, only a tiny portion of your audience will see any of those posts and hardly anyone is sharing them. Weird.
On the paid side, it’s a different story. The Question is king. Not only do people see it and click it, they share it. They also share paid posts that contain offers.
What Can You Make of This?
If you believe what you’re seeing here, then you need to ask yourself a big question: what do I hope to gain from my social media efforts?
If you’re looking to expand you customer base, then paying to promote posts will help because of the increased viral nature. ShopIgnite also found that posts with large photos do particularly well if you’re aiming at the mobile crowd. Link posts perform better on desktops. Both of those facts make perfect sense, so again, keep your intended audience in mind.
If you need people to clickthrough to your page, then paying to promote your post is a waste of money. I’m thinking of small businesses who sell through a shop tab on their Facebook Page. You need people to leave their newsfeed and hop over to your page. They see the shop and they buy.
If you want your fans to walk in to your physical location, then paying to promote a daily special is perfect. This suits the mobile users because they don’t have to click. They simply have to see your post to get your message.
Of course, the best route is a combination of all of the above. Mix up your posts. Add photos and links but don’t make every post a link to your blog. Share posts from others and every now and then, pay to promote a particularly impressive offer. Forget two sides, when it comes to Facebook, there are eight sides to the story. Be sure you spend a little time on every one.
For more information, download ShopIgniter’s 2013 Social Rich Media Benchmark Report. Give them your contact information and it’s all yours free and clear.