Our expert responds with the case for boosting posts on Facebook and how you can use promoted posts in your marketing efforts.

You may have caught the headlines recently that the average Facebook brand page post just isn’t getting the same visibility it used to. Marketing insiders call it a decline in “organic reach.” But, what this really means is that now Facebook post visibility requires a certain level of pay for play.

Last month, Facebook Ads Product Marketing lead Brian Bolan addressed these concerns in a blog post.

The two reasons for Organic Reach decline

  1. There’s a ton of content. On average, there are approximately 1,500 possible stories that could appear in your News Feed at any time. This means increased competition in the News Feed when it comes to content from friends, brands, groups, and games. As the world’s largest social network, Facebook is—unsurprisingly—a crowded space.
  2. Facebook’s enigmatic algorithm curates those 1,500 stories to about 300 pieces of content. They do this by looking at each possible story and ranking the content using thousands of interest factors. The intent is to deliver content that is most relevant to you.

So what do I do?
The short answer? Pay.

Facebook is still an incredibly valuable marketing platform for brands. However, gone are the days of widespread Organic Reach, just because you press “Post.” Social@Ogilvy tracked the decline recently, finding organic reach has dropped from approximately 16% in 2012 to just 6% in 2014.

Facebook is still technically a “social” network. But in the pantheon of marketing tools, you should now think of it as a paid tactic.

But I don’t have millions to spend!
Few do. The good news is Facebook offers a scalable array of paid tools to help you reach any number of users.

The simplest and most effective way is to Boost a post. After posting a piece of content, you’ll notice a blue “Boost” button in the bottom right corner. Click that, and a whole range of options is available. First select your budget. Depending on your page size, amounts can range from about $10 to thousands. Each amount will give you an estimated reach for the spend.

Then select your audience. Do you want to reach more of your current fans and their friends? Or do you want to target more specific demographics or geographical regions? Facebook offers deeper insight and assistance for navigating those options here.

What posts do I Boost?
Proactively boosting a post is a good way to ensure the content you’re pushing out reaches a wide audience, whether it’s promoting a trunk sale or a new store opening.

Reactive boosting is also a good way to utilize the tactic. If you post a piece of content and find that it performs well on its own (lots of likes, shares, comments), you may elect to help boost its reach. If fans are already engaging well with it, chances are other users will find it interesting, too.

One tip?
When promoting images, remember Facebook’s 20% rule: You can’t boost images with more than 20% text.