Facebook Says No More Free Lunch

by John Costello

One of the first lessons learned in freshman year Microeconomics class is that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Both literally (the “free” panini at Hot Table earned after every ten $6 paninis purchased) and in a less tangible sense (the cost of your time spent at Hot Table).

For years, Facebook posts have been viewed as “free” promotion, save for that less tangible cost of time spent creating content. However, we’ve found that with recent algorithm tweaks it will become increasingly important for brands to promote their posts through advertising. Facebook even gives users the option to promote their personal posts now. The days of the free Facebook lunch are over.

Promoted posts are sort of like a giant sign on the side of Facebook Street. In fact, they’re more like a giant sign right in the middle of the street, without all the safety issues that there would be in real life. Signs (the promoted posts) advertise what you have in your restaurant. While your audience may never have been inside before, the sign will clue them in on the great content you’re serving up and make them hungry for more.

Promoted posts significantly increase the reach of your posts, making it visible to tens or even hundreds of thousands of users through paid promotion, rather than merely hundreds reached without promotion. The bigger your sign, the more potential customers it reaches, creating more patrons that are willing to pay for what you’re serving.

When promoting a post, Page managers can easily tweak aspects of the promotion, such as targeted age, gender, budget and even interests. The more broad the audience, the more users the post will reach.

Posts are the bread and butter of a Facebook strategy. While you populate your Facebook with high quality content for your audience to consume, the key is getting your posts seen by a large audience so that they come sit at your Facebook table. Without using the platforms promotional tool, it’s becoming increasingly likely that nobody will be buying your entrée. While posts may not be a free lunch anymore, it’s worth the price to reach thousands of patrons.

For dessert, sample some of these success stories we found on Facebook of brands using promoted posts: fb