5 tips for using Facebook's new promoted posts

If your business' Facebook Page has more than 400 likes, you now have the option to try a new advertising feature called "Promoted Posts." The button, which you'll find at the bottom of the status update box, lets you select a budget and will generate an estimated reach of that post.

Promoted posts appear not only in the news feeds of the people who like your page, but in the news feeds of friends of the people who have interacted with your post, according to Facebook. This is the latest in a series of recent updates to Facebook business Pages.

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Here's a look at some of the feature's highlights, plus tips from Facebook on how to best use it.

1. How to Promote a Page Post

To promote a Page post, navigate to the update status box and type in the post details. At the bottom of the box, click on the Promote drop-down button and set your desired budget. This budget is a lifetime budget and not a daily budget.

When you're done, click Save.

Posts that are eligible to be promoted include Page posts you've created in the last three days: status updates, photos, offers, videos and questions. To promote a past post, click the Promote button just below where people can add a comment, select a budget and click Save.

If you need to, you can change your promoted post's budget. Do this by clicking on the "Promoted for $X" button, selecting the pencil icon next to Budget and choosing your new budget. Then click Save. Your new budget will go into effect immediately.

Once your promoted post is live, it will appear in news feeds with a "Sponsored" label on the bottom.

[Want more tips, tricks and details on Facebook? Check out CIO.com's Facebook Bible.]

2. How to Target and Pause Promoted Posts

When you create a post, you have the option to target a specific location or language from the "Public" drop-down menu under the sharing tool. Targeting an audience based on location or language will likely decrease the estimated reach the post has, however.

To target a specific location or language, click on the "Public" button under the sharing tool when you're creating a page post, then select "Location / Language."

On the next form, enter in the location you want to target. You can choose by country, state/province, city and language. Then click Okay to finish.

To pause a promoted post, go to your Page timeline and find the post you're promoting. At the bottom of the post below where people can add a comment, click on the "Promoted for $X" button. At the bottom of this page, click on the "Stop Promotion" link. Your promotion will be updated and the button will say, "Promotion Paused."

To resume your promotion, follow the same steps.

3. How to View Your Promotions Performance

Soon after promoting a post, you'll be able to see its performance at the bottom of the post in the links to the left of the Promote button. Hovering over the link to the number of people reached will give you more information about the people who saw this post, including information on your organic reach, viral reach and paid reach.

Hovering over the percentage link will give you insight into the total percentage of people who like your Page that you reached through the promotion.

4. How Your Promotions Are Billed

Your promoted posts will be billed to the same account you designated in your Ads Manager. You can view your primary funding source as well as access invoices from the gear-icon drop-down menu in the "Promote" button, or from your Ads Manager.

From the "Promote" button, click the gear icon and select "Change payment method." Here, you can see all payment methods listed on your ads account and make any changes to your primary funding source.

5. Best Practices for Promoting Posts

To help you and your business succeed with Promoted Posts, Facebook put together a list of four tips:

Add photos and videos: "People tend to respond to bright, simple and attention-grabbing images, particularly of people using your product or service. For example, you could promote a photo of new products you want to sell. Keep in mind that your Page's profile picture will show up next to your promoted post so everyone knows its connected to your business."

Promote offers: "Promoting an offer can help increase the number of people who see and claim your offer. This can help to drive more people to your business and increase engagement on your Page."

Highlight exclusive events or news: "Promoting posts with exclusive content gets people to talk about your Page and share your posts with their friends. This could be a daily special on the menu, an in-store event or the launch of an upcoming product."

Ask a question: "Promoting a question tells people that you value their opinion. For example, you could promote a question asking people to vote on a new product or service, which encourages people to have a direct impact on your business decisions."

Kristin Burnham covers consumer technology, social networking and enterprise collaboration for CIO.com. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kmburnham. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Kristin at kburnham@cio.com

This story, "5 tips for using Facebook's new promoted posts" was originally published by CIO.

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