Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Results of the Facebook Promoted Posts Experiment

Promoted post
Following on from my last blog post, I have the results of my promoted post experiment.  Both  the promoted post and the test non promoted post have been online for just over 3 days now and Facebook said the post would be promoted for 3 days.  If there are any significant changes in the next few days I will update this post to reflect that.


Promote Post - Reached 1,302 people  - 39%
Umpromoted post - Reached 1,106 people - 33%
Other posts same day - Average of 22%

Up until yesterday the unpromoted post was doing a lot better and then in the last 24 hours or so the promoted post took the lead.  I did notice that I was still getting 'likes' on the promoted post up until this morning so presumably some people were still seeing it in their timeline then whereas the unpromoted one had moved down my page (and people's timelines).

I did learn that if you hold your mouse over the number of people who have viewed your page you can see how many sew your post because of promotion, also if you hold it over the percentage it tells you what percentage of people saw it because you paid for extra promotion.

Number of people reached through promotion
Percentage of people reached through promotion

My promoted post only reached 6% more of my fans than my unpromoted post did.  Although according to the stats on that post it reached almost double the amount of people it would have reached if I hadn't paid for the promotion.  However £7 to reach an extra couple hundred people seems very expensive to me!

Furthermore it said that for the £7 I would be reaching 2,200 people in the 3 days the post was promoted.  That would be 100% of my fans, so 39% is a long way off that!  I will keep an eye on it and see if the percentage continues to increase this week even though the 3 days promotion has ended but all in all I'm rather disappointed with the outcome. 

I'd suggest saving your money and concentrating more on post interesting posts and images which you know will catch your page fan's attention.  The image of fabrics I posted as my test unpromoted post had 56 likes and 11 comments, whereas my promoted post had 15 likes and no comments.

Reach Stats

Running this experiment has made me keep a closer eye on the reach stats on my posts and I do think these figures could be useful to us page owners.  We've known for a long time that not all our fans see our posts but we had no idea how many weren't seeing them.  Now that we can see those figures we can use them to our advantage.  I've noticed my 'reach' figures vary massively between 7%-40% and I'm starting to spot trends as to what is affecting them  For instance when I post from Hootsuite my 'reach' is a lot lower than when I post directly onto Facebook.  I think it would be worth our while to look back over a week or too's stats and see what reaches the most people so we know what to repeat in the future to keep our fans engaged.


Swirlyarts said...

I've not really looked into the reach of my posts yet but it is something I should do. Have you seen that you can get £20 of free advertising on FB? I've written about it here http://www.facebook.com/Swirlyarts/posts/426337874067608 It's well worth a look and has increased my likers by 100+ :)

memmens said...

Hmmm interesting! I can't imagine ever being in a position where I can a) afford to pay for post or b) feel it would be worthwhile. I guess to an extent it will depend on the nature of your business but I think this just proves that nets need to be cast wider than facebook. Thanks for your work on this.

maryann said...

Thanks, thats very interesting, especially the part about hootsuite, which I normally use. I think I will steer clear of paid advertising :(

Nai said...

I have you in my google reader and I didn't actually have you fb page liked (I didn't know you had one). Of the blogs I read and have liked there fb page I never read from the fb page as this would be doubling up. Unless they specifically cross promote from the blog to fb. I also never hit like or type comments on things that are liked rather than friends.

verykerryberry said...

Very interesting! Great analysis Fi.

The Sewing Directory said...

Thanks Swirlyarts I wasn't aware they were offering free credit, I've joined the page but haven't found the option for the credit yet. Will look again in a minute.

Nai, I post different content on my Facebook page than on my blog, and I update it a lot more frequently too. You can find it here: http://www.facebook.com/TheSewingDirectory

I've seen a few other people try the promoted posts and they also found the same as me, not worth the money. :-(

David Bennett said...

"Promoted Post - Reached 1,302 people - 39% Unpromoted post - Reached 1,106 people - 33%
Other posts same day - Average of 22%"

I wonder whether the 33% compared to the 22% is as a result of people to whom the post was promoted, sharing it with their friends ?

The Sewing Directory said...

Hi David, the 33% was an unpromoted post. However it was shared quite a few times so you're right that is probably why it got a higher response rate than the other posts that day. That's why I thought I would also note down the average for the other posts as well as the 'control' post v the sponsored post.

Posts that get shared a lot do reach a lot more people so I guess aiming for 'viral' content is a good way to make sure plenty of people are seeing your posts.

My first post today has been shared 97 times so far today and has already reached over 30% of my fans so is close to the amount the promoted post reached over 3 days.

It's worth noting though that friend of people who like the page although they get counted in the number of people who view the post obviously don't get counted in the percentage of fans figure as they aren't fans of the page.

This morning's post is saying over 1000 people have viewed it - which would be more than 50% of my fans but because some aren't fans the 'reach' figure is 30%.

Sorry that turned into a big long reply lol

David Bennett said...

Thanks Fiona - I hope I got the name correct - can't call you The Sewing Directory :-)

Many thanks for the clarification about fan percentage versus likes - (...friends of people who like the page although they get counted in the number of people who view the post obviously don't get counted in the percentage of fans figure as they aren't fans of the page.)

That helps.

The Sewing Directory said...

Yes it is Fiona :-)

No problem about the clarification. I'm a bit of a stats nerd and I like to understand how things work. I probably think about things way more than I should!

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