Where Art & Commerce Intersect

Term Social Media



Getting your social media content right can be a moving target. What once seemed to resonate with your audience now doesn't get a single like, comment or share. Fear not, GLAD WORKS friends. Maybe all you need to do is come up with some fresh ideas. Here's a quick list of a few things that we have found to engage an audience.


1) People dig quotes: Whether they are humorous (and of course in good taste), inspirational or motivational, they almost always get some engagement from an audience. Choose quotes that you think will resonate strongly with your audience and go for it.

2) Trivia: Whether your specialty is medicine or chocolate making, there's a ton of great trivia questions you can ask your followers. People love trivia and they love to show off their expertise. Why do you think Jeopardy has been around for so long?

3) A peek behind the curtain: A few weeks ago, we had bring your dog to work day. It was one of our most enjoyed posts and our audience loved to see the human side of GLAD WORKS. You don't need to give away your secret sauce; just a little taste of it will bring people in. It's also fun to share a little bit about you. 

4) Fill-in-the-blank: This can be industry related or just general. Choose what your audience will respond to the most. For example, we recently asked, "what makes you buy an app?"

5) Share helpful resources: One of our favorite things to share are resources that can help our clients put a few best practices to work.

6) A day in the life: This is a chance to highlight the important work a certain individual does each day. If they feel comfortable, include a photo of them hard at work for that added human touch.

7) Throw back Thursdays: This is a great opportunity to share blog content that you've written in the past and put it back in the spotlight. Don't forget to include the #TBT and only do this on a Thursday.

8) Favorite product tips: Do you have a product that you absolutely cannot live without?  Why not share it with your followers? Everyone likes to know what's hot and fabulous.

9) Ask followers what they'd like to learn more about: Here's your opportunity to get into your customer's head a little and find out what questions you can answer for them.

10) Share infographics: Infographics are an awesome way to share data in a very visual and relatable way. If you find one that will resonate with your followers, share away!

What types of content have you found to be the most engaging with your audience, GLAD WORKS friends?

PS: This post is just a little taste of our awesomesauce social media e-book coming out in January 2015! Wait for it...



So the Ice Bucket Challenge has lasted WAY longer than anyone could have ever predicted, yes?  Just when you think it's over, there's two, three, four more popping up in your newsfeed on the daily. Some people are all over it, but some are annoyed by it. Whatever side of the fence you may fall on, there's no denying that for marketers, it's a bit of a phenomenon and something we can all learn from. As a result of the campaign, ALSA has experienced an 800% rise in donations. We need to listen to what this thing is telling us because, whoa.


1) Make it easy and fun

Lots of campaigns make it a bit of a struggle to get involved. There's some special place to go to to upload your video or there are lots of restrictions or forms to fill out. The Ice Bucket Challenge has proven that if you make it really simple, it will catch on faster and stronger. This is the ultimate easy thing to do—even a little kid can pour ice into a bucket of water and dump it! So ask yourself, can a four-year-old do this?  If the answer is "yes," proceed.

2) Keep money a secondary concern

As soon as people feel like they're about to be obligated to give money, they tend to run away. So, doing this challenge has been kind of an interesting thing since you do the ice bucket instead of giving money, but most people end up donating as well.

Even people who don't donate, let's say that they don't have the disposable income, can participate anyway without feeling badly that they can't afford to help. Maybe they can do the ice bucket and tag a friend who is likely to donate? The Ice Bucket Challenge makes it possible for everyone to contribute in any way they can. 

3) Make it so, so, social

When you can find a way to call your friends out on something kind of silly and potentially embarrassing, you jump at it, right?  It's all in good fun of course and the Ice Bucket Challenge is genius in that challengers are encouraged to tag three friends to do it too. It's practically impossible to ignore it when someone you know has called you out to do something in front of your social community. Turns out, it spreads like wildfire when you do that.

4) All aboard the train!      

The campaign was not something that the ALSA started. Someone else simply started the challenge, just to get people to donate to a charity—any charity. Someone else simply decided to donate to ALSA and it stuck. ALSA jumped on the train and got behind it once they saw that so many people were doing it.

There's nothing wrong with tagging along on a conversation that someone else already started.

In fact, there's another campaign sort of like the Ice Bucket Challenge that just fired up about a week ago. It's called Doubtfire Face for Suicide Prevention.  The idea is to stick your face in a pie or get it all full of something (shaving cream, whipped cream, etc.) so that you look like Mrs. Doubtfire in the scene where Daniel/Mrs. Doubtfire stuck his/her face in a cake to conceal his/her identity. The campaign was launched by Michael Scotti Jr. to help the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention raise a goal of $500,000. So far they have $3,836. Will they meet their goal? 

We think they have a good shot since they've hopped aboard a steaming locomotive!

5) Tell people what you want them to do

Ultimately, all of the things we just mentioned won't work unless you tell people what you want them to do. Make sure your call to action is lively, entertaining and motivates through a sense of urgency: 

"Your help is needed now! Take the Challenge today!" 

We predict that by the end of the year, we're going to be seeing a lot more challenges being thrown down on social media as more and more marketers pick up on what we can learn from this whole ice bucket phenomenon.

Now we'd like to open up the floor to you, dear GLAD WORKS friends: If you could throw down a challenge like this, what charity would you choose and what would you have people do?




You've been hearing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) this and SEO that for ages. It used to be that you could just have a popular website by having good content and keywords that would get you some good search engine results. But that's not good enough anymore. Those things are still absolutely important, but you've got to start taking a look at how social media sites can help you. It's a whole new bag now, GLAD WORKS friends.


The good ol' days

SEO used to involve two things: the right keywords and authoritative links that led back to your site. And now, social media is taking over and changing the game on us as search engine results have started bringing social signals (1+s, retweets and facebook likes) to help inform search engine results.

(For an explanation of SEO and why it's important, we will refer you to a post we wrote a little while back. Things have even changed since we wrote that post, but it will still give you some important basics.) 

How to baste your social media with SEO Awesomesauce

It all starts with content. If you have good quality content, you'll have a solid launching point for successful SEO. This is because Google pushes high quality content over high quantity content. You can have a ton of stuff out there, but if it's not great, you're out of luck. Google wants to send users only to the best content, not the them most content. 

Write love notes to Google

No, we don't mean writing such romantic poems like “roses are red, violets are blue, there's no other search engine better than you.” We mean that there's a way to write to get Google's attention. That means writing how you speak. People perform searches in their own words, so if Google can find that, you'll come up in a search. This is why the internet tends to be a bit more informal and colloquial. It's how people talk and talking to people is what it's all about.

With that in mind, it follows that if you write high quality content in words that people understand, appreciate and get value from, they're more likely to share it on social sites like facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. This connects your brand to a wider network of people and allows your message to spread. All you have to do is be clever about it and let the sharing begin!

Getting people to share your content

Getting people to share your content may seem like a daunting task, but it's actually not. You can customize your social media buttons on your website to make it easier for them to share in just the click of a button. Have them at the bottom of every page or blog post so it's right there in front of them. The goal here isn't to get more “likes” on facebook. You're looking for shares and retweets. If a reader feels like your content is shareable, then their friends are likely to read it and, perhaps, share it with their friends and so on.

Don't make your posts all about you

A great way to reach people is to talk to them about them. Don't go on and on about your fabulous product. Understand and address your customer's pain points. Give them a solution and they'll be pleased as punch to help spread the good news for you. 

If you want something, just ask!

Sometimes people don't realize that the next step is to share what they've just read. Maybe include something like “If you liked this post, share it with your friends today!” Having a clear call to action is never a bad thing.

Pictures, people!

Everyone likes images and because of that, they can be great SEO bait, so never overlook the power of an image. Content is super important, but images impact SEO and can be optimized many different ways like in the way you caption them and describe them.

Google + is a biggie

If you were Google, who's social posts would you favor to come up in search results? That's right! You'd favor your own! That's why Google+ is a powerful tool and a great place to post links to your content. Being active there will help you a lot! You can even toss in a few keywords to make it extra attractive. Just make sure you don't sound like a robot. Nobody likes a spammer. 

It doesn't end with just posting things

You have to measure what's working. Use your analytics to see where your traffic is coming from and what's working and what's not. Be at the ready to change your tactics because things can change on the daily. Google Analytics is a great place to start tracking the impact your social media traffic is having.

This is just a quick overview of things that you can do to make social media your SEO partner. Are there any topics mentioned here you'd like us to go into in more detail about? 

Leave it in the comments below and it shall be yours. Let GLAD WORKS be your guide!



This week, we have the second installment of last week's post about Pinterest Promoted Pins. They're not available yet, but they will be very soon. Now is a great time to start strategizing so that when they're open for business, you are ready to hit the ground running!

Why do you care about Pinterest?

Bottom line? Pinterest shoppers generally spend more per checkout. The numbers average from between $140 and $180 per order compared to shoppers on Facebook and Twitter who spend $80 to $60. Pinteresters are generally people who are searching for ideas and inspiration or just dreaming about how lovely their homes/wardrobes/bodies/emotional lives can be after a little investment.

Given that tidbit, this move by Pinterest is good news for you. What's more is that you'll be able to see what people are pinning from your website and what pins are driving the most traffic over to you. With great analytics available, you'll know what pins to put your ad money behind in order to boost their reach. Basically, this is awesome if your business is well-suited to the Pinterest audience.

How to make the most of Promoted Pins

Before you can start promoting pins, you need to know what you're doing first, so let's spend some time thinking about how to use pins. Last week, we started talking about how to create your business account and how to thoroughly fill out your profile and get a great image to go with it. Go back and read about that if you missed it.

Once you've created your account and you log in for the first time, you'll be asked to choose five boards to follow. Choose boards and categories that are relevant to your business. These are fellow pinners and potential followers and customers for you so choose wisely.

The next thing to consider is pinning strategically to turn your followers into customers. Your boards can be anything you want them to be, so choose ones that you think represent your products the best and give them a cool (yet easy to understand) name. You can even create an inspiration board that combines many different products together in one pin. For example, if you are a clothing retailer, you can assemble outfits. If you own a gift shop, you can create gift set ideas for holidays, weddings, showers, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Make your pins fun and inspiring and you cannot go wrong!  But for the love of all that is Pinterest, make sure your photos are REALLY NICE and that they're in jpg, png or gif files only. Pinteresters love pretty pictures. If your picture is bad, they won't even look at it.

A few suggestions for what/how to pin

  • Pin product images. If you offer a service, you can show pictures of people using your service.
  • Pin and repin. Just like with all other social sites, this is a two way street. You cannot just pin all the livelong day and not pin anyone else's stuff. Give some, get some.
  • Popular posts rule. Use the search feature at the upper left and click on "popular."  That's how you know what pins are trending at the moment. Get on it and pin something that relates to what's hot right now.
  • D-I-Y. Pinterest is all about do-it-yourself type stuff. If you can pin a few photos and instructions into a tutorial, do that. It's a great way to get repinned.  

Repins, you want them.

A repin is just like a share on Facebook. The more your pins are shared, the more they will spread and be seen by Pinteresters. So, what to pin is important, but the goal is really going to be getting repins.

There is a ton more to say about Pinterest, but we're already running out of time. To learn more about how to use Pinterest for your business, go straight to the source, right here. And as always, if you need some help getting started, give us a ring. We love Pinterest!


Scriptwriting For the Newbie


It might seem like an easy task to create a video to put on YouTube, but they take quite a bit of planning and even some trial and error in order to make them flow naturally and get a point across. Sadly, so many videos out there leave something to be desired because the planning time just wasn’t there before the camera started rolling. In an effort to rid the world of unfortunate videos, we’ve put together this list of tips for making a great one.

Get ready for your close up!

Create a storyboard

The first thing you need to do is have a clear goal for your video. Do you want to sell a product, improve your engagement on YouTube, or demonstrate a skill?  Whatever it is, you’ll want to create a storyboard that maps out the following:

  • How long the video will be
  • The order in which things will happen
  • What will be said in the script

Not all videos will need a script. If you decide that yours doesn’t need one, it’s even more important to have a storyboard before you turn that camera on. It’ll help keep the flow of your video on track and act as your guide during filming.

Writing your script

If your video does require a script, make sure it’s written in language your audience will understand and relate to. For example, if you’re demonstrating something technical, but your audience is the general public, you’ll want to explain things in layman’s terms. Your script should say exactly what each person in the video will say, word for word and who will say it.

When the script is being read, it should sound natural and the people who are speaking should appear to be relaxed on camera. If folks in the video are nervous or aren’t sure what to say, it’s going to come across poorly, so try to choose someone who well prepared and comfortable in front of the lens. Practicing with a few dry runs with the camera turned off before filming is helpful in soothing the jitters too.

Get your visuals together

While you’re working on the script, think about what kinds of visuals you can add to your video. Any time you can use charts, photos or other graphical elements, your ideas will come across more easily. Visual elements will help reinforce your message so use them as much as you can. You can even script in some things to include in postproduction.

Include every detail

Even details like wardrobe, shooting locations, camera angles and types of shots belong in your script. Also, don’t forget to include the actions the folks in the video take and what kind of music or sound effects will be played.

Scriptwriting takes patience

Don’t be surprised if your script takes a lot longer to write than you thought it would. That’s totally fine. It’s a skill that takes a long time to master and some people spend their whole careers working on it. So, don’t worry and don’t be in a rush. Invest the time so that your script presents your message in a way that’s compelling and to the point. After all, you only have a viewer’s attention for a short time. Make it count!




Small business owners are always looking for a way to make a splash. You need something that will make a lasting impression without taking up a whole lot of your resources. Vine might just be your answer. It’s a new free social media app owned by Twitter where you can upload and share six-second video clips that play on a loop. It doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but in just six seconds, you can educate and engage your customers in lots of creative ways. Today, we’re going to talk about whether or not Vine is right for your business and how you can get started if you decide to give it a whirl.

Is Vine right for you?

With so many different social media channels out there, it can be incredibly overwhelming to decide which ones are the most important for you to be on. You can’t be everywhere at once, so it takes careful consideration before choosing what’s best for you. But the cool thing about Vine videos is that they’re easily sharable on Facebook and Twitter, so you don’t need to start a whole new account and be active in an entirely different place. You can use Vine to enhance what you’ve already got going on! Since Vine videos are so easy to share on your existing social media sites, we think just about any business can use it efficiently.

How to use Vine for business

Here’s where things get fun!  Vine videos literally take only a few seconds to create, so don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with it. Even though they’re easy to make, it might take you a few tries to get it just right before you’re ready to share. In terms of what kind of videos you can create, the sky’s the limit! Big guys like Ben and Jerry’s, General Electric and Lowe’s have all found ways to use Vine to entertain engage and enlighten their customers. If they can do it, so can you!  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Give your customers a behind the scenes look

People LOVE to get a peek behind the scenes. Ben and Jerry’s used Vine to do just that in this Vine video. Lowes has also used vine to show quick home improvement tricks.

You don’t have to give away all of your secrets, but just a little peek at how the magic is made will tantalize your customers.

Run a contest

Persuade customers to comment on your Twitter, Facebook page or website by having your viewers guess what’s happening in your Vine video. The winning guess gets a prize or a special discount!

Display your work

Did you create something you’re really proud of like a gorgeous confection or a really cool bag? Use Vine to show it off!

Introduce your team

This is a great way to establish a bond with your customers. By showcasing a member of your team who’s hard at work or just acting a little goofy for the camera, Vine viewers will have a chance to get to know and love your staff.

Share your good works

Is your team volunteering at a local animal shelter or collecting school supplies for kids in need?  Make a little video showing them in action, doing good for the community.

Get more bodies through the door

Take a video of something fun and special that’s going on at your place. Do you have live music in the evenings?  Are you doing a wine tasting?  Share it with Vine and spark some interest in coming to visit you.

We think Vine has a million great uses and we’re noticing that many big brands are taking full advantage of its potential to engage customers. Give it a try and let us know how it works for you!

Oh, and here's our Vine video! :)




Last month, Facebook announced that status updates can now include hashtags that you can click on and search for.  Of course, folks have been using hashtags in other places for ages, sticking them in their posts as a way to summarize and describe their thoughts in one or a few words. Hashtags are a great way for users to track conversations on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Google +, so it’s only natural for them to be on Facebook now too; even though Facebook is a little late to the #party.  Today we’re going to talk about what hashtags are (because we know some of you out there are scratching your heads right now), but we’ll also talk about how brands are using them and how you can too!  #LetsTalkHashtag!

GLAD WORKS, what’s a hashtag?

We’re so glad you asked!  A hashtag is a word or phrase with a # in front of it. Any combination of characters led by a hash symbol is a hashtag.  Hashtags are useful because messages can be tagged and conversations can be tracked through them.  So, for example, if you used #SummerFunRI to start a discussion about fun stuff to do in Rhode Island this summer, people looking for that kind of thing would search for #SummerFunRI to view or join the conversation.  Hashtags have all sorts of uses ranging from advertisements and promotions to talking about current events.

Hashtags on Facebook turn topics and phrases into links you can click on in your posts on either your personal timeline or brand page.  When someone clicks a hashtag, they’ll see a feed of posts that include it.  They’ll also see some hashtags that are related to it at the top.  Hashtags are searchable in the bar at the top of any page on Facebook. 


How do I use hashtags to promote my business?

Marketers are already all over this looking for ways to use hashtags to their highest potential.  We have already seen Starbucks’ using the hashtag  #strawsome where fans can tag fun pictures of drinks they created with fun straw art.  Other companies are using them to designate a special event or date.  Some are using them to rally support for a cause.  Use your imagination and you’ll certainly come up with a creative use for them!

Tips for getting started

Keep in mind that not everyone has hashtag capability yet, but you can certainly start  putting them in your public Facebook posts on your profile or page.  Everyone who does have the feature will be able to see your hashtags as clickable links.

1. Make them stand out: Try to create hashtags that will stand out and that aren’t too general.  A hashtag like #seminar isn’t specific enough and won’t do much to inspire a conversation about the special seminar you’re giving.  A better hashtag would be something like #GWSeminar2013.  That way, it won’t get lost in the hashtag sea.

2. Help them get seen: Promote your hashtags by sticking them wherever you can.  Put them on your website, all of your social media channels, add them to your email signature and your marketing materials.  If you use your hashtag consistently in a variety of places, people will recognize them and it will trigger a buzz. 

3. Find a way to motivate: Make sure you give users a reason to share your hashtag.  It could be anything from a contest, an event, a discussion, or a charitable cause. Think of a hashtag as a conversation starter and then start a conversation with it!

4. Control yourself: Hashtags have a tendency to get out of control.  Once you’re in the habit of thinking of them, you start coming up with a bunch and become tempted to use them all in the same post. Don’t. The limit is only one or two per post.  Anything more could be overwhelming and confusing for folks.  Write them down and use them another time.  #Andforgoodnesssakedontmakethemtoolongortheyllbetoohardtoread.

Most of what we have suggested here about hashtags can be applied to any social media platform that uses them.  If you’re going to experiment with them, use this as a guide but remember to be creative and have some fun with it!



Facebook recently opened up something called Graph Search to all its users in the United States. It’s been touted as Facebook’s answer to search engines like Google and Bing, but that’s not what it is. It’s a way to search through Facebook to see what your friends are doing, what they like, etc. Even if you’re not a frequent facebooker personally, there are a few ways for you to make the most out of Graph Search for your business. Today we’re going to talk about them, but don’t worry. It’s not going to be a labor-intensive thing on your part. It’s just something to be aware of—for now at least.

What Graph Search does

Like we mentioned earlier, Graph Search is not a place where you can search the web. It’s just a way to get access to things like people, places, photos and interests that are already posted on Facebook. You can see things that have been shared by you, your friends, and friends of your friends. If Facebook doesn’t know what to do with the results of your search, then it will refer you to Bing results to help you out.

How to do a Graph Search

Graph Search is not turned on automatically, so you have to activate it. Look for the white “F” Facebook icon next to your search bar up at the top. Click inside the search bar and it should say “New Graph Search is here!  Take a tour.”  Look at the list of things you can search for that drops down below the search bar. Then, think of something you’d like to search for like “Friends of friends who like ice cream and dogs who live in Providence” and type it into the search. Facebook will then turn up a few new friends for you. It kind of works like a dating website in that it matches up your specific criteria with a person on Facebook. 

It’s not a perfect system and it’s still got a long way to go before it knocks your socks off, but it’s still kind of cool. Play around with it for a few minutes so you fully understand the user experience. Once you’ve got that down, you can start thinking of ways you can use it.

How you can use this for your business

This new feature can be neat for business owners in a few ways. Let’s say you own a dog grooming parlor/ice cream shop in Providence and you want to learn more about the people who might be interested in your place. You can do a search for dog loving ice-cream-eating Providence residents and learn more about them. Is it a little stalker-ish, a little creepy?  Yes, yes it is, but it’s a great way for you to learn more about your demographic. Besides, you’re going to make the dog-loving ice-cream-eating people of Providence very happy someday because you know so much about what they want and need!

Right now you might be thinking: “how can I get my business to come up in these searches?”  Well, the first thing you can do is to make sure your business Facebook page is filled out as completely as possible. Check to make sure your location is clear and that you have indicated what your products and services are. Have a great looking image up too so that when you get visitors, you’ll look spiffy and professional. 

Continue to do your very best to engage your customers on your Facebook page because every interaction you have with your fans will form a sketch of your business. If you have a devoted following, you’re going to be bumped up in the search. This is an amazing way for smaller businesses to compete with the big guys. Basically, Graph Search gives you a chance to shine on Facebook that you didn’t have before.

Like we said earlier, this is not perfect and has a way to go before it will knock you off your chair in amazement, but for now, it’s pretty neat and it’s something to be aware of. As always, building engagement with your fans is a great way to ensure success on Facebook. Offer discounts on your Facbook page; respond to comments and post interesting stuff and you’ll be on your way to a successful appearance in Graph Search.




Recently, Twitter rolled out a new effort to build up their advertising business. Now you can purchase ads that will reach users based on the keywords in their recent tweets as well as the tweets they’ve interacted with recently. Today we’re going to go into some detail about this new feature and talk about how useful it might be to you. 

In other words, we’re going to tell you why you care.

We might also talk about ice cream because it’s May now and summer is coming!

What is keyword targeting?

Keyword targeting is a way for brands to show ads to users based on specific words in their tweets as well as words in tweets they’ve interacted with recently. In this way, people can be targeted based on things they’ve already said they’re interested in. As Twitter explains it, marketers can “reach users at the right moment in the right context” instead of trying to reach them on the basis of geographic location or demographic information.  

This does not mean you’ll see more ads on Twitter

Twitter promises us that this won’t mean that every time we tweet something we’ll see an ad for something related to it.  It just means that we’ll see more stuff related to things we actually care about. We’ll still be able to ignore Promoted Tweets, but we might not be as likely to ignore things since the ones we see will be more relevant to us. And indeed that is the hope behind these changes. Twitter hopes that this new feature will make people a lot more likely to engage with Promoted Tweets.

And this is why you care: people who are already interested in what you’re saying will see your tweets.

Pretty freakin’ sweet, right?

Speaking of sweet…

How it works

Twitter uses the example of advertising concert tickets to explain how this all works, but we’re going to talk about it in language that more of us can understand and appreciate: ice cream.

So let’s pretend that a user tweets about totally digging red velvet cake, and it so happens that YOU just added that flavor to your ice cream menu. You can run a geotargeted ad campaign using the keywords “red velvet cake” with a tweet that links to your ice cream shop’s website. That tweeter, having expressed an interest in red velvet cake, will now become aware of the glory and the wonder that is your newest flavor— red velvet cake ice cream. And it’s all because of this keyword targeting business.

How to do it

Setting up a targeted keyword campaign is easy peasy. First, you do your research and come up with the keywords you’d like to use (in our example that might be “red velvet cake,” “red velvet cake ice cream,” etc.). Choose whether you want to use phrase match or unordered keyword match. Next, you pick from other targeting options like geographic location, gender, and type of device. Your promoted tweets will then appear in user’s timelines when they mention any of your keywords or interact with other people’s posts that contain them.

It’ll be interesting to see how this takes off, but we think it sounds like it’s going to work really well. Folks who have already tried it are giving good reports, but we’d like to hear from any of you who’ve given it a whirl.

How did it work for you and would you do it again?



So, you’ve read our post about Google AdWords and Facebook Ads and you’ve decided to go with advertising on Facebook. But now what?  They have so many products!  There are Promoted Posts, Sponsored Stories, Page Post Ads and Marketplace Ads, but what do all these things do?  It’s overwhelming!

Not to worry, GLAD WORKS friends. We can sort this out for you.

Let’s dig in and take a look at Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories—the two things we think you’re most likely to be interested in to start out with. 

Promoted Posts

A year ago this May, Facebook rolled out Promoted Posts, which gives businesses a chance to pay to get their content in front of more eyeballs. Since only a very limited percentage of your page’s followers actually see your posts come up in their news feeds, using Promoted Posts makes sense if you’ve got something you really want people to see.

The cost to promote a post varies based on your geographic location and the number of people you’re reaching, but you can spend anywhere from $10 up to $100 to make the magic happen. If any of your followers interact with your post (by sharing, liking, or commenting), a higher percentage of their friends will also see it. 

Promoted Posts show up exclusively in news feeds and you can purchase them right there on the post. Just look for the “Promote” option at the bottom right hand corner of each post. You’ll have a few options for how much you want to spend as well as an estimate of how many people will see your post. 

Sponsored Story

Another way to get your content in front of more Facebookers is to use Sponsored Stories. Sponsored Stories are built around user activity. As an advertiser, you pay to highlight an action that users have already taken. That action appears to the user’s friends either on the sidebar or in their news feed. An audience that’s not connected to a brand page themselves or through a friend will not see a Sponsored Story. 

The goal of a Sponsored Story is to get more users to take the same action that a friend has taken. So, if for example someone Likes a page, the Sponsored Story will appear either in the news feed or sidebar of that person’s friends, hoping to inspire them to follow suit. Think of it as being like “word of mouth” advertising. 

There are different kinds of Sponsored Stories:

  • Page Like Sponsored Stories appear when a user has liked a page
  • Offer Claimed Sponsored Stories appear when users have claimed an offer
  • Sweepstakes Sponsored Stories show up when someone has entered a sweepstakes.

You can purchase most Sponsored Stories through Facebook’s self-serve ad tool. 

Which is right for you?

Well, that depends on your goal. If your goal is to remind your existing fans that you’re still alive and kicking, or to spread the word about something awesome you feel the world needs to know about, Promoted Posts are a fantastic way to do that. You have to have more than 400 likes on your page in order to use the Promoted Posts option. 

Sponsored Stories can help you grow likes on your page, but it can also help you when you’re running a promotion on your website or hosting an event. For example, if a user signs up to go to an event you’re hosting, that story will appear to their friend who will hopefully say “Oh! That sounds like fun! I want to go too!”

It’s tough to say which one is right for you since every audience is different and the answer isn’t so clear-cut. It might make sense to dip your toe in the water a little bit and go with a Promoted Post first. If you don’t have enough followers, then a sponsored story might be the way to go toward getting your message out while giving you a chance to attract more likes to your page.

Whichever you choose, be sure to use it strategically and then track your results. Not everything is going to work for every audience, so keep testing to be sure you’re not wasting your time, money and effort on something that’s getting you mediocre results.