Facebook: engagement vs promoted posts

I asked my Twitter followers what they thought of the a notional theory that working to drive continual engagement on Facebook was less effective than simply paying to promote key messages to fans as required. Here’s the responses and discussions…

  1. mr_trick
    OK – so I’m gonna play devil’s advocate here, but let me put a theory to you as I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Ready?
  2. mr_trick
    I shouldn’t bother engaging fans in an ongoing capacity on Facebook; I should just pay to promote key announcements to guarantee reach.
  3. mr_trick
    After all, why waste time & money on engaging fans on day-to-day stuff when you can just put down £100 to blast your message to them all?
  4. timdifford
    @mr_trick can you guarantee to reach fans?
  5. mr_trick
    @timdifford Facebook says it can, yes. Admittedly, this concept falls over slightly when you don’t have an established fanbase to start with
  6. stuartdredge
    @mr_trick is there an argument that if you engage with them every day etc etc, they’re more likely to DO whatever you’re blasting to them?
  7. mr_trick
    .@stuartdredge Maybe but there’s a counter-argument that you’re just trying to sell a release, and they’d discover and make mind up anyway.
  8. mr_trick
    .@jamesmart_in No, but I’ll go take a look.
  9. Annikakaka
    @mr_trick Won’t you lose likes if all you do is pump salesy messages at fans, rather than engage them & build a community?
  10. mr_trick
    .@Annikakaka Yes if you do it to overkill, but I’m talking more about merely pushing key calls to action (single out, album out, tour etc)
  11. buzzin_fly
    @mr_trick engaging with fans is relatively easy (and very worthwhile) but is ultimately a ringed fence. expansion costs money. always has.
  12. mr_trick
    .@buzzin_fly It is, but it doesn’t come easily to some artists. Some are very social, some really aren’t.
  13. Idene
    @mr_trick When I paid for the promotion for my industrial metal band, I had old ladies, rnb hoochy mamams and old guys “liking” my page.
  14. mr_trick
    .@Idene Sounds to me like you targeted it wrongly. I’m only ever paying to reach fans and possible friends of fans.
  15. Idene
    @mr_trick I used the promote a post feature. Completely ripped and unable to get a refund due to their “policy” – #Zuckerberg is killing FB
  16. mr_trick
    .@Idene Something sounds very up there… though it does raise a very valid concern as to WHO it promotes to.
  17. mr_trick
    .@Idene After all there’s a world of difference between a fan’s 18 yr old mate and a fan’s auntie, for example 😉
  18. Annikakaka
    @mr_trick Oh I’d definitely pay to promote then, especially as the alternative is repeating yourself which will become tedious for everyone.
  19. mr_trick
    .@Annikakaka Yes and no. Point is more that you should be continually, socially engaging. Not just posting sales messages. But take yr point
  20. buzzin_fly
    @mr_trick I don’t think artists should be forced to be social. No one would’ve expected or wanted Philip Larkin on Twitter.
  21. mr_trick
    .@buzzin_fly Well no, which kinda goes back to my point: if artist doesn’t want to be social, do you just focus on driving key msgs? Maybe.
  22. lucyeblair
    @mr_trick reach is one thing, but even if you reach more people you’re not necessarily guaranteed a better response/take-up on your CTA
  23. mr_trick
    .@lucyeblair Very true – but by same token, to maintain “natural” reach you must be consistently engaging, which is a lot of effort (and £!)
  24. TrippyWicked
    @mr_trick @buzzin_fly maybe those not so social artists should go the traditional route – exposure through blogs/mags etc.
  25. buzzin_fly
    @mr_trick Yes. Of course. Sometimes we want certain artists to only be ONE thing. They don’t have to be fully rounded and witty on Twitter.
  26. mr_trick
    .@buzzin_fly Indeed – which could lead you back to the conclusion that social media can be avoided and trad. methods (ie ads) can do as well
  27. lucyeblair
    @mr_trick have tried a couple of promoted posts to little effect so far, I’m still in the engagement camp even though it’s getting harder
  28. mr_trick
    .@lucyeblair Opposite for me: have seen excellent engagement on promoted posts where key announcement is made.
  29. mr_trick
    .@lucyeblair See that’s the issue: if you are on e.g. 2nd LP, engagement has dropped naturally, you need to deliver reach to fans, and that>
  30. mr_trick
    .@lucyeblair > won’t happen via a normal post (arguably). Paying to promote ensures it hits ALL fans, not just currently engaging ones.
  31. robowenmac
    @mr_trick from SMW – http://Play.com can attribute £2m of sales to FB directly. They have spent nothing. Purely engagement.
  32. mr_trick
    .@robowenmac But engagement doesn’t cost nothing; it takes staff & that takes money etc etc. To say is free b/c they didn’t run ads is wrong
  33. robowenmac
    @mr_trick of course, but isn’t social media just a more personal customer service system, so it’s a worthwhile investment.
  34. mr_trick
    .@robowenmac Yes & no – totally depends on the business. Service businesses, yes. Fashion, for example? No.
  35. timdifford
    @mr_trick yep engagement costs more than you think… it’s a luxury item for SMEs
  36. mr_trick
    .@timdifford Which brings me back to my point really, ie that it might be cheaper to eschew engagement in favour of promoted posts.
  37. WeAreAmplified
    @timdifford @mr_trick sorry to butt in on your conversation but engagement is not really a luxury for SMEs its about resources / strategy
  38. mr_trick
    @WeAreAmplified @timdifford Yes & no: it requires spend – and cumulatively that might exceed what you’d spend purely on promoted posts.
  39. mr_trick
    @WeAreAmplified @timdifford I’ve seen artists run excellent DIY social campaigns, so it doesn’t HAVE to cost £££, but often it does.
  40. WeAreAmplified
    @mr_trick @timdifford fair. but there are other ways to engagement other than paid. also SMEs have to be realistic on what they can achieve
  41. mr_trick
    @WeAreAmplified @timdifford Heh – that’s a whole other wormhole of discussion right there (ie expectation vs reality)… 😉
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