Power Editor: An Alternative to Facebook Promoted Posts [Tutorial]

Facebook Promoted Posts make reaching a larger audience — or more of your current audience — painless and simple.

But that simplicity comes at a cost: Control.

When you promote a post on Facebook, you have minimal control over your bid type, budget, promotion period and interest targeting. It’s a cookie cutter solution that only allows you to bid with Optimized CPM, giving you a handful of budget options for a campaign that will run for up to three days.

As great as these ads are, I want more control. I want to create multiple targeting options of my ad to see what is most efficient. Sometimes the audience I want to reach with my organic post isn’t the same as the audience I’m willing to pay to reach.

I often have people ask me how to edit Facebook Promoted Posts. You can’t.

The purpose of this post is to step you through exactly how you’d recreate a Promoted Post in Power Editor to give you the control that you need.

Understanding a Promoted Post

Before I explain how to do this, you need to understand why it’s possible. When you click the “Promote” button, Facebook generates two (or three, if you target friends of Fans) ads:

  • Page Post Ad targeted at Fans that goes into desktop and mobile News Feed
  • Page Post Ad targeted at friends of Fans that goes into desktop and mobile News Feed*
  • Sponsored Story targeted at friends of Fans that goes into desktop and mobile News Feed

* Only if you target friends of Fans

Most marketers don’t understand that this happens when you promote a post. But if you go into your self serve Facebook ad tool, you’ll see this campaign created.

Use Power Editor

I’ll say this until I’m blue in the face: If you want optimal control over your Facebook ads, you must use Power Editor.

Simply go here to use Power Editor. It’s free. If you need help, read this tutorial.

1. Create a Campaign

While in the Campaign view, click Create Campaign. Then do the following:

  1. Name your campaign
  2. Pick Auction or Fixed Price (usually stick with Auction)
  3. Set your Daily or Lifetime budget
  4. Set the campaign’s start and end date

Facebook Power Editor Create Campaign

2. Create Page Post Ad targeted at Fans

Next you want to create the ad that will appear in the News Feeds of Fans.

While the campaign you just created is highlighted on the left, click Ads and then Create Ad.

Facebook Power Editor Create Ad

Within “Creative & Placements” make sure that you do the following:

  1. Select Type: Ad
  2. Choose “For a Facebook Page using a Page post”
  3. Select the post you want to promote
  4. Select placement of News Feed (Desktop and Mobile)

Facebook Power Editor Create Ad Creative & Placement

Within “Audience” make sure to enter all of the countries you want to target.

Facebook Power Editor Create Ad Countries

Further down, make sure to enter the name of your Page under “Connections: Target users who are connected to…” This will make sure that your ad only targets your Fans.

Facebook Power Editor Create Ad Connections

That’s it for this ad. From here, you can customize however you want. I’ll get to that later.

3. Create Page Post Ad targeted at Friends of Fans

I don’t target friends of Fans in News Feed ads, but if you wanted to replicate this portion of the Promoted Post here’s how you’d do it…

Everything you did in #2 is exactly the same except for the “Connections” step. Enter the name of your Page within these two boxes:

  • Target users who are not already connected to
  • Target users whose friends are connected to

Facebook Power Editor Create Ad Connections Friends of Fans

This will then promote your post in the News Feeds (mobile and desktop) of friends of Fans.

As in step #2, feel free to split test!

4. Create the News Feed Sponsored Story

Finally, we need to create the Sponsored Story that goes into the News Feeds of friends of Fans.

When you create a new ad for this campaign, this time you’ll want to do the following:

  1. Select Type: Sponsored Story
  2. Choose “About a Page post”
  3. Choose “People liking a specific Page post”
  4. Select the post you want to promote
  5. Select placement of News Feed (Desktop and Mobile)

Facebook Power Editor Create Ad Sponsored Story

You could also create ads that leverage people commenting on or sharing your Page post.

5. Customize and Split Test

Up until now, all you’ve done is replicate what is done when you click the “Promote” button. You spent a few minutes doing what you could have done in one second.

Of course, that’s not helpful to you. What you want is to now have more control over your campaign.

Within Power Editor, you can now customize just about anything. Here are a few ideas for variations and split testing:

  • News Feed: Desktop, Mobile or Both
  • Track Conversions: Use for posts that drive users to your website
  • Countries: One country at a time or your main countries
  • Age: Your target demo
  • Sex: Your target demo
  • Precise Interests: Focus only on those with certain interests
  • Custom Audiences: Target Fans who are also on your email list
  • Language: Target only users who speak your language
  • Pricing & Status: Options of Optimized CPM, CPM and CPC

The possibilities are endless. Knock yourself out!

  • http://www.doitsocially.com/ Muhammad Adil

    Great post Jon! your content is very helpful betterly target the social media audiance.


  • http://www.facebook.com/alan.martin.3388 Alan Martin

    Great post Jon, would be great to get more on the new ‘similar audience’ feature!

  • Amal Arunesh

    Very Useful and informative

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  • http://www.facebook.com/andyfoster1971 Andy Foster

    Why, when I click on the link for Power Editor does it immediately want to install 500mb of Database and then some other databases on my Hard Drive ?

    • Dennis

      Because Power Editor, to the best of my knowledge, only runs on Google Chrome. Whenever I make the mistake of trying to open it on Safari, I’m hit with that same notification which I cancel and go to Chrome.

    • ChairmanPromotions

      Andy I have the same problem in chrome. A workaround is open an incognito window. That works for me.

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  • Roy

    Very nice tutorial of the Power Editor tool. In The Netherlands we start using this more and more.

  • Efrat

    started working with power editor, but my ads are still pending after 3 days! How long it takes to approve?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      It doesn’t matter whether you submit via Power Editor or the self-serve ad tool. As always, approval time is variable. I assume you clicked Upload?

      • http://www.facebook.com/efrat.dekel Efrat Dekel

        oppps… no i did not upload it, thanks, i could have wait for ever

      • Aga Twardowicz

        Hi Jon, I created my ads this morning, corrected all errors, clicked upload – still have ‘pending status’ in the Power Editor, but not in the Adverts Manager. Any idea why and which one is telling the truth?

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  • gnir

    Fabulous and valuable tutorial. I really appreciate that your posts are useful. You take the time to give us quality and it is very much appreciated.

  • Justin Cener

    I’m using the Power Editor and I continuously get this error:

    – Failed to create ad “LA Page Post Ad 1″: The targeting specified for this ad is not compatible with the story being boosted. Check the privacy and language/country targeting of the story you are trying to sponsor.

    I created an unpublished post, then a campaign, and now the Ad with the following settings:

    -Type: Ad

    Destination: my fan page

    Page Post: selected the unpublished one i Just created

    Placement – News Feed

    Audience – Targeted to Los Angeles + 50 mile radius

    I’m at a loss as to why this wouldn’t work?

    • Jeff

      I don’t think you can promote a post that is unpublished.

      Publish the post, then try your steps again.

      • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

        Actually, the only value of an unpublished post is to promote it (via Power Editor).

  • Melanie

    This article is so helpful! Thank you! Does the rule about promoted posts with photos still apply in Power Editor? If you want to ‘boost’ a page post that includes a photo, the photo must have less than 20% text. Does that rule still apply to promoted posts created in Power Editor? Thanks.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      It still applies to Power Editor, Melanie. This is just a different way to create those ads.

      • Melanie

        Bummer. Thanks for the info!

  • Nora Kamsani

    Great post Jon

  • Nick

    Great article. Question: Are these Ads only created for fans or friends of fans of your page? What if I want to start a new fan page from scratch and promote to all men ages 25-45 across the US? Will my ads be viewed by this audience if I don;t currently have any fans?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      You can choose your targeting, Nick. Can be Fans. Can be friends of Fans. Can be non-Fans without a connection.

  • Laura

    Hey Jon. GREAT post!
    Can you use promoted posts to target people who AREN’T your fans (or friends of fans), such as in the right hand rail? My page doesn’t have 1000s of likes, but I want to reach a large audience.

    • Gary Molatore

      Yes, you can reach all people in your chosen demographic, such as a particular city, a certain age, various relationship status, etc, even if not already fans or friends. See https://www.facebook.com/help/453530464730606/. The ad creator allows you to choose your audience. As you choose your audience, you can see the Audience size in the upper right corner of your screen. The audience size will change as you add or subtract demographics, such as increasing the age from 18 – 35 to 18 – 50, increasing the distance from 10 miles to 50 miles, etc. You can also use the Power Editor for more control over your ad. Power Editor works only in Chrome internet browser. See http://www.jonloomer.com/2013/04/01/facebook-promoted-posts-power-editor/

  • Eli

    Hi Jon. Thanks for a great post. I can’t seem to change the time zone from L.A to… well anything other than L.A. Any advice on this?

  • Erica

    So I’m in the Power Editor, created my ad, but there isn’t a “go live” or “submit” option. Just says it’s “pending” is there a certain amount of approval time before Facebook allows it to go live?

    • http://jasonhjh.com/ Jason HJH

      You need to upload it, then Facebook will take some time to approve it. They usually approve mine under 30 minutes.

  • Marcin Chwalik

    Jon – great article (again)

    My main main question why one would like to boost posts in the first place.
    1. When you spend heavily on acquiring likes and now your reach is around 15% when you boost you pay twice in order to get your message to “your” fans
    2. Boosting posts helps with your page’s egde rank (as you get more likes&shares from boosting) which helps you with getting better organic reach in the future.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Only half of your Fans are on Facebook every day. Of those 50% remaining, what percentage will be online during that two hour window when you published your post?

      You aren’t going to reach many of your Fans with a post, and this goes well beyond EdgeRank. You just aren’t going to reach them for natural, normal reasons. I want to reach more of them, so I’ll pay to reach more — particularly those who aren’t online when I originally shared it.

      • Marcin Chwalik

        Good point – thanks.
        But, assuming (due to edge rank) one is having issues reaching all the fans available at given time can one treat boosting posts as investment into the future that would allow better organic reach in the future ?

        • http://jasonhjh.com/ Jason HJH

          If your content engages with the people you’ve reached, then certainly there’s a higher chance they’ll see your new content the next time you post; but the effect is likely to last only if they engaged with your last piece of content. The effect wears off over time, so you might find that you’ll need to promote post consistently if your content isn’t consistently good.

  • Peter McDevitt

    When I’m selecting the various connection options, I can’t get my page to come up as an option. Our page has a lot of events, and Facebook keeps only offering the various events as options. Is there a work around? If I leave the connections options blank, how does it affect the promoted post(s)?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      I don’t understand why this would happen, Peter. You should be able to enter any pages, apps or events you control into the Connections area. If you can’t — and you verify that you control them — you should reach out to Facebook.

  • http://LeeRit.com/ LeeRit

    Hi Jon, Thanks for a great intro with detailed instrutions. I learned a ton!

    Btw, the part about “Creative and Placements”, Facebook seems to have updated sllightly: now it has “Objectives” first.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Yeah, they love updating things! You should probably use the old ad types anyway.

  • mar

    Is this still relevant? I’m on this page and not able to follow this instructions at all. Help please. https://www.facebook.com/ads/manage/powereditor/#

  • Ahmed Salah

    Hi Jon, very useful post!, can i target users of a specific fan page that’s not mine? i want to advertise to those specific users only! for example a fan page with 30,000 fans i want to target those fans with my ad! (keep in mind that the fan page is not mine!) please help me with that!

  • Melissa Rodriguez-Luna

    I manage several pages and when I am creating an ad there is a drop down box where I can choose the page I want to create the ad for. Unfortunately the page I want to create the ad for is not one of the options in the drop down. This is a fairly new page, are there restrictions based on number of likes or age of page etc?

  • Lee

    Hi, Does anyone know if it is possible to boost a post for a product that isn’t owned by me? I have a page that has gathered 185k likes in 5 months and I am now trying to link with other brands to start making money. The page is targeted at Construction in the UK so is a pretty good niche. I don’t want to break any FB guidelines by doing this though?

  • Sadhana Sharma


  • Alex Kennedy

    So….Is it better to boost a post or boost the page?