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

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

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

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

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

facebook power editor create ad countries Power Editor: An Alternative to Facebook Promoted Posts [Tutorial]

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

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

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 sponsored story creative placement Power Editor: An Alternative to Facebook Promoted Posts [Tutorial]

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!

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About Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer is a digital marketing consultant with a unique perspective on social media. He was introduced to Facebook in 2007 while with the NBA (back before Pages) and has been using Facebook for business ever since. Stay in touch by liking his Facebook Page (Jon Loomer Digital).

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

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

    Thanks

  • 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.

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  • Roy

    Very nice tutorial of the Power Editor tool. In The Netherlands we start using this more and more.
    http://www.makemesocial.nl

  • 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

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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.

  • 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/

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