Facebook Promoted Posts Fans Only Option Removed [DO THIS]

About a week ago or so, I began hearing reports of marketers losing the ability to promote a Facebook post to Fans only.

Previously there were two options:

  • People who like your Page
  • People who like your Page and their friends

Facebook Promoted Posts Fans or Friends of Fans

But now that first option is no longer available for some. Mari Smith was the latest to report this change.

Mari Smith Facebook Promoted Post Fans plus Friends of Fans
Image courtesy of Mari Smith

I don’t have the change yet. It’s not clear if this is a permanent change that is inevitable for all of us or if it’s a test.

But I wanted to write this post to provide my thoughts on it and how you can adjust.

The Change is Stupid

Yeah, I said it. Were you expecting that?

Like many marketers, I tried the “People who like your Page and their friends” option when Promoted Posts were rolled out. Like many marketers, I quickly changed course.

The backlash to such advertising within News Feeds is brutal. Some are either ignorant to this impact or somehow still see value. But I don’t.

The concept of Promoted Posts is a good one. We only reach a small percentage of our Fans for many reasons (let’s not get into that debate now!). You can reach more of them by promoting your post.

So why in the world would Facebook remove the option to target Fans only? This completely opposes the original purpose of Promoted Posts — to reach more of your Fans.

I don’t want to spend money to reach non-Fans with my post. All I wanted was to reach more of those who wanted to see it in the first place but weren’t online.

So this is a very curious move. And as soon as the option to target Fans only is removed, the value in it for me is close to nothing.

That said, all hope is not lost. This is not the end of the world. Let me explain…

Understanding Promoted Posts

First of all, it’s important that you understand why this isn’t a big deal. If you’re a serious marketer, you’re better than Promoted Posts anyway. Maybe this will be the push you needed to start getting more serious.

Promoted Posts were created to make advertising easier. It’s a cookie cutter option aimed at the rookie advertiser. It really wasn’t intended for people like you and me.

It saves a hell of a lot of time. It’s easy. It’s convenient. But you have no or close to no options for customizing things like bid type, targeting, placement, length of campaign and a whole lot more.

What the typical marketer doesn’t understand is that when you click “Promote” and create a Promoted Post targeted at Fans and their friends, three ads are created:

  1. Your post is promoted within mobile and desktop News Feeds of Fans
  2. Your post is promoted within mobile and desktop News Feeds of Fans and their friends
  3. A Sponsored Story is generated within mobile and desktop News Feeds

Facebook Promoted Post Ads Created

It’s really not rocket science. Facebook is just creating three very basic ad units for you. To simplify the process, you have very little ability to customize these ads.

With the change to remove the Fan-only options, those options are now even more limited.

But here’s what you can do…

Solution #1: Delete the Extra Ads

Go into the Facebook self-serve ad tool to view this campaign. Promoted Posts can be spotted as their names follow this format: Promoting “[Text from your post…]”

Click into it to see those ads.

Now, Facebook doesn’t allow you to pause or edit these ads. They’re jerks like that. But you can delete them.

So go ahead and delete the ad or ads that you don’t want. In this case, it’s at least the ad targeting friends of Fans. But you may also want to delete the Sponsored Story if you want to focus only on Fans.

Facebook Promoted Post Delete Ad

Problem solved.

Solution #2: Use Power Editor

Sure, you can just delete the ad or ads you don’t want. But like I said earlier, you’re no marketing rookie. You’re better than Promoted Posts. You shouldn’t be using these anyway.

If you promote these posts using Power Editor, you have far more control.

  • 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

Luckily for you, I wrote a tutorial recently specifically about how to do this.

Power Editor: An Alternative to Facebook Promoted Posts

It’s Not That Big of a Deal

So is this change annoying? Absolutely. But it’s really not that big of a deal.

I’m hoping that the result is that you realize you shouldn’t have been creating ads this way in the first place. Don’t trade in control for convenience.

How about you? What do you think? Is it a big deal?

  • Igor Aleksic

    In my opinion the power editor is the only tool you need right now! The more customization you have over your ad the better, and the targeting works it own magic.
    As for reaching your own fans take the 1st option and delete the unnecessary ads targeting non fans or at least trie figuring out the best time to post on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1089785493 Scott Linklater

    None of this worries me as I do every ad now in the power editor. Yes it sucks and it a pain in the ass but every time you do an ad in the self service tool you are ripping up money!

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  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    Jon – I just wrote an article on this (not available for a while as its for a site out of my control) – but I speculated that Promoted Post are becoming a necessary thing for pages. Either promote or do not results and kill the page altogether. In other words, I think FB is moving us to a pay to play service – period. The day will come when all posts are promoted.

  • Daniel

    I just noticed this change today, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I changed the name of my website about a week ago, and wanted to let my fans know, so I did a promoted post. Certainly, promoted posts were useful for that sort of thing.

    Still, I think I’m glad it’s gone. It takes away Facebook’s incentive to hide my posts from my fans, and that’s a good thing. So long as they have that incentive, they will.

  • http://twitter.com/Arrow_Digital Brendan Dunne

    I agree with Jon, in that any marketer who is uses Facebook as their only means of communicating with their followers is indeed a rookie, Facebook should only be one part of your digital marketing mix.

    Regarding a promoted post, when targeted correctly, they can be a great way of communicating important messages and that’s all they should be used for.

    I also believe that Facebook, over the next two years will implement changes in such a way that any business who wishes to remain in touch with their followers, will be paying for the privilege. Facebook is a public company and it is not in their interest to provide a free service to other businesses.

  • http://twitter.com/Michele_Welch Michele Welch

    You’re so cool. ;-)

  • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    As everytime Facebook implements a change, everyone freaks out. And as always, either: there’s a turn around or the issue is not such a big deal.

    I agree this change is quite a stupid move from Facebook, but as you mention it should affect only small businesses self-managing their own pages. Power Editor is a much better tool and at least in my case, produces much better results thanks to the additional configurations. Besides, if people would be much easier and never change, people like you and me would struggle to find clients over time :)

    Excellent post by the way: simple and educational. Thank you

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  • Carey

    I honestly really like the promoted post feature. And by using the “fans only” option, we got much greater engagement…. because the message was more relevant to the people seeing it.
    Having said that, I guess it’s time to move on to building all our ads in the Power Editor. I will be trying this out next week for a geographically targeted special our company is running.
    Thanks for addressing this, Jon — and for the verbal kick in the pants!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/bellofiore Sebastian Gubser Bellofiore

    It depends. It’s not a big deal for MY page, but its a big deal every time I pay for another site to do a story for me, which I actually do for campaigns. The problem there is that people have no clue how to use that, and I have to draw screenshots to explain them. So it’s still a pain in the ass for no reason at all. They just want you to spend your budget faster.

  • http://www.solo-e.com/blog Terri Z

    Hi Jon, thanks for covering this topic. The “change” happened to me sometime over the weekend.

    For those (like me) who did not know that Page Post Ads (the workaround Jon suggests above) appear in the newsfeed, apparently they do! Despite Facebook’s “Right Column Preview” which makes it appear that the ad is in the right column. Makes my comment below about the complexity (and confusion about) FB Ads that much more relevant.
    As for this only affecting small business owners who self-manage their pages, well there are a lot of small business owners who can’t *afford* to hire someone else to manage their pages. But they are willing to spend money on ads/to promote their posts. The inherent complexity of Facebook ads is already a huge barrier for small business owners. Taking away the “fans only” just turns off more small business owners. Which, according to this article, account for 50% of all advertising spending in general: http://www.paperg.com/blog/brand-versus-small-medium-business-advertisers/

    • http://www.solo-e.com/blog Terri Z

      Here’s a screen shot of my page post ad. Under it is a sponsored story which has a preview of a “Sample News Feed Story”. Of course I would delete this because it is supposed to “Help people discover your business through their friends.”

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

        I don’t believe you can create an ad that only appears in the News Feed from the main ad manager. Use Power Editor! Follow the instructions I lay out above and in the video.

        • http://www.solo-e.com/blog Terri Z

          I’ll give it a try!

        • http://www.solo-e.com/blog Terri Z

          That was easier than i thought it would be. Maybe because I was editing an existing campaign and only needed to change one thing. Starting from scratch might be a little scarier, but we’ll see!

    • Guest

      Maybe “Right Column Preview” is just misinformation in FB Ads for page post ads – when I go back to a promoted post (fans only) from last week, it shows me a right-column-like ad (clicking “view on site” clearly shows it in the right column) but I’m pretty sure that is not correct…it showed up in people’s news feeds (including my own).

  • Shaun

    Thanks, this post was just what I needed. Changed the promo just
    to include fans, when in a specialist niche promoting to friends of
    fans is like throwing away money!

    I’ll look into Power Editor and what exactly is is when got a bit
    more time, just needed option 1 for a quick fix.

  • Ali

    This is ridiculous now we can only promote to non fans. I had to go back to side adverts to target my own fans, the side ads are not that effective as promoted posts in the newsfeed. Facebook needs to make up ther mind what the hell they want to do for their ad strategy.

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

      Ali — Read the post and watch the video above. You don’t need to resort to side adverts.

      • Ali

        Jon read the post again, am I missing something?

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

          If you use Power Editor, you can create an ad that promotes your post and has a placement of desktop or mobile News Feed — or both.

      • Ali

        Oh ok got it I studied the adverts a but you are right can delete the friends of fans, thanks for the huge tip, btw another thing I discovered is that promoted post budget can be changed from the ad center as well :)

      • Ali

        Keep up the great work love your website.

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

    Awesome, thanks for sharing

  • http://DCincome.com/blog Matthew Loop

    This move is reminiscent of the days when Facebook was ran by rookie, pimply face teens, not savvy businessmen. Spam complaints are on the rise because of not being able to just promote to your fans. The new, sometimes ignorant, users of FB don’t know how to adjust privacy settings or don’t understand the ads.

    At the end of the day, it’s about the money.

    Facebook is obligated to shareholders now and would only make this change if it benefits them financially. It seems user experience has taken a back seat, which is unfortunate.

    I think it’s quite a big deal that Facebook now charges businesses to reach the fans that want to stay in touch.

  • Eisha

    hey just wondering if you know anything about this, I promoted a post an hour ago to soon realize I promoted the wrong one, do you know if there is anyway I can change it over to the post i actually wanted to promote? I don’t really want to just delete the post after already paying.

  • Jason

    This was fantastic! I was able to limit my post targeting to just fans by removing the other “ads” in the set. Thanks so much!