This question came in from client Bill Abelson today, who is preparing a campaign to promote his new web series pilot, Dr. Canard.

 Shameless shout out: Dr. Canard is a romantic comedy written by Bill Abelson, Directed by John Jacobsen. It stars Shawn Telford, Jessica Martin, and features Seattle local legend Tracey Conway. The pilot will be release this Friday, Feb. 14th, so grab a date and cozy up around the reassuring flicker of your computer screen. Or watch it alone. Whatever.


Anyhow, back to the matter at hand, paying to promote Facebook posts:

Is it worth it for me to spend anything on a Facebook “Ad Campaign”? I don’t mean utilizing FB to publicize it, of course, as that is essential, but rather FB’s suggestions to “boost posts” by putting $$$ into having them post my posts to interested groups (e.g. those who like “comedy,” “short films,” “romantic comedy” etc.).


soap boxGood question Bill, and one that I’m happy to answer. Just let me find my soapbox first… There it is.

Apologies in advance for the essay. The Too Long; Didn’t Read version: No. Only as a last resort.

In general, I strongly advise against this.

This is because Facebook has, for a while now, been a real pain in the old tuckus, marketing wise. The major pain involved is their habit of aggressively limiting the audience of an un-promoted (i.e. un-paid) post, even to folks who already “Like” your page. They do this to encourage paying to promote and distribute posts to their best estimates of your target groups.

Not saying their estimates aren’t good, it’s just that you’re pretty much renting an unknown and unseen distribution list from them, rather that building your own. Now, if those that see the promoted post go on to “like” the page, go to the website, and sign up to the mailing list, then that’s all fine and good. There’s value there, and getting folks over to the website and capturing enough info to be able to reach them come crowd-funding time is the end goal of your facebook activities anyway.

So should you drop the $$$? Not now, at least.
I’d save it until:

Okay, maybe don’t wait until hell freezes over. I might make a suggestion of a good time to do this in your 3 month calendar, if I come across a good opportunity for that. In general though, the social media activities on your calendar will be more heavily weighted on the side of twitter and google + for a couple reasons:

So rather than pay to promote a post, your influencer analysis will show you what media is already being closely followed by large groups of your targets on facebook, and the calendar will show you how to approach these organisations and get them to talk about you. Of course, their facebook reach also gets limited by facebook, but it will cost you less, and getting a good word from an influencer has loads more authority/value than getting a good word from facebook itself.

In Conclusion
In Conclusion

Make sense?

If it comes down to it, and you want to promote a post on facebook, remember that you can target not only based on what they like, but age and gender as well. Males 18-30 for example, aka “The Demo”, are a core group of comedy consumers. Scratch that, they are the core group, so target accordingly.