If you’ve ever taken the time to check out your Facebook business page’s analytics via Facebook Insights, you’ve probably noticed that each post’s reach – the number of unique people who have seen your post – can vary wildly from post to post. Here at Tower Hill, for example, we see our posts reach anywhere from dozens to thousands of Facebookers.

Why? Well, as you may know, only a small percentage – less than 1% – of Facebook posts end up in a user’s news feed. Facebook makes great efforts to ensure that its users see the content most relevant to their interests, activities, and relationships via a proprietary algorithm that ranks content for each individual user’s news feed. Facebook used to refer to this formula as EdgeRank, but the term has since been retired internally at Facebook as the algorithm has evolved.

As it stands now, the likelihood of your post’s showing up in a user’s news feed is based on as many as 100,000 factors, according to Lars Backstrom, Facebook’s Engineering Manager for News Feed Ranking. Given that many, if not most, of these factors are beyond your control, there’s just no guarantee that folks are going to see your content, unless . . .

Facebook Promoted Posts

Facebook Promoted Posts allow page owners to, for lack of a better term, “artificially inflate” their posts’ news feed ranking to increase their overall reach. There are costs, of course (even Facebook needs to make money), but even a modest $10-$20 spend can increase your reach by several thousand impressions, thus affording you an opportunity to get important, high-value posts out in front of a significantly larger audience.

You obviously don’t want to promote every bit of content you post on Facebook; you’ll need to make some judgment calls about which posts have the value to justify the spend. Fortunately, Jay Baer, founder and president of Convince & Convert, has created the STIR Model as an excellent rubric to help you decide when to promote your posts:

STIR Model

SOURCE: Jay Baer, Convince & Convert

It’s important to note that you don’t really need to promote a post right away. The best strategy is to wait and see how the post performs before you decide to promote it.

Ready to get started? Check out Facebook’s Help Center article on promoted posts, and give it a whirl. Happy posting.