Facebook has created a mechanism to allow page owners to “boost” the reach of their posts, which is really just a form of classified advertisements (those of you who are old school like me would understand). Sounds good?
However, there is a catch. If your post has an image, the image must not have more than 20% text according to their algorithm.
So for example, if Facebook’s rudimentary grid system determines that your text on your image is more than 20%, your post will be disapproved from the promotion. The post will continue to show on your timeline, but it will not be boosted. Given that organic reach may be limited, an attempt to increase outreach through “boosting” will then be short-circuited.
So what happens if your product happens to have a packaging or cover that is primarily text in content? It will very likely fail in their grid system and be disapproved from any attempt at boosting.
And that is exactly many marketers want to promote in the first place – the product, in its packaging or cover! The retail packaging or cover of a product is what creates brand and visual retention in a consumer, and stripping it apart to be a “lifestyle” image or the product without its retail form is not exactly helping the marketer.
And worse, the marketer has to attempt to circumvent the primitive grid system through all forms of visual acrobatics in image editing software such as GIMP or Photoshop, which is unproductive at best. Time IS money these days, and increasingly so, given the competitive landscape that moves at breakneck speeds. Would you, a marketer, rather be getting to market at the speed of thought, or dabbling in image editing chores whole day?
If you must boost your post, you would have to find a way to shrink text content to below 20%, and run it through that grid system, or simply have images that are well – just images with little or no text. Not the most intuitive of realtime marketing IMHO.
So, what could a marketer do in the meantime, if one is not too keen to perform visual acrobatics with images and text in image editing software? There is always Google and Bing advertising platforms, which can point to your social media platforms, and there is always the primary rule of good outreach – creating and hosting your own content and promoting it.
PS – Though, a caveat is that Facebook is evolving all the time. You never know, it may just change yet again to make things easier. They have done it before.
Dr Seamus Phan is the Head of Content and CTO at McGallen & Bolden. He is an expert in branding, marketing, communication, leadership training, crisis management, and entrepreneurship. This article may appear concurrently on his blog. Connect on LinkedIn. ©1984-2018 Seamus Phan et al. All rights reserved.