It’s time for PR pros to embrace paying for views on Facebook

Facebook promotions

Facebook promotions

Facebook has worn me down. I know that it’s the year 2013 and the line between editorial and advertising has blurred so much it’s practically non-existent, but I’m an optimist and tried to tow that line for all I’m worth.

I have the opportunity help a number of clients with their social media accounts and love being able to keep my finger on the pulse of the social media industry. I love that as news outlets are shrinking, we’re able to reach our clients’ audiences through an ever-changing array of online channels. It’s a bonus that these channels are largely free to businesses so they fit well into a PR pro’s arsenal of tactics.

Then Facebook came along with its ever-complex and ever-changing algorithms. Throughout the months (really ever since the advent of Facebook analytics), we continuously saw our client’s page views drop. It became harder and harder to reach those who expressed an interest in seeing what your page had to share by liking it in the first place.

And then promoted posts were launched and I began having an existential crisis of the professional nature. PR practitioners aren’t supposed to be paying for coverage, that’s what our talented media buying colleagues are for. We’re supposed to be the pull that draws people into our client’s brands, but when Facebook made it impossible for everyone to see what our brands were saying, we were forced to start paying for views.

It took a while, but I’m now at peace with our new approach to social media. It makes sense, because that’s what our industry is all about, adapting to change. This is just another example of how we need to embrace new technology, new platforms and new ideas. While I would still prefer reaching our target audiences organically, I’m happy to have a way to show fast results through paid promotions on Facebook.

Written by

Maria Nelson

Maria Nelson has extensive experience in media relations, crisis communication and internal communication. An employee of Red Shoes PR since 2009 and a public relations practitioner for more than a decade, Maria specializes in strategic health care communication. Maria graduated from Marquette University and is on the board of directors for Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley and Fox Cities Community Health Center, and is on the board of trustees for Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Green Bay. She also volunteers for St. Therese Church.

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