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Facebook rolls out status update promotions

Facebook rolls out status update promotions Wikus Engelbrecht

Are you afraid a throng of your Facebook fans will miss out on that big, all-important status update?

Fear not, there is now a new solution for this very common social media marketing dilemma.

Facebook has just started implementing a feature that lets people pay $2 to promote their status updates above everyone else's in the news feed.

What this effectively does is monetize popularity.

From now on you'll start seeing a promote option appear next to the "like" and share buttons below your status. Once you click on the option, you can pay to have your update promoted via PayPal or credit card.

So the question is: Would you really, seriously, pay $2 to promote your Facebook status?

You might, in fact, find yourself doing just so.

To compel users to promote, the social platform shows you how many people your status update has reached and what percentage of your audience this number represents.

Therefore, if the viewership figures on an important message are looking a little scant, you may just be lead into temptation to repost and get your message highlighted, with the hope of getting better exposure.

Unfortunately though, you can't go back to an old post and pay to promote it. Only new status updates can be promoted this way.

Other users will see the word "Promoted" under the post, so they'll know you chose that option, and after you've promoted a post, Facebook will tell you how many fans saw it.

For some brands, promoted posts may be the perfect tool to increase visibility since only a small percentage of fans usually see posts naturally. On the other side of the coin, you might also risk annoying those same fans by (arguably) spamming their newsfeed -- so in this case, responsible marketers should promote with moderation and always weigh audience enlightenment against audience irritation.

(Note: You have to be using Facebook as a Fan Page in order to see this.)

What would your reaction be if a friend paid to promote his or her own Facebook status update? Would that be going over-board or would there be instances where that would be a reasonable option?

The best uses would perhaps be a status concerning a major new product launch, or business-critical announcements such as a change in venue or operating hours.

Status-promotion is a wild-card marketing method, so if you're going to use it, save it for your aces.

Wikus Engelbrecht is a marketing copywriter and journalist at GraphicMail.

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"Credit cards" image via Shutterstock.

Wikus Engelbrecht is a marketing copywriter and journalist at GraphicMail, an international email and mobile marketing service provider. He has been active in professional language and media work since 2003, primarily in the digital environment.

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