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Promoted Posts Driving Spam On Your Facebook Page?

With the upswing in the use of Promoted Posts on Facebook Pages, there is a problem I am seeing time and time again.

Facebook says that Promoted Posts “can be seen by anyone in the post’s audience. Promoting a post does not affect who can see it. Instead, it bumps the post higher in news feed so more of the people you shared it with are likely to notice it.”

The key here is to dive deeper in to their definition of the post’s audience.

Facebook gives you the option to either target people who like your page OR people who like their page and their friends. You can see these options below, but I want to make sure that you always select the first option.

Sure, the second option seems like it makes sense. Wouldn’t you want your post to be seen by people who are kind of like your current fans? Well, this is true when you are selective with your targeting, as you can be when using the Friends of Fans targeting option in Ads Manager. But it is not true in the case of Promoted Posts, as the targeting capabilities are slim, and Facebook generally starts serving your Post up in the newsfeeds of users in farflung countries in Asia and Africa that would be way cheaper to target using ads.

The other side effect of showing these ads in such an untargeted way is that it attracts spammy comments on your Page, and who wants that?

Facebook released Promoted Posts to try and monetize more of their audience, especially those who find Facebook Ads too confusing or would never try them. It seems to be working as I hear more and more people using them with varying degrees of success.

The advantages of Promoted Posts are that your message shows up in the newsfeed of your audience (including Mobiles), they are pretty simple to activate and are fairly cheap too. I suggest you test them with an engaging post that includes a link to your content, service or product and see if they work for you. You can do this with as little as $10, depending on the size of your Facebook Page.

At the end of the day, it is all about targeting on Facebook. Whether you use Facebook Ads or Promoted Posts, you must pay attention to who you most want to hear your message. Targeting keeps your costs down while driving the most value in your communication.

Have you used Promoted Posts yet? How did they turn out for you? Let me know in the comments below.

31 replies on “Promoted Posts Driving Spam On Your Facebook Page?”

This post came at the perfect time! I just tried out the promoted post option to advertise my Kickin’ It Clean program. Tons of crazy names of people that don’t seem either real or from countries that would probably not be interested in what I’m promoting. This is great advice and will try more targeted ads next time. Thanks V! xx

I’ve been considering whether to go with promoted posts, but as usual wondering about how to go about it and second guessing. This information is clear and concise…and appreciated.

Thank you for sharing. When I get going I’ll let you know how it goes.

Perfect timing indeed! I haven’t tried Promoted Posts yet but I have been curious about their effectiveness and planned to give it a shot this week. Makes perfect sense not to promote outside of your network, nobody wants spammy commenters! Thank you for this Victoria!

Thanks for having our back Victoria. I just tried a promoted post and I’ve also been getting weird comments, I thought they were spammers but I guess they’re just friends of friends who aren’t targeted at all!

Love this tip!

Lisa, funny you say that…

FB is shady in my opinion when it comes to getting more likes to your fan pages, etc… i noticed a LOT of names that made no sense to me, i checked their profiles and i’d be lucky to see 0.001% of the audience i was targeting…

it gives me the impression these people who liked my page on facebook from the paid ads were those who were paid to click on ads and like pages…

Shady i tell ya… 🙁

I don;t know if they’re as much shady as just quick to take your money and slow to provide detailed and thorough advice! Thanks for stopping by Loz!

Victoria, Thank you for all your great tips. I’ve been using promoted posts, and notice that when I click on $15.00, when it’s charged to my account it’s usually $20.00 – which is more than what it says. Have you noticed this?

Hi Gale, I haven’t noticed this myself, but sometimes Facebook has been known to overcharge me for my Cost Per Clicks for Ads, so it’s always possible!

I totally agree with Lisa. I had the same experience when promoting bootcamp. I got lots of new likes and some strange comments from people who seem to be in far off places of the world that aren’t really interested in what I’m doing. Thanks for this post Victoria. It’s a good one for sure. And, congrats on your new branding / company focus. 🙂

Thanks for this, Victoria! I haven’t tried promoted posts yet but this gives me just the info I needed to get started. I can see how the more targeted option is better; when I ran my Facebook ads a few months ago, that also led to some strange comments.

Great to know, I’m sure I read somewhere that you SHOULD use that second option. It’s quite ironic that Facebook are supposedly getting rid of all the fake Facebook accounts etc at the moment, but then they are promoting posts to dodgy accounts. I have used both, it definitely gets more engagement to use promoted posts but I’m annoyed that I’m now paying to get people to see my posts!

I know it’s frustrating Tora, and it seems Facebook are happy to take everyone’s $, but not so happy to guide you in the right way. Feel free to post any more questions if you get stuck, I’d be happy to help!

We did use the “second option” and for the $15.00 budget received only 6 new “LIKES” but everything was in a different language. We reached almost 9,000 people and we have no idea what they were talking about. Also, not one sale! Our other ads (ppc) did well for us. We will try the “first option” in our next week’s ad. We spoke to a FB ad rep. They suggested we get a coach and for $1,500 a month we would see a big increase in sales. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Try this option next week, but even better try some page post ads, which are more targeted. Facebook’s Fast Start is not that helpful, and in my humble opinion I think you’ll get more value from my free articles. If you can’t find what you want on my new site, check Thanks for your feedback 🙂

This makes sense now that I’ve read your post.
Although I still have a huge problem with Facebook’s mantra that it will always be free.
Apparently, for businesses that’s not true.
If someone took the time to LIKE my page, they should be able to see all of my posts & pics within a reasonable time of being online.

I know we wish all our Fans could see our Posts, but as a Facebook user that would lead to a very cluttered newsfeed. I guess Facebook is a business and they need to make money, so I am happy to pay the relatively small amounts they charge for advertising instead of the thousands charged for TV, Radio and Print!

I am not sure how effective this would be to grow your fans, though. I am just starting my fan page, so I only have 61 likes. I do not think I will be using this option any time soon. Thank you so much for providing this info.

Yes, Dianna this is a good strategy to use once you get at least 400 fans on your Page as it’s not available until you have that many anyway. Good luck with growing your fans!

Agree targeting to existing fans is the safe bet as the pages upon which i have used promoted posts resulted in negative comments coming back and spam on the page.

it is hard one especially as there has so much talk recently about Facebook reducing the amount of people that can see your posts organically through changes in their algorithim which does beg the question why should brands have to pay to get the reach to their own fans as opposed to just paying for reaching friends of friends.

Promoted posts serve you well to connect with more of your existing fans, but the best way to connect with TARGETED friends of fans is Page Post Ads. My next blog post is about to talk more about the supposed algorithm change and declining Facebook Reach – so stay tuned!

I tried a promoted post last week and was very happy with the results. Similar to what someone else commented, I reached 9,000 but only got 5 likes. I thought maybe it was my offer but now thinking it’s the promoted post method. I’ve tried the page post ads and liked that better because of the targeting. Going to start doing webinars so plan on using the PPA for that! Thanks, you’re sooooo informative!

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