Like nonprofits, I am generally thrifty. Spending $30 on one “Promoted Post” on the Nonprofit Organizations Facebook Page felt like a significant expense. Was it worth it? Would I do it again? Sorry Facebook. The answer is no. Not for $30 anyway. The Return on Investment (ROI) was not significant enough to make me a convert. For $3? Absolutely! But $30 for a 4% increase in exposure for one Status Update? Not worth it. Granted… it was just one Status Update. The Return on Investment (ROI) would perhaps be higher if I experimented with multiple posts and varying content, but again, being as thrifty as I am (and as most nonprofits are), it’s too expensive for me to want to experiment with a second or third promoted post.

The business sector and nonprofits with large advertising budgets should experiment with promoted posts, but small to medium-sized nonprofits with little-to-no marketing budgets? Your funds are likely better spent elsewhere. When it comes to nonprofits I honestly think Facebook would be better off offering discounted or free advertising (like the Google Grants Program) for the CSR, social good, and PR value rather than anticipating large numbers of nonprofits investing in your Promoted Post Advertising Program. That said, let’s have a look at the ROI:

Promoted Post Shared on Monday, June 11 at 9:30am EDT
As of Wednesday, June 13 at 9:30am EDT
52 Likes ::  14 Comments :: 5,812 People :: 16% Reach :: 37 Shares :: $30

4% of the 16% Reach Due to Promotion

Referral Traffic to Nonprofit Tech 2.0
410 Unique Visits

Now, let compare that data to a similar post shared exactly one week earlier:

Not Promoted Post Shared on Monday, June 4 at 9:30am EDT
As of Wednesday, June 13
52 Likes ::  3 Comments :: 5,191 People :: 14% Reach :: 18 Shares :: $0

Referral Traffic to Nonprofit Tech 2.0
416 Unique Visits

The promoted post received more Likes, more Comments, and a 2% higher Reach, but the referral traffic to Nonprofit Tech 2.0 from the unpromoted post was slightly higher. Again, not a significant enough difference to make me a convert at the $30 price point. I’d want that same result for $3 or less to make a me regular promoted poster. On average my Status Updates receive between 11 and 18% reach without promotion and I guess I am just going to have to be OK with that. 🙂

Related Links:
Five Recent Upgrades that Nonprofits Need to Know About
Webinar: Facebook and Facebook Apps for Nonprofits