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Why Doesn’t The Promote Page Feature Work on Facebook?

Published by James Parsons on 05/24/2015
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Promote Page

Promoting a post on Facebook is a great way to get more people to see it, and consequently more people to engage with it, see more of your posts in the future, and grow your audience. You can promote posts directly from the post itself using Facebook’s boost feature, so it’s extra convenient. The boost feature is not without issues, of course, but at least it works.

Or does it? Some users are finding that the promote post feature either doesn’t appear or is grayed out. What’s happening here?

The Wrong Type of Post

Believe it or not, Facebook has some restrictions on the posts you can promote. I know, it seems really unlike them to limit the amount of money they bring in, but there it is.

First, you can only boost posts that you made as your page. That means any posts someone else made on your page, even if you made it as the account owner, can’t be promoted. You also can’t promote posts that were made by other pages. Why would you want to, though? Paying to advertise someone else isn’t a winning strategy. You can, if you want, promote a post that links to a site other than your own.

You also can’t promote posts older than about 3 years old. Any post written before June 21 2012 can’t be boosted. I’m not sure why you would ever want to look at posts that old, let alone try to spend money to promote them, but here we are.

Sharing Content Without Permission

Another reason you might not be able to boost a post is if you shared the content on your page. Shared content is technically not your own, but even if you’re sharing something that you have access to, it won’t always work.

Have you ever seen a notification on Facebook that a friend commented on a post, but there’s no way for you to add a comment of your own? Facebook is slowly removing those posts, but they’re a good illustration of privacy settings. The user in question has privacy set such that you can see the post, but you can’t respond to it. Chances are you wouldn’t even be able to see it normally.

Always make sure when you try to promote a post that the post has global visibility. You don’t want to try to promote something only for the target audience to be unable to see it.

Not Enough Page Likes

Facebook 0 likes

In order to access features like boosted posts, your page needs to have a particular minimum number of likes. Some reports say that the minimum threshold was 400, which is quite a bit for a lot of small businesses. Others also say that the number was lowered to 100, a much more reasonable figure to start paying for advertising.

This is basically just for boosting a post, which can be considered something of an advanced technique, despite how easy it is to do. This is primarily because of how easy it is to get wrong without ever knowing it.

If you want to boost a post before you have the 100 minimum likes necessary, you can create a page post ad. To do this, you need to go into the ads manager and create a promoted post. Follow the guided prompts to fill out information, choose the specific post, and set your budget.

Blocked From Advertising

Boosting a post is essentially just creating a page post ad, which itself is a form of paid advertising. This means that boosting a post is part of Facebook’s general advertising program. Therefore, you need to follow the rules Facebook sets forth about advertising if you want to stay on their good side.

It’s possible that, if you can’t successfully boost a post, you’ve been flagged for some abuse of the system. Facebook has a lot of regulations in place about what you can and can’t advertise, so if your boost doesn’t work, you might check on that.

Another issue is just having the boost approved. Boosted posts are ads, and ads need to be reviewed to make sure they meet advertising standards and guidelines. IF you don’t meet those guidelines, you won’t be able to boost the post. It’s also possible that the boost doesn’t take effect immediately, because it needs to go through that approval process. Don’t try to boost a second time while waiting on the first; it doesn’t work.

Too Narrow Targeting

Now what if you don’t mean “I can’t promote a post” and instead mean “my promote posts aren’t working”? In this case, it’s possible that you’re encountering one of the many common issues that lead to ineffective advertisements. For example, targeting.

Boosting a post from the post itself gives you very little in the way of targeting options, but they can conflict with any targeting you put on when making the post itself. When you use two targeting factors, Facebook creates a prospective audience out of people who share both features. This can lead to overly small audiences if you’re not careful. Your promotion will run, but you gain nothing because virtually no one can see it.

Too Small a Budget

This is a related issue. People will tell you that there’s no budget too small to run ads, but that’s not quite true. If your promotion targeting is such that you need to spend $1 per click, but you only plug in a budget of 50 cents, you’re not getting any clicks.

Admittedly, this isn’t a very common issue. You can put in $5 or $10 and still have a fairly broad audience, though you may not get as much exposure as you would with a different sort of ad. Still, check your budget and make sure your promotion is valid and viable.

If after all of this your promotions still don’t work, consider contacting Facebook directly. It’s possible that you’re actually experiencing a glitch with the platform, something only Facebook can fix. If that’s the case, they need to know about it before they can fix it.


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