A Guide to Creating a Facebook Promoted Post

Working as a Social Media Strategist, it is imperative to always keep up with the latest changes on the social media platforms. The ever-changing world of social media is always trying to find better ways to please advertisers while also keeping the everyday user from being flooded with advertisements on their timelines.

We often receive questions from clients about what creative aspects go into creating a Facebook promoted post. While Facebook continues to expand their advertising features, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, there are a few essential pieces needed to create the perfect Facebook promoted post. Most of our clients’ goals are to drive traffic to their website in order for the potential consumer to learn more about their product or brand. In the image below you will see a skeleton outline of what is needed in a clicks-to-website promoted post on Facebook.

TEXT: The text in a promoted post goes above the photo/video. Facebook used to have a hard rule of allowing only 90 characters or less including spaces. Their reasoning was that they wanted to keep the ad short and sweet. This rule has recently been re-evaluated and changed. Facebook announced within the last few months that they will be lifting this rule, but strongly encourage that users still keep the text short and to the point, because of users’ very short attention span. A good rule of thumb for text is to have a strong call-to-action that grabs the attention of the user as quickly as possible.

PHOTO/VIDEO: There is an option to place a photo or video in the promoted post. It is recommended to have a static image size of 1200x628. This image should be attention-grabbing and help your ad feel like any other native post in the timeline. Similar to the text limitations, Facebook has recently loosened the reigns on their hard rule of less than 20% text within the image. Before, Facebook would disapprove or shut down a promoted post campaign if the text within the image was over 20%. Within the last few months Facebook has implemented a new system:

If you ever wonder where your image will fall within this spectrum, Facebook provides a testing site where you can upload your image: https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay

Should you choose to utilize a video instead of a photo there are few rules as well. If you feel like you’ve seen more videos in your Facebook timeline, you are not alone. Facebook’s algorithm optimizes to put videos higher up on each user’s timeline. The autoplay feature immediately begins playing the video for users on silent until the user clicks to expand the video. Facebook has recently offered closed captioning for promoted videos, so users can read along while the video autoplays on silent. It is recommended to directly upload the video in the promoted post instead of posting the YouTube link, because the YouTube will not autoplay in timelines. The maximum length a video can be is 120 minutes long, though as we mentioned before, users do not have long attention spans. We have seen the best performing promoted videos with a length of :15 to :60 seconds. Facebook will also require a thumbnail image from the video. It is important to note that the thumbnail image must also abide by the new 20% recommendation.

HEADLINE TEXT: This is the headline text that goes below the image/video. Again, this is another feature Facebook has recently relaxed with the character limits, though we recommend to stay around the 25-40 characters including spaces. This headline text should capture the user’s attention.

NEWS FEED DESCRIPTION: The news feed description goes below the headline text and should briefly describe the destination URL. We’ve found recently that Facebook will autofill this description pulling content from the website, if you do not enter text yourself. The maximum amount of characters displayed here is 200 characters including spaces.

CLICK THROUGH URL: This is essential to driving a user to your website. When a user clicks on the promoted post, the user will be taken to this given URL.

CALL-TO-ACTION BUTTON: Facebook now offers call-to-action buttons to encourage users to click on the advertisement. There are a variety of options offered here depending on the goal of the campaign. These options include:

  • Shop Now

  • Book Now

  • Learn More

  • Sign Up

  • Download

  • Watch More

  • Apply Now

  • Donate Now

  • Contact Us

It should be noted that Facebook does have an approval process. Once the promoted post is created and submitted Facebook will look through the ad and approve or disapprove before the ad goes live. We have found that they look for different things such as the 20% text rule in the image, inappropriate language, etc. Something they will also disapprove a promoted post for is if the text is “targeting” a demographic. For example, the text may not read “Have you ever suffered from…” or “Are you pregnant?” or leading questions similar to that. Facebook believes this targets a demographic in a negative way and will disapprove the ad if necessary.

If you have any further questions about creating the perfect Facebook promoted post, or want us to oversee the creative, please let us know! We would be happy to help!

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