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Understanding the Paid Side of Facebook
By: Christine Geraci
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 I've made no secret of the fact that I don't like Facebook's paid model for business pages. But hey, Facebook is a business and can do whatever it needs to do to make money. So, tough noogies for me, I guess.
So what does this mean? If you have a Facebook business page, it's time to seriously consider paying for better exposure on the social network. As in, work it into your budget ASAP.
What will your paid Facebook model look like? How much will you need to spend? The answers vary, based on 1) the number of likes your page has, and 2) the number of people you want to reach.
Also, you'll want to ask some key questions:
Do you want to enrich your current audience by paying to reach more of your fans?
Do you want to expand your audience in order to acquire new fans?
Do you want to do both?
Your answers to these questions will determine how much you will ultimately spend.
Whatever the amount you cough up, it's important to understand some key elements of a paid Facebook model. 
Promoting vs. Advertising
Sounds like the same thing, right? Well, on Facebook, it's not exactly the same.
Promoting posts means you are paying for certain posts to reach a larger portion of your current audience. And, as we know, the more of your audience you reach, the higher the likelihood of interaction, which means the higher the likelihood of someone who isn't currently your fan being exposed to your content — and possibly becoming a fan. 
Facebook Ads, on the other hand, are designed more for reaching people who are not currently your fans. They are actual ads that appear on the right side of the news feed, as well as "sponsored stories" that show up in the news feed. You can target Facebook ads to reach certain demographics, such as certain age groups, gender, and location. 
So which will you choose? It's an important strategic decision. If you'd like more information, visit www.facebook.com/advertising.

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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