20 is Plenty: Why Facebook’s 20% Rule is Good for You

By Roly Gonzalez

When promoting a brand, product, or service, marketers tend to gravitate toward using a catchy tagline, slogan, motto, or sentence that sums up its greatness. (As a Marketing professional, I did/do the same thing so I feel your pain.) On Facebook, this involves creating a dazzling image and then embedding text on the image. There are some very effective, awesome images on brand Facebook pages that paint the subject in the best light. Only one problem: due to Facebook’s 20% rule, these spectacular images cannot be promoted.

In order to promote posts on Facebook, the text of an image in a post cannot make up more than 20% of the entire image. (More detail: The 20% Text Rule) What’s worse is that the text in your logo counts against that 20%. If your logo is only text, the cards are already stacked against you. What are you going to do? How do you promote if you can’t include that catchy ten word tag line? How can you possibly choose between your logo and text on the image?

This is easy; it’s time to change the way you look at posts on Facebook.

It is important to remember Facebook continues to implement changes that make the site more visually appealing (discussed in more depth here: New Feed, New Images on Facebook). Allowing brands to create and promote image that is copy heavy would be counter-intuitive. Now, before giving up on promoted posts altogether, let’s look at the 20% rule as the positive move it is.

As you cultivate your social media personality (It’s important, remember? Personality on Social Media: You Gotta Have One) and develop lasting relationships with consumers on Facebook, part of that relationship should be to add value to their timeline. Everything you post should serve as something they’d care about, that’s entertaining, and they can engage in without being overly marketed to. That is doubly true for posts you promote.

With the goal of getting in front of more fans, your promoted post should be as eye-catching as possible as you have no space to waste. If you have great text to go with it, that’s awesome. Just make sure to put it in the status box (where text tends to do better) that goes along with the image.

So embrace the 20. View it as a challenge to make sure you are producing high quality images designed to entice and excite the viewer versus simply putting text on a color background and slapping your logo on it. People on Facebook detect marketing speak very easily so you must be genuine and appealing while getting your point across.

How are you going to make your 20 work for you?

Lee_Creative January 31, 2014
I think its a great idea that Facebook are enforcing a 20% rule, we have already come across it with advertising through Facebook and it has made us more aware of the image we choose to use - as they say 'an image is worth a thousand words'
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[...] 2: Facebook Enforced a 20% Rule The newsfeed demands no more than 20% of a Facebook ad image containing text. This is merely part of the shift Facebook has been making for years toward more [...]
treb072410 November 25, 2013
Thanks for sharing! It is really a very useful information, Roly.. Great read!
Roly Gonzalez November 27, 2013
Glad to hear it. Hope it helps makes the most of the 20!
treb072410 November 28, 2013
It definitely will Roly.. Again thanks for sharing!
Roly November 27, 2013
Glad you enjoyed it and hopefully it helps you get the most out of promoting posts on Facebook!

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