No offense, but no one is looking at your Facebook posts.

Well, okay, that’s not entirely true — it’s more like 20% of your Facebook fans that are seeing your posts. But if you run the Facebook page for your nonprofit, that’s probably really troubling!

Of course, there is a solution for those posts you REALLY want everyone to see: the promoted post. Yes, this is a form of advertising and it requires you to pay money to Facebook, but you just might find that it’s worth spending a little to get big returns. (Costs vary, based on the size of your fan base. For one client, we did a promoted post that cost $25 and generated over 100 new subscribers.)

The million-dollar question: How do you get those big returns?

1. Promote your post where it matters most geographically. If you don’t target your promotion to a specific country or state (like to the United States or California only), you could be wasting your money on global but irrelevant views.

2. Promote tried and true posts. If you’re spending money to increase the reach of the post, you should spend that money on posts that you already know will perform well. Take a look at your recent post history and either promote a top-performing post or base a new post on your most engaging content. If you have time, you can take a few variations of your posts and publish them simultaneously to see which performs the best, then promote the winner.

3. Photos rule. According to our 2013 Benchmarks study, photo posts get the most likes, shares, and comments — so your ad dollars will go even farther. If you’re trying to drive clicks to your site, put a compelling call to action and link in the photo caption. And in the caption, put the link in the first couple lines so it won’t get cut off.

4. Beware the 20% rule. Facebook wants news feeds to be free of spammy images. Their solution is to say that promoted images can’t have text covering more than 20% of the image. Its a tricky, often misunderstood rule — so be sure to read our recent post on this topic to make sure you’re in compliance.

5. Feeling advanced? Try the Ads Manager. Feeling very advanced? Try the Power Editor. If you’re like most people, your first foray into to promoted posts was the prompt to “boost” or “promote” your post at the bottom of each post on your page’s timeline. Its a great tool for starting out, but it’s limited in targeting and spending options. Instead, find your way to the Ads Manager and the Power Editor and you’ll have an array of new options available including offsite pixel tracking, custom audiences based on your email lists, interest targeting, and a lot more.

Put these 5 tips into action and watch as your message spreads to your Facebook fans and beyond!