Why do I need to boost posts?
If you’ve noticed that it’s harder to reach friends, family, and customers on Facebook in the last year, you’re not alone. While content quality is always going to be important, long gone are the days where a purely organic strategy can make your brand go viral.
Things have changed since the “good old days” of social media marketing, mostly due to a huge influx of users on all platforms of both advertisers and consumers. The News Feed is saturated with content, and with more businesses vying for impressions, it’s much more difficult to be seen organically. Plain and simple, the table stakes for succeeding on Facebook have changed. So what can businesses do to stand out? One word: paid media.
Paid media is a term to describe any piece of content with a budget to be seen by more users. Page owners can pay Facebook to prioritize their posts and show them to more consumers through their advertising options. It’s likely that you’re already familiar with the most straight-forward approach to get started with paid media: boosting a Facebook post.
How to Boost a Facebook Post
So you’ve decided you want to get into the paid media game, and you’re ready to spend some money on Facebook. Where do you start, and is it as easy as pressing the “Boost” button that you’ve seen on your business page? Almost! Follow along with our best practices below to make the most of your boosting budget as you begin promoting content.
Identify the content you want to boost.
Be selective about the posts you boost. Often the best posts to boost are ones that are already appealing to your organic audience and performing well. If you typically get 10 Likes on a post, and a post of a tasty hot slice gets 20 Likes, that’s a good indication other people on Facebook would like it, too.
What do you want to happen? If you want more people to know about your business, you’re hoping for brand awareness. A good post to boost to promote brand awareness would be a high-quality photo of your pizza. If you want instead to drive traffic to your website or to promote orders in your existing fanbase, try boosting an offer with the call-to-action being to go to your website. When you click “Boost,” you’ll be prompted with a window to make your selections, and you can also edit the CTA button to meet your needs.
Not all content on Facebook Business Pages is eligible for boosting. Because Facebook prioritizes “valuable content,” their ads team wants to highlight visually interesting content that isn’t overly salesy. All advertisements, graphics, and posts that you’d like to boost need to contain less than 20% text. You can check images in this tool to ensure they’re compliant with Facebook’s advertising policies.
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Choose an objective.
Before you choose any of your targeting information, Facebook wants to ensure your post is optimized for your business’ needs. Facebook calls this your “objective,” and they’ll display your post in different venues based on your selection. This guide from Facebook shares all your objective types, but the most common goals for boosting posts are focused on reaching as many potential consumers as possible through Brand Awareness and Reach campaigns.
Pick an audience.
After your content quality, this is the most important variable in the success of your boosted post. Ask yourself, who do you want to see this post? If you want new customers, how can you reach them? The audience selection tool allows you to narrow the audience of your post by demographics like age and gender, as well as location details. You can even target by zip code, which means you can limit your post visibility to your delivery zones.
Facebook breaks out targeting options into four categories:
- People you choose through targeting
- People who like your page
- People who like your page and their friends
If you want to test to see how engaged your page fans are, you can boost a post and only share it with people who like your page. Adding their friends can be a successful strategy if you expect a good portion of their extended network to be local, but otherwise, it’s probably more effective to rely on the first option and target by location and demographics.
Deciding on your budget.
One of the biggest benefits of boosting over traditional ads is the budget. Boosting lets you dip your toes into the paid media space without sacrificing hundreds of dollars to perfect your ad strategy — you can simply put a few dollars toward a post, see how it does, reassess, and try again at your leisure. Facebook requires at least $1 per day you run the boosted post, so you can test budgets of as little as $10-15. As with all paid mediums, in general, the more money you spend, the more results you’ll see.
Choose how long to run the post.
When you select a budget for your boosted post, you’ll be prompted to define the beginning and end of the ad duration, as well. Boosted posts, like most content on social media, experience quick expiration dates. You don’t want your fans to tire of seeing your brand, so it’s probably best to keep your post duration set at a week, at most. Short-term boosts are great, too — if you want to generate more buzz around weekend orders, for example, you could start a boost around Friday midday and end it on Sunday night.
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Check your content for errors and working links.
Because Facebook makes advertising such a quick and painless process, sometimes it’s easy to press “Boost” and move on with your day. Even if you’re only spending $10, it’s still crucial to test your links, check your caption for misspellings, and validate all the prices and specials listed. It’s not worth reaching 300 people if they’re all going to be seeing your special for $4.99 instead of $14.99 — a little error can go a long way once you pay for more visibility.
Check your results.
To see how your boosted post performed against your set objective, you can view results on your Facebook Business page. On your page, navigate to “Ad Center” in the top right navigation. From there, select “All Ads” to view your most recent boosted post, your budget, and the results (people reached, post engagement).
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