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Having a website is no longer enough for a business. With a vast majority of Americans active on Social Media, Businesses must have a strong social media presence. The decline of organic reach, is pushing an increasing number of businesses to explore Facebook Ads as a part of their marketing strategy. The most common Facebook Ad used by small businesses and start-ups is the Boosted Post. Facebook makes it very easy to Boost Posts from your Business Page, but there is a strategy that should be understood and followed when Boosting Posts. If you have not yet read the post on Understanding the Algorithm and 10 Tips for Increasing Organic Reach, I would recommend you start there. Before we can tackle the benefits of boosting, it’s essential to understand the way that the Algorithm works.
What is a Boosted Post?
A Boosted Post is a type of Ad offered by Facebook that is also known as a Page Post Engagement (PPE) Ad. When you Boost a Post you are telling Facebook that you want to get as much engagement (reactions, comments, shares, clicks, etc.) on a Post that you can.
Until recently, Boosting Posts was considered a poor choice for businesses and marketers. Facebook offers a variety of other Ad types which are able to optimize for more valuable actions – like obtaining leads, conversions, and more. Traditionally, these other Ad Types were preferred to Boosting since engaging with a post is less likely to result in a sale than obtaining an email address, or driving traffic to a website.
In the past year, Facebook has introduced the ability to create an audience of people who have engaged with your Business Page Posts. This brings Boosted Posts back into the game. With the retargeting capabilities, Boosting Posts are a great option when you are prospecting for a new audience. Running Boosted Posts will allow you to build an audience of people who have engaged with your content at a lower cost than many other objectives. These “warm” audiences will then be more likely to have an interest in your products/services as they become familiar with your brand, and build trust in you.
What are the Benefits of Boosting?
Organic traffic is becoming more and more difficult to come by for Facebook Business Pages. When you Boost a Post, you are paying to increase the reach and visibility of your post. Boosting Posts is the best way to give your Page Posts a chance in your audience’s crowded Newsfeed. Your audience will also be more likely to see the Boosted Post as it will be featured higher in their Newsfeed than organic posts from similar pages.
Another great feature is that Facebook allows you to set your own budget. The ads are very affordable when compared to other forms of digital and traditional advertising.
You are also able to choose who you want to target with your Boosted Posts:
- You may opt to target your existing audience, if you want to keep them engaged and informed. When you Boost a Post to your Page Fans, it’s important to note, that organic reach for other Posts you publish may see a decreased reach. This happens because you have told Facebook that the Boosted Post is most important to you.
- You may also opt to target the friends of people who like your Page. When an Ad is served to a friend of someone who likes your page, it will display a message indicating “social proof.” The statement will be found in the upper left hand corner and will read something similar to: “Jane Doe and Joe Smith like EIEIO Marketing.” Social Proof can go a long way to build trust with a brand. If a user sees that the friends they know and trust like a Page, they are more likely to engage with that Page.
- You can also use Facebook’s targeting options (gender, age, location, and other interests) to identify a brand new audience of people that you would like to serve your post to.
Boosting Posts guarantees visibility for your content, to the audience of your choosing, at an affordable cost. Then, you are able to create an audience of those people who have engaged with your content, so that you can serve them more content down the road. This strategy allows you to develop relationships with your audience via Facebook.
The Most Often Made Boosting Mistake
The mistake I see most often when businesses boost posts, is that they boost what they think people want to see, or posts that they feel are the most important to their business. When it comes to marketing on Facebook, it’s important to rely on the data Facebook provides you so that you can make educated decisions on how to spend your marketing dollars.
How to Decide What to Boost
You don’t need (or want) to pay for every post. You should be posting at least 1-3 times per day on your Facebook Business Page and you should be including a mixture of promotional posts and shared content that is of interest to your fans. When you are ready to Boost a Post, you should start by checking the most popular posts that you have published recently from your Page Insights. If a Post performed well organically, it will likely also perform well as an Ad. Much in the same way that you want your organic posts to perform well so that they reach as many people as possible, you also want your Ads to perform well so that you will get the most results at the lowest cost.
After identifying your top performing organic posts, you will want to look at the content of those posts to determine if they are in your best interest to promote. You do not want to boost a post that drives traffic to someone else’s site. So, if your top performing organic post was shared from another Page, it may not be the best choice. Instead, you will want to focus on content that is helpful for your audience, links to your website, or grows your email list.
How to Boost a Facebook Post
There are two ways to Boost a Post. You can do so right from your Facebook Page (you’ve probably seen the Boost buttons on your Page), or through the Facebook Ads Manager. Boosting through Ads Manager is preferred because it allows you more customization options, however Boosting from the Page is often the first step for new Facebook Advertisers.
Boosting posts from your Page is a quick and easy process. After you’ve found a post that is performing well and fits within your strategy, click Boost Post in the bottom-right corner of the post. Then you have a few decisions to make:
- You can choose a button for your link post with a specific call to action (image and text posts do not have this option). “Learn More” is the most often used call to action button, but if it’s appropriate you can choose from one of the other options, including: Shop Now, Sign Up or Book Now.
- Choose your audience. You will need to determine if you want to target people who already like your post, their friends and/or specific interest groups (see the breakdown of these options above).
- Set your budget. Start small, at about $5/day, and test your results. You can choose if you want to spread your budget out over a few days or just boost it for a day. Best practice indicates running an ad for 3-7 days, but it’s not required.
- Preview your Ad and Click Boost. Facebook will review your ad and let you know when you’re approved.
After the Ad has been approved, you will want to monitor the results in the Facebook Ad Manager. Once you are comfortable with this process, you should explore boosting from within Ads Manager. The major difference that you need to be aware of, is that when you are looking to Boost a Post from Ads Manager the Objective you want to select is “Engagement” and then select “Page Post.”
Boosting posts is a great way to reach more users and get your audience more engaged. Make sure you’re promoting posts that are already doing well organically and directly benefit your business.
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Meg is the Founder and CEO of EIEIO Marketing. Originally from Rochester, NY, she now lives in Phoenix, AZ with her husband and their 4 daughters. Meg has been involved with marketing to moms for over 7 years and has experience working for Facebook within their Marketing Expert Program. When Meg is not managing ads for clients, teaching digital marketing strategy, or furthering her own professional development – she enjoys getting the family out of the house to explore a variety of fun and educational adventures. After the kids are in bed, Meg enjoys binge watching Netflix, fantasy football, and a glass of wine. Learn more about EIEIO Marketing.