Despite changing online trends and the emergence of new social media platforms, Facebook is still the go-to for many organizations when it comes to reaching their audience online. The site gives business owners and program administrators lots of tools to use for advertising or marketing purposes, but sometimes it's hard to know which ones will have a positive impact on your brand's online presence. Luckily, we're here to help.
Discover how to effectively boost your Facebook posts:
What is Facebook's "Boost Post" Function?
If you have a Facebook post that you think contains important information about your business or has already garnered some attention online and you want to keep that spark alive, boosting it can increase visibility and engagement with your followers. Boosting certainly doesn't replace a full-on ad campaign, however it can be a good tool to learn the basic concepts of Facebook Ads. From a local business standpoint, it helps you cast a wider net quickly and efficiently.
You can boost anything that appears on your page: status updates, photos and videos. Facebook has placed the button for boosting your post next to the Publish button, so it can be tempting to use it frequently, especially if your business has some money set aside for this purpose. That being said, you should be focused on which scenarios will actually benefit from implementing a post boost.
Why Boost a Post?
The simple answer to this is that you want more eyeballs on a given status update, photo or video. You've chosen a piece of content that you believe is worthy of more interaction online, so you want to increase its reach. Any post you boost will appear higher in the Facebook and/or Instagram feeds of your targeted audience, so it will be among the first things they see when scrolling through the app.
If you're planning on using the Boost function that Facebook offers, you can't just randomly set parameters and hope for the best. Just like other forms on online marketing or advertising, the more precise your planning is, the bigger your ROI will be once you execute. It all starts with one of the biggest decisions in this entire process: who you're boosting a post for.
Choose Your Audience
When you select the Boost option, you'll be taken to a menu where an audience type must be selected. Your three options in this regard are listed as follows:
The first option, choosing people through targeting, is the most customizable of these choices and, If you have a little bit of time on your hands, definitely worth the investment in planning. When you choose your audience, you target the people who will be most interested in your post. You can be very specific and build your audience according to:
- Geographical location
Make sure your audience is not too specific or too broad. The arrow should point the green part of the dial that you can see at the very bottom of this dialogue box:
The second option, targeting people who like your page, has its pros and cons. Not everyone who likes your page sees all your post updates. So, if you have an important announcement to make, you want to maximize the number of people who see it. Boosting a post by selecting this audience isn't as precise as the other two options, but it's also a great starting point if you're looking to learn more about your Facebook fans during the social media marketing process.
Finally, by selecting people who like your page and their friends, you ultimately cast a wider net than the second option, but one that won't be as finely tuned as the first. Usually, friends have similar points of interest, so it's a no-brainer that you'd want to appeal to your followers' friends in order to build your audience. However, the same downside applies here, since not everyone will see the post updates, especially if they're friends with someone who's liked your page and haven't interacted with your brand themselves.
To help put those differences into perspective, let's look at an example. Let's say you run a gymnastics club and have a small-to-medium-sized following on Facebook. If your business wants to offer a promotion, the decision must be made as to who they want to know about it. Just the gym's current fan base on Facebook? The current fan base and people they are friends with? Or, what about a completely customized audience based on interests and geographic proximity to the club's location? There's not a right or wrong answer per say, but proper planning will pay dividends in the long-term.
Choose Your Budget
Besides the size and focus of your audience, the other factor that determines your reach during a Facebook boost is your budget. This number will fluctuate based on your organization and the amount that has been allocated for marketing purposes. With that said, even a small starting input (between $10 and $20) can yield good results. Facebook also allows you to top up your budget while the campaign is still running, so you can increase visibility even more if you're pleased with the return you're seeing.
Keep in mind that the minimum budget for a boost is $1 per day, so there's no free option when it comes to boosting a Facebook post. As for duration, the number of people you reach doesn't change, but you can either hit that desired audience total in 24 hours or spread it out over 2 weeks. Check out an example of a budget input for a Facebook post boost below.
Don't Overuse the Boost
Boosting a Facebook post might feel like a quick and easy way to reach more people online by using a single post. However, as a long-term marketing solution, it isn't an advisable route to take. Remember, boost campaigns on Facebook have one purpose: to increase your engagement (likes and comments). Therefore, if your ultimate goal is to sell more products or get more traffic flowing to your main website, this particular social media platform won't recognize the difference when you're boosting one post and your results won't be optimized.
In addition, you don't have the kind of control that is offered through Facebook's Ads Manager or Power Editor tools. When boosting content, you can’t edit the placement (Instagram, desktop, phone, etc.) once the publication is launched, meaning that the effect of your marketing strategy won't be as nuanced. Overall, the Boost function is a great way to get your feet wet if you're not familiar with Facebook's advertising capabilities or if you want to get a better picture of your ideal audience; once you're past that stage, however, it's time to move on to some proper Ads-driven campaigns.