Let’s admit it – Facebook can be a confusing place to promote a business, with all its various features and options for posting and receiving content. As a business owner, it’s important to understand the opportunities for using Facebook to market your business, and that can include “boosting” your posts.
Not familiar with boosting? A boosted post is simply a post from your business Page that appears higher on your audience’s News Feeds for a fee. Because they appear higher up in news feeds than non-boosted posts and are served to an audience beyond your existing page fans, these posts can be a relatively inexpensive way to easily reach more potential customers. How much that fee is depends on how many viewers you want your post to reach — the payment is determined by the number of impressions made over a period of time.
You may be wondering, “Why should I pay to promote my business on Facebook? After all, it doesn’t cost anything to set up a page and post messages that people can see.” The reality is that major social media, realizing their high value to marketers, have adopted a “pay to play” policy that requires some kind of advertising investment from businesses in order for them to reap all the benefits available through social platforms.
Another reality is that Facebook generally limits the number of stories that appear in a user’s news feed. So even if a fan likes your page, he or she might not see all of your posted content. Boosting a post makes it much more likely that fans will see the post in their news feeds. And, unlike regular posts, boosted posts could also appear in the news feeds of their friends with similar interests. Not bad for a relatively small investment.
However, it’s important to boost only certain posts. While it may be tempting to boost every post, that can saturate the news feeds of your fans and potential customers, possibly overwhelming them. Instead, choose content to boost that is of specific value to your target audience. These are topics that are likely to engage potential customers and drive them to your website. To stack more cards in your favor, create a sense of urgency with a call-to-action, such as limited time offers and special promotions.
Don’t forget to track the metrics of the boosted post in Ads Manager, including likes, shares, total reach and cost per engagement. If the boosted post is performing well, you can extend the duration or increase the budget.
How to get started boosting?
To boost a post, go to your timeline and click on the button in the bottom right corner. Then choose the audience you want to reach with the boosted post. You can select to boost the post to the News Feeds of people who like your Page, as well as their friends, or choose a specific audience through targeting based on demographics (age, location and gender) and interests. When you set a budget (minimum $5) and a duration (from one to seven days) for the boost, you’ll get an automatic estimate of the people your post is likely to reach.
Be careful about choosing the first option (people who like your page and their friends) — your fans’ friends may not be all that interested in your business and you’ll end up wasting money by pushing your post out to them.
If your goal is to engage your current fans, don’t choose the first option. You’re better off advertising to them. However, if you’ve already boosted a post to fans and their friends, you can still change your audience. Just go to your Ads Manager and turn off the segment of the ad that goes out to friends of fans. If your goal is to drive targeted traffic to your website, then choose the second audience option—People you choose through targeting.
Remember, boosting posts is just one option of several for marketing your business on Facebook. It pays to carefully consider ALL options and perhaps mix-and-match them to get the right marketing mix for your particular business and audience.
Better yet, save time, money, and effort by working with an experienced social media consultant (like us!) who can help you assess your needs and put together an effective, cost-efficient social media marketing strategy that will drive growth and profitability for your business.