If you’re thinking or trying Facebook Boosted Posts or you have already tried it and you’re yet to see any real return yet. Then this post is for you! Don’t get me wrong I LOVE Facebook advertising and it’s advertising platform is one of the most advanced of any of the social media advertising platforms out there. However, the reason I love it is the ability to be so highly targeted, allowing you to reach exactly the right audience with your adverts.
Unfortunately the fact is that more often than not business’s will boost their posts, spending on average $20-$40 per post, without be able to properly target the post or working out exactly what they want to achieve with the post and how they are going to get a return. I mean it’s only $25 right? But the fact is most companies won’t just boost their posts once or twice, they will regularly boost posts every month, throwing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars down the ‘Facebook drain’ every year.
Ahh but don’t fear, I am going to take you through the things you need to know, to ensure your boosted posts increase more than just your marketing spend. However, before we go into that, let’s take a quick look at what Facebook Boosted Posts are, why it’s so easy to get it wrong and what kind of ‘results’ you can expect when you get it right.
What Are Facebook Boosted Posts?
Facebooks business help centre describe Boosted Posts as:
Boosted posts appear higher in News Feed, so there’s a better chance your audience will see them.
Basically, Facebook allows you to choose a post from your Facebook Page to boost and show to more people fitting certain criteria you predefine for each post you boost.
Why It’s Easy To Get It Wrong
Boosting a post is relatively easy. Facebook now gives you they option to boost any post during the posting process or after, even on older posts. When you select to boost a post you are presented with a Pop Up window displaying the post on the right-hand side and the targeting and budget options on the left. Like this:
The difficulty comes from the Audience options provided. Targeting the right audience is one of the key aspects to seeing success from Facebook Ads, however within the Boosted Post Audience options, you are only presented with very basic targeting parameters, in comparison to those available within the Facebook Ads Manager itself. So Facebook page admins don’t get the option to target just your own fans, or other pages fans or create customised audiences from your own website visitors or email lists. So your posts don’t always get seen by the most relevant audience, which limits your opportunities for success through no fault of your own.
Another reason boosted posts are an easy way to waste money, is the content of the post itself. Facebook, of course, gives you the option to boost almost any post. However, not all posts are created equal when it comes to advertising and even though a post might have performed well on your own page in terms of engagement, it doesn’t mean it is worth boosting. We’ll look at what makes a good post to boost later.
The final reason boosted posts often fail to produce a measurable ROI (Return On Investment) is because no Facebook conversion tracking pixel has been installed on the website, so there is no way to tie any website activities back to any specific boosted post or advert. This can make optimising your Facebook marketing spend very difficult, if not impossible.
What Results Can I Expect From Boosted Posts
As you can tell by Facebooks explanation about What Is A Boosted Post, they like to promote the fact that a Boosted post can gain your business and your post, more exposure. And within the world of Facebook, this means more ‘Likes’, more ‘Comments’ and more ‘Shares’. In other words more ENGAGEMENT. This is indeed often the case, as of course it would be, as more people see the post. So if your post is funny, inspiring, useful or enticing then you are very likely to see an increase in these statistics over an unboosted post. However, these stats alone do not tend to affect your businesses bottom line. Instead done well, a Boosted Post can do much more than just create engagement on Facebook or increase your fans.
Here is a list of other measurable results that will create an ROI for any Boosted Post campaign, when done well:
- Increased Traffic to Website
- Increased Sales Of Products
- Increased Leads
- Increased Email Subscribers
- Increased Blog Subscribers
What To Consider Before You Boost A Post
Like any good marketing campaign, there are certain things you need to take into consideration before you go giving your money away.
- What are your goals? – What exactly do you want to achieve with this post? Think carefully about this, because usually when I speak to clients about their Facebook advertising the first thing they say to me is that they want to increase their Fan base. So if this is your immediate response, ask yourself why? What is an increased fan base going to give you? Of course the answer is the same for all businesses, you want to grow your fan base because you want to build a relationship with more consumers or contacts. You want a ready-made audience primed to buy your products or services at a moments notice. So if your answer is simply, to increase your fans, think again. What you really want to do is provide your business with more opportunities to sell your products or services, and increasing your fans is just a means to this end. Boosting a Post can kill two birds with one stone. So don’t sell business short by only setting increased ‘Likes’ as a measurement for success for boosted posts. Make sure you also set yourself a goal based on increased sales, leads and at the very least increased traffic or email subscribers.
- How are you going to measure the success of your boosted post? – Facebooks own Marketing Platform will report the success of your post in terms of engagement. So make sure you login after the boosted post has ended to record how well it has performed in terms of Likes, Shares & Comments. However beyond that make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your website, as this will help you to monitor how well the post has performed in terms of driving results outside of Facebooks own environment. How much traffic did the post drive, how long did they stay on your website, how many pages did they read and of course, how many sales, leads did it generate for you. Also ensure you have Facebooks conversion pixel on your website too, so you can track different conversions against each boosted post or advert. If you don’t know how to do this Facebook goes into detail here
- How Is The Post You Boost Going To Help You Achieve Your Goals? – If you want to increase website traffic, your post needs to include a link to your website. If you want to increase sales, what offer are you going to include, what call to action will you use to make people do something? If you want people to Share the post, are you going to give them an incentive to do so? What kind of post is going to work best to achieve your objectives? An image, A website link, a video, a quiz, or maybe a mixture of these? If you don’t already have a post that suits your objectives, then create a new one.
- What Is The Right Target Audience For Your Post To Achieve Your Goals? – Who is going to respond the best to your offer, or message? If you must use the Boost Post Option, make sure you know who you are targeting and that you can do so within the boosted post options. If you want to target any of the following segments then use Facebook Ads Manager to run your campaign instead of Boosting a Post.
- People who have visited your website
- People who have purchased from your website recently
- People who have visited your website but haven’t purchased
- People who are subscribed to your emails
- People who ‘Look/behave like’ your existing page fans, email lists or website traffic
- Your existing fans – yes paying to reach more of your existing fans can be very profitable if you have the right message for them! Remember only 8-15% of your normal posts will ever be seen by your fans.
- Fans of specific pages – target your competitors fans, or fans of pages that relate to your industry
There is no doubt in my mind what so ever that using Facebook advertising can provide your business with a great deal of success. But as this space becomes more popular and more and more businesses turn to Facebook as a marketing channel, learning how to market effectively within this environment will become essential to avoid a great deal of wasted time, energy and most importantly money! Good luck and let me know how you get on!