We have all been tempted at least once or twice with the “Boost Post” button on Facebook. Any time you publish an update on your Facebook page, and any time one of your post’s gains traction, that navy blue button appears and gives you the option to reach a larger audience for a small fee. However, is merely a creative way to burn through your ad budget, or is boosting posts on Facebook worth it?
Yes… If done correctly.
With over 2.38 billion users now on Facebook and 1.56 billion of them logging in daily, breaking through the noise can be harder than ever before. Every 20 minutes:
- 763,888 status updates are sent out
- 1 million links are shared
- 86 million photos are uploaded
Meanwhile, organic reach and engagement have experienced a steady decline in recent years. A post’s average organic reach is only around 6.4% of its total page likes, meaning that a lot of your content never even gets seen by their intended audience. Boosting posts alleviates this pain point and provides you with an opportunity to increase your reach. By knowing what posts to boost and how often, understanding the audience you’re trying to engage, and diversifying your content, you can crack the code of Facebook’s “Boost Post” option and seeing a significant ROI.
Boost Posting Trade Secrets
Before delving into what to boost, examine the content on your page and make sure that it’s both relevant to your business and that the kind of engagement you are receiving is from the right types of leads for your business. Boosting posts won’t be nearly as effective with your current base if your audience isn’t interested in what you’re selling. Assuming that it is, or that you’re going to take corrective action to ensure that you’re reaching the right audience, you’re ready to start boosting.
In general, the best posts to boost are ads that are:
- Visually effective
- Have a link to your website or storefront
- Marry education and entertainment, or “edutainment” (ex. how-to videos)
- Suggest interaction without begging for it (ex. a restaurant posting a photo of their latest dish and asking what their audience is having for dinner)
- Diverse in content: a mix of video updates, images, text, and links
These tend to be the posts that are already going to garner a lot of attention but have the potential for an even greater reach. No exact algorithm can determine the success with boost posting—especially since everyone’s business and following is different—but by testing out a variety of strategies using these kinds of posts, you’ll have somewhere to start.
Also, if Facebook itself suggests that you boost a post that has a link to your website, we recommend doing it.
While it may be tempting to boost a post right away, many experts suggest waiting a couple of days to allow the post to generate buzz organically. If it’s something that is receiving multiple likes, comments, and shares, odds are that it will continue to generate buzz if boosted to reach a broader audience.
You should also only boost a post—at the very most—once a week, and only for about a week, otherwise the content gets dated, and your audience may begin to ignore your content. Regarding costs, you can boost your posts for as little as $1 per day, and Facebook has a pretty involved ad budget section in their ads help center.
What to Boost
When boosting a post, Facebook offers you three options. Each one has its advantages based on the kind of content you’re creating.
People who like your page
If you are making a service announcement or boosting a sales-oriented update, selecting this category is right for you. These people are likely already familiar with your product and your page and will appreciate knowing about new services or product updates that they could risk missing out on otherwise. If you’re selling a house cleaner, for example, your page followers might be interested in learning that your product comes in new scents or forms. Choosing this category limits your ad dollars strictly to interested parties, maximizing the impact of your overall ad spend.
People who like your page and their friends
If you have a brick and mortar store or if your business has some geographic component, extending a post to people who like your page and their friends might be advantageous. Not only will you reach out to customers that are already familiar with you, but you could also attract new customers that you wouldn’t be able to reach without your posts being organically shared. Given that boosting posts in this category increases your risk of reaching the wrong crowd, it’s best to test out your campaign with a smaller budget first.
People you choose through targeting
This category is where things get interesting. You have the greatest chance of expanding your audience with this option (a most simplified version of regular Facebook ad targeting), and if you know what to post, you can see a high return. If a post is generating a lot of interaction via likes/comments/shares, it might be boost-worthy with this category. One blogger for Cleverpedia noticed that her post was getting some traction, so she boosted with specific identifiers for her target audience en masse, and reached over 3,400 people and got 70 click-throughs for only $9. Her scenario is more successful than what most are used to, but it’s also the results of some trial and error and knowing the audience. Speaking of…
Know Your Audience
When your ad budget is influenced by each potential engagement, knowing your audience becomes incredibly important. Research your target market thoroughly before even thinking about boosting posts. What are their pain points? What do they like/don’t like? Where do they hang out, and what inspires them? The better you know your customers, the more effective your campaign will be.