If you’ve posted to your Facebook Business Page you know Facebook makes it very easy to boost a post. An enticing button will appear and all you have to do is click a few times to simply boost your Facebook post for a few bucks (the amount presented depends on your number of followers).
What’s the harm in that, right? Wrong!
Facebook is a business and as a good business should, they make it easy to pay them money often. But when should you click that enticing “Boost” button?
Boosting a post on Facebook is actually a bit of a debated topic in the marketing world, with many marketing experts strongly against it. But like most marketing, I think there is a time and place for it if used wisely. But don’t take it from me, here are the opinions of a few top marketing experts on when your business should boost a post on Facebook and what to consider before you do.
What Does it Mean to Boost a Post on Facebook?
When you post a status update, photo, video or offer on your Facebook Business page, Facebook quickly gives you the option to “Boost” that post. Boosting a post means you can pay a chosen amount of money (budget) for Facebook to put your post in front a larger group of people (audience) for a chosen period of time (duration).
Here’s the breakdown of the selections you make to boost a post on Facebook:
Audience: Facebook gives you the option to target: “people who like your Page,” “people who like your Page and their friends” and “people you choose through targeting.” If you have custom audiences already created, those will come up as a targeting option as well.
The option to choose your targeting allows you to select basic demographics like location, age, interests and behaviors.
Budget & Duration: Facebook gives you a default total budget based on your number of fans ($5, $10, etc.) and default duration of 1 day. You can modify both these areas to extend the campaign longer and increase your budget.
A meter image with the estimated number of people you can reach based on the above factors will show up. You can add the payment method if it isn’t there yet, then click “Boost.”
Congrats! You’ve boosted your Facebook post after a few quick clicks!
Here is more about how to boost a post on Facebook.
With all of that said, boosting a post is NOT the same as running a Facebook Ads Campaign. Why? You have more options for targeting, placement, bidding strategy, campaign objective, and so on in the Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor, where Facebook advertising campaigns are created and managed.
If your goal is to get high-quality leads and drive traffic to your website for strategic remarketing campaigns, I do not recommend doing this with boosted posts alone.
A boosted post might play a role in a marketing strategy, but does not replace the effectiveness of Facebook Ads.
Ok, off my soap box about Facebook Ads. If you want to know a little more about the benefits of Facebook Ads for small business, read more here.
To avoid wasted ad spend on boosted posts (hey, $5 here and there adds up when your business is on a tight marketing budget) take your finger off the boost button and consider a few important factors first!
3 Factors to Consider BEFORE You Boost a Facebook Post
(adapted from an excellent blog by Kim Garst and the Marketing School Podcast by Neil Patel and Eric Siu)
- What Is Your Goal – Are you paying that money to create awareness, increase page likes or shares (i.e. engagement) or drive traffic to a specific product, offer or content on your website? Don’t randomly hit that boost button! Instead make sure you have a strategic purpose for doing so. It’s very easy for your ad dollars to be wasted if you don’t have a clear goal in mind for the boost.
Neil Patel and Eric Siu of the Marketing School Podcast believe that the goal of boosting a Facebook post should be to grow your audience and increase engagement with your content.
Sui uses a specific strategy when he boosts posts for his clients and marketing agency, Single Grain. He suggests boosting Facebook posts to collect more email addresses and test content for future Facebook Ad Campaigns. His strategy is to first test if his content works with his audience by boosting it and testing the post’s engagement. Then he’ll try to collect more emails by driving the traffic from the post to a landing page with an email capture form. He’ll then measure the cost per acquisition of the email captures and use those metrics to determine if the content is worth advertising further. Successful content is then advertised using a Facebook Ads campaign.
- What is Your Call to Action (CTA) – “Once you’ve decided on the specific goal you want to achieve, be sure to include a strong call to action (CTA) in your post,” says Garst. For example, “click to read more” if your goal is to drive traffic to your website (and your post has a link in it that takes them there, of course).Where you drive your traffic matters. As Patel points out, “if you’re going to spend money on Facebook, spend it going to a landing page.”Therefore, it’s important to make sure it’s clear what you want people to do.
- Boost If Your Fans Like It Already – It might seem reasonable to boost a post if your fans aren’t reacting to it (likes, comments, shares, etc.) but perhaps there is a reason they aren’t reacting to it.Garst recommends to, “Only boost posts that have already gotten a decent amount of reach and engagement.” This will help you first determine what is resonating with your fans and then trust that spending that extra money to reach more of your fans is worth it.To do this you must first give your original post a little time to reach your audience first.As noted by Garst, Jay Baer from Convince and Convert recommends waiting at least 6 hours to see how your post is performing before you add money behind it.
As with everything in marketing, testing is invaluable. Be strategic with your approach and test what works best for your business.
Here’s a recap of these 3 factors in my weekly video series, 1-Minute Marketing Tip Monday
Boost Facebook Post vs. Facebook Ads
Boosting a Facebook post is simple compared to running an advertising campaign on Facebook. It’s easy to click a few buttons right from your page and pay a few bucks with little thought or skill.
Facebook ads; however, are a bit more difficult to implement. There are more options and it will take more practice to get them right. Facebook ads are understandably more intimidating for businesses than boosting a post.
But keep in mind that there are more benefits to Facebook Advertising. As noted before, there are more options for targeting, placement, campaign goals, bidding strategy, and so on within the ads platform (Ads Manager and Power Editor).
These factors mean that Facebook Ads have a greater potential to be more effective AND produce a higher ROI than Facebook Boosted Posts.
In other words, boosting a post has its place, but Facebook ads are a better place to spend more of your ad dollars.
“I recommend investing more heavily in ads than in boosted posts,” says Kim Garst, social media expert & co-founder of Boom! Social.
What is your experience with boosting posts on Facebook? Please share your comments with me below.
Here’s a bit more about Facebook Advertising for small businesses.
Is Facebook Advertising is a good fit for your business? Here’s more about Facebook Ads for Business with a link to schedule a Free Strategy Session.