It is so tempting, it seems so easy—boost this post and great things will happen! Right? Wrong.
In most cases, it is a waste of your money to use the boost post feature in Facebook.
Why We Don’t Like It
When we get access to client accounts and take a look at the advertising spends they have done, we often cringe—if you are just boosting a post (and not working on any targeting or audience demographics) you’re just growing Facebook’s annual income (and not yours).
The best thing about Facebook advertising is the ability to test audiences and discover where your message resonates. But, if you’ve got a slew of general boosts, don’t try to delete them from your record. Instead, ask what can you learn from general boosts. Take a look at the insights from your general boost. Who responded? Use that data to build a targeted campaign. Age? Gender? Look for trends. Then create a systematic, targeted ad campaign—what some people are calling “dark ads” to really get a return on your investment.
So I can’t ever do a boost?
The world is not black and white and the rules for Facebook ads aren’t all or nothing either. With the Facebook apocalypse (aka ever-changing algorithms and efforts to make people’s feeds full of friends and family) you should plan to spend money to reach your fans and boosts can feature into that plan.
If you have a special message that you want to make your existing fans aware of, go ahead and use the boost post and make sure you select for your fans. If you’re advertising for a talk in Chicago, narrow your audience to a geolocation that makes sense. No matter how much that busy mom in California loves you, she’s probably not going to fly in for your talk. (If you have a team of marketers helping you build your reach or you want to really dig into FB ads, then you can create an ad to look like a post that gets better reporting, especially if you’re sending them to make any kind of conversion outside of Facebook).
Since Facebook is only showing a small (and reportedly smaller and smaller) portion of your content to your fans, you SHOULD plan a weekly or bi-weekly boost to ensure they see your content. However, encourage your clients to follow your page—see first, not just to like it. This tells Facebook that you are creating great content that people want to see and interact with. (But you have to follow through and be worth it, as there are limited spots for “see first” and people won’t bother if you’re occasionally posting random thoughts.)
Here’s a sample video that we helped past clients Amy Blankson and Michelle Gielan create for their GoodThink newsletter that explains the Follow First concept to their subscribers.
So to recap:
1) Boost sparingly and only to your tribe
2) Don’t boost if you’re asking for any kind of conversion (do a real ad instead)
3) Ask your fans to follow first vs like your page
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