Many marketers and businesses have noticed a decrease in organic reach on Facebook after changes to their algorithm earlier in 2014. While the benefits of Facebook for business are still there, these changes have made it more difficult for pages’ content to show up in their audience’s newsfeeds. In an effort to increase the reach of their content, many marketers are spending money on boosted posts.
What is a boosted post?
A boosted post on Facebook is a post that you pay to “boost” which will increase the reach. A boosted post will also appear higher in the newsfeed, so there’s a better chance that your audience will see it. You have the option to “boost” the post so users that Like your page and their friends will most likely see the ad or choose to target a specific audience based on demographics and behaviors.
Why boost posts?
Boosting your post will help to get your content seen by your audience in their newsfeed. If you have a message that you want to be seen by a specific, boost your post to “people you choose through targeting” to ensure the right content is seen by the right people. If you have a message that you want a large percentage of your Facebook community to see, publish the post and boost it to “people who like your page and their friends.”
When to boost posts?
This is a question that I get asked a lot. The answer is, “it depends.” Each business and brand has unique goals and an audience that need to be factored into your decision of when to boost a Facebook post.
Here are 3 tips to help you decide when to boost a post:
- Boost posts that are helpful to your audience. People will connect with brands and businesses on Facebook when there is some value for them. Your audiences’ newsfeed is made up of posts from friends and family, ads and posts from other pages; the last thing they want to see is a sponsored post from your business every day.
- Boost posts that help you reach your Facebook goals. When you boost a post make sure it fits with your Facebook strategy and aligns with your goals. For example, if your goal is to increase ticket sales for an event, make sure you have a strong call to action of why they should buy tickets and how they can purchase them. If they can purchase them online, include a direct link (I recommend to using a tracking link) to purchase tickets. Remember, your content strategy is for your audience, not your business, so being helpful and providing value should be your motivation.
- Boost posts that are relevant and timely. Don’t boost all of your posts. Evaluate your content for the week or month to determine what to boost and when.
One you know you are boosting a post, follow these best practices:
- Identify your audience. Is this content intended for “Those that like my page and their friends” or a more targeted audience that you choose? If you’re doing the latter know that you may have a smaller audience (reach), but you’re getting the right message in front of your ideal audience, which can lead to a higher conversion. If you’re creating a message with mass appeal and your measuring success by the total reach, you may want to go with selecting a larger targeted audience or by boosting the post to those that like your page and their friends.
- Determine your budget. Set your budget for the campaign or for the month and then start with a small budget per post. Start small to test what messaging, call-to-action or audience segement has the best results. There is little risk with a small budget, but it also gives you the opportunity to increase the boosted budget on the posts that are successful.
- Set your goal. Define what success looks like for your business and what a successful campaign would be. Measure posts you boosted compared to those that you didn’t. Test different messages (the image or call to action for example) on posts that you boost and measure the success to see how your audience responds.
- Create your message. I recommend having a quality image with copy that complements the image and a strong call to action when boosting your post. Boosting a post with a video is another recommended content type. Whatever you’re boosting, make sure the image has less than 20% text to fit Facebook’s guidelines. (Use this tool to check your text) If you’re going for a branding message, I would suggest running a Facebook ad campaign instead of boosting a post.
- Plan your timeline. In your strategy, plan out when you will boost posts. If you're targeting those that like your page and their friends, start by reviewing your Facebook insights to see when your audience is online and post then. Plus, your duration of boosted posts is 1 - 7 days, so keep that in mind when publishing timely content.
There are many benefits of Facebook for business and why you would want to boost Facebook posts. So as a rule, have a reason to boost the post and have a balance of boosted posts and organic posts. Do not boost every post and risk overwhelming your audience or turning off your potential or current audience by oversaturating newsfeeds. Be sure to measure the results of your boosted posts. It is still crucial to your success to have a strategy with frequent, valuable and relevant content for your audience.