Posted 10.17.2013 by Emily Martens
If Facebook plays a part in your social media marketing mix, there’s a high probability you’re familiar with their ad platform. Thanks to Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm, only a small selection of your fans will see a post at any given time. When you publish a story that starts building great organic engagement, amplifying your exposure to more people becomes the next goal. And this is where Facebook ads come in.
Before I cover that, heed my warning:
“But it’s so easy!” – You’ve caught yourself saying. And you’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands of page managers use the ‘Boost Post’ button to increase their post reach. It makes it super easy run a campaign. Just set the general targeting (to your page’s users and location), then the total budget for the promotion. BAM, it’s running until budget or time runs out. It’s so simple and fast! So what’s wrong?
You can’t target posts properly when you “boost.”
As of January 2017, the Boost Post feature still restricted targeting parameters to a handful of options. Some of the major limitations we’ve found:
On the other hand, Facebook offers far superior targeting options if you use their self-serve ad tool or Power Editor to set up your ad campaigns rather than depending on the limited options available through your boost button.
When you create precise targets for each ad, you can better determine which audience is performing (engaging/clicking/converting) best for your business. That’s the point, isn’t it? Getting the most for your marketing dollars. One of our favorite parts of online paid advertising is the ability to manage that budget efficiently; boosting Facebook posts takes that opportunity away from you.
Measuring success with the Facebook Boost Post method becomes a challenge since only one campaign is created at a time. To efficiently control your budget and drive engagement on your page, break out those targeting options! You can make multiple ads per organic Facebook post with different targets (i.e. split-testing), and easily pause the ads that don’t perform after a set period of time (give it at least 2-3 days, or after 2,000 people reached). Try some of these to start:
And that’s barely making a dent in it.
While reaching more of your current and desired audience is important, there are other business objectives to consider.
Of course, if generating brand and top-of-mind awareness or building an engaged community of customers are priority goals, promoting Facebook posts will serve you best.
Where boosted posts offer a quick fix to reaching more people, allocating 5 – 15 minutes to promote Facebook posts properly in Ads Manager and test targeting will allow you to maximize your total return on ad spend (ROAS). And that’s one acronym we want to use wisely.
Next time you feel compelled to “Boost” the post, reach for the self-serve tool instead.
Bonus Answers to FAQ! We get loads of questions from thousands of visitors per month. Here are some of the frequently asked questions.
Dozens have asked us what this means. In short, it means exactly what you think: Your post (ad) is not being shown. Your ad may still be in the approval queue, which is especially common if this is your first promoted post. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to duplicate the ad and start over. Note: This sequence can not be performed with the “Boost Post” interface.
NO! That is the maximum you will spend if you let it run its course. If you stop it early, so will your payment.
At one point interestingly, you could. Alas, this option is limited to pages only now.
As of 2017, Facebook will now run your post as an ad if there’s more than 20% text in the image or thumbnail. That’s good news! However, Facebook will limit your distribution (reach) significantly if it’s well above the 20% figure. You can test it here. The best way to get it to run is to re-post the link, image, or video with a different thumbnail.
Bonus: Take a peek at a presentation we did for the Iowa City Chamber of Commerce’s Expert Edge Series on building and optimizing Facebook ads, based entirely on this post. Note that it’s circa 2014/2015, so some functionality has changed.
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