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Don’t Boost! Promote Facebook Posts Properly to Increase Reach

Don't Boost Facebook Promoted Posts

Online advertising can be a great method for driving traffic to your website, and leads through your funnel. But there’s more to digital ads than paid search, and more to measurement than referrals and conversions. If Facebook plays a part in your social media marketing mix, there’s a high probability you’re familiar with their ad platform. Typically, due to Facebook’s EdgeRank (now, Story Bumping) algorithm, only a select number of your users 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:

Stop “Boosting” Posts!

“But it’s so easy!” – You’ve caught yourself saying. And you’re not alone. Millions 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 the 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?

 

Don't Kill This Kittne

Every time you “boost” a post, a kitten dies. Probably this one.

You can’t properly target posts when you “boost.”

Measuring success with this method becomes a challenge. Facebook offers far superior targeting options if you use Power Editor (Facebook’s ad management tool) to set up your ad campaigns rather than depending on the limited options available through your page.

When you create more precise targets for each ad, you can better determine which audience is performing (engaging/clicking/converting) best for your business. This allows you to reach the audience that is going to remain engaged and interested in your page. That’s the point, right? One of my favorite parts of online paid advertising is the ability to manage your spend efficiently; this applies to Facebook promoted posts just the same.

Here are some ideas for testing audiences through Power Editor. Of course, these will vary by Page:

  • Separate ads by age and gender
  • Separate ads by mobile and desktop; newsfeed and right hand rail
  • Target people who like your competitors
  • Have one ad for people who like your page and one for those who haven’t liked your page
  • Explore Facebook’s different interest categories: precise, broad, and partner category targeting

And that’s not even making a dent in it. Breaking out these targeting options while promoting posts allows you to efficiently control your budget and drive engagement on your page. You can make multiple ads per post with different targeting, and easily pause the ads that don’t perform after a set period of time (say, 24 hours). Increasing the spend on targeting that is successful will help increase your total return on ad spend (ROAS). That’s one acronym we want to use wisely.

Next time you feel compelled to “Boost” the post, reach for the Power Editor instead. Or call us and let us manage your Facebook activation campaigns.

Just please, think about the kittens.

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Emily Martens

Lead, Digital Strategy and Client Success at Sculpt

Emily focuses her efforts on the numbers and analysis, with a background in paid advertising and search engine optimization.

10 comments
EliseHealthyFit
EliseHealthyFit

I think it's important to share my experience so far and let you know that Facebook advertising is a waste of your money and a scam.  We're hosting a giveaway and had 521 Organic views on the giveaway post for the last two weeks.  In an effort to get more volume to our page and more people entering the contest, I decided to boost the post by paying $15.  As of right now $1.12 of that $15 is gone and I still have the 521 post views, but now it's saying 293 of those are organic and the remaining 228 are from the paid boost.  So ultimately they just changed my Insights so that it looked as if almost half of the people that viewed that post were from the boost.  If I hadn't waited 2 weeks to boost the post I probably wouldn't have known.  I'm going to be posting this comment onto multiple blogs to get the word out - do not waste your hard earned money (no matter how little $15 may seem) on these scam artists and thieves.  I'm certainly going to keep the Facebook Page up, but they will never get another dime from me.

ScottNash
ScottNash

Do you recommende PE for first time users? If not which of facebook's options would you recommend?

Thanks

RobSaxe24
RobSaxe24

Just found this..thanks it helps!

WeareSculpt
WeareSculpt moderator

@EliseHealthyFit  Thanks for sharing your story. @JonLoomer shared a similar insight (about organic reach manipulation after a paid boost) on his blog a couple months back. That is an unfortunate story, and I'm sorry to hear you've lost all faith in the platform. The whole purpose behind this post (which we'll be majorly updating soon) is not to give up on Facebook ads, but to instead explore it deeper. The "Boost" feature lets Page admins quickly reach a larger audience. What you give up is the ability to experiment with robust targets and use real data to influence what works best. 

Since your blog covers a specific topic with a large potential audience, I could see highly-targeted, interest and demographic-based Facebook advertising working wonders! The "Custom Audience" feature (the ability to upload and target your subscriber list and similar fans) could be a lucrative area of opportunity too. To take full advantage of those opportunities, you will want to play with Facebook's Ads Manager or Power Editor.


Lastly -- and please correct me if I mistakenly found the wrong Page -- it appears that a "share" call-to-action was part of your contest entry. Please note that this violates Facebook's terms and conditions, and although rare, could result in them cutting off your paid reach campaign early.


Hope that helped!


- J



WeareSculpt
WeareSculpt moderator

@ScottNash  Thanks for your question! Facebook has *finally* overhauled their Power Editor tool, making it much friendlier to beginners. With that said, Facebook's basic Ads Manager (https://www.facebook.com/ads/manage/) has most of the bells and whistles, and would be a better place to start learning. Happy to elaborate if requested!

WeareSculpt
WeareSculpt moderator

@chrisescars  Yikes! Sorry to hear that. We've had tremendous success with Facebook's ad tools, but always recommend our clients stay away from the "boost" button; hence the topic of this post. The boost button's purpose is to help you reach more fans, at the expense of complete administrative control. I would highly recommend setting up campaigns through the Ads Manager or Power Editor next time. - J

RobSaxe24
RobSaxe24

@WeareSculpt @RobSaxe24  Frankly, I'm a little shocked how much targeting I'm able to do with Power Editor.  How the hell do they have that much info on us?? LOL  PE wasn't that easy to figure out and I suspect that if you don't feel you're a tech person you might just want to hire the folks from this site to do it for you..it seems as if, right now, it would be a good investment.

Got my ad started and we'll see how it does.

Thanks again!

WeareSculpt
WeareSculpt moderator

@RobSaxe24 It certainly doesn't help that the entire PE dashboard has changed all over again. Power Editor is not for everyone, but if you're serious about investing in the paid platform, and truly understand your audience and goals, it's the best (free) solution for launching and split-testing targeted campaigns. Facebook is discovering more and more about its users everyday. Every action -- from page likes, profile updates and day-to-day interactions -- help them learn more. Their relationships with partners that have access to transactional data add another interesting layer. 


It is a bit scary. But once you fully realize the capability and control you possess, it's incredibly powerful.


Thanks for commenting!