April 4, 2020

Everything You Need To know About Using Boost Post On Facebook - Do This Instead

Image of a Boost button on a Keyboard

There has been an ongoing debate as to whether or not ‘boosting’ your latest Facebook post using that little blue button is even worth it or not. I’m here to end the debate once and for all. Read more to discover what you need to know when it comes to boosting your next post on Facebook and what it means for your business!

If you're a small local business owner, chances are you’ve boosted a Facebook Post at least once. Or at the very least accepted the importance of social media marketing. You’ve begun promoting your Facebook business page to friends and family, you’ve shared content, and started building your audience.

Whether you’ve already realized this or not, Facebook has more and more become a ‘Pay to Play’ environment. No longer are the days of massive organic reach without a cost. In order to bring visibility to your content and business through social media in 2020, you need to spend a few bucks!

Maybe you’ve already taken the leap, and decided to hit that Facebook ‘Boost Post’ button to promote your content hoping that more people would suddenly flock to your business. Although it’s the easiest way to start advertising online, it doesn’t mean it's the best way.

If you are / have used it a lot, it could be costing you a lot of money!  Hundreds, and for some thousands of dollars wasted.

What Exactly is a Facebook Boost Post?

Back in 2012, Facebook introduced a simple and easy way to advertise and promote your content with the “Promote Post” button. With this option, you could finally create an advertising campaign with only a few clicks.

Not long after Facebook changed the name to ‘Boost Post,’ added some functionality and introduced a new interface. Although these changes made an aesthetic difference the core features still remained the same.

Recently, as of Spring 2020, Facebook has once again overhauled their user interface (on desktop) to further enhance the user experience. Although the controls have remained somewhat consistent.

So What Happens When You Boost a Post?

You first head over to your Facebook page, find the post you want to promote (advertise) and click “Boost Post.”

You then select your Goal, Button, Audience, Budget, Campaign Duration, Placements and then click “Boost Post Now.”

What you may not realize is Facebook just created a new ad campaign in your personal ad account with extremely limited control. Facebook decides your goal preset for you based on the content you're boosting – it’s the lazy man’s way of advertising.

And that’s where things start going south...

Why You Should Not Boost Your Facebook Posts

Facebook implemented the ‘Boost Post’ option as an easy to use method for new advertisers (and laymens)  to start promoting their content on Facebook with only a few clicks. 

But it comes at a cost…

In simplifying the controls, Facebook also removed some crucial functionality that is what allows advanced Facebook advertisers and social media advertising agencies to get much better results.

I’ve outlined below  the top 4 reasons why you should avoid boosting your next Facebook post and what you can do instead.

  1. Only 2 Goals To Choose From (Campaign Objective)

When you boost a post on Facebook you are given the option to select your goal. As you can see from the image below, you are unfortunately only given a few options to choose from based upon Facebook’s recommendations.

In some cases this may work fine but it’s a far cry from the depth of options you have when building out a thoughtful campaign from the Facebook Ads Manager. The image below shows all 11 various campaign objectives you can choose from in the backend.

Have you ever noticed an ad that has a ton of likes, comments and shares?

When Facebook optimizes your boosted post for engagement, it does not care whether or not those people click through from the ad to your website. Chances are only a small fraction of those people will click through to your website, your event page, or your landing page. 

What if your goal was total reach, brand awareness, video views, or conversion (link clicks etc.)? By simply ‘Boosting Post’ you’re essentially letting Facebook decide what’s best for you which oftentimes can limit your results.

As it goes, you cannot cash in ‘likes’ at the bank. What matters is conversions, leads, and ultimately sales to help drive your business forward. Period.

  1. Limited Targeting Options (Who Sees Your Ad)

When presented with the option to select your Audience / Targeting, you are prompted with the windows as seen below. You have the ability to target:

  • People Who Like Your Page 
  • People Who Like Your Page & Their Friends
  • People In Your Local Area

You also have the option to select your audience via the people you choose through targeting. Although advanced targeting features are only available through the ads manager.

So what does this mean? You only have the very basic targeting options available. You are unable to create custom audiences such as lookalike audiences or even test different audiences against each other. 

Note: If you do choose to still use ‘Boost Post,’ and you're a local business, targeting people in your area will in any case be your best bet.

  1. Minimal Control Over Placements (Where Your Ads Are Displayed)

When you’re boosting posts, you can’t choose where you want to show your ads – the default option is always Desktop News Feed and Mobile News Feed (Along with now Mobile Marketplace & Stories)

Premium real estate in terms of ad inventory on Facebook is easily the News Feed. It is the number one place where businesses are competing to display their ads. Through Facebook's boost post option, they do not allow you to select where your ads are displayed. But rather bundle all Facebook placements together automatically.

For example, let’s say you want to promote an upcoming contest you're running for your business. If you choose to advertise on both Mobile News Feed and Desktop News Feed, Facebook might, unfortunately, push as much as 99% of your advertising budget to the mobile news feed option (because it’s less expensive than Desktop News Feed), regardless of whether it’s getting you what you want, which is entries.

Depending on your industry, there’s usually a big difference in conversion rate on mobile than on desktop. Mobile conversion tends to be lower because it’s just not as convenient to fill in all the sign-up or purchase information on handheld devices. If the website is not mobile-friendly, it can be even worse. Although you can see which has been more effective for you based on your site analytics.

So, if you choose both placements (something you can’t control with the “Boost Post” option), you’ll probably be getting a ton of mobile traffic that doesn’t convert at all or converts poorly. And if you are trying to drive people from Facebook to your event page, your registration landing page, your website, or anywhere else outside of facebook, then you need conversions more than “likes.”

What Can You Do About It?

You should stop using “Boost Post” on the front of your Facebook post, and take the time to build out your campaign the right way. Drive down your advertising costs, and generate more real business using Facebook Advertising.

Whether you’re a local business or not, the audience you want to reach can be reached more effectively by creating ads in the Ads Manager or Power Editor.

Yes, it may take you a few minutes longer, but you’ll be able to choose the campaign objective that makes the most sense for your business, you’ll be able to select more relevant audiences, and have complete control on where to show your ads.

Combined, these things will result in you saving major advertising dollars and a better return on your local advertising campaigns in the long run.

In the end, your goal should not be just to get more engagement (likes), but to get people to take an action – visit your website, sign up for an event, opt-in with their email for a contest, buy a gift card, or simply come in to your business – and you should do everything you can to achieve those results in the most effective way!

By
Chris Hewitt

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