“But Facebook Made Me Do It” – beware the ‘boost’ button

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Facebook boost button

If you’re the owner or admin of a Facebook Page, you’ve more than likely seen one of these sorts of notifications accompanied by a boost button:

Your Facebook Post is Performing Well

Oooh, wow – your Facebook post is performing well!  If you spend just a *small* amount of money, you can reach heaps more people!

Sounds pretty good right?

Well, I hate to burst your bubble…

 

Sorry, you’re not that special

Sitting across over 50 client Facebook pages as an Administrator, I get these notifications multiple times per day, from different client pages.

We even get emails that don’t make sense:

Email from Facebook encouraging you to boost a post

 

“More people are responding to your event than 0% of your other posts”  ….ummmm??

 

Facebook try to make it easy for you to spend

By sending through these notifications, Facebook are baiting you with attractive numbers.  Only $30 to reach 23,000 more people per day?!  Bargain, right?

Wrong.

Do these 23,000 people even fall within your preferred target audience?

Let’s take this example – a pub that’s promoting an improv night.  Sure, they’d love 23,000 extra people to know about their event, but are these people located within their geographical catchment, and are they even interested in things like dining out, pubs, comedy, theatre, etc?

 

Facebook encouraging boosting a post

 

Let’s look at another example – a Dentist based in Port Adelaide who has a post on children’s dentistry.  Generally speaking, people will only attend a dentist that’s close to their home or workplace, and for this post we really only want to reach people who are parents of children of a certain age.  So paying to blast our message indiscriminately to 32,000 people probably isn’t going to be that helpful.  We want to reach the household health decision makers!

 

Is your post geared for the conversion you want?

Just because Facebook has suggested that you boost a post that’s performing well, doesn’t mean it’s going to do great things for your business.  Maybe it’s a photo of a staff member having their birthday cake, or maybe it’s a bunch of flowers that has been delivered – do you really want to boost that out to hundreds or thousands of people?

Although these may be ‘feel good’ sorts of posts, I’m guessing probably not.

If you wouldn’t pay to put that picture on a billboard to advertise your business, you probably don’t want to pay Facebook to advertise it to people unfamiliar with your brand!

Office Cake post on billboard

I think you’d rather boost a post that talks about a product/service, and perhaps link it to your website, or add a ‘Send Message’ call to action button to it.

Plus, while reaching 64,000 people is all well and good, what about the more important metrics like Clicks to Website, Engagements, Video Views, and so on?  Millions of people can see a billboard every day, but unless one of them actually takes action – what’s the point?

(NB – I’m looking beyond ‘brand awareness’ as a target metric here)

 

So should you just never click ‘Boost’?

I’m not saying never click that boost button.  But do think carefully before absentmindedly clicking ‘boost’ and parting with your hard-earned dollars.  Consider what you actually want to achieve and get in return for that ad spend.

 

5 tips for boosting a post on Facebook

If you’re going to boost, these are my tips to follow:

 

1.  Don’t be sucked in

Always think twice before boosting.  Facebook might be making it easy for you to spend your money, and there might be some big numbers making it seem attractive, but big numbers don’t mean anything if they’re the wrong ones!  Think Reach vs Engagement/Page Views/Messages to Page/Video Views…..

 

2.  Check that it’s a ‘good’ post for your business to promote

Are we boosting a post that celebrates Reginald’s birthday with cake for the staff, or are we launching a brand new training program that we’d like to receive enquiries for?

Also  make sure it’s a post with less than 20% text on it, otherwise this will impair the reach of your post.

 

3.  Select a suitable audience

Always, always, ALWAYS select your own audience.  Don’t let it default to people aged 18-65+ in South Australia!!  Think about who your post applies to (and who it’s worded for!), and build a clever audience to boost it to.

 

Selecting an audience when boosting a Facebook post

 

4.  Consider adding a Button

When you boost, Facebook allows you the option of adding a Button to the post as a call to action.  Consider what call to action best suits your post, and put one on there!  If your website isn’t suitable in this case, ‘Send Message’ might be best.  (and it also opens a two-way dialogue for you with your potential customer – YAY!)

 

Selecting a button for your Facebook boosted post

 

5.  Start with a sensible budget

If this is your first boosting experience, start with a modest budget.  $20 for 7 days may be perfectly fine!  Then review the results, and work out how the audience responded before deciding to spend more.

 

And finally, please don’t boost every single one of your organic Facebook posts. I’ve seen it done, and it just messes with your organic reach entirely.

 

If you’re still not sure what you’re doing and you’d like a little help – please get in touch!  We like to start with coffee, and we can look to offer help with either looking after your advertising for you, or consulting with you / coaching you with our tips and tricks for success.

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Simone Douglas

Simone Douglas

Simone is co-founder and Senior Principal Solutions Architect of Social Media AOK. Simone offers over 17 years in corporate management roles encompassing generalist HR recruitment and development of small to large teams across multiple sites, industry sectors and states. Experienced in a variety of social media platforms and their complimentary applications, social media strategy, risk management, disaster recovery and associated HR policies and processes.