You post an update on your Facebook page and a button appears. Boost Post. Curious, you click it and you're confronted with options and targets and dollar amounts. Scary stuff. What if you make the wrong choices and end up with a bill for $300 dollars? That's how online advertising works, right? You bid for a slot and if a lot of people click then you're stuck paying the price even if those clicks don't turn into sales. Forget this.
You click the X to close the box and congratulate yourself for not getting sucked in.
Let’s back up and try that again. . .
Online advertising is often confusing and expensive, but a Facebook boost is a different animal. It's a low risk way to reach a large pool of potential customers and it's extremely easy to implement once you get past that initial pop of newness.
Facebook Boost vs Facebook Ads
The first thing you need to understand is that Facebook offers two types of advertising. They share a lot of common points so it's easy to confuse one with the other. Both begin with a Facebook post, a target audience and a budget but the Facebook ad takes it all much further. Because it's more detailed, many people think it's more effective but that's only true if you're well-versed in targeting, ad bidding and copywriting.
For the beginner, the Facebook boost is the better product because it's easier to setup and easier to control the spend. Before we go any further, let's be clear about one thing. All online advertising is a gamble. You could spend ten dollars or a hundred dollars and get the same results or no results at all. It's likely that you'll have to boost several posts before finding the combination that works best for you. But some see results on the first try.
How to Boost a Post
It all begins with a short, but enticing Facebook post. What is it you want people to do? Visit your website? Buy a piece of jewelry? Sign up for a class? Enter your giveaway?
Make it clear in a few lines of text then add a large photo with little to no text. In order to prevent fraud and spamming, Facebook will not host any post where more than 30% of an image is text. If your post is rejected you can't simply change the photo, you have to delete the post and start over so keep you text to the bare minimum.
Post your update as usual then click the Boost Post button. You’ll get a box that looks like this:
Next: Choose the audience
If your objective is to get new customers, pick the last choice “People you choose through targeting”. If you already have a lot of followers on your page, the middle choice might be better for you – trial and error.
If you choose targeting, you’ll get another box to help you define your audience. Name it anything you want (that’s for your use only), then choose keywords that fit your target. If you’re selling a product, choose similar products or brands. Facebook assigns keywords to each of us based on what we post, share and like through our personal profiles.
- You sell modern home décor items – choose “Ikea” as an Interest.
- You sell handmade soap – choose “Bath and Body Works”, “beauty” and “Organic”
Also choose your target age group, countries and gender.
Each choice will change the number of people in your potential audience. Don’t be afraid of a smaller number. Tight targets usually mean more conversions.
I sell books about the TV show Supernatural. I could target people interested in “ebooks” and “paranormal” but those people might not watch the TV series. But if I choose “Supernatural (the show title) and “Jensen Ackles” (the star), I’m sure to hit people who would be interested in my book. The key is to pick people who fit with your brand. Don't aim for bargain shoppers if you're selling $500 paintings.
Next: Choose the Budget
Facebook suggests a few round numbers but if you click the dropdown you can write in any amount you want. I’d suggest at least $10 just to get your feet wet. You might not gain anything from the first boost so choose a dollar amount that you’re comfortable with losing. Just remember, the less you spend, the smaller the potential audience.
Facebook will take your dollar amount and spread it over the number of days you select. For a small budget, 3 to 5 days is good.
Facebook has to approve your boost before it begins. Your post will still be live but they won’t show up in other people’s feed until it’s approved. Give it a few hours then go to the post and click on the analytics. Right away you’ll be able to see how many people have viewed your post and how many have clicked, shared, etc.
If it’s not going well, you can stop the boost before the end and you’ll only be charged for the amount spent up to that point.
With Facebook Post Boosts you are in control so there’s no worry about spending too much on a dud.
If nothing comes of it, don’t be discouraged. This is part of a long-term process to build your business. Try again with different targeting and a different ad. With boosted posts, the image is very important so make sure its enticing.
Ready to give it a try? Go for it.
If you have questions, leave them in the comment section and I’ll do my best to help. If you’ve already tried boosting Facebook posts, leave your thoughts on the process. Was it worth the cost? Was it easy?
Together, we can help all of our businesses grow and grow.