Facebook Boosted Posts are a Facebook Ad product that increases reach for specific Facebook Page updates.
Boosted Posts are labeled “sponsored” and appear at the top of the Newsfeeds (web and mobile) of people you target. When people interact with your Boosted post, that interaction is seen by their friends.
Facebook doesn’t sell engagement
You can’t pay Facebook to increase engagement on your Page posts, but you can pay for more reach (the number of people who see your update).
You are free to boost any update you choose (under these terms), and the shareholders will be happy to take your money. But as a general rule, it’s best to select ONLY updates that have a high engagement rate (more on this below).
NEWS: 4 New Ways to Target Boosted Posts
In the past, Boosting a post was like firing a shotgun. And like Elmer Fudd shooting at Bugs Bunny, you would rarely hit your intended target (or at least not effectively).
Now, you can target Facebook users with four options:
- Location – You can be as specific as cities or as broad as countries.
- Gender – Male or Female
- Age – 13 and up
- Interests – Target people based on Pages they like, closely related topics, apps they use, and specific ads they’ve clicked.
These new targeting options make Boosting a post is like shooting a bow and arrow, which is a lot more accurate than a shotgun.
Why bother targeting Boosted Posts?
Developing a practice of targeting ads accurately, has at least three benefits:
- Save Money – Ads that are well-targeted cost less than ads that are targeted too broadly.
- Avoid Spamming – targeting ads to people who are most likely to engage with the post lowers the likelihood that people would market as unwarranted or spamming.
- Think Strategically – Targeting ads based on location, gender, age and interest forces you understand your audience, a critical part of any social media strategy.
Getting Started with Facebook Boosted Posts [step-by-step guide]
When you pay to Boost a post, you’re only paying for more people to see that post. If you target too broadly – including people who will never support your cause – you’ll waste money.
First, let Facebook tell you what to target
Targeting people interested in your cause will result in a higher click-through rate (CTR) than targeting just anyone with a heartbeat.
Here are three ways to research the best targeting options with Facebook:
- Use Facebook Insights: Visit the “People” tab within Facebook Insights, and click on the “People Engaged” report (shown below).
- This report shows you demographic information for people who have engaged with your page content. Using the gender, age, and location criteria to target your Boosted Posts will increase the engagement rate for that post.
- Use Facebook Graph: You can also use Facebook graph search to help you define interests for your boosted posts. In this video, I show you several ways to use Graph Search to discover what your Facebook community likes.
- Use Facebook Ads: Finally, you can research the likes and interests of your donor database, using the Facebook Ad tool.
How to Boost a Facebook Page Post
After you’ve defined the demographics and interests that you’ll be targeting, you’re ready to boost your post.
All you have to do is follow these steps:
1. Click Boost – Click the Boost button at the bottom of any Facebook Page post (you have to be an admin first).
2. Target Your Post – Once you click “Boost”, a new window pops up, showing you two targeting options:
- People who like your page and their friends (way too broad)
- People you choose through targeting
When you select the second option, targeting fields will display (as shown below).
Fill in these fields with the information you discovered from using Facebook insights, Graph search, and your Custom Email Audience.
3. Save Your Audience – You’ll want to save your targeting criteria for future posts.
Give your audience a name and click “Save”.
4. Select Run Dates – Next, select the run dates for your boosted post (click “More Options”).
Your choices are 1 to 7 days. If you want your ad to run longer, you’ll have to use the advanced advertising options.
5 Tips for Boosting Facebook Posts
Here are five tips for Boosting Posts that you can remember as the BOOST method:
- B – Boost Your Best
- O – Optimize Targeting
- O – Optimize Content
- S – Synch Channels
- T – Test and Measure
Let’s go over each one of these in greater detail.
B – Boost Your Best
When you boost only your best stuff, you increase the likelihood that people who see it will engage with your post. That’s because it’s good stuff!
Use your Page Insights to select from the top 10% within a given time period.
Start with three months or 100 posts, whichever is greater.
Decide which posts you’ll Boost, based on high engagement rate AND how relevant it is to your current marketing goals.
O – Observe Your Engaged Fans
You want to get your posts in front of people who:
- Want to see it.
- Won’t hide it.
- Will comment, like and share it.
Again, engagement is your ultimate goal, not reach.
To select the best demographics for Boosted Posts, view the People Engaged report within Facebook Insights.
O – Optimize Your Content
There may be cases when your best performing updates aren’t directly related to your promotion. If so, simply edit the post description (or status update) and include a call-to-action and link to your campaign landing page.
Make sure your edits feel natural and aren’t forced.
S – Synch With Other Marketing Channels
The best type of plan is a well orchestrated plan.
Make sure you use other marketing channels to create more quality reach for your Boosted Posts:
- SEND AN EMAIL: Send an email message to a targeted group of subscribers talking about a particular update, and how you love to hear their comments as well.
- SPREAD IT AROUND: If the updated photo, post it on Pinterest and link back to your Facebook update. Publish 2 to 3 pins for each boost to post, but publish these overtime. Extend this idea to Instagram and Tumblr, but keep in mind that you need an engaged community for this to work.
- BLOG ABOUT IT: Find a way to write a blog post about your upcoming event our fundraiser, and tie-in one of your top-performing posts. This kills two birds with one stone – creating more reach for the update, while sourcing high-quality content for your blog. You’ll look like a hero!
T – Test and Measure
If you’re serious about using Facebook to create awareness for your cause, eventually you have to buy ads. Developing a habit of testing various approaches to Boosting posts to find out what works best for your community.