Facebook, the social media giant that has reigned king over the last decade, has been hard at work transforming its business model to better suit its users. A major part of this transformation includes showing less organic business-related content in viewers’ newsfeed. Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement earlier this year in which he stated that Facebook’s algorithm would change to prioritize “meaningful social interactions” over “relevant content” while de-prioritizing videos, photos, and posts shared by businesses and media outlets.
When it comes to organically posting on Facebook, a lot of businesses are seeing a decrease in their posts’ overall Reach—resulting in a drop in engagement and conversions. Some brands, however, are managing just fine thanks to their strong Facebook following and creativity. If interested, check out our other blog post on how to succeed organically on Facebook even with the new adjustments to the algorithm.
After trying some of our suggestions, the question then becomes—what about businesses that are still losing reach, engagement, and conversions with their organic posts? The answer: boosting. Boosting, in general, is a wonderful and easy-to-use tool for anyone who wants their posts to reach a larger audience. With as much as just a few dollars, you can see a post with an organic Reach of 100 make it to over 1,000. For a lot of businesses, it’s time to pay-to-play. Here are some of our top tips for boosting Facebook posts so that you aren’t sending your marketing budget down the drain:
1. Find an Already Successful Organic Post to Boost
Regardless of the recent algorithm changes, there is still a need for businesses to be on Facebook and—more importantly—to be posting frequently. Some posts will outperform others. In those cases, Facebook will actually display something under your post that looks like this:
This is generally a good indicator of what posts will do well with a few extra bucks behind them, since they’re already doing well organically. You can almost consider your organic posting to be an experiment and once you have a top performing post, you feel justified to put some money behind it. If you don’t see that notification from Facebook for which posts are performing best, just keep an eye on what posts are performing better than others—e.g. greater reach, more comments and likes, etc.
2. Target the Right Audience
To reach potential viewers, make sure you select the right audience when boosting your post. When selecting an audience, you can choose from:
People you choose through targeting: Select the gender and age range of the people who would be interested in your post. Choose the appropriate geographic location you want your audience to be from. Select the interests of your desired audience—such as their hobbies, favorite tv shows, job titles, etc. This is useful if you know who your target audience is really well.
People who Like your page: Simple enough. This option will boost your post only to people who Like your Facebook page. This is useful if your page has 10k Likes, but average posts only receive a few hundred in Reach.
People who Like your page and their friends: This option will target people who Like your page and their friends. This is useful for reaching a larger audience than just your current following on Facebook. As an added bonus, the hope is that the friends of your followers have similar interests as your followers.
Custom Audiences: If you run Facebook ads, you’ve most likely created customer audiences. When boosting a Facebook post, you can use those same exact custom audiences. If you don’t run Facebook ads, you can still create a Business Manager account for your business, attach a Pixel to your website, create custom audiences, and use them for your boosting. This will allow you to target past website visitors, lookalike audiences, imported customer lists, and much more.
3. Set a Proper Budget
How much you spend will depend greatly on your marketing budget. Decide on a “boosting” budget for each month and then strategize how to go about spending it. For example, at Big Leap, we set a goal to boost every blog post we release. We know that we put out 8 blog posts per month, so all we have to do is take our monthly budget and divide it by 8. Then we know exactly how much money we should use to boost each post.
A general rule of thumb: the more money you spend, the greater the reach.
4. Choose Your Duration Wisely
How long do you want your post to show up in people’s news feed for? If it is an upcoming event, set the duration of the boost to lead right up to the day of the event. Remember, however, that the longer the duration, the less budget is being spent each day. If you’re boosting an urgent post or a post that’s only specific to that day, set the duration for one day.
Big Leap releases Marketing Minute Monday videos every Monday. At first, we were boosting each video post for a seven-day duration. After a few weeks, we realized it might not make sense for our Marketing Minute Monday videos to show up in people’s news feeds on Thursday. Now, we simply set them to run all day Monday.
5. Add a Call-To-Action Button
If you’re going to put money behind promoting a post, you might as well allow for a conversion opportunity. Some posts you boost might already have a link to your website, but what about video, photo, graphics, and company announcement posts you boost on Facebook without any link in it? Try adding a button. All of the classic call-to-actions are at your disposal: Learn More, Shop Now, Book Now, Sign Up, etc. After adding a button, choose a link for the button.
Pro tip: Don’t just drop them off on your home page. Take them to a relevant page on your website or a landing page.
6. Test Out the Placement of Your Boosted Post
There is one item that is generally overlooked in the boosting process: Automatic Placement. In the boosting screen, you’ll see that Automatic Placement is defaulted to ON. In Facebook’s own words, your ads will automatically be shown to your audience in the places they’re likely to perform best. Just like testing out placements with your Facebook ads, try testing out placements for your boosted posts. Generally, the default is for your posts to show on Facebook feeds only. You can, however, switch off Automatic Placement and see how well your posts perform in Messenger and on Instagram.
7. Set Goals and Review Results
Just like everything in marketing, KPIs are important. Be sure as you dive into the world of boosting that you take time to set some reasonable goals. Back to the example of Big Leap’s blog posts, we have a goal for how many people we want to reach and how many clicks we want on the post. Since setting these goals, we have adjusted our monthly budget, tested out different audiences, and have learned that the amount of text we had in our blog post graphic was hindering our boosting performance.
After the campaign ends, find the post and click on View Results under Recent activity.
In this screen, you will be able to review the set parameters and the results. Results include the actions people took and the age, gender, and location of the people taking actions. Use these results to review what is working and what could use some improvements. If you reached all of your KPI’s, try setting some more aggressive goals for your next boosted post or add some more budget.
If your business is struggling with Facebook’s new algorithms, or if you’re just looking to extend the reach and engagement of an organic post you really like, make sure to give boosting a try. It’s easier than running Facebook ads and more beneficial than just sticking to organic posting.