This is a fantastic question with the answer you probably expected: it depends. Deciding to boost a post on Facebook is a case by case/brand by brand choice and below you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions to help you make the right decision.
That said, the real reason why it’s good to consider boosting your content falls into the category of “things you probably already know” – engagement and reach are down considerably for Facebook business pages. Numbers reported in April 2020 suggest that organic reach is about 5.2% or every “19 fans” on a page will see your posts. (Raw data here and interpreted data here)
Looking for ways to improve this metric is one of the leading reasons why it’s good to consider boosting your content. As a business owner, if your budget is tight, you need a high-impact, low-cost way to reach more prospective clients/buyers. Boosting Facebook posts (as opposed to paying for traditional Facebook ads) is one very economical way to do that.
The other big benefit of boosting is that you can reach beyond your fan base when you do this. You’re not limited to only the people who have liked your page. Your boosted post is sent to an audience you select (more on this below) and this is a great way to reach both current clients and potential customers who need your service, but don’t yet know your brand.
If you read no further, the answer to the question “Is boosting posts on Facebook worth it” is yes. Here’s how you can benefit from it:
Let’s start with the one rule that matters the most: it has to happen from a Business Facebook page.
Facebook decided some time ago that people didn’t use the boost feature on personal pages, so it was eliminated. So to start, you need a business page. (Here’s how to create one). If you are still using a personal Facebook page for your business ventures, leveraging the traffic and engagement opportunities that come from boosting may be the incentive you need to finally make the move to a business page. Without one, the rest of the benefits are not available to you.
Boosting A Post On Facebook Costs Money, But How Much?
The minimum spend is $1 a day. You can of course go higher, but you can also start small. Next you need to consider how long you want your spend or “campaign” to last for. One of the questions Facebook will ask when you set up your campaign is the date range… Do you want to spend $1 a day for 7 days? $5 a day for 5 days? You get to decide. Facebook will show you when you select the timeframe what the expected reach is (in other words: how many people it estimates will see the post); that will help you make the smartest decision.
Also, spending your budget over a prolonged period of time will allow you to reach different audiences who have different behaviors on Facebook. Some people log in to Facebook every day. Other people do it much less frequently. You want to maximize your opportunities wherever you can, and boosting over several days helps.
That said, anecdotally most of our clients achieve the best results when they limit the length of a boost to no more than 7 days. Clients need to see the different sides of your business, so having new content on a consistent basis really does help. (You don’t want to promote the same message to the same people again and again.)
Facebook will spend your money equally over the day. So it’s not necessary to declare what time of day your post will be boosted. Facebook knows how to distribute your content across the day based on user activity, so you won’t have the option of choosing “time of day” for boosting. All you can pick is the number of days it will boost.
Finally, if you have been writing and marketing content for some time, you can gain a little insight into what days of the week to boost by looking at your Google Analytics account in the “users visit” report. This will show you what days of the week people access your website most frequently. It may highlight days when you have no traffic or days when you naturally have a lot. Use this information to help make the decision about campaign length so you spend your budget wisely.
(If you’re unsure about Google Analytics, we can help you. Send us an email for a complimentary call to discuss your marketing plans/website and how to boost your growth today.)
The #1 Facebook Boosting Tip
Narrow your audience. Lots of people get this wrong because they think, “Let me try to reach the most number of people possible”. While that sounds wise, it’s actually not. Here’s why. The more sophisticated we have become using the Internet, the more we all know that with a little looking, we can actually find the exact thing we’re looking for.
That means generic headlines, blast campaigns, and overly broad audiences get less than they used to. It’s better to set a narrow focus based on what you know about your audience and your buyers than it is to say something generic like, “This is good for all men over 30”. While that may be true, if your actual clients are really men 40-45, you want to reach those guys above anyone else.
But narrowing your audience isn’t limited to the demographics. When you select your audience, you can also choose people who like your page (your real fans) as well as “lookalike” audiences. For serious Facebook boosters, this is an important variable to consider.
Another way to say “lookalike” is competition. Who is ahead of you in your field? Who is making greater gains/strides in their business that you would like to model? If you’re selling a similar product or addressing a similar concern, their audience likely would benefit from your articles.
Let’s Talk Through A Practical Marketing Strategy That Leverages Boosting For Your Benefit
Let’s say you’re a couples therapist and you recently launched a new course about managing relationship stress during the pandemic. Your course is on Teachable and to market the course, you’re writing articles about the kinds of stress couples face. Each article has a call-to-action that links to Teachable to register for the class. This is a pretty classic marketing plan (and with the right articles and strong SEO, well worth replicating).
So what’s the smartest way to use Facebook in this scenario? Decide based on your Google Analytics data which articles get the best results. This means the number of readers, time spent reading the article, and any additional conversions you can measure. Sort the list of articles from most important to least, and then schedule them for boosting on Facebook one at a time.
Spend some time thinking about who else in the relationship space has a like-minded audience. Do people who read popular authors like John Gottman also stand to benefit from your course? What about John Gray or Brené Brown? Think broadly and secularly — not just for an exact match.
Lookalike audiences have similar buying habits, which is why they are so valuable. If someone is a reader of relationship advice, then they are more likely to consider other authors like you to gain knowledge from. Why? Because of their values.
People who prioritize learning are not particular to the author; their value is the knowledge gained. Although they may be loyal to a specific author, they value learning above all. Therefore, if you offer something that feeds that ideal, it has a chance to be read. Boosting “ups the odds” that the right person will see it so it’s POSSIBLE for them to read it. If you don’t boost your post, there is a much smaller chance that they will ever even see your article (and all of the great advice it contains).
Now, of course, the quality of the piece and the right headline matter, but that’s for another article.
What Else Do You Need To Know?
Remember that you can’t boost from a personal account.
If you want to stop a boost, simply log into your account and click the “stop boost” button. The spend will stop going forward.
Because the budgets are small you can experiment with different audiences. This insight is invaluable for you as you learn who takes action after seeing your posts.
Don’t boost as soon as you publish. Ideally, give your articles a little time to gain traction from either an organic audience or from your regular sharing on social media and your newsletter.
Boost pieces you KNOW work. And don’t feel like once you boost them that they can’t be boosted again. Space things out and repeating them is ok.
Facebook boosts are not ads. That’s a different program. You can see ads easily in your news feed because the word “sponsored” is on every one. Boosted articles just appear without the warning label. (This could of course change, Facebook’s known to change things!)
If your boost is declined, pay attention to why. Is the content poorly written? Does it include claims that are unsubstantiated or not true? Is the topic too dicey for Facebook (think about sex here – not to be confused with sexual health)? And finally, when in doubt, use Facebook’s forums to ask/review questions. They don’t always answer, but often your question has been asked by other people.
So, is boosting posts on Facebook worth it? Yes, it is. Just be mindful of your spending and track your results. Lots of people think a little money here and there is reasonable, and the wisest among us tracks to know which articles do the most good, so the results are repeatable.
Need help figuring this all out? Just ask. We’re here to help you with your article and content strategy so you close more sales and reach more people. After all, your value is helping people and you can’t do that if people don’t know what you offer.