Don’t hate me, but I have some bad news. There is nothing good about the Facebook Boost Post button! You may have heard us talk about how Facebook has decreased their organic reach, making it almost impossible for your audience to see your posts without paying money. In case you weren’t aware, since Facebook changed its algorithm to benefit “the people” and not businesses, only 2% of your audience actually see your posts organically. It sucks, we know!
As organic reach continues to plummet we know how tempting it can be to press that big blue 'Boost Post' button underneath all your posts. Facebook makes it incredibly inviting, promising you massive results in just a few simple, easy steps. Yes - you can press that button and within a few simple clicks, you can be on your way to reaching 10x the amount of people than you were initially, but are they really the audience you want to be targeting? And how much control do you really have over where your advertising budget goes? The answer. Very little.
By pressing that button, you may as well just set up a direct debit into Mr Zuckerberg’s bank account because that’s where the majority of your advertising money will go, with very little return. Now don’t get us wrong, the 'Boost Post' button has improved its targeting over time, however, it still offers limited control over your ad campaign, meaning you are paying to get your content in front of users who may not resonate with your business.
Feeling lost already? Let’s backtrack. What is the Boost Post button and how does it work?
In simple, it offers a quick and easy way to spend money and reach more people with your Facebook and Instagram posts. The 'Boost Post' button is the small, but inviting blue button that appears under all your Facebook and Instagram posts when you have a business account set up.
By pressing this button, Facebook creates a new Facebook Ad campaign for the post you choose to promote for Post Engagements. Once you input your desired targeting, budget, campaign length and payment method, your post is delivered to the News Feed of users who fit within the general targeting parameters chosen. While yes, your content will reach more people by pressing the magic blue button, the majority of these users aren’t necessarily going to convert or respond to your content in a way that will make a significant impact on your business.
Facebook learns from its users’ behaviours and uses this data to build the right audience for your ad. This is not only based on users interests and demographics, but also their platform behaviour. If you choose as the ‘Traffic’ campaign objective, Facebook will optimise for link clicks to the URL chosen in your ad. If it’s ‘Conversions’ you’re after, Facebook will analyse everyone who they know to convert online (guilty) and will try to reach similar people first.
As our goal is to direct potential customers off Facebook to achieve your ultimate marketing goal, the ‘Post Engagement’ objective that Boost Post offers isn’t always going to deliver you the strongest results. Managing your campaign through Ads Manager gives you more power to control your campaign and get a better return.
Let’s break it down. Why is Boosting a Post on Facebook so bad?
1. You can’t optimise your campaign for the best results.
Facebook will optimise your ad based on what objective you’ve set. When you create campaigns in Ads Manager (the right way) you can select from a range of objectives and match this with your marketing goals. After all, you don’t just splash your cash with no goal in mind. You want to know you are getting an ROI, whether that be Leads, Website Traffic or Conversions. The Boosted Post feature isn’t designed to let you optimise for specific marketing goals as they are only optimised for engagement. By simply ‘Boosting’ your post, Facebook will only optimise your post for ‘Post Engagements’ which is not leveraging the full power of Facebook’s advertising platform and you will not get a maximum gain for your business.
2. There is no way to split test your ads
It doesn’t matter how well you know your audience, chances are that Facebook knows way more about their habits than you do. If you’re only putting up one ad (like a boosted post), you have no way to discover which parts of the ad your audience resonates with and which parts are a total flop. With no ability to A/B test your ad copy and creative you have no real data to analyse to improve how you communicate with your audience over time. Instead, you could be making the same mistakes over and over and throwing your budget down the drain.
3. You can only boost published posts on your page timeline
This takes away the ability to create an ‘off-page’ strategy, meaning you can only promote posts that you have already uploaded onto your timeline. An off-page strategy is ideal as it lets you create ads for a specific target audience, ones that may not be relevant to post on your page. It is also extremely difficult to create a funnel strategy and serve your customers ads based on where they are in their customer journey.
Considering the average person needs to see something 7 times before taking action, a funnel strategy is extremely valuable in today’s saturated market. Furthermore, you can’t run ads and exclude certain audiences from seeing them. For example, if you were an online store trying to get online sales, it wouldn't be optimal to continue using your budget to show your ad to a customer who has already made a purchase. In Ads Manager you have the ability to exclude certain audiences from your campaign based on the rules you set.
In today’s ‘pay to play’ landscape, it’s important you are getting the most bang for your buck, and as we’ve now all learned, boosting posts just isn’t that. At the end of the day, Boosting is designed for quick and easy results and not to help you create a well-optimised campaign. If you’re a business looking to “just” increase social proof and engagement on the post via more likes and comments then go ahead and keep boosting your posts. However, if you want to harness the true potential of Facebook Ads and start reaching your marketing goals then drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat!