You know how it is: you post something onto your Facebook Page, and no one sees it. It’s not like no one cares, its that your post is not showing up in their Facebook News Feed. It makes you want to do a frowny face 😦 !
Facebook obviously became really all about the money when it comes to Facebook Pages. Nowadays, it’s basically expected that you’ll pay some money to “boost” a post or your page so that someone will see it. This is really obnoxious, unless you realize how to make it work to your advantage rather than against you.
Facebook Post Boosts can work if you plan them the right way. They can even work if your Page doesn’t have a lot of Facebook fans yet. In fact, doing a post boost can mimic having your post shown in front of an audience that is targeted (not as fine tuned as a Facebook Ad in Power Editor, but good enough for the usual intents and purposes) and, depending on your budget, hundreds or possibly thousands of people that would be fans of your page if they had clicked the Like button. This is the reason why most people tell you it’s not that important to have a lot of Facebook Page fans anymore; you can’t get too many posts in front of them for nothing any more anyway, even if they are fans.
Now I’ll explain in detail what I have been doing the past 3 out of 4 weekends and give you some idea of what to expect. Last month I ran a deal on my first book and on the “box set” of books 1-3. I designed a Facebook Page post that looked like this:
I created the graphic according to Facebook’s normal guidelines for ads. Then I just put the link to the page I wanted people to go to (which was a special sale page on my blog with links to all the sellers, rather than a direct link to Amazon) and Facebook got the text generated from WordPress. I went in and changed a bit of it so it looked a little cleaner, and then I published the post.
The next thing I did was click the “Boost Post” button. If you don’t have an advertising account with Facebook, they will have you set it up before boosting your first post. If you are working on the desktop, a smaller box appears in the middle of the screen. It’s essentially Ads Manager Lite. You have the choice of a few different budgets (I picked $5.00 over 2 days, which was pretty much the minimum) and you can choose whether you want the post to be boosted to people who have already liked your page along with their friends and family, OR you can choose an audience that is targeted toward demographics and location, like with normal ads. The latter is definitely your better option, as there’s no guarantee that people who liked your page necessarily have friends that would like your content, and that would be a big waste of money. Not only that, but people who have liked your page might not appreciate that “Jane Doe liked this page” posts are showing up in their friends News Feeds. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know… Anyway, you have a minimum of four interests to add to your targeting, along with the country or countries, and the age group and gender you want to target.
I easily ended up with about seven interests. Again, it’s not as micro targeted as Ads built in the Power Editor, but actually, I think the boosted post ought to be shown to as many people as Facebook thinks it’s possible. Also, with Boosted Posts, there is no choosing the aim of the campaign like website clicks, website conversions, or any of that. Instead, Facebook just boosts the post, and if people interact with it with post likes and shares, then Facebook makes it look like they are “charging you” for those interactions. Frankly, I didn’t much care about likes or shares (although the version of the post I used the second week got about 13 likes), I cared more about clicks to the page and how many people bought books and where they bought them from.
Facebook then boosts your post after they approve it. Yes, they have to approve Boosted Posts just like any other ad, which is why I made sure the graphic was up to specifications. If you use the Facebook Ads app for your smart phone, you can check on how your post is doing on the go. Facebook will send a message through Messenger when the post is approved.
The first Boosted Post I did with the budget of $5.00 over 2 days was 801 people reached (people who I never would have reached, even when Facebook wasn’t throttling Page posts to death like now). That resulted in about 3 post likes and one new Page like. The next one was shown to far fewer people (289) but it got 13 post likes. I noticed the correlation between more page and post likes = less exposure for the post.
I skipped last week, since the sale was ending and it was Mother’s Day. This weekend, I did a bit of a different post boost: I have a link to a blog post I did about the difference between Steampunk and Gaslamp fantasy, and I have a CTA at the end of the post for mailing list sign ups. I’m hoping to get a couple of new mailing list sign ups and a few new free book downloads with this boosted post, but since it’s not done yet, I don’t have much to report about the success of this one, aside from that I already have 3 post likes, one new Page like, and some more traffic to the actual blog post. We’ll see if the approach I’m taking with the mailing list sign ups is too subtle (I don’t have the über obnoxious pop up box on my site yet, but I’ll do it if I have to!)
Do you have any experience with Facebook Boosted Posts? Do you prefer just straight ads instead of the light version you get with Boosted Posts?