There is a tough reality when it comes to Facebook: in spite of its 2 billion+ user base, it can be hard for businesses to stand out on the platform. No matter how big your audience is (100 fans or 100,000 fans), a lot of your organic posts are probably reaching somewhere between 2 to 10% of them. Not that many, right?
So what on earth can you do to increase your social media engagement on the platform and, as a result, get more people invested in your business and the products or services you offer? While it may not always be the most desired answer, it often comes down to paying via ads or boosted posts.
In this blog, I’ll be focusing on boosting Facebook posts, and will cover the following:
• Why you have to pay on social media;
• How much boosting a post costs;
• How to boost a Facebook post; and
• Examples of success
“Why Do I Have to Pay?”
No one wants to have to pay to reach their target audience on social media – it’s a pretty common opinion. But keep this in mind: Facebook isn’t the only social network that chooses what it does and doesn’t show in users’ main feeds.
A similar algorithm that determines a post’s visibility is used by LinkedIn, Instagram, and even Twitter nowadays. If your business is on social media, you are bound to their algorithms, whether you like it or not.
Social networks are like free-to-air TV. They’re free to use and enjoy for the average person, but they are funded by companies advertising on them. Facebook is not alone in wanting your company to invest money in them to achieve greater reach and increase your profits made through the social network.
One of the best things about boosting a Facebook post is how cheap it can be. You could spend no more than $25 to boost a post for a week, and that could result in thousands of people being reached and social engagement that numbers in the hundreds.
Just take a look at the numbers we hit for a boosted post before we had even used up half the budget. Over 5,000 people were reached, and we had almost 500 social engagements on the post.
Boosting Facebook Posts
When it comes to paying on Facebook, one of the most affordable options is boosting a post. A boosted post is when you take any everyday post you made on your business’s Facebook page and put some money behind it so it reaches more people. There are no specific objectives to a boosted post beyond the fact that it will reach more Facebook users.
That said, you can still be strategic and opt to boost posts that could foster specific results: contest entries, visits to your site, promoting sales events, encouraging people to Like your page, etc.
You can boost the post at the time of creating it, or come back to it later down the line and boost it retroactively.
Once you have chosen to boost your post, you’re presented with a few key options to define your audience. Your main options include boosting your post among your current fans, fans and their Facebook friends, and a custom audience (so you choose exactly who you want to reach). If you choose to create a custom audience, you will be presented with the following:
Options include selecting gender; age range; the location/s of your ideal audience; and additional detailed targeting such as job title, interests, their behavior on Facebook, etc.
With this information on hand, Facebook will give an estimate of how many users you could potentially reach. When you choose how much you’re open to paying in total, that audience estimate will adjust accordingly. As you’d expect, the less you spend, the less people you’ll reach.
Along with the price, you will also select how long you want the boosted post to run for. There are default options of 1, 7, and 14 days, or you can choose a custom end date. Your total budget will then be taken and distributed across those number of days (e.g. $40 over 7 days equates to $5.71 per day). Facebook has further information in their help center here.
An Example of Success
Above are the results of a boosted post we ran on our Odenza Sports Vacations page. With an investment of $40, the post reached 10,499 people and garnered 313 acts of social engagement, which included 79 clicks through to our offer page.
But what about the kind of results that most businesses are going to want the most? Do boosted posts actually lead to a profit?
The Financial Success of Boosting Facebook Posts
For Odenza’s B2C side (in this case, the Odenza Sports Vacations Facebook page), boosting posts have led to phenomenal results. To give you an indication of just how effective boosting your Facebook posts can be for overall ROI, here are some key results:
• Over the course of one month, we spent $120 on 4 boosted posts through our Odenza Sports Vacations page
• We generated 226 leads, and 16 of these leads became closed bookings
• Our cost per lead was only 53 cents
But how much money did we actually make? Well, on average each booking amounted to around $109. Within two bookings, we had already made our money back. In total, our revenue was $1,747 – that’s a whopping 1355.83% return on investment.
Now we’re not making any promises that you’re going to hit the same kind of ROI, because the success of boosting Facebook posts does depend on a wide range of factors. It goes without saying that if you want to make money off your boosted posts, you’ll want to ensure you’re boosting a post that is about an appealing limited time offer or something like a contest.
Another point worth remembering is that, in general, Facebook is a platform better suited to B2C. Most people don’t jump on Facebook to talk business, but if you’re boosting a post that is offering your average customer something really enticing and exciting, then you’ll have a far greater chance of success. Keep in mind that younger Facebook users tend to be more receptive to contests and/or promotions than older users.
Also ensure that whatever posts you boost have good design – an eye-catching image or video, for example. You’ll want this solid design to be accompanied by copy that breaks down your offer or special in a succinct, understandable manner, and comes with a link to exactly where the customer can redeem the offer.
There is power in boosting Facebook posts when approached correctly. Whether you handle this on your own or have an agency handle it for you, it’s an avenue of social media advertising that is certainly worth pursuing.
If you are looking for easy-to-use and effective prizes for a campaign on Facebook, consider the following:
• Tickets to an event
• Giveaway or cruise promotion
• A trip to Las Vegas