When should you boost a post on Facebook?

For most people, the first experience they've had with Facebook ads is the boost button.

(anyone else going to be thinking of the chocolate bar throughout this whole blog post or just me and my greedy butt?)

And it could also be why a lot of people think Facebook ads do not work.

Not because using the boost button is a bad idea. No, not at all.

But because they thought it was a quick fix. A quick "let's get more eyes on this and sell more" button and they weren't using the tips I'll outline below to maximise the chance of the ad doing well.

Y'see, here is the thing. Facebook ads are complicated.

And the boost button is like the shorter, dumber slightly less attractive sister of Facebook Ads Manager.

Running ads from Facebook Ads Manager will give you all the things. All the whistles and bells. It's how you set up fancy audiences, with intricate funnels and retargeting, and find your pixel and obsess over your CTR. 

But they're complicated and a steep learning curve and not one I believe every biz owner should make. Especially not if they are short on time, resources or cash (to both learn about FB ads and then to put into testing FB ads)

So I believe the boost function is a good compromise between never advertising on Facebook and becoming a Facebook ads pro.

When to know if to boost a post?

Boosts are just that - a boost to a post you've already made on your page to get more eyes on the post. 

But not every post should be boosted as some posts are just conversational, or educational or funny or trivial. 

Some posts should absolutely be boosted where there is a clear call to action and there is a purpose to the post (as in the reader needs to do something after reading), or if it is building awareness with your audience for an event or sale or new product or service.

As a rule of thumb, if a post is doing well organically, it will do well with a structured boost IF the purpose of the post is to engage with it. 

The most common misconception with boosts (and Facebook ads in general)

That if you bung £10/£20/£100 on ONE post that you'll get sales.

That may happen, and it can happen, but you have to consider about 92 things before you can guarantee that happening.

A few of those considerations are

  • Who was the boost shown to?
  • What stage along the customer journey are they? 
  • Is this only the second time they've seen a post from you therefore very unlikely to buy?
  • Was the post written well?
  • Was the photo / video on point?
  • Was that person seeing that ad already primed by you so then likely to buy or new to you so needed more time?

Putting money behind a post mean that more people will see it, but it doesn't mean that you'll naturally increase the chance for a sale. More views don't always equal more sales if there hasn't been a strategy ahead of that boosted post.

What is the goal of a boosted post?

When you create an ad from scratch in Ads Manager you have a whole plethora of ad objectives to choose from.

Facebook ad objectives.JPG

And when you boost a post it automatically assumes that you want "more post engagement".

But let's say you've boosted a post which is sending people to a link to your website or shop. The best objective here would actually be "traffic" which is found in Ads Manager but that's not an option with a boost.

This will explain why a boosted post with a "visit my shop now" call to action will not get the results you hoped whether that be traffic or sales as that was never the objective. 

Exactly the same if you boosted a video - you really want to tell Facebook to get more video views which again is an option on Ads Manager but not when you boost.

Choosing the right audience when boosting

So if you've dabbled with boosts before you'll most probably have boosted a post to your own page likers.

But did you know you can boost to your own detailed pre-set audiences? Most probably not, but you totally can (and should!). 

Create them in Ads Manager before you boost a post. 

Whilst we're on the subject of boost audiences, I really wouldn't ever recommend to choose "people who like your page and their friends". Why? Because the very very very slim chance of the friends of your page likers which will be made up of old work colleagues, long lost relatives in other countries, teenage cousins and what not will be your target audience. Don't waste your money. 

When to consider a boost

  • If you're on the go and you only have your mobile to hand and need an ad quick
  • When your post is for a specific promotion where the desired outcome is "post engagement"
  • When you have already set up the detailed targeted audiences in Ads manager and you can select them
  • When you are not bothered about the placement of the ad on Facebook
  • When the post has done well organically in the first 24 hours
  • When you have an audience of true fans already on your page and not other crafters/artists/peers/friends & family
  • When the visual has less than 20% text (will be rejected if more)

Hope that helps!

- Jackie