Don’t Waste your Money Boosting Facebook Posts

This article was written by Yael Warman, Content Manager at .

Behold the massive world of Facebook. With more than 1.71 billion active users (1.57 billion on mobile), marketers around the world know that in order to reach audiences, Facebook is a must-have tool.

For your brokerage, having a Facebook presence means having the opportunity to be found more easily by potential traders, sharing your knowledge with your audience and establishing yourself as an industry expert, promoting your content, sharing promotions and developing a strong brand identity in a tone that is more casual, friendly and relatable to your audience.

Using Facebook to generate leads is one aspect of Facebook that fascinates marketers and one that you should be pursuing, but in order to make sure you are not throwing your marketing dollars down the drain, I want to talk to you about the dos and don’ts.

DON’T boost your posts. Ahhhh, there, I said it.

Back story

Let me give you a bit of the back story first. About four years ago, after having launched its ad platform, Facebook realized it wasn’t so easy to manage and so it decided to introduce the very easy-to-use ‘promote post’ feature, which allowed you to promote your posts directly from your Facebook page. Promote post later became ‘boost post’, but remained the same in nature.

With organic reach going down by the minute, many marketers are giving posts a bit of paid help and many are turning to the boost post function for this. I know, boosting posts is so easy, the button is right there and with literally two clicks of the mouse it’s done, but beware. Boosting posts is essentially the short way of creating a Facebook ad, however, it is also the wrong way of doing it.

Why is it such a bad idea to boost a post?

  1. You can’t choose your objective. When you click on that boost button to promote one of your posts, Facebook will let you choose an audience, budget and set the duration of your campaign. What it doesn’t let you choose is your objective and that is one of the reason why boosting a post is not a good idea. The default objective of the boost feature is set as ‘Page post engagement’. Well, what if your post has the objective of generating website clicks? Sorry, nope, nada. Facebook will optimize for engagement, so while your post may get a ton of likes and maybe even comments, just a small fraction of those users who see your post will click through to your website.
  2. The targeting isn’t great. When you are selecting your targeting options on the boost post interface, Facebook will ask you if you want to target 1) people who like your page, 2) people who like your page and their friends and 3) people you choose through targeting. The first two options will put your post in front of an audience comprised of around 30% irrelevant users, so forget about those. The third option, while it does let you choose certain criteria, offers rather limited choices, so you’ll still be wasting your budget.
  3. You can’t choose placement. When you are using boost post, Facebook doesn’t let you choose where you want to place your ads. The default options for placement are Desktop News Feed and Mobile News Feed and Facebook will choose the cheapest in order to “optimize” your campaign. I put optimize in quotation marks, because if Facebook doesn’t know what your objective is, then it can destroy your campaign rather than optimize it. Let’s say your objective is to get people to open an account with your brokerage and Facebook decided to place 99% of your budget on Mobile News Feed because it is cheaper and this made sense to its algorithm. Conversion on mobile is two to three lower than on desktop even with the most responsive of sites, so if your objective is conversion and Facebook decides to shoot most of your budget towards mobile, the chances of you achieving your objective are slim at best.

What about the dos?

Do create ads using the Ads Manager interface. While it may take you a few minutes longer to go this route, Ads Manager will let you choose the most suitable objective for your campaign, your target audience much more specifically and allow you to select where your ads get placed. This kind of control over your campaign will undoubtedly guarantee a much better ROI.

There you have it. A kick in the seat of the pants and a slap in the face…book for you. I hope it helps you truly optimize your social media dollars.

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