I am going to start right off by saying that I am a big fan of Facebook and Facebook advertising for business. In spite of all the recent negative press about Facebook (think the end of organic reach, the cambridge analytica data scandal) I still believe strongly in the platform and its ability to help your business.
But there is one thing I want you to stop doing immediately.
I want you to stop boosting your posts.
Right this minute.
Resist the urge to do the easy thing, the thing Facebook wants you to do as it is easy money for them. But, it is not necessarily smart money for you.
I am not saying don’t advertise inside Facebook. Far from it.
I want you to advertise inside the platform, but I want you to do it in a strategic and more cost effective way. I want you to advertise inside Facebook but I want you to focus on the outcome, what is the result you want to achieve. Getting more people to see your post has its place, but it’s often not the only reason or the right reason.
Why just boosting posts within Facebook doesn't work
Successful Facebook advertising means bringing together the right combination of
- The right objective
- The right audience
- In the right places
- At the right budget
- For the right time with
- The right copy.
When you boost a post, you can’t actually do all of those things.
For a start, you can’t choose an objective.
Ask yourself these questions, what do you want people to do, what is the result you want, do you want more traffic to your website, more email signups, more sales, more video views or just more engagement with the post?
When you boost a post, the objective is set - it is just engagement. That is OK if you want to get more likes or comments on that post. But will it turn into subscribers, or website visitors or buyers?
Often the answer is no.
How the Facebook algorithm and Facebook Ads work together
The reason for this is that Facebook’s algorithm knows who to show ads to based on what they do inside Facebook, ie it looks at how they behave inside Facebook, do they click through to websites, do they buy from posts, do they read posts or are they just clickers. This is called optimisation and Facebook does this each time you advertise inside their platform, it selects people from within your audience choice that will respond best to the kind of ad objective you have chosen.
So when you just boost a post, Facebook sets the objective as Engagement, meaning that it will only show the boosted post to those people within your chosen audience, most likely to like the post, comment on the post or share the post. Even if the post is one with a link within it.
If you have a post talking about a product or service you sell, then boosting the post is not a useful choice at all, because what we want people to do is click through and visit the website page we are talking about. We need to be clear on what we want people to actually do.
If we want people to buy a product, then we need to tell Facebook that is our objective from the very beginning, otherwise, our ads will fail. This is the single biggest reason why ads fail inside Facebook or why they don’t seem to get traction. We want people to do one thing - ie visit our website, but we ask Facebook to send us people that are only like to like our post and not go anywhere or do the next step.
But what if you have one of those awesome posts that are resonating with your audience and Facebook is prompting you to boost it?
Don’t Do it!
This is what you can do instead.
How to create an ad using that post inside Facebook Ads Manager.
Go to your Facebook Ads Manager Account
Click on Create Campaign
All Facebook ads consist of 3 parts
- an overarching campaign
- ad set - who is going to see the ad, when, where, at what cost and for how long.
- ad creative - this is what the ad looks like, it can be created from scratch or you can choose a post to be the creative. This is how you should promote your Facebook posts rather than just hitting the boost button.
Choose the right objective - do you want people to respond to the post OR do you want them to do something else?
If the post is a video, choose Video Views, if the post is product or service related choose Traffic. If you want more people to like your page, like the post or comment on the post, choose Engagement
Name your campaign so that it ties back to your post
Complete your normal targeting, budgeting and placement options and then choose Existing post for your ad creative component. (More on this part later.)
Select the post and review how it looks for each placement ( Facebook Feed, Mobile Feed, Instagram Feed, Instant Articles for example
Then hit submit.
This is going help Facebook know who are the best people to put your ad in front of. It means that you will get the best outcome from promoting the post, rather than simply hitting the easy option, which is the boost button.
So next time Facebook tells you that you have a post that is working and suggests you promote the post. Resist the urge to hit to boost button and follow the steps above instead.
Are you ready to move beyond the boost button?
Facebook Advertising is a powerful and successful way of driving traffic, generating leads and creating sales for your business. But so many businesses are just not doing this well.
Don't be one of them.
New live round starts 23rd of April.