We’re often approached by business owners asking for advice on Facebook advertising. One of the most common questions is: when should I boost my posts? and, when should I promote my post? These are great questions. Facebook doesn’t provide much guidance on the topic and understanding the similarities and differences between them will allow you to make better budgeting decisions.
In this article I’ll explain the differences between boosted and promoted posts and I will share my tips on when to use them both.
Why pay for posts on Facebook anyway?
You’ve probably already experienced the decreased reach for organic content on Facebook pages. This has turned Facebook into a ‘pay to play’ platform. I’ve heard many marketers and business owners shouting and raging about it… However, we should see it as an opportunity. Facebook provides us with the best advertising platform available today. Do you really expect that to be free?
You don’t need to boost or promote all your posts. It really depends on your goals and audience. We always advise clients to boost/promote the posts that could have an actual ROI from being seen by a wider audience. We also advise to only promote content that you own. Even if it’s a great piece of content from someone else, don’t pay to send traffic to someone else’s website.
What are boosted posts?
A boosted post is a post from your business page that, for a fee, can be served to more people. The amount you spend depends on how many people you want that post to reach. With boosted posts, you’re spending money on impressions.
Boosted posts are very easy to do and Facebook actively encourages you to do them. You’ve probably seen the notification that says “Your post ‘xyz’ is performing 95% better than your other posts…”. This makes it very easy for people to boost their posts, and for people who aren’t sure on best practice, it’s easy to start wasting money. Every £3, £7, £10 soon adds up!
Boosting still has very limited targeting capabilities. Your three options when boosting posts are:
– Target audience (limited targeting)
– Fans of your page
– Fans & friends of fans
What are promoted posts
The other way to ensure your posts are seen by more people is to use promoted posts. Using the ads manager (or power editor) you are able to create an ad from a post on your page.
To create a promoted post, visit the ads manager and click on create advert. Then click on boost your posts. Choose your page and then choose the post you want to use. The next screen then takes you to the audience, budget and scheduling screen. This is where you can use the more specific targeting, pricing and bidding options. This is what you don’t get with boosting posts.
Simply put, with promoted posts, you are still technically ‘boosting’ them. You’re just doing it through the ads manager, which gives you a lot more capabilities for targeting, pricing etc.
How do I know when to boost and when to use promoted posts?
Many social media and digital marketers will tell you to stop using boost posts. Here’s where I stand… I’m not a fan of them, but I do still feel they have a place.
There’s one real circumstance where I’d say using boosted posts is sufficient. If you have a large following of relevant fans but your posts just simply aren’t reaching them, spending a little to ensure that post is seen by all your fans can be worth it.
In any other circumstance, I’d recommend using promoted posts. Especially if you’re looking to reach a new audience.
Let’s break it down a little into the three targeting options you have when boosting:
If you’re looking to hit a target audience, don’t waste your time or money with boosted posts. The targeting capabilities just aren’t up to scratch. With promoted posts, you’ve got everything you could ever want.
Fans of your page
This is the one circumstance I’d boost posts. You just want to reach your audience, but at a larger scale.
Fans & friends of fans
This one comes down to your audience. I wouldn’t use this option when boosting. Let’s take an example here. You have a product that is for entrepreneurs. You have a fan base on Facebook, primarily made up of entrepreneurs. Chances are, their friends aren’t going to be very interested. Not everyone is an entrepreneur.
However, if you used a promoted post, you could target fans & friends of fans, but also add in extra targeting such as interested in ‘entrepreneurialism’. You just have that extra level of targeting.
Like with everything, you’ve got to look at your audience and goals. Would it make sense to boost your post or use promoted posts to reach a larger audience? Hopefully this article has given you everything you need to know, so you can make informed decisions on what option to use.
As I say, both boosted posts and promoted posts have their place. But promoted posts offer than extra level of targeting and options, which you don’t get when you simply boost a post.
If you have any specific examples you’d like to talk about, drop us an email and we’ll set up a call to discuss.
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