Facebook Boosting Posts 101

Boosting to Better Facebook Engagement

Facebook Boost Post Button

If you manage a Facebook page, chances are you have seen the ‘Boost Post’ button. If you have ever used this feature, you have either come to love it or absolutely hate it. I hear both sides: some people talking about the amazing success they have been having boosting posts, while others complain that boosting their post does nothing for the engagement of the post. The truth is content plays a large role in the engagement of your post. Boosting the post only increases the number of people that are going to see it. If the audience is not interested in the message, the engagement may not be the best.

That brings me to one of the most frequent questions I am asked when discussing how to boost a post.

How to Boost a Post on Facebook

When Should I Boost a Post vs. When I Shouldn’t?

This is going to be up to your judgment. If you want more people to see a post, boosting it is a good idea. The content of the post is going to make the difference when it comes to engagement. I have had posts that had a total budget of $300 and were performing much worse than posts that were boosted for $25. In that case the $300 boost was paused and the budget was allocated to a better performing post.

How often should I boost Facebook posts?

This is going to depend on how often you post, whether you have multiple audiences, and again your judgment about your content. If you post once a day you could reasonably boost every single post. If you are posting more than once per day, I would suggest selecting one post that you feel is the most valuable to your audience and boost that one. If you post more than once per day and intend on the posts reaching different audiences, then you may consider boosting more than one post per day since you are not going to be targeting the same people with each ad.

If you notice posts that once got amazing engagement becoming a ghost town, you may be boosting too much. Try dialing it back a little bit and see if that increases the interest again. In my experience people do not mind seeing a boosted post as long as it relates to their interests. When they see too many boosted posts from the same advertiser, some people can get a little annoyed.

How much should I spend when boosting posts on Facebook?

This is 100% up to you. When you consider boosting your posts I suggest setting a monthly budget. On a low end, consider $100 per month, which will give you roughly $25 per week to increase the engagement of your posts. If you are posting five times per week you can allocate $5 per post if you wanted to distribute the budget evenly.

If you are not boosting every post you make, you can use larger amounts per post. As I state in the video, I would suggest starting off small, using $1-$5 boosts to test the waters, and if you like the results then put a larger budget towards the post.

Boosting posts on Facebook can be frustrating if you are not seeing the results you are looking for. If you find yourself not getting the engagement you think you should be, feel free to reach out to me with your questions.

Facebook Ads and Insights – Analyzing Your Ads

Facebook Ads – Analyzing Your Success

Last time we talked about how understanding the different types of Facebook ads could help you choose the right ad option for your goals.

Knowing your goals matters, because if you aren’t spending ad money for a reason, you shouldn’t be spending it at all.

So think about it: are you trying to get more likes, comments and shares on your posts? Are you trying to increase the likes on your page? Are you trying to get people to click a link to your website?

Once you have figured that out and set up the appropriate ad type, it’s time to start watching your analytics reports to make sure you are heading in the right direction for your goal.

Analyzing Your Facebook Ads

Insights are where you find the key to making decisions on web-based campaigns, and will give you the ability to make important assessments about your audience and your content.

While not as extensive as a separate program like Google Analytics, Facebook has some decent analytics that can help you to see how well your ads are performing. You can assess your ad performance from the Facebook Insights found on the page’s admin panel and the more extensive Ad Management page.

Ad Management Page

WATCH THE VIDEO: [How do I get to the Facebook Ad Management page?]

From the Ad Management page, you will be able to see every single ad campaign that you have run on Facebook from your advertising account. This page allows you to see metrics like:

Objective of the Ad: Post Engagement, Likes, Offers, etc.
Reach: A rough estimate of the number of people your ad was shown to.
Result: Shows how many people acted to meet the specific objective of the ad.
Frequency: How often people saw the ad. For example, 1.0 means that each person saw it once. Anything above that means people started to see it more than once. 2.0 means almost everyone listed in the Reach has seen it twice.
Clicks: How many clicks the ad has received
Click-Through Rate: Percent of people that clicked on the ad vs. number of people who saw it.
Cost: Cost per impression (1 impression = 1000 views) or cost per page like
Page Likes: How many page likes each campaign has brought

In addition to all the great analytics that you have access to from the Ad Management panel, you will also be able to edit every ad that has been created for your campaign.

If we had three ad campaigns running, a likes, website visits, and app installs. Each ad campaign could create up to six similar ads with different images. Using the Ad Manager, you can adjust the images for each individual ad.

For example: You make a Page Likes ad campaign, in which up to six ads will be created with different images (if you choose to upload different images) and the same ad copy. If you do not choose to upload six when you start the campaign, you can always go back and edit it to add more variety of images. Through the edit feature, you will be able to change the copy but not the targeting of each ad.

Because the targeting comes from the campaign, it cannot be changed on the individual ad level. To change the targeting, you will have to edit the campaign as a whole from the Ad Manager or create a new campaign.

It is important to note that not all ads will be able to be edited in this manner. If you click the ‘edit’ button and are unable to edit more than the name of the ad, then your ad does not support editing.

After creating your ad, make sure you spend a little time getting familiar with the Ad Manager and what types of information you can monitor and track for your unique campaigns.

Page Insights

Although Facebook’s Page Insights will be able to provide you with a wealth of information, it unfortunately is not able to directly tell you how well any of your ads have performed except ads that have been set up directly from the Facebook fan page, such as Page Likes and Promoted Posts.

Using Facebook insights to run ads

Facebook Insights Show Ad Post Reach

You can find these two ad analytics in the Admin panel of your business page. You can access your page insights by navigating to your Facebook business page, at the top of the page you will see a series of buttons, one of which will be insights. On the page you also get a snippet of metrics for the past seven days on the right hand side of the page.

How to get to Facebook Insights

Even though you will not be able to track most of your ads, there is still plenty of valuable information in Page Insights that will allow you to assess whether or not you are running a successful campaign.

Although your Page Likes campaign may be driving plenty of likes, the Ads Manager will not tell you how many people have unliked your page since you started running the ad. Page Insights will give you this information, so that you can tell if your ads are doing a great job getting people to your Facebook page, but your content is not keeping them there. If this is the case, then there is a problem with short-term messaging versus consistent content that will need to be addressed.

Additionally, if you are gaining a lot of fans but no one is engaging with your non-promoted posts, you may want to look at the Insights to see what times your fans are on Facebook so you can schedule your posts for a more appropriate time, or adjust your regularly occurring content to be more similar to the content that you promote.

What else can Facebook Insights tell me?

Insights give detailed information on metrics such as:

Page Likes – This week vs last week, likes vs unlikes, where your likes are coming from (ads, posts, website etc).
Reach & Engagement – This week vs last week, Total post reach, individual post reach, paid vs organic reach, post likes, post comments, post shares.
Visits – Page and Tab(app) Visits, page mentions, posts from other people to your page, check-ins, external referrals (traffic coming from outside Facebook to your page).
Post Performance – When your fans are online, best performing post types (Video, Link, Status, Photo).
People - Demographic of fans (location, age, sex), Demographic of people reached in the last 28 days, Demographic of people engaged in the last 28 days, and Demographic of checkins in the last 28 days.

Analytics give you insights into your audience.

Business owners like to think that they understand their target demographic. And often, they do.

Here’s the thing, though. Sometimes, when you start to post on social media, a new and unexpected audience—one you don’t know anything about—will start to find you.

You need to understand your page analytics for the purposes of understanding your online audience—which may be quite different than the one to which you try to appeal offline.

You also need to understand your advertising analytics specifically so that you don’t waste money. If you see that the budget for an ad is halfway done, but it hasn’t yielded any of the desired results (or not nearly enough), you should not hesitate to stop running that ad. Save the money and try it on another ad type that might work better.

So much of marketing can feel like a guessing game. Analytics can help to take that mystery and turn it into more of a science. Any knowledge that you gain is knowledge that you can apply to your next online campaign to make it even more successful.

Have you ever taken the time to look at your Facebook analytics? What insights did you gain? What were you confused about? Share with us in the comments!

Successful Facebook Ads: A How-To Guide

When you start trying to market a business through social media, it’s common to feel like the stereotypical middle child—like no one knows you are there, and no one is listening to you.

Many businesses start their social media presence on Facebook, drawn by the promise of a billion-member audience. It doesn’t take long, however, before you realize that this particular promise is empty… because you have to somehow draw a portion of those people to you.

Facebook realized this challenge for business too. They also saw their users’ newsfeeds getting more and more cluttered, and as a result started to tinker with the algorithm that displays the data. As a result, Facebook brand pages began to see their organic (unpaid) reach decrease.

Today, successful Facebook marketing often requires strategic use of paid advertising. As frustrating as it is to have to pay to reach more than 15% of your fans, it is simply a reality of the Facebook system… to the point that if you don’t want to pay to play on Facebook sometimes, it’s worth considering building a presence somewhere else (may we recommend Google Plus?).

However, with the right strategy, many businesses can find greater success by employing a modest Facebook advertising budget. The trick is to make sure you get your money’s worth out of every ad… and that you stop anything that doesn’t work before you spend too much money on it.

Remember—Facebook set up their system to encourage you to spend money on ads. That is in their best interest as a company. That doesn’t mean it will get you the results that are best for you. Take the time to understand the way the Facebook advertising system works before you start, and you will be a lot more likely to get the results you want to see.

Understanding Facebook Ad Types

The first step to understanding Facebook advertising is understanding the different types of ads that you can run. Though many of them seem very similar, each ad type has a different set of benefits and limitations that may affect the flow (and ultimate success) of your campaign. These ad types can be found in the Facebook Ads Manager (video).

Facebook Ad: Post Engagement

The Post Engagement ad type is targeted at the posts on your page. You can select a specific post or you can have the ad display your most recent post. For this type of ad I generally suggest two strategies:

Multi Post

Let’s say a construction company wants to give out 25 tips to get your home ready for the winter. Instead of writing a blog post about it and sharing that on Facebook, they could create a small daily budget of about $10 for Post Engagement ads and post one tip every day. For maximum exposure, make sure to use a different image with each day’s tip and use the posts to encourage likes, comments, and shares for even more visibility.

This strategy works best for a larger budget and longer ad duration, and will ensure that your most recent post is visible amongst your fans. If you make more than three posts in a day, this is not a recommended strategy since the post will have barely started its promotion when the target post is changed. This strategy is best used when your posts tell a story, or are part of a series.

Single Post

The budget for this approach can be lower than the multi post strategy, depending on how long you want to run the ad. I suggest running a short ad, no longer than one week, otherwise you will run the risk of your audience becoming over-exposed to one particular ad.

For example: The same construction company has written a blog post on their website detailing 25 tips to keep your home winter ready. So they would like to run a small one-week ad that will drive traffic from their Facebook page to their website, where they control the user experience and influence the flow of traffic on their web property.

Intended ad traffic from Facebook

 

This time their ad will run for seven days at $20 a day. Again, engagement drives more visibility of your ad and if the title of the post is intriguing and timely enough to generate a decent enough click though. Now it’s up to your web property to make the conversions, whether it’s picking up the phone, signing up for a newsletter or sharing your post with their friends.

Facebook Ad: Page Likes

This ad type is intended to drive more likes on your Facebook business page. You have the option to use up to six different images for your ad. This will give your audience some variety, and is best used when targeting people who are not already connected to your fan page. I suggest a campaign of at least one month when running the Page Likes ad, and a minimum budget of $5 per day.

Page Like Tips:

  • Even though you can use up to six images, you have to use the same text with each image (unless you set up multiple Page Like ads).
  • Target your audience effectively! Do not fool yourself– not everyone is interested in your product, services, mission, or cause. Make sure that you define an audience that is in your target areas. If you sell winter gear, it would be very unlikely for you to make tons of sales in Orlando, Florida. Make sure you are not wasting your budget by targeting places or people that would not buy your product or invest in your services.

Facebook Ad: Clicks to Website

Just as it sounds, this ad attempts to drive more traffic to your website. You can specify one URL per campaign, and similarly to the Page Likes ad, you will be able to use up to six images for your ad.

The ad that displays in the newsfeed looks a lot like an article that has been shared from the website. They even ask you to select what Facebook page you manage that the account would display from:

Clicks to Website Ad Facebook
As you can see from the image above, it looks as if the ad has been posted by the CT Social Facebook page. Clicking this particular ad would bring you to the CT Social home page, though you could click the logo or the blue CT Social text next to the logo and be taken to the CT Social Facebook Fan page.

Clicks to Website Ad Tips:

Before setting up your ad to drive more traffic to your website, I would suggest setting up a landing page that has all the specific information that will drive your audience to action.

For example: A cleaning company in Denver, Colorado wants to drive more people to their website, and at the same time inform their newfound audience that they are running a special. This company should make a new page on their website that outlines the details of the special along with plenty of visual cues that drive attention to their contact information.

Once this page is set up, they create the Clicks to Website ad, making sure to use copy that reflects the web page the person will be landing on. There is nothing more frustrating than when you click a link expecting to see one thing, but are presented with something completely different. Make sure the people responding to your ad get what they believe they will be seeing.

Facebook Ad: Website Conversions

This ad is very similar to the Clicks to Website ad type. The main difference here is that you can actually specify what actions constitute a conversion. You are given a set type of conversion parameters to choose from, which includes:

  • Checkouts
  • Registrations
  • Leads
  • Key Web Page Visits
  • Adds to Cart
  • Other Web Conversions

For each of these conversion types you will be asked to set up a tracking code and place it on the page that would confirm the conversion.

For example: If you wanted to track leads, you can put the tracking code on a page that is only accessible after filling out a form for more information about the service. This way you know that this particular form submission is from your Facebook ad campaign. All conversion types follow the same method for tracking so this ad type can be used to track almost any action someone could take on your website.

Website Conversions Facebook Ad

Facebook Ad: App Installs

If you are planning to use a custom Facebook app or if you have used a service like OfferPop or GroSocial (affiliate) to create a contest or any other kind of Facebook app, this is the ad type for you! The objective of this ad is to get people to install your app, whether you have a new Facebook game or you want people to join your photo contest or check out some special deals you have.

For example: Let’s say you have a quiz that, when completed, tells the person what Star Trek character they are most like. Using an ad campaign like this one could boost the number of people installing and using your app, giving you a unique way to connect with your audience and brand your company.

Facebook Ad: App Engagement

I have found very little difference between the App Installs ad and the App Engagement ad. Increasing the amount of engagement would likely increase the amount of installs unless you are specifically targeting people that have already installed the app.

Considering that most companies’ objective would be to increase the number of people installing and using the app, either of these two choices seem like they would get the job done.

Facebook Ad: Event Responses

Are you trying to raise awareness about an upcoming event? This ad’s objective is to increase the number of people that see and sign up for your event. Simply choose a Facebook event that you have created or use the URL to an event that you are participating in.

For example: Let’s say you are opening a new art gallery show and you are throwing a party on opening night. Five days out and only 10 people have responded yes to your event? We all know that with numbers like this on Facebook, you will be likely to see an attendance of two. Well, you can create an ad that is specifically targeted to get more people to say yes to your event!

Facebook Ad: Offer Claims

If you haven’t created an offer before, this ad will allow you to create one, then set up the ad for it.

For example: My digital marketing company may charge around $350 – $500 for a comprehensive web assessment. To increase the amount of people requesting web assessments, we have created a Facebook Offer that allows you to take 50% off the price of an assessment.  For a relatively small ad budget, I can promote our deal and potentially drive new business through our web assessments offer.

The Not-So-Secret Sauce – Facebook Ads

Understanding the different types of Facebook ads that are available to you means that you can appropriately match the ad you choose with the goal you have in mind.

For example, if you want to increase your page likes, just boosting your posts alone won’t ensure that more people will like your page. It could help—but there are other ad types that could get you more results for your money.

Next time, we’ll dive a little deeper into the strategy behind targeting Facebook ads—the different options available to help you find an audience that is a good fit for you.

What is your previous experience with Facebook ads? How can you use appropriate Facebook ad types to help support one of your online goals? Share with us in the comments!