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.

Should I Be On Every Social Network?

Today I was on a call with a prospective client, the executive director of an organization that is just looking beyond its first baby steps into the digital marketing world.

As we talked through our process for building a comprehensive brand strategy and online community, he remarked several times that it felt like entering a whole new world.

Even having been in this world for years now, I know what he means. Stepping into social media, blogging, newsletters, and so on can seem daunting to someone experiencing it for the first time — much like an international environment where you don’t speak the language.

With that combined sense of uncertainty and discovery, it is no wonder that the new user can fall easily into the zone of following every shiny object that pops up online. After all, that’s what so many of the people who “do it right” seem to do… right?

It’s true that many of the recognized social media industry leaders will jockey for invitations every time a new social network comes out. There are lots of reasons for that — the most altruistic being that they want to go there to report on its role in the overall social ecosystem and its potential value for other users.

The truth, though, is that most of the best social media leaders actually have favorite platforms that they frequent above all others. They may have a profile everywhere, and they may release posts regularly everywhere, but that doesn’t mean they are paying close attention to it. They could be — but it’s not guaranteed.

No matter how many social networks you sign up for, you are likely to always have some that perform more strongly than others, or where you feel your strengths shine. When you are a busy small business owner, this is even more important. You’ve got to be more strategic in making your choices; simply signing up for a social network because every else is, may not be the right answer for your success.

Social media truly is a different language. If you are taking the time to learn to speak it, investing the energy in identifying which social networks could help you succeed can save you hours of time and dollars of expense, and yield far better returns than a purely scattershot approach.

Otherwise, you may find yourself overwhelmed with content and underwhelmed by your results.

Beards, Buzz, and Community Building On the Internet

They say you learn something new every day.

Today, I learned about the existence of the Orlando Facial Hair Club:

The Orlando Facial Hair Club social media community building example

A community of people organized specifically around appreciation for mustaches and beards… featuring products and beard-related content and meet-ups of bearded (and beard-loving) people.

Notice that little number down in the corner. Their Facebook supporters number over a thousand strong. 

When I found out about this club, I couldn’t help but wonder — could this kind of group have existed without the Internet?

An admittedly quick Google search yielded little information. There are similar clubs throughout the United States, even an annual World Beard and Mustache Championship. And, as best I can tell, all of them have popped up since the rise of the Internet (and most since the rise of social media).

Community Building with Niche Interests on Social Media

Last week Greg asked me (somewhat rhetorically) how people made new friends before the Internet.

But I thought about it seriously, and concluded that, in my view, it seemed like the majority of communities prior to the Internet were contingent on a location, an activity, or both. (Think of churches, exercise classes, sports teams, and things like that.)

The Internet, though, is a wild woolly public forum for ideas and passions of all varieties. Social media buzzes with content of all kinds, putting a spotlight on the day to day, even inane, passions of our daily lives — things like food, movies, music, books, beer, even beards.

And because our online forums can be tailored for local use, we can move those conversations from where they start on the Internet, and take them offline — or make offline communities stronger by supplementing them online. We can pursue our passions together, offline, and geek out about them and share them with other people online.

It’s a beautiful thing.

(Personally, I’m grateful because I believe that the same phenomenon is fueling the rise of nerd-friendly gaming pubs in my area. But that’s another article for another time.)

Community building got a lot easier — and the potential audience got a lot larger — when it moved online. However inane the topic may seem, there are other people out there who care about it. And sometimes it’s the small passions that bring us together in the most powerful ways.

What are your favorite niche online communities? What offline or online communities have enriched your life the most?

Lesson #8 – Why do you post on social media?

Sometimes when you are scrolling through your social media feed, looking at photos of shoes or food or selfies, it becomes easy to wonder why people feel the need to post all these things.

It’s a fair question. And diving into all the deep psychological rationales behind social media posting activity is certainly the stuff of a book, not a blog post

That being said, from my perception, people ultimately make posts for reasons which are either internally driven or externally driven.

An externally driven person is relatively easy to recognize — they are usually posting things that are aimed at getting people to talk to you. They talk about events coming up, the things they do, the activities they are involved in either online or in their offline communities. They want to know about what you are up to as well

The objective of an externally driven person is engagement — especially comments. Some of them have figured out how to get paid for whatever they are talking about and others haven’t… but at the end of the day, they’re all looking for conversation and they hope you like a post, share it, or (most often).

An internally driven person, on the other hand, can be recognized by content that is typically focused on expressing their own feelings and thoughts and random moments. This could range from selfies and food photos to vague complaints and rants.

The objective of an internally driven person is to broadcast. While they may care about the personal validation that comes from comments, most of the time they are not trying to get anything from social media. At times it often looks more like a daily diary than anything else. Ultimately, they are interested in saying what they want to say, and in most cases do not care about whether it gets results or not.

On a basic level, both motivations for posting on social media are perfectly valid. And lots of people combine a little bit of both approaches. However, when it comes to getting marketing results, external motivations usually win the day with potential audience members.

Lesson #7 – How to get to know your social media client

When it’s done right, social media reflects the heart and soul of an organization.

It cuts to the heart of the brand’s message and presents it in a storytelling-oriented way which appeals to an appropriate audience.

As you might imagine, it can be challenging to do this as an outsider. Whether a company hires a new community manager or hires an agency to handle the campaign, there is always a “getting to know you” period.

Some companies have brand guidelines in place, which certainly can help to give you a head start. But ultimately, there is nothing quite like spending time with the company up close and personal.

Of course, it goes without saying that the new community manager can read about the company online (most of the time), or research them in publications or talk to the client about the company over the phone.

But when it comes right down to it, there is nothing quite like getting up close and personal with the subject at hand.

Does the client have a physical location? Go there. Spend some time walking around. Look at products or wall art or whatever is there. Absorb the atmosphere. Participate in the activity or buy something.

Who does the client serve? Find out if you can talk to them about their experiences. Get first-hand narratives and stories about how the organization impacted that person. Or talk to staff about their quality of life and their work environment.

Are they an online-only company? Come up with a list of things that a potential customer might be looking for, or experiences they might want. Put yourself in their shoes and give it a try.

Language immersion programs work for a reason — they force you to get close to the language, interact, and learn by doing. Getting to know a new social media client ultimately works the same way. Research can introduce you, but direct interactions breed the most familiarity.

Lesson #6: Sometimes you just need to move on.

Social media consultants like to remind our clients that becoming successful online can take a long time. And it’s true. You really can’t expect overnight success (unless it’s the kind that takes several years to develop).

In reality, serious social media success generally requires lots of hours, a significant ads budget, or both. You need to think about the right way to present your content, develop and engage an audience, create a profound message, and make an impression.

All of these things take time and effort, and no one should underestimate the challenge at hand.

However, all of these assumed challenges are also built on the assumption that you have chosen the right platform for your needs. And without making the right choice, your foundation for success will be a lot weaker.

Sometimes people choose the wrong platform to start with. Other times, they are attempting to succeed in too many places at once. On other occasions, a platform has simply outgrown its utility.

But whatever it is, sometimes the time comes to move on from a social network– to decide to leave your accounts inactive and devote your time elsewhere.

This is a largely unsung truth of the social media world: not every platform works for every business at any stage of their growth.

Our clients and prospects often seem sheepish when talking about the social networks where they have begun an effort and then left. But rather than scolding them for leaving it fallow, we see those moments as an opportunity to discuss the actual utility of the platform: how long did you work with it? Did it show any tangible results? How was your follower growth and engagement?

If our questions demonstrate that the platform ultimately wasn’t going to be a good fit, we encourage them to prune it and move on.

There aren’t enough hours in the day or money in small business budgets to make it worth investing in a platform that doesn’t return. If it’s time to break up with one of your social networks because you’ve poured in effort and it just won’t work, don’t hesitate: just do it. Keep the account for credibility if you must, but don’t think twice about regaining the time and investing it elsewhere. In the end, your marketing will thank you.