I am delighted today to have a guest blog from the super duo at Ad Hoc.
Andrew Ferdinando and Dom Hay are Directors of Auckland based Ad Hoc which provides on-demand support and coaching for Facebook marketers via a monthly subscription service called The Facebook Essentials Club.
Andrew is one of 500 members of the Facebook guru Jon Loomer's Power Hitters Club - an elite global club of advanced Facebook marketers. Dom Hay has 25 years brand and shopper experience in London, Sydney and Auckland working with Unilever, Volvo and Electrolux.
Boosted Facebook Posts explained
There is one question that we are asked everyday when we meet small businesses:
"What happens when I boost a post and is there a better alternative?"
In this blog post I'll aim to answer that question. So, let's start with the first part...
(By the way, there is a better alternative but I'll come to that shortly.)
What happens when I boost a post?
Boosting a post is Facebook's way of introducing businesses to advertising on their platform. It's a simple, straightforward piece of functionality which allows you to promote your post to a wider audience than just your page followers.
Incidentally, over the last couple of years, organise reach of a page post (i.e the number of page your followers who will see your posts) has been dropping. A typical organic read for a page will be 2 to 8%, so if you have 100 followers, expect 2 to 8 to actually see your posts.
Unless that it is... you promote the post.
So, if you want people to see your post, you're going to need to promote it and that's where boosting comes in.
If you boost (I.e put media spend behind the post), you can reach your page followers but you can also define other audiences who want to see your post. The audiences available can be targeted as follows:
- Target people who like your page.
- Target friends and family of people who like your page.
- Target by geography, age and gender.
- Target based on demographics, interests and behaviours.
So far, so good.
But here's where the boost post function isn't so great. There are 2 big limitations.
1. You are only using 1 'objective' (explanation to follow but there are 11 objectives you could use).
2. You can't target custom audiences (again explanation to follow).
At this point the above might not make a huge lot of sense to you but read on and I'll explain more.
Suffice to say though that the 2 limitations cited above are a big deal because in many respects they hold the real gold within Facebook advertising.
So... what is the alternative to boosting?
The alternative is that rather than boosting you use The Facebook Ads Manager.
Ads Manager is the advertising platform which advertisers can use to post ads on the FB network. It's different to the boost post function because in essence it offers far more functionality, meaning far more ability to tightly target your bullseye audience.
This is important because you want to make sure that every dollar you spend on advertising is well spent. Facebook Ads Manager allows you to do this.
Now... this post isn't an explainer of how Ads Manager works. We haven't got time for that (it would take all day) but we'll focus on the 2 core points which differentiate 'boosting' from the Ads Manager.
Here we go...
When you set up an ad in Ads Manager the first step will be to select an Objective. There are 11 objectives to choose from. When you boost a post, you are using the Engagement objective. Using the boost post function does not give you access to the other 10 objectives.
Objectives are important because they help you get the most out of your advertising. Here is the official definition from Facebook:
"Facebook offers many advertising objectives to help you reach your business goals. Your advertising objective is what you want people to do when they see your ads... The objective you choose aligns with your overall business goals."
So, as an example if you want to drive traffic to your website, you would use the 'traffic' objective and Facebook will optimise your ad to display to people most likely to visit you website.
It's powerful stuff and it's not available if you're just boosting posts.
If I had to choose 1 feature within Facebook advertising that had the most impact, it would be the use of custom audiences.
By creating custom audiences, you can put your posts in front of your warm audiences, i.e people who are already aware of your business in some way.
You can create audiences of:
- Your website visitors.
- Your email database.
- People who have engaged with your Facebook page.
- People who have engaged with your Instagram page.
- People who have viewed your videos.
... there are more but these are the important ones.
We always encourage our clients to use the first part of their advertising spend on their warm audiences, i.e custom audiences and you can't do this when you're boosting your posts.
There is nothing wrong with boosting your posts. It's just that you're limiting the opportunity you have with Facebook. Your ad spend can and will go further if you use Ads Manager.
Andrew is founder and director of Auckland based Ad Hoc which provides on-demand support for Facebook marketers via a monthly subscription service called The Facebook Essentials Club.
The service, complete with a Support Hotline, provides an affordable solution for small businesses, filling the gap between doing it yourself and outsourcing to an agency. Membership available from $147 +GST per month, cancel anytime.