Facebook ads: Why you shouldn’t just hit boost

Facebook ads: Why you shouldn’t just hit boost

Published: April 6th, 2018

Have you noticed a decrease in organic reach on your Facebook Page?

Have you been hitting the boosting button in the hope it’ll enhance engagement, only to obtain poor results?

Today we’re going to explore why investing in the boost button may not always be your best bet when it comes to targeted online marketing.

Why pay to have your Facebook posts seen

If you check in regularly, you’ll already be well aware of the recent changes to Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm, which has resulted in a decrease in organic reach for pages. Businesses that were once able to reach an audience for nothing now have to spend some money on their Facebook Ads to get noticed. But which tool should they use – the boost button or Facebook Ads?

Facebook ads vs boost button

No matter how advanced a marketer you are, there’s a good possibility you’ve already been affected by the changes to Facebook’s Algorithm. And chances are, you’re here looking to reverse the damages.

The thing is – and we should get this out of the way now – things will never go back to the way they ‘were’. Like it or loathe it, the first step to moving forward is to accept and understand the new functionalities, so that you can work them to your advantage.

Because the difference between Facebook Ads and the boost button isn’t abruptly obvious upon visiting a Facebook page, users are confused – unsure which option to use and when to use it. As much as we’d love it to be, the question of if and when you should use one or the other isn’t an easy question to answer, as its very much dependent on your advertising objectives and the type of audience you want to reach.

By defining goals for particular posts and pinpointing the key differences between the two options for advertising your business on Facebook, you’re placing yourself in a much better position to make the right decision. Allow us to make the process slightly simpler for you:

The main differences

Boost button

Boosted posts are the most basic form of advertising you can do on Facebook. At the click of a button and a brief run through of preferences, you can allocate an advertising budget to posts already on your business page.

The boost button can be found on the right hand corner of every post you publish to your Facebook page. You can boost one or more posts at a time, and when you do your posts won’t just been seen by a small portion of your current audience but rather reach a much larger audience of your choice.

You ‘choose’ your audience, either by selecting one of the options (such as people who like your page, or people who like your page and their friends) in the boost post pop-up console or ‘creating a new audience’. When you create a new audience, you simply get to select a demographic and add a few keywords.

Boosted posts show up in people’s news feeds, and are typically used when the goal is to achieve engagement, in the form of comments, likes and shares.

Facebook ads

Facebook Ads are a more advanced way to promote both your page and its posts. To run a campaign, you’ll require a Facebook Ad Manager account. It is here you’ll find an array of targeting options for your adverts and have the ability to add call-to-action buttons, like ‘sign up’, ‘shop now’ and ‘contact us’, to name just a few!

In addition to this, there are in-depth insights on Ads, including everything from website conversions and event responses to video views and local awareness.

Within the Facebook Ads platform, you’ll also find a boost post option – which is where even the most regular users find themselves confused, not realising that boosting a post from the Ads console rather than the actual page makes a huge difference.

You see, when you boost a post through the Ads Manager you get extra customisation benefits. Your boosted post will be almost identical in appearance (unless you’ve added buttons and other bits) but will be backed with the abilities of tight targeting.

How to create a targeted ad for page post engagement

To promote a post via the Ads Manager, simply head to https://www.facebook.com/ads/create/. From here you will be asked what kind of results you want from your Ads. In this case, you’ll be selecting Page Post Engagement.

Upon hitting continue, you’ll open up an array of targeting options. There are eight different fields (and a cool conversion pixel monitoring traffic to your website) to fill out, including customer audiences, locations, age, gender, languages, interests, behaviours and connections. At this point, it’s down to you – so you’ll be glad we told you to define your objectives beforehand!

Once you’ve filled out these fields, you can turn your attention to the budget and billing options. You can choose to spend a certain amount per day or operate on a cost per click basis, whichever you prefer. Note: you can switch between models to see which works best for you.

You can view the performance of your Ad in real-time from the Ads Manager, which should help you to reveal which posts work best and why.

When it’s okay to boost posts

If you want to engage your current fans, boosting a post from your page could be all you need to get noticed. It’s a great way ‘beat’ the Facebook’s Algorithm and ensures you show up in the news feed of people that follow you. This can be both effective and pointless, so be sure you’re not paying to pushing out posts to people that would’ve engaged in your post or page organically anyway.

Key takeaways

  • Set clear goals before you get started, as your purpose will affect the type of advertising method you choose to use.

  • When you hit the boost button, you are in fact creating an ad – just through a simpler interface with fewer options.

  • Facebook Ads uses your objectives to determine who sees your posts, whereas with boosted posts have Facebook automatically choose an objective for you.

  • Boosted posts can be a quick and easy way for you to get a post seen but aren’t anywhere near as targeted as Facebook Ads.

  • You can boost posts through Facebook Ads Manager rather than directly from the page for tighter targeting.

  • You can’t split test a boosted post, but you can run two Ads at once to later compare them.

Top tips

  • Never waste money promoting someone else’s content. Even if it’s a good piece of advice from an expert, it’s surely not worth deterring traffic away from your own site.

  • The most popular content isn’t sales-orientated – it’s helpful. Spend money promoting posts that have real value to ensure ROI.

  • Engagements are great, but the aim of the game is to get your fans on that email list! Focus on including an opt-in somehow – offer a freebie or other incentive (Lead Magnet).

To conclude

Although it the boost button is highly accessible, it’s clear that it isn’t always the best option for reaching your desired audience. For full control over who sees your ad and how you pay for them to view it, targeted Facebook Ads are without a doubt the way to go.

Have you been using (or misusing) the boost button? Will you think again before hitting it again? Tweet your thoughts on this article to @thwmarketing!

About the author

Teresa Heath-Wareing is a social media and marketing consultant based in Shropshire and is the director of THW. She was also a guest speaker at The Business Event 2017 in Telford, organised by the Marches LEP.

If you’d like to contribute a guest blog to the Marches Growth Hub, please send it to [email protected] Blogs should be no more than 400 words, accompanied with a photo and short biography of the author. The guest blog is a chance to share knowledge and expertise among the Marches business community and therefore commercial-style blogs will not be considered for publication.

The Marches Growth Hub does not endorse any opinions, services or products featured in the guest blog.

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