We are often asked, “I’m brand new to advertising on social media—where should I start?” Our answer is usually this: Start boosting your posts! It’s a great first step to increasing your audience reach without spending too much time, money, or effort.
You may have noticed that over the past few years, it’s become more difficult to grow your organic engagement on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You’re not alone. And if you’re not spending any money boosting on these platforms, only around 5-10% of your audience is actually seeing your organic posts…yikes.
In simple terms, this is because as social platforms expand their user bases, more and more content is being uploaded. The platforms then need to prioritize content in an attempt to tailor each user’s experience by showing them what they believe each person wants to see.
For small businesses to fully leverage these platforms and reach our audiences, we need to be throwing some moula down. Long gone are the days where just having cool content and a quality page setup are enough to break through… unless you’re a parrot playing the drums (that stuff will always work). But for the 99.9% of us without a pet bird named polly that shreds, we need to put a little money into boosting our content.
Boosting vs. ads
So what the heck is “boosting posts”? Well, if we’re talking about Facebook, a boosted post is just a post we’ve created for our feed that we apply money to in order to reach a bigger and more specific audience. While a boosted post is considered an ad (because money is being spent), it’s different from an actual ad campaign that we build in Ads Manager. Boosted posts are simpler to create, and typically we have different goals and expectations for a boost vs. an ad campaign.
At Blue Moose, we like to use boosted posts to augment and prop up our organic content purely to reach more than just the 5-15% of our local audience that we typically reach without boosting. This leads to more likes, comments, shares, and overall brand awareness. In contrast, we create Facebook ad campaigns to achieve goals more closely related to conversion and sales.
In short, we boost posts because it’s simple, cost effective, and helps us engage with a larger portion of our online audience; this is especially valuable for reaching a local audience as a small business.
The easiest way to boost posts (on Facebook)
There are lots of advanced ways to utilize boosting, and we teach those in our courses… but first, we’re going get you going in a simple manner by showing you how to boost your posts in Facebook.
Check out the step-by-step video!
Step 1: Head to your Facebook business page.
Step 2: Choose the post you want to boost.
Click the large blue “Boost” button in the bottom right corner of the post. Remember, we recommend boosting every post going forward!
Step 3: Choose your goal.
In the goal section, click “Change”, and we suggest a goal of “Get more Engagement”, so select that and click “Save”.
Step 4: Set your button to “no button”.
Why? Well our goal is simply engagement, and adding a button can make our posts seem more sell-y which can turn people off of engaging. We can do a better job of selling later with targeted ad campaigns.
Step 5: Select your audience.
Facebook audience targeting is incredibly powerful, but don’t let that overwhelm you when you’re first getting started. There’s plenty of time down the road for you to learn detailed targeting strategies, and we spend a tonne of time building them ourselves. For now, Facebook gives us a few great options to start, and we can let Facebook decide who to deliver our posts for us to get the best results. Hopefully, you see an option that says “People who like your page and their friends”. This is ideal because our content doesn’t always reach our very own followers. If this option is not available, you can choose either “Smart Audience” or “People in your local area”.
Step 6: Define your duration.
A good place to start is boosting your posts for the average time you have between posts. So if you’re like us and posting roughly 3 times a week, we typically will boost each post for 2-3 days. This means our boost carries our reach for us on the days between posting.
Step 7: Define your budget.
You’ll notice along the right side, Facebook is estimating your daily results based on your timeline, budget, and its historical data. Keep an eye on that estimator, and be realistic about what your goals are; there’s no right or wrong budget here. Obviously, the more you spend the more results you’ll get, but every industry and business is different. We find it’s better to boost every post with a few bucks a day than it is to boost infrequently or sporadically. The minimum spend is $1.30/day, but try something like $2-3 per day to start. Even at that small amount, you’ll definitely start to see some results. If you think it’s a particularly important post for your business, feel free to make it more like $5-10!
Step 8: Edit your placements.
When boosting a Facebook post we have the option to send it out to Facebook, Instagram, or both. We typically recommend removing Instagram from our Facebook boost placements to start. No right or wrong approach here, but we like to spend our budget on the platform the original post was made on, so we choose to deselect Instagram here, and you may want to as well.
Step 9: You’re all done!
Click Boost Now.
Ok, now what?
You’re officially utilizing a paid component of social media! Great job. Do this for a while, get comfortable, start to gather some results and see what you could refine to make your boosts even better. Then, once you’re ready to get a little more advanced and continue your learning, we’re here to help!