I know the scenario. You’ve posted out something great to Facebook and that little blue ‘Boost Post’ button tempts you to “reach more people”. You may want to just throw $20 at it, or maybe $50, $100 even. But you shouldn’t. I’ll explain why you’d rather run an ad campaign in a moment. Let’s first cover some of the basics.
What Is A Boosted Post
A Boosted Post is a regular post on your Facebook Page’s timeline that you can put money toward “boosting” its audience views, otherwise known as impressions.
It ensures your post is seen by more people, or more often by the same people. You can tailor the audience that will see your post, such as age and location, and determine the length of time you’d like your money to be spent.
Boosted posts are considered ads with limited functionality. But they are easy to use; a simple click of a button and you’ve successfully paid to “advertise” your brand.
What Is An Ad?
Facebook ads look like regular Facebook posts, but have a bit more behind them. You’ve likely noticed content in your Newsfeed with small grey text that reads: “Sponsored”. This is an ad. What sets ads and boosted posts apart is the range of analytics Facebook offers behind the scenes through a variety of campaign goals.
A campaign goal is your desired outcome of an ad, as an ad is more than just a regular post. Think of Facebook ads as operating within a tiered format: Campaign, Ad Set, Ad.
You first select your campaign type. Facebook offers a number of options from building brand awareness, to getting more website clicks, to attracting more page likes, post engagement, and so on. I will discuss this topic in depth at a later date.
Once you’ve chosen your overall goal, you create an ad set. Ad sets allow you to set a budget and a target audience for ads – and even these two options offer a vast more amount of control than boosting. You can optimise your budget and tailor your audience down to interests, even targeting those who are fans of a competitor’s Facebook Page. You can have multiple ad sets per campaign.
Finally, you’ve got your ad, which is where all the creativity comes in. Ads can be videos, images, text, carousels, slideshows, interactive landing pages, and so on. You can tailor their look per place they will be shown: mobile, desktop, Facebook Stories, Instagram, Instagram Stories, etc. You can have multiple Ads per Ad Set.
Now the success of your ad is all dependent on what goal you’ve selected, your target audience and budget, and the quality of your content. It sounds complicated and scary, thus many small businesses will instead opt for the easy option of boosting.
I promise Ads are not scary, though. And I highly encourage you to go that route rather than boosting.
Why You Shouldn’t Boost
It’s important to first distinguish your desired outcome of your marketing strategy. Are you wanting something quick or something long-lasting? Are you wanting to encourage more engagement or are you wanting rich data to better tailor your target and attract customers?
Sure boosting will increase your reach and sometimes even engagement. But it’s only temporarily. Boosting is extremely limiting and a majority of the time, a waste of your money. You can’t build tailored audience, or save them, and you can’t determine outcomes such as website visits, or event purchases.
By boosting, you’re severely limiting your target audience thus essentially, wasting your money. I know it’s tempting, but it’s simply not worth it. You are blind in the eyes of ROI (Return On Investment) and you’re limiting the success of your brand.
But you are really proud of that post and you want more people to see it? You can still choose to use it as an ad!
With Facebook Ads, the options are endless. It’s okay if you’re new to it. Go have a play and learn. It’s fun once you dive in. When you see the number of options and flexibility, you’ll never want to hit ‘Boost Post’ and waste your money again.