It should come as no surprise to marketers that organic reach for Facebook posts has been taking a hit over the past few years. Even as recent as this year, with Facebook limiting the reach of “promotional posts,” the percentage of fans a company reaches organically continues to decrease. In a blog post I wrote last year, I indicated that while it is possible to slightly improve this percentage through higher quality content, Facebook Advertising offers more effective ways to improve post viability, for a price of course.
Today, I will be focusing on “Boost Posts,” a type of Facebook Advertising that allows companies to choose a post and have it distributed in the News Feed to anyone they want, based on interests, demographics, etc. While this may seem like a simple concept, there are certainly challenges.
In this post, I am going to go over five tips to maximize the effectiveness of boost posts on Facebook.
Have a strategic goal in place
First, it’s important to understand what needs to come out of promoting a post on Facebook. There are many reasons to boost a post, such as:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Increasing brand engagement (Shares, Comments, Likes)
- Boosting website traffic
- Promoting new content or blog posts
Companies can spend money fast boosting a post, so having a specific goal in place is necessary to use that money effectively. The next tips will go into specific ways on how to successfully reach these goals within Facebook.
Maximize targeting options
It’s easy to boost a post. It’s hard to effectively boost one. The key lies in who you are targeting. Based on the goal, companies have the ability to target anyone they want on Facebook. When boosting a post, Facebook offers the following targeting options:
- Audience (fans and/or friends of fans)
If the post is focused on information only relevant to current fans, it’s important to target only those people. On the other hand, if the goal is to interact with potential new customers, that needs to be reflected in the targeting.
Find the best time to boost a post
Time of day is another factor to keep in mind when boosting a post. For companies that have been actively running a Facebook account, knowing what days and times their audience is online should be common knowledge. For companies that have yet to make that determination, it helps to test out posting at various times of the week to get a feel for when their users are most active, and when they are not.
Once companies have figured out the best time to boost a post, they should focus boosting activity at these times to increase its effectiveness.
Focus on quality images and video
I have stressed this point in the past, but it’s worth stating again the importance of having a high quality image or video tied to a post. When boosting a post, especially to users who might not be familiar with the brand, the image will be the first piece they see. It needs to be eye catching and engaging at the same time.
Beyond that, companies should keep these factors in mind when choosing an image:
- Image Size – Making sure an image is appropriately sized is necessary. If these dimensions are not followed, Facebook will resize them, causing images to look less attractive. Here is a list of Facebook sizes:
- Sharing Images – 1200px by 1200px
- Images when sharing a link – 1200px by 628px
- Sharing Videos – 16:9 ratio
- Image Quality – It is important that all images are in high quality to avoid blurry and distorted messages.
- 20% Text Rule – While organic posts do not need to follow the 20% text rule (only 20% of an image can include text), boost posts do. Companies should plan accordingly if they want to boost a certain post.
Understand all available options on Facebook
Before hitting that “Boost Post” button, it’s critical to look back on the previous four tips to figure out if boosting a post is the best course of action.
Facebook offers a variety of different advertising options. While they make it easy to boost a post and move on, it’s important to know what options they have and see if there is one better suited for the target audience and goals.
For example, if getting “Page Likes” is the goal, Facebook offers a “Promote your Page” ad. This type of ad is much more effective at getting “Page Likes” than a boosting a post would.
To learn more about the various Facebook Advertising options, please feel free to read my blog post from last December.
While boosting a post may seem as simple as pressing a button, there is a lot more to consider in order to effectively use it and see results. To avoid irrelevant clicks and visitors, advertisers need to understand who they are targeting, what the goals are, and why users should care about the post.
In today’s Facebook world, where organic reach is dwindling, boosting a post is a fantastic way to improve its visibility. It is absolutely essential, however, that there is an effective plan in place to take advantage of that visibility.