Scenario: You’re a small business owner with a Facebook Business page. Occasionally, after you’ve put a post up on Facebook, you get a prompt in your feed.
This post is performing better than xx% of your other posts. Boost it for xx to reach xx thousand people!
Great! Who doesn’t want to reach more people?
But before you hand that money over to Facebook, ask yourself two things:
- Who do I actually want to reach with this information?
- What action do I then want them to take?
If so far you’ve just been boosting posts from your Facebook page, you may not have seen the backend of Facebook’s Ads Manager.
There are so many things you can do with Ads Manager, but they all fall under 3 categories: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.
‘Boosted’ posts in this scenario fall under the Awareness – Reach objective.
Essentially, their goal is to just get in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
They aren’t optimised by default to get people to visit your website, make a purchase or submit an enquiry. You are able to add a Messenger objective but at the end of the day ‘Boosted’ posts are a numbers game.
Sometimes, that is totally fine! If your goal is really just to make people aware your product or service exists and take no further action at this stage a ‘Boosted’ post is a cost-effective way to reach the maximum number of people. This could be useful in a scenario like: the first stages of the initial launch of a product, making more people in your area aware of an important update like new opening hours, or just increasing engagements on your posts as a newer Facebook page.
If that is the case your targeting is imperative. There are several default targeting options eg. people who like your page and their friends, people in the area etc.
Think about the point of your post and who you most need to communicate it with.
If you are a local business that requires in-store purchases, there is very little point in boosting your post across the entire state. You may reach more people, but the likelihood of them actually ever coming into your store is minimal. There is no point paying to get in front of people who will never have the opportunity to access your product or service.
If you are, say, an ecommerce business that ships across all of Australia by all means cast your targeting radius net wider.
Who is actually going to be interested in your product? Again, by default, Facebook only auto-selects age (18-65yo) and gender (both male and female). It may look like you’re reaching a large audience, but think about how many people you’re paying to put your ad in front of who may in fact never be interested in your product.
Example: you’re a nail salon located in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. If you use default targeting settings, your ad is shown to everyone including 45 year old males who live in Ipswich. Probably not exactly your target market. Adjust the age and gender settings to reach a more relevant audience.
Finally, where people live and their age and gender is one piece of the puzzle but 25 year old Maddi from Fortitude Valley may have completely different interests than 25 year old Sarah, also from Fortitude Valley. Start filling in some relevant interests you know apply to your audience with ‘Interest’ targeting. Eg. Nail salon, manicures, spa etc.
By ensuring your message is in front of the right audience, they are more likely to recall your ad later.
What action do you want people to take?
So you know how to get in front of the right audience, but what do you then actually want them to do with this information?
If your goal is to get people to visit your website, make a purchase, go to your storefront, or engage with your business really in any other way there are better ways to do this then a boosted post.
I get a little excited with all the amazing features Ads Manager has – you can do everything from set up an automated messenger conversation to collect leads, to integrate with Maps so people can easily and immediately get directions to your business, to showcase your full e-commerce catalogue.
Of course, this requires a bit more intimate knowledge of Facebook’s Business Manager (also, having a Business Manager account to start with!)
If you’re anything like me and love self-education, I recommend checking out Facebook Blueprint, a free online learning portal for all things social marketing.
If, however, time or resources are an issue, as they so often are in small business, feel free to get in touch with me for some one-on-one consulting or hands on social management.