Beware of the Facebook Boost Post Button — It’s not what you think it is!

Here it is,

Your recent post is performing better than 80% of your posts. Boost is to reach up to 14,000 target audience…

Isn’t it just tempting to click on the shining blue button and see the magic happening — and if you have recently joined the bandwagon of Facebook marketers, chances are that you have fallen prey to such baits, more than once.

And why not?

Every time you push the button — Boost Post — numbers start rolling in, assuring that there’s something that you did that worked for your brand.

What could it be? The content? Creative? Graphic representation? Caption?

Perhaps, the truth is, Nothing!

We’ll talk about this in detail later.

First I want you to take a look at the below case study and answer a few questions…

Look at this creative and tell me is there anything in particular that you liked and would hit the Like button or spare a few moments to comment on the post? Lest you are a Batman fan and go crazy liking all the posts, regardless of the content, I don’t see much happening in the creative that would attract users to engage with the post. Right? After all, it’s just another post with a Batman picture and a popular quiet. C’mon, you can find a billion such posts doing rounds on Social Media almost every hour. So why would such a post attract 30k engagement in just a few hours — it was 10 hours to be precise and then….

Yes, for the first couple of hours, the social media team didn’t see any activity on the post. Not even a single like despite having close to 3 lakhs fans. The team decided to use the infamous “Boost Post” button to increase engagement.

The result — the numbers started rolling in. In precisely 10 hours, we got about 10k+ likes, more 90 comments, and up to 450 shares. The post was boosted for 1 day. The moment the budget exhausted, we were back to square one. The engagement stopped, a new day took over and the team started preparing for the next post. I asked myself, “was it worth the money we spent?”.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Facebook’s Advertising products. In fact, I always recommend my clients, especially startups, to get started with paid Facebook advertising to reach potential clients. But I also believe that using the “Boost Post” button is nothing but a bad advertising strategy that does nothing more than satisfying marketers’ egos.

First of all, using the magical little button (given below) should be often seen as a shortcut to getting more traffic, engagement, and even sales. But the truth is that it’s not what you think it is, and it definitely doesn’t work the way you expect it to work.

Boost Post, originally named as “Promote Post’’ was introduced in 2012 to allow users to create ad campaigns without leaving the page. Of course, it soon caught up and became one of the most used advertising products on Facebook. And why wouldn’t it — Facebook Boost Post is an easy and quick way to reach more people. Sounds good, right?

The only problem is that this quick strategy can turn out to be a HUGE mistake when done wrong. I have seen it all: business owners spending thousands of dollars every month with the hope to get loyal fans and sales. But why does that happen? Let’s find out

Lack of Objective

One every Facebook post that you publish, there is an option to “Boost Post”, but doesn’t mean that you have to use it all the time.

Boosting a status update isn’t always a good idea. There are a few questions that you must answer before you boost a Facebook post:

Does the post have an objective?

Does it have a call-to-action?

Is the post linked to a structured landing page?

If you did not answer yes to these questions, you might want to reconsider boosting the post. Remember the case study we talked about in the introduction? If your post doesn’t have any tangible goals, then it’s not worth spending money on it. You really don’t want to pay for the genetic post updates just because you think that they would attract attention. It’s a bad marketing strategy and will not reap any benefit in the long run, except that Facebook might soon become the world’s second-richest company, followed by Apple.

If the goal is to drive traffic to the website, get sales, or create brand awareness, boosting is not the right ad product. Once you’ve decided on the specific goal you want to achieve, include a strong call to action (CTA) in your post and advertise it using your Facebook Ad Manager Account.

Limited Options

If you have used Ad Manager for Facebook Campaigns, chances are that you are already aware of the limitations with the Boost Post feature. But in case, you haven’t, then you’d need to pay special attention to this point.

V/S

Facebook is one of the most preferred ad platforms for businesses, both small and big. One of the biggest advantages of using Facebook ad platforms is the wide range of psycho-demographic information about people, including likes or dislikes, interests, behaviors, age, gender, relationship status, household income, profession, and religious or political beliefs.

The unique targeting and abundance of targeting options provided are almost endless.

But with Boost Post option Facebook has made an attempt to make advertising easy for advertisers and page admins with minimal experience. Overall, Facebook Ad Manager provides about 20 different marketing objectives, none of which you will find if you are boosting posts from the page interface.

“If you are only using Boosted Posts, you’re paying for people to just see what you’ve posted.”

No Control Over Placement or Device Targeting

With the infamous Boost Post option, advertisers don’t get the option to choose where they want to show their ad. The default option is always the News Feed. You must know that Facebook’s algorithm selects the placement for you depending upon your objective. However, most of the time they find the cheapest alternative to achieve the objective which might even have a negative effect on the overall campaign results.

For example: if you select multiple age groups for your target audience, Facebook will eventually push most of the budget to the group that is getting the cheapest clicks, regardless of whether it’s getting you leads or sales.

On the other hand, the adverts manager gives you the option to manually control your ad placements and device targeting. This lets you choose what platforms and formats your ad shows up in.

When should you boost?

Ideally, never! Perhaps if you are new to the advertising and have recently launched a Facebook page, you can use Boost Post to get some initial likes.

Depending upon your goals, the Boost Post objective will target only those people who are likely to engage with any post — so if you are looking for only a few likes, comments, or shares then the Boost Post will achieve that objective for you. However, if you want to get your ad in front of the largest audience, to increase brand awareness, or to drive traffic to your website, then there are far more effective objectives in Facebook Ad Manager.

Pro Tip 1: Do not start advertising your posts right away. Give them a few hours for some organic reach and engagement to kick in. This way the post will attract more engagement after being sponsored.

Pro Tip 2: Always and always enable the Bot Filtering option (screenshot given below) in your GA. You’ll find a major difference between the number of clicks being shown in your FB report and the number of clicks via Facebook ad displayed in Google Analytics. The ones that GA didn’t count were BOTS.

Learn the basics. Start with the right strategy and create effective campaigns. Most importantly, choose the right ad type.

Now your turn!

If you learned something from this article, give it a clap and share it with your colleagues, friends, and business associates.

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Writer | Digital Marketer | Entrepreneur. Good food and a Good Book keep me sane!

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Sonal Mishra

Sonal Mishra

Writer | Digital Marketer | Entrepreneur. Good food and a Good Book keep me sane!

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