19 days, 6 hours, and 20 minutes. That’s the amount of time I’ve spent on Facebook since I first joined the social network in 2009, and that’s estimating it with a humble use of 10 minutes per day. That’s just half the median: according to Business Insider, we spend an average of 20+ minutes per day on Facebook. This has prompted the analysts at Needham & Co to say:
“If time is money, then Facebook.com represents the most valuable Internet property on the web today.”
Having an interest in the most valuable internet property will certainly pay off. Any target audience you can think of, you can find it on Facebook spending an average of 20 minutes a day on it. This is why it’s important for you to know and take advantage of every tool that Facebook puts at your disposal to increase your exposure.
In last week’s article I told you about the magnitude of Facebook, it has more users than China has citizens. New data by Statista shows that, as of the first quarter of 2016, there were 1.65 billion monthly active Facebook users. Every one of these users is constantly sharing their own content, likes, photos, et cetera. SocialPilot tells us that people share 1.3 million pieces of content on Facebook every minute of every day.
Is it possible for a post to get lost among the billion pieces of content currently on Facebook? Unfortunately, yes. Facebook has released a statement talking about why organic reach in their network is declining. Reason #1: more and more content is created and shared everyday, and reason #2: Facebook’s News Feed algorithm is designed to show each user only the content that is most relevant to them. To avoid losing your social media audience, Facebook allows business owners to invest in post promotion using the Boost Post option.
Boosting a Facebook Post
Boosting your posts is an effective and inexpensive way of getting more exposure for your content. Boosted posts appear higher in the News Feed, so there’s a better chance your audience will see them. It’s a great way to get more people to see your content; you can promote special events, offers, and news, and you can even use this option to reach a new audience through targeting.
There are 3 simple steps to boosting a post on Facebook:
Start by deciding what post you want to promote. It could be either a new or an existing post on your Page’s Timeline. Click Boost Post and an ad will be created from this specific post.
Choose your audience
The next step is choosing who you would like to see your post. You have at least two options, and depending which one you select, a lot more. The first option is to target People who like your Page and their friends. The boost will only be visible to those people. The second option is to choose your audience through targeting, meaning you can narrow the people by location, age, gender, and interests.
Set your budget
By setting your maximum budget, you are able to spend as much or as little as you want. Depending on your budget, Facebook gives you an estimate of the size of the audience you’ll be reaching. Finally, you just need to choose the duration of the boost, from one day up to 7.
Now, we’re left with one big, important question:
When Should You Boost a Post?
“Begin with the end in mind”
One of my all-time favorite books is the best-seller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, and habit #2 talks about starting out with a goal in mind. Start each day, task, and project with a clear vision of the outcome you want from it. This will put your goals in focus and move your ideas into the real world.
There are many goals you can achieve by boosting a post, but I’ve narrowed it down to the top 5:
- Increase brand awareness.
- Increase engagement with your business (get more shares, comments, likes, et cetera).
- Boost your online traffic.
- Promote your content.
- Reach new markets.
Ask yourself: “What do I want out of boosting my posts?” If your answer is one of the reasons above, it’s time to start boosting.
Boost Valuable Content
Even though post boosting is relatively cheap, it still means investing a portion of your marketing budget into the posts you decide to promote. Make sure the content that you choose has the highest value for the return on your investment.
Unless you want to promote a time-sensitive campaign, the rule of thumb is to choose posts with evergreen content. Usually, “evergreen” is what we call the vegetation that remains green all year long. In this case we’re talking about the posts that “remain fresh” and keep people interested, and will promote brand awareness in the long run. I’ve created a little checklist of the criteria to be met by any post that is worth boosting:
- It helps promote a product/service offered by your business.
- It encourages people to follow the post all the way to your business page or website.
- It increases brand awareness for your business.
Why Should You Boost Facebook Posts?
When you open your Facebook News Feed, what’s the first thing that shows up? Chances are your Feed is usually filled with status updates, photos, videos, shared links, and likes from your friends; mine is. With the increasing number of Facebook users and Pages, businesses can’t rely solely on their organic reach; the unpredictability of it is just too high. There is a chance that your posts will get lost among all the birthday wishes and baby photos we often find on our Feeds. Boosting a post is a great way to prevent that and improve the visibility of your most important posts. Boosting posts gives them a much bigger chance to be seen.
As you can see, boosting may seem as simple as the click of a button, but there is a lot to consider in order to effectively use this social media tool and see results. We realize that not every single Facebook user is going to be your client; that’s why it’s important to understand who you want to target, what your goals are, and to boost the posts that users will genuinely care about.
But fret not, Facebook and post boosting just got easier with 8 Signal. Give us a call at (915) 585-1919, or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and see if Facebook’s Boost Post option is a fit for your business. 8 Signal—Your marketing department, without the overhead.
Photos courtesy of: chriscorneschi, sandy.zieba, basheertome, Sarah.Marshall.