With more than 1 billion daily active users and the option to search for local businesses, Facebook is the place to be for small business owners. And savvy business owners know it - of the 3 million businesses using Facebook to advertise, the majority are small businesses.
There are a few different ways businesses can advertise on Facebook, but the easiest way is to "boost" a post. You've probably been tempted to click on "Boost Post" while creating Facebook updates for your business, but before you boost another post, let's talk about the myths surrounding Facebook boosting.
1. You should boost every post to get more brand exposure
Even if you do attempt to boost every single post, they will have to make it past the ad review process - so make sure you read Facebook's advertising policies first.
And if all your posts somehow make it past Facebook's ad review process, boosting that status update isn't always a good idea. There are some things you should consider before you boost a Facebook post:
- Does the post have a purpose?
- Does the post have a clear call-to-action?
- Does the post link to a solid landing page?
If you're not answering 'yes' to all of these questions, you might want to reconsider boosting the post.
If you're sure that boosted post is going to lead your readers closer to your final objective for the post, then go ahead and boost it, but don't just boost every post.
Let's say, for example, that you boost a status update that was already doing well. Suddenly, you're getting a heap more "likes", but if the post isn't designed to drive traffic to your website, it's likely that you're paying for impressions from Facebook users you'll never hear from again.
Facebook engagement is great, but if you're paying for ads, you probably want more than just "likes."
2. You should boost posts with links to content (to get more clicks)
So you just created a stellar blog post or video and you're really proud of it. You shared it on Facebook, and now that "Boost Post" button is tempting you, because you want to get more traffic to your blog.
But stop and think about it for one second.
Before you boost a content-related post, decide what it's going to do for your business. Will traffic to that content turn followers into customers? If the content is designed as an advertisement, with a clear call-to-action at the end, boost away.
But don't boost any old content just because you want more "likes" or more blog traffic. I'm sure you're seeing a pattern about not boosting posts just to get Facebook reactions, but basically, you don't want you to spend money and see no tangible return.
3. Boosting posts is the best financial decision for small businesses that want to advertise on Facebook
It's so easy to boost a post, and the options make it look pretty low-cost, right? Well, maybe not. I asked our paid advertising team about this, and they all said the same thing: It might be less work to boost a post than to create a new ad, but it isn't any more cost effective than any other type of Facebook advertising.
In fact, you're paying for reach with boosted posts. That means that you're paying just to have people see what you've posted. While that might seem like a good thing, you are likely going to end up paying for people to glance at (and then scroll past) your boosted post.
And Facebook's default options for boosted posts make it easy for you to blow your budget. With boosted posts, you'll usually spend your entire daily budget even if the post doesn't have as much reach as Facebook originally predicted.
The default options are also designed to target your followers and friends of followers. But it's likely that friends of followers are not part of your target audience, so that means more pointless views.
Instead, you could use Facebook's Ad Manager or Power Editor to create an ad campaign. Ad campaigns can cost as little as one dollar per day and you can use manual bidding to get the most out of your budget, pay less and get better results.
You can also set the ad to charge for clicks rather than views.
Ad Manager and Power Editor make it easier to target specific Facebook users as well - you can target custom audiences, including specific demographics (so your ads reach users who fit your buyer profiles) and user behaviors.
These options are available for boosted posts as well, but they're harder to find. If you want to boost a post, you'll need to dig deeper into the settings (and stay away from those default options!) to target custom audiences.
While it's fine to boost posts every once in a while, it might not always be the best option for advertising on Facebook. It's worth keeping in mind your end objectives when considering your Facebook promotion options.