With its ever-changing algorithms and policies, managing a Facebook channel can sometimes beguile even the most seasoned marketing teams, especially when it comes to boosted posts. Let's break down what they are and why this Facebook feature is important to the success of your next marketing campaign.
What's a Facebook boosted post?
Boosted posts use Facebook's built-in Ads Manager to get your content in front of consumer eyeballs. Ad Manager makes it dead simple to create an advertising campaign and that's funneled directly into the news feeds of your target audience.
The tool is available to any company that has at least 50 likes on their page. Boosted posts do come with a price tag but users can select a maximum amount they wish to invest to stay on budget. As with many marketing strategies, the more you spend, the more people will see the post.
Why do I need it?
Facebook boasts a whopping 1.23 billion users per month and 757 million users per day. If even a tiny fraction of them see your content, that's still a huge pool of potential customers. Trouble is, Facebook's unpromoted organic reach is steadily declining and that means even people who "like" your page won't necessarily see your posts without a little help behind the scenes.
Facebook decides what users see based on a complex series of algorithms. They take into account -- among other things -- when the post was published, whether it's getting liked and shared, and how popular the content provider's posts are overall. As the number of Facebook users increase, so does the challenge for marketers to gain a good spot in the News Feed to be heard above the din.
As Facebook VP Brian Boland explains, "There is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it. On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person's News Feed each time they log onto Facebook. For people with lots of friends and Page likes, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on." The good news is that Facebook says boosted posts have a far better chance of being seen than those that aren't.
How do I choose what content to boost?
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you'll want to carefully select posts that have the best chance of meeting your marketing goals. These tips will help keep you on track.
Choose content that helps your target customer in some way. Occasional sales messages are fine, but the goal of boosted posts is to get people thinking about the way your product or service addresses their needs and wants.
Include a call to action that incentivizes people to share their email address so you can start building your own customer lists. Use those curated lists to reach out to customers through email campaigns, contests, and other promotional activity outside of Facebook.
Include an image with your post. Facebook users respond well to clever, amusing, touching, or eye-catching graphics. Keep them simple, with clean lines and colors, for maximum impact.
Keep it relevant. Timely messages that show you're paying attention to the culture and world around you let people know you're creating fresh content that speaks to them right now. Don't run an ad with Easter bunnies in November or mention the Super Bowl in June. It sends the message that you're recycling content and aren't in the moment with your customers.
Facebook is a terrific medium for engaging existing and potential customers. Boosted content offers a great way to be confident your message has the best chance of being seen by your target market.
Image: Erik Charlton