If you run a Facebook Business page then you have come across the boosted page post many times but you might not even know it or understand what it means. As a page administrator, Facebook will ask you every time you create a post if you’d like to boost it to reach more people. It appears as a little button in the bottom of your published post that only you can see. Once you click it, a box pops up that gives you options of how you’d like to boost the post.
Why pay to promote a post?
Before getting to the nitty gritty, let’s stop a moment and look at why you’d want to do such a thing in the first place. In other words, if I already have a page with lots of followers, what’s in it for me to play money to boost my post?
Facebook puts the brakes on organic posts
The truth is, only a very tiny percentage of your total fans actually sees your posts. Facebook is generous with the features it offers to businesses for free but one thing they have done is limit the number of people who can see the posts you put on the page. This is called throttling, meaning that Facebook throttles down the impressions it gives to posts you create for free, also known as organic posts.
You have already been asking yourself why all the terrific, engaging posts you’ve been crafting for social media are falling kind of flat with few likes, shares and comments. Throttling is the reason why.
Why are they doing this to us?
Facebook is a business, after all, and they want to make money somehow. So to have more eyeballs view your posts Facebook charges you to show them to more people, known as boosting a posts (or sometimes referred to as paid posts or promoted posts.) This lets more of your fans see the post, even if they like your page already. So, even though they make it fun and easy to post all kinds of content to Facebook on your business page, your masterpiece won’t really be seen by all that many people. Seems like they let you set this great table and then yank the tablecloth off just as you hit send.
Parts of a Facebook boost
If you look closely at the dialog box that appears when you chose to boost a post, there are a few options to help expand and convert your audience.
Facebook allows you to add a button to the boosted post that will entice people to take an action. There are a few different ways to use buttons to help make a boosted post more effective.
- Direct traffic to your website - There is a “learn More” that is useful if you want to include a custom link in you post that directs people to your website. For educational or informational content, the button can let people click to get more information about your blog post or specific page on your website.
- Book a consultation - For more promotional type posts, you can encourage potential patients to book a free consultation with a “Book Now” button.
- Find your practice - A “Get Directions” button will send people to your practice’s physical address.
Call-to-action buttons are extremely effective as they are telling the viewer what they can do next if they are interested in your post.
Facebook allows you to customize the audience you want to promote the boosted post to. The audience can be a certain demographic in a specific geographic area or it can be just promoted to people who already like your page. Each audience type is geared toward different results. The audience option is where you will optimize for results.
- Existing followers - For example, if you want to promote a post to people who like your page already, then you can chose to boost your post just to that audience. When current followers engage with the boosted content, their friends on Facebook will see that activity on their pages, increasing your reach naturally. The trust that your followers already have in you practice will be transferred to their network.
- New followers - If you want to expand your reach beyond your existing followers you can target a broader demographic, promoting a post to people who live in towns surrounding your practice location. This will create awareness of your practice outside of your existing network.
- Visitors to your website - It’s a little bit more complicated but you can put code on your practice’s website so that when people visit they will be retargeted with a boosted post from your Facebook page. Like we said, it’s a bit more complicated and you might need to get your website developer to help you but this is a very effective way to re-capture that traffic on social media.
Budget and duration
Facebook advertising isn’t like buying a page in a coupon mailer or Pennysaver. You chose a budget you want to spend to reach the people you’re targeting. Once your boosted post reaches the end of the budget, it turns off. You can also select a specific duration the ad will run so that once it reaches the end of that timeframe (ex. 7 days) then the ad shuts off, even if you haven’t spent your entire budget. In the end you are charged based only on ad performance.
Set your strategy
Facebook boosted posts are very powerful tools for the small business. All the available options help you target a very segmented group for very specific results. Best of all, you set your budget and you can use it to test a post’s effectiveness. If you find a particularly engaging post you can increase your budget or boost it to different audiences and keep optimizing it for the best results.
Want to learn more about how you can supercharge your marketing? Our work builds trust in your practice online to help you get new patients in a digital era by convincing them (before even meeting you) that you’re the practice to choose. For more information, or a free marketing analysis, you can contact People & Practice today at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.