A question I get asked a lot lately by businesses who are using Facebook pages to promote their business is ‘should I boost my post’?
Many of them have noticed that since 21 January 2014, when Facebook changed it’s algorhythms overnight, the reach they get off any given post just isn’t as good as it once was.
Most people I talk to are not aware that boosted posts are only one of 32 different types of ways to advertise on Facebook. They’re definitely one of the easiest ways to get started with advertising on Facebook, but they don’t always tend to get the best results.
Just click on the ‘boost post’ button underneath any given status update you are about to make, and lay down your bets. But that’s about what it is, a bit of a gamble, if you’re not taking a step back and considering some important questions such as:
• What exactly it is you are trying to say?
• Who it exactly is you are actually trying to target with the message?
• What you are hoping to achieve out of spending money on the post?
The last question is really the same as asking which objective are you hoping to achieve from spending money. Facebook now helps you define your objective by encouraging you to choose from one of the following options if you set up an ad campaign from the ‘Manage Ads’ section:
• Page post engagement – where the post you are making gets more shares, likes and comments, thus giving it more visibility on Facebook?
• Page likes – to build your online community on Facebook from Zero to Hero?
• Clicks to website – to drive traffic to your site which will hopefully then convert
• Website conversions – do you specifically want people to sign up to your list/order a product or complete some other conversion on site?
• App installations – do you want your audience to download your app
• App engagement – do you want your audience to use your app
• Event responses – are you trying to get more numbers to your event
• Offer claims – have you created a Facbeook only offer and do you want people to claim it as a metric?
It’s worth noting that Facebook will be removing the ability to create ads with old ad types in April 2014, so they recommend that you migrate your ads to objectives as per the list above before that time.
Only when you are clear on exactly what you are trying to do i.e. what your objective is, can you realistically narrow down the most effective way to advertise, and even then you need to test and measure as variety of creative i.e. headlines, imagery and ad text before you get the mix right.
One method to achieve this is by creating a stack of ads in one hit, testing and measuring and then culling those which do not perform. If you want to create lots of ads or sponsored stories at one time (more than 20) to test and measure, you can use Power Editor.
Power Editor is Facebook’s bulk ads creation and management tool, tailored for large advertisers and marketers who like to test and measure.
Power Editor can work in conjunction with a spreadsheet application such as Excel. You can copy and paste the data from your ads and campaigns to and from Excel spreadsheets.
Apart from targeting people on Facebook by gender, marital status, education, interests and more, Facebook’s Custom Audiences let advertisers find their existing audiences among people who are on Facebook. You can use the ads create tool or use Power Editor to create a Custom Audience or upload existing data you have i.e. your company database (whose names you have solicited scrupulously of course).
To take things a step further you can also use Facebook’s lookalike audiences feature, which lets you reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they're similar to a list who are already interested in your business/product/event/service i.e. they are ‘like’ your existing audience.
Lookalike audiences help you reach people who are similar to your current customers for fan acquisition, site registration, off-Facebook purchases, coupon claims and brand awareness. Keep in mind that your lookalike audience can only include people from one country at a time.
I hope this article has given you some food for thought on just how extensive the advertising abilities of Facebook really are.
If it’s all sounding too complicated, consider getting the assistance of a professional, or engaging in some training to make sure you are going about things in the most time effective and cost effective manner for your business.
Do you use Facebook Advertising? Which type of advertising do you currently use? Do you establish and manage facebook ad campaigns yourself or do you get the assistance of professionals? Have you had training in the establishment and management of Facebook ads? Has this article inspired you to try some new things. We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.