As a small business owner, i’m pretty sure that you’ve seen those prompts from Facebook suggesting that your post is doing so well, and you should boost it. It seems tempting…so should you? We get asked a lot whether companies should boost a Facebook post. Whilst it seems a hot discussion amongst marketers who all may disagree, here’s our thoughts.
What is a Facebook boosted post?
A facebook boosted post is a paid ad. So yup, you have to put some money behind it. It’s basically a really basic ad. When you boost a Facebook post, you pay to get your post in front of more people. For the most part, there is no spending limit on a boosted post, it can be anything you like from £1 upwards.
The Pros of boosting a Facebook post
- Pro – More reach
Boosting a post can be great for getting a post to have more reach – in marketing speak, this means more eyes on.
- Pro – Local brand awareness
Boosting a post to your local community can be a really good way of boosting people’s knowledge that you exist. This works really well for service based businesses.
- Pro – Great for events
For events happening in a small area, boosting a post can be a really good way to reach a wide group of people for a small amount of £. If you run an event which is for everyone, for example a village fete, then boosting to a broad audience is great.
- Pro…? It’s super easy
Boosting a post is really easy, of course it is, Facebook wants your money. You can make a decision for yourself if this is a pro or con.
Cons of boosting a Facebook post
- Con – Limited targeting
When you boost a post, you have a very tiny fraction of Facebook’s full targeting options available to you. This means that those personas you’ve worked so hard to consider, are almost impossible to reach properly.
- Con – What is reach worth? Most of the time, nothing.
For most businesses, they shouldn’t care about reach. What is reach worth? Let’s be real, it’s worth absolutely nothing unless you’re reaching the right person, right client or the right stage of that person in their customer journey. You can’t pay your bills with reach alone!
Boosting a post can be a bit like those scrolling banners you see on a football pitch, where you sort of take them in, but then you forget about it immediately. Until maybe the next time you see that brand and you think hmmm I’ve seen that before somewhere. Whilst Facebook boosted posts help build your reach, without specific targeting you’re unlikely to make a conversion – which we’ve just established is difficult in a boosted post – you’re just putting your money down the drain.
- Con – but doesn’t boosting help your organic reach?
Facebook are mean and greedy, so yes, boosting a post will help your organic posts get more visibility, but only for a while. Once they see that you have boosted a post once, they know that you’re easily convinced, they will push you again and again and again to spend spend spend. They will drop your organic reach to a point after you’ve boosted so you deliberately think “well maybe I should boost again”. And you end up in this vicious cycle. Organic social media is not dead, despite what anyone might say. A good organic strategy can still be effective and grow without boosting, it’s just got to be the kind of content people want and like.
So, the golden question, should I boost a Facebook post?
Boosting a Facebook post certainly has its place, but on the whole it’s not something we think is particularly helpful outside of brand awareness. If brand awareness is your goal, then YES do it, otherwise no. The harsh truth is that Facebook’s ultimate goal is always money, not your business. The reason it’s so easy to boost and the reason they push you to do it, is because it’s easy money from vulnerable small business owners who may not know any better. You might make a sale via a boosted post, it isn’t impossible and that’s great if you do, but it’s a very broad spread of your hard earned cash.
We aren’t saying Facebook ads on the whole aren’t a good thing, only that boosting isn’t the best way to go. Through the Facebook ads manager, with very specific, well researched targeting options and effective tracking methods, you can make money and track where your spend went more effectively. Remember that it’s the £ that counts, not vanity metrics.
If you want more support with your Facebook Ads, or anything at all in your Facebook account please ask us, whether it’s fixing your instagram shopping feed or a full facebook ads strategy, we are here to help.