Peter Watson: Stop pressing the ‘Boost Button’ on Facebook

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If you press that ‘Boost Button’ on Facebook to run your advertising, you are not using your marketing budget in the most effective way!

While it is very easy to do, and Facebook will deliver plenty of likes, shares and comments, there are other ways that will be more beneficial to you, and provide a better and more measurable return on your investment.

Facebook is currently the most targeted marketing tool on the planet, but only if you know how to use it.

Here are some of the downfalls of using the ‘Boost Button’, as well as some of the key benefits and features of the slightly more advanced Facebook advertising tools.

It limits you to one campaign objective – engagement

When you press the ‘Boost Button’, Facebook optimises your campaign for engagements, which are likes, comments, or shares, and the platform will deliver your adverts to people who are most likely to engage.

This does two subtle things:

  • It boosts the chance of others engaging with your post
  • Creates social proof, as having more likes on your posts makes you look ‘more important’

Whilst these vanity metrics are great for these exercises, other campaign types can optimise your advertising for online sales or for generating leads, which you will be able to track and see how effective your campaigns have been in terms of real-world return.

Here is the vast array of the other campaign objectives that you can use for your Facebook advertising.

Demographic targeted is too limited

As with traditional marketing, the better you understand and define your audience online, the better the return, as you won’t waste marketing pounds on people/audiences that are irrelevant.

Once you press the Boost Post button, Facebook will give you three initial audience options:

  • People who like your page
  • People who like your page and their friends
  • People you choose through targeting

70% of people who press the boost button, utilise the targeting ‘people who like your page’ and even if you choose ‘people you choose through targeting’, you still won’t be able to target your customers in the best way possible.

Although you can see some reasonable ‘interest’ targeting when you do, you will see the possibilities when selecting your audience are endless compared to those available when pressing the Boost Post button.

What about real demographics, and behaviour?

Facebook are one of the biggest buyers of data in the world. When you add this to the data that they already have on their users, this leads to some amazing targeting power.

As well as the data they have on you (such as your interests based on the pages you like), they also keep track on your actions across the website.

As this is happening, they are building a huge database, helping them understand the type of individual you are.

It is important to understand that every segmentation of an audience is different, and when you create your audience using demographics and behaviours, you then can create a unique sales/promotional message, designed for and therefore perfect for the people who it is targeted to.

A female who is single with two children between the ages of eight and 12 years old, who lives in Witham St Hughs and is an accountant, would respond differently to an advert aimed at an 18 year old male student, who is studying history at the University of Lincoln.

You may be thinking this is obvious, but when using the Boost Button, you are simply blanketing the whole of your target area with the same message, irrespective of their needs/situation.

This alone is the number one reason to stop using the Boost Button.

It won’t allow you to use a headline

You will notice when you are on Facebook that some of the adverts have the bold box at the bottom.

You can’t add this when utilising boost, as this is set up when you create the advert in the Ads Manager or Facebook’s Power Editor.

Below is an advert we created and targeted solely towards the managers of estate agencies in the UK. [P.S We didn’t use the Boost Post button!]

Initially you may look at this and wonder, ‘what is the point of a headline’, but from experience I can tell you that a simple tweak to that headline can make a huge difference to the amount of people that click it (Just having that house emoji in the headline increased clicks by 11%, and every little counts).

Remember that the tweaks you make to optimise your advertising may seem small and insignificant, but when you add that slight improvement in conversion to tens of thousands of impressions, it makes a huge difference to the effectiveness of your campaign.

‘Dark Posts’ are the difference

‘Dark Posts’, or invisible posts, are the best tool for advertising on Facebook in my opinion. This, again, is something you cannot do when using the Boost Post button.

When it comes to boost posting, you are promoting posts that you have already written and everyone in the whole world can see.

80% of our advertising we manage on behalf of our clients, is for posts that cannot be seen by the average person on your Facebook feed.

Why? Because the messages we are promoting are targeted so specifically to precise target audiences, we don’t want everyone else to see them, as they wouldn’t resonate with them as well as the people the adverts were intended for.

A perfect example of a Dark Post is the advert I shared in the previous section. This advert was only shown to those who were in management positions in estate agencies, and no one else would have seen it (unless someone they know had shared it, etc.).

But, as we knew that all of our advertising reached this demographic directly, we can make our advertising so unique to them, and therefore, increase the number of conversions.

The opening video comment on this advert was ‘If you are an Estate Agent you need to watch this video’… as we already knew they were!

This is where your marketing spend should be going in 2017, rather than those blanket Boost Posts.

So in conclusion, if you want more than just vanity metrics, in the form of likes, comments and shares then you need to be doing more than just boosting posts.

The time for a targeted, well driven social media campaign is now, especially if you’re currently under utilising the platform in the ways that I have described.

Facebook recently hit capacity on their advertising platform, meaning over the next two to five years, the cost of advertising is only going to increase; so ensure your company is making the most of its spend on this platform whilst it can.