Using Facebook Ads to Your Advantage

Ah! I've broken my own cardinal rule of blogging regularly and been on a two week hiatus. I won't make excuses for it, but I will make sure that this blog post kicks ass to make up for my radio silence. In my last blog post, I talked about how to improve your Facebook results. I briefly touched on the importance of boosting (advertising) your Facebook posts, but I wanted to get into more detail since this is a question I am asked often.

No matter who your target audience is, you can almost guarantee that they're on Facebook. But just because you're using Facebook for your business doesn't mean you're reaching them. There are plenty of things you can do to improve your organic reach, as I mentioned in my last blog post; however, the best way to guarantee that your content is in front of your intended audience is to boost your posts.

One of the nice things about Facebook ads is that it's flexible so that you can work within a budget you can afford. Facebook ads even allows you to set a monthly spending cap so that you can ensure you don't spend over your limit.

My favorite thing about Facebook ads is that you can get very specific with your ad targeting, but before I start to get into that I want to explain the difference between boosting a post and creating a Facebook ad just in case you aren't aware.

A Boosted Post on Facebook

Boosting a post on Facebook is when you pay a fee (that you determine based on how many people you want to reach) to have your content display on your audience's News Feeds.

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If you click on the boost post button in the bottom right corner of your Facebook post you will be prompted to set a budget, select your target audience, and the length you want to boost your post for. Once you boost a post, you will be able to see organic reach, paid reach, and post clicks at the bottom of your posts like in the image below.

A Facebook Ad

A Facebook Ad is when you use the Facebook Ads manager to create an advertisement to display on Facebook. This could be in the desktop newsfeed, the mobile newsfeed, or in the right hand column (although I recommend against putting it there!). So a Facebook ad is not an actual Facebook post for your business page even though it will still display in the desktop News Feed. A Facebook Ad will say "sponsored" in the top.

Facebook ads are beneficial if you have an event you are trying to get people to attend but if not, I recommend boosting your posts. So here's what you need to know to get started with boosts:

How to boost a Facebook Post

First create a typical Facebook post. (check out my last blog post about the best way to post to Facebook for help!) Once you post it to Facebook you can click the "Boost Post" button on the bottom right corner of the post. If it's a post you've scheduled in advance, once it's posted you can also click the "Boost Post" button.

Then,  you should see a pop up box with different options for you to choose your audience, choose your budget, the duration for the boost, and your payment method. First, you'll want to choose your audience. You can choose from boosting your post to the News Feed of people who Like your Page, people who Like your Page and their friends, or people you choose through targeting.

If your Page is liked by exactly the people you want to reach then select people who like your Page and their friends, but typically you're going to want to select people you choose through targeting. You can target groups by interests, location, ages and gender. And you can save the audiences you create so that you can continue to boost posts to them without having to repeat this process each time.

Once you've selected your audience, you need to adjust the budget and duration for the boost. As you adjust your budget, Facebook will show you the estimated reach so you can fiddle around without as much as you want based on your goals. then simply select how many days you would like to boost the post.

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What Content to Boost on Facebook

You don't want to boost every single thing you post. You should only be boosting post that provide value and can help spread brand awareness for you. A post worth boosting should:

  • Promote a product or service offered by your business
  • Spread awareness for an event your business is hosting
  • Encourage your audience to visit your website

If your post does none of these things it probably isn't worth spending the money to boost it because you won't get any return on that investment besides getting that post in front of more people. But if there is no action to be taken, then I would recommend going for your best organic traffic for that type of post.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Facebook has Ad Guidelines. You can't just boost whatever kinds of posts you want. They have to be approved by Facebook before they will begin to display. So review the guidelines, and you can use this tool to make sure you are complying with the 20% text to image ratio.

Okay, so that covers boosting your Facebook posts. Next time I'll go through creating Sponsored ads on Facebook. In the meantime, if you have any questions about boosting posts feel free to reach out in the comments!