Posted By: Kyle Fagala
If you’re looking to make a big impact on social media, boosting posts is one of the best ways to leverage content and maximize your social media ROI. Organic reach can be hard to come by on business pages, and boosted posts are often effective in combating a decline in your impressions and engagement. As with most other marketing strategies for social media, however, this topic can get a little confusing. That’s why we’re covering it as part of our “How To Create Amazing Social Media Content” series! Keep reading to learn what boosted posts are, how they differ from paid ads, and why you should consider using them to your advantage.
What is a boosted post?
When we talk about boosting posts on social media, we’re generally referring to Facebook and Instagram. There are two ways to use this option: you can choose to boost an existing post to a bigger audience or you can create a new post and immediately boost it beyond your established audience.
Because Facebook and Instagram advertising are linked up, boosted posts will show up on both feeds as long as your accounts are connected. Boosting social media posts is relatively inexpensive and lets you target a wide range of people according to the demographics you wish to reach.
How do you boost a post?
Boosting a post is a pretty easy process. You’ve probably already seen the button there every time you post an update on your Facebook page! If you’re boosting a post within Facebook, simply click that button and follow the prompts. You’ll be able to choose the “Run promotion on Instagram” option if you want to boost the same post on both platforms.
If you’re boosting a post from inside Instagram, you’ll be directed to Facebook Ads Manager and Business Suite. From there, you can set the post up and pay for it. Keep in mind that not all boosted posts will work on Instagram, however—images must be less than 20% text and the copy can’t have any hashtags in it. Content with visual appeal also tends to perform better on Instagram.
When boosting a post on either platform, you can choose to boost it to:
- people who like your page
- people who like your page and their friends
- people you choose through targeting
While each of these can be effective in their own way, choosing a targeted approach lets you pinpoint who you want to reach based on location, interests, spending power, and other demographics. This can be really helpful if you’re looking to expand your audience.
What’s the difference between a boosted post and a paid ad?
The biggest difference between boosted posts and paid ads is that the former is much simpler to get rolling than the latter. You can boost a post and have it running on Facebook and Instagram with just a few clicks. Setting up an ad campaign involves a lot more time and many more variables! Targeted ads also use more sophisticated features to reach a particular audience on social media.
There is a difference in the overall appearance of these two options as well. Ads will normally have headlines and buttons to click for various calls-to-action, but boosted posts look very similar to organic posts. Finally, boosted posts and paid ads will both appear on feeds with a “sponsored” tag, but ads may also show up in Facebook and Instagram stories.
Why should you consider boosting posts?
There are some marketing experts out there who claim that boosted posts should be avoided because they decrease your organic reach. There is some truth to this, but the context is important! If you instantly boost a post the moment you publish it, it can ding your organic reach by not giving the post a chance to flourish on its own. But as we mentioned above, organic reach on Facebook has been plummeting recently. Many fans won’t even see your updates unless you boost them. Additionally, boosted posts can often reach the same number of people (or in some cases more people) as a paid ad.
Before you boost a post, you’ll need to decide if you want to target your existing audience or expand your audience by targeting certain demographics. Whatever the size of your existing audience, this is where you’ll find your biggest fans, whether they’re a client, friend, family member, or someone interested in your services. Boosting to this built-in audience can be especially useful for sales-oriented updates and other announcements about your products, technology, or business operations.
If you’re a smaller business serving a specific area, such as an orthodontic practice, consider boosting to friends of your fans from time to time. Since they’re likely to be in the same geographical area as your fans, this kind of boosted post can give you extra bang for your buck! That being said, friends of your fans won’t always be interested in what you’re offering. If you’re focusing on increasing engagement, you may be better boosting posts to your current audience only.
If you’re looking to expand your audience, custom targeting can work really well, especially if you have an engaging post that appeals to a wide audience and is already garnering lots of likes and shares. Under the right conditions, boosting a post like this can generate a lot of traffic and new likes for your page without spending very much at all! The targeting option on boosted posts is just a more simplified version of the targeting available with any Facebook or Instagram ad. If you want to get more specific than location, interests, age, or gender, a regular paid ad may be the better choice.
We recommend boosting posts once a week or so. You can view the number of times on average people have been served your boosted posts by looking at the Ad Manager. This will give you a good idea of what’s working, what’s not, and what you should tweak to make your strategy more effective.
Boosted posts are an inexpensive and easy way to get your brand out in front of both your built-in and targeted audiences. While the process is simple enough, we know that sometimes it’s simpler to just let an expert handle it. If that sounds like you, our SEO specialists will be happy to walk you through which posts would benefit from boosting, and which audience you should consider targeting. We’re here to help you succeed!
Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS
Co-Founder, Neon Canvas