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Few tools have a worse reputation amongst marketers than Boost. If I had a nickel for every time I saw someone drag Boost through the mud, I would only have a few handful of nickels, but I would definitely be concerned.
But, I have maintained throughout the years that Boost is effective, and the haters are experiencing what we call ‘user error.’ The truth is, as marketers, we have to maximize the tools at our disposal for what they are good at. Today, I am going to dive into how I believe this tool can and is maximized.
But, before I get started, I will not touch on Ads Manager. A Facebook Ad vs. a Boosted post isn’t even a fair comparison. Ads are more granular with targeting and a definite way to maximize ad spend—case closed.
Boost, in my opinion, is not an ad tool in the classical sense. Rather, it is an awareness function. While it might be tough to differentiate the two cognitively, I hope you will follow along on this journey.
The reason that marketers do not generally like the Boost function is that they tend to expect the same results that you would get by setting an ad. This is a totally unrealistic expectation that will not be met.
What you need to do is shift your thoughts from, “How can the Boost help this post?” to, ‘‘Does this post perform well enough on its own to utilize Boost?”
You discover that answer by setting up parameters that a post must meet organically. These parameters are not easy to meet by any means. In fact, as of the end of 2020, I only have one client who I believe is a good candidate for a monthly Boost budget. That’s because my other clients just are not organically hitting the milestones we need to have an effective strategy.
Does that mean their pages are performing poorly? Absolutely not! It just means that my one client is experiencing exceptional results from organic efforts.
For an Instagram Boost to work for you, it must already be a highly engaged post. In our experience, if you Boost something that is not already highly engaged, the results will be less than noteworthy. This is where most people stumble. They throw $30 on a post right when it goes live and see it nose-dive or reach a bunch of bots.
Instead, what we look for is a reach on an Instagram of more than double our following. So, if I have 2,000 followers and a post reaches 4,000 people and has many likes, comments, and shares relative to past posts, it is time to throw $10 – $30 on the post.
Okay, okay, but how do you Boost a post on Facebook? We have found a simple mathematical equation that works for us—reach an engagement from about 4% (variable) of the total audience reached (which you could see in business manager) and then put ad spend behind it.
For you or your clients, this might look different, but start there and see what works!
It might sound like a daunting task—looking at every single post to see how well each performed—but it actually gets pretty easy. You will start to see a trend with your posts.
For example, my client currently organically reaches over 4,000% more people than her current follower count on some Instagram posts (I know, I said exceptional). Her content and brand voice resonate with people so much that they share to their stories, then their followers share theirs, and this pattern ensues.
So, in these instances, it makes sense to add money to the back end of the post. A. We are 100% certain the post is resonating. B. $10 is a small price to pay for more organic growth (the paid audience will certainly share, leading to even more of this beautiful domino effect. My marketing heart goes pitter-patter.)
Here is an example of just one of her incredible posts with absolutely no ad spend. This is an example of organic content that would reach even higher goals with a bit of spend behind it:
When we are going through the introductory phase of signing on a client, we go over a strategy that includes (for social) a posting schedule, an ad strategy, and a Boost or Promoted post strategy.
In the Boost or Promoted post strategy, we typically ask for $100 a month but rarely exceed $45 (Note: We do not charge the full $100 if we only spend $45; our clients are only charged for what is used from their $100 monthly allowance). This budget focuses solely on engagement, as does the Boost feature.
If your parameters are set correctly, a client who posts to Facebook and Instagram every weekday (20 times a month) should see three posts or less that reach these parameters each month, and they probably won’t see any. Remember, as your client’s page grows, so will the parameters.
With ads, we are generally looking for a conversion (which is different for most clients). But, with Boosting, we are solely looking for engagement.
For instance, if the client reaches the parameters and we add $10-15 to Boost to friends of friends, or a highly-targeted geographical area, we are likely to see that post double its engagements.
Sure, getting 200 likes, comments, and shares from our followers is wonderful, but getting 200 additional engagements from people who do not follow us (yet!) is even better. These people are very likely to like our page and convert to a customer down the road.
This also allows us to engage with people who commented on the post. This way, we can create social media relationships with people who otherwise would have not ever engaged with our brand.
If we wanted a conversion, we would absolutely set this up in Ads Manager, but we simply want engagement—and Boost makes it so easy.
Do you need help with your social media and content marketing strategy? Contact us today to see how we can help you!