That bright blue boost button is sitting right there next to your latest post, which so far isn’t getting any traction… it’s so tempting to just hit it, add a few quid and cross your fingers for some engagement just to keep your client happy. But it’s likely that pressing boost will mean you'll end up wasting your client's money if you do.
It's time to step away from the boost button (at least until you understand when you should be using it.)
So you’ve shared a post on your business page, it’s not had any engagement at all…. just silence… it’s like you’re talking to yourself. You're panicking, you've got to report to your client in a few days and things aren't looking that good. They've given you an ads budget and your finger is hovering over that big blue boost button. STOP!
Before you hit boost ask yourself why you aren’t getting any organic engagement on that post. If your posts are getting no engagement organically, the chances are it won’t get much by hitting boost either. So to give yourself (and your clients money) the best chances of success, take a look at your post first.
It's not the algorithm..
It's very tempting to blame the pesky algorithm when you're not getting the reach and engagement you want on Facebook, and it's even easier to assume that you need to pay to get better results. But the chances are it’s nothing to do with the algorithm and is everything to do with your post just not being that engaging (sorry to break it to you!)
Take a look at your content, does it invite engagement? Really? Are you asking a question? Giving your followers a call to action? Or are you just broadcasting? If you invite conversation you'll struggle to start one.
And if no one cares about your organic post, boosting it simply means you’ll be spending money to show it to more people who don’t care that much about it.
Once you start to get some organic engagement on your posts, in the form of reactions or comments, it might be time to consider the boost button.
But first, ask yourself why do you want more engagement on this post? Is it because it will really benefit your clients business? Or is it just for vanity reasons, so you can tell your client that your content is getting great engagement?
If it benefits your clients business because the post is informative, has a good call to action, a link to the website and does exactly what you need it to do, then maybe that boost button might be an option.
If it’s for vanity reasons and you simply want more likes and comments to report to your client, then that’s fine too as long as that's what they want.
Either way before you hit boost you need to know what your objective is and whether you might be better off spending your money on a proper Facebook ad.
How to decide whether to boost or create a Facebook ad.
You'll first need to understand what your end goal is so you can choose the right objective either with your boosted post or when creating a Facebook ad within ads manager.
You want more engagement:
If you want more engagement (reactions, comments, shares) on this specific post then you can choose to boost and pick the engagement objective.
Or if you are used to using ads manager you can create an engagement campaign and use this post as the creative or create a whole new (engaging) post, targeted to the right audience, shown across all placements and you can test it against other options.
You want people to message you:
If you want people to contact you, perhaps to make a booking or ask for more details then you can choose boost and pick the message objective.
Again, if you are used to using ads manager you can create a messenger campaign and use this post or create a whole new ad to encourage people to start conversations in Messenger. Your ads can then be targeted to the right audience, shown across all placements and you can test it against other options.
You want people to visit the website:
What do you want them to do when they get there? If you want them to simply visit the website to read a blog or view a product page then you can choose to boost. But if you want them to take an action when they get there, like buy something or sign up to an email list, then it’s likely boosting isn’t the right way to go.
Creating an ad in ads manager with a traffic or conversions objective is likely to get you better results. Again you'll want to make sure you target to the right audience and you can then show these ads across all placements and test different creative and audiences.
Why would you create an ad instead of a boost?
Using ads manager to create paid campaigns will give you more bang for your buck. You’ll get a bigger choice of campaign objectives, so you can optimise for conversions, lead gen etc.
You'll also get many more options on how your post can look in the newsfeed and you can include headlines and choose different CTA buttons so you are more likely to get the result you want, and you can carry out effective testing, which isn't available when boosting posts.
You'll have more targeting options available to you and can create custom or look a like audiences as well as interest based audiences which you can save for future campaigns. You'll be able to retarget and exclude people you don't want to waste your ads budget on.
Plus you'll get better reporting so you can understand exactly why your clients money isn’t giving the results you want so you can tweak the campaign accordingly.
Of course, none of this means you should never use the boost button, it simply means you should consider it for longer than 5 seconds & do whatever will work best for your clients specific goals. And if your client only gives you a small budget then you might be better off creating retargeting ads instead of boosting a post.
Want more advice on running Facebook ads for clients? Check out our ads course.