Recently, we’ve moved on from discussing how to produce great social content, to revealing how to perfect the timing of your social in order to further increase reach. We then gave you 5 tips for creating effective social media ad campaigns.
Having provided the strategic overview of where to start, we can now move on to the specifics of how to increase your reach on specific channels.
Facebook is still going strong despite many predictions of its imminent demise. No-one really knows the future of social, but for now it’s definitely worth the effort and at least a slither of your advertising budget.
The demise of Facebook organic reach
In 2018, Facebook made some changes to their algorithm with the stated aim of focusing on people and conversations between groups of people, rather than general media consumption. This has meant that organic reach has become more difficult for businesses, with some seeing huge drops in reach, or the number of people potentially seeing their posts.
The logical step is then to jump straight into throwing advertising spend at social media platforms in a desperate attempt to arrest the decline of post reach. Last time we reminded you of the many articles, often written by agencies, claiming that social media ads generate a guaranteed 237% return per user. We then were reminded that although the stats sounded very encouraging and supported the ‘spend more on ads campaign’, often they are dubious at best and completely fictitious at worst.
We then warned of grabbing trombones (or similar instruments) and jumping on ad spend bandwagons, because ‘here’s the problem: reading spurious statistics and blindly acting on them just leads to trouble – do buses and referendums ring any bells?’
We reminded you that just because social media user numbers are vast, doesn’t mean that you can reach even a fraction of them – making it all the more important to spend your advertising budget wisely.
Boost Post Feature
Facebook Advertising comes in various guises, but we will start with one that specifically promises to increase the amount of people who see your post – the ‘Boost Post’ feature.
Tip 1: Define your strategic goals
Your first priority should be to define your strategic goals before committing budget to any promotional activity. In other words, decide what are you hoping to achieve; many businesses jump right in before even sketching out any aim or plan.
Is your aim to increasing brand awareness, generally increase engagement (likes, shares & conversations), increase traffic flow to your website, or just to push new content/blog postings?
Money can disappear pretty quickly without any real effect if you don’t think through this first, so goals setting and planning is essential when it comes to ad spend.
Tip 2: Target your market carefully by selecting the right posts
We’ve highlighted the importance of content before (many times!), so choose posts that represent you well and that are accompanied by high quality photos or video. This doesn’t mean you have to use professional studio shots – good quality, though-out shots can be taken these days with a camera phone.
When you boost a post, you will reach a new market, so it’s vital that you present your best work.
In Facebook, the post results on the ‘Insights’ tab will tell you which posts have the best engagement rate (the percentage of people who have interacted with the post in some way). Often it will suggest posts that are performing above average, but be sure to look at the correct timescale and compare post performance over the previous month rather than just a week.
Question what you do constantly. Try posts with different image styles and pick the most popular image style for your post boosts.
Tip 3: Set your budget
Before you hit the ‘boost post’ button, you first need to set your budget and parameters for spending.
For each level of budget and each target audience, Facebook provides an estimated reach of how many people your set budget will reach.
If you want to test how much your Facebook post is going to cost to boost, you can play around with the variables and see for yourself, before taking the plunge and committing budget.
You can set all your budget at the minimum to start, but this will be reflected in the results.
Tip 4: Pause to check the best course of action
Before going ahead, we suggest pausing at this juncture to ensure you are following the best option with ‘Boost Post’.
As we mentioned earlier, there are a variety of options with Facebook advertising. While it’s easy to rush through the ‘boost post’ options and hit send, refer back to your aim at this point just to check that you’re still choosing the best option for the target audience and goals.
So, if increasing your “Page Likes” is a goal, then Facebook offers a “Promote your Page” ad. This would achieve better results than boosting a post would.
Tip 5: Research the best time of day to boost a post
Timing is crucial when it comes to posting success. Although there are many articles offering generic advice on timings, most companies should know instinctively when they have most success in posting, which obviously depends on your product/service. No one wants to hear about widgets at 7pm, but they might be interested in Pizza…
Companies who are new to the game will need to do some testing in order to get a feel for what works. Testing posts at different times and different days will help to gauge when their users are most active and receptive to receiving notifications.
Once you get a feel, focus on peak interest periods time for post boosts, which will help multiply its effectiveness.
Now Get going!
As Facebook’s organic reach dwindles in response to algorithm changes, boosting a post is a great way to reach new audiences if used properly. Low response rates and irrelevant clicks can be avoided by first setting goals, selecting the best posts, setting a budget and posting at the optimum time for your audience.
If you’ve taken your first steps to delivering an effective Facebook or social media campaign, but maybe feel that you still some need help with shaping your ads or strategy – get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!