Facebook advertising can be very confusing for those who are just getting started. Example: You visit your school’s Facebook page to check on the status of your latest post and the first thing that jumps out at you is the appealing blue “boost post” button offering you a simple way to spend money to extend the reach of the post. What is not so simple is trying to figure out whether pressing the button is worth the $40, $60, or $80 it will cost to boost the post.
Navigating the Facebook advertising maze can be daunting, and without a clear-cut instruction manual or how-to guide, the learning curve can be steep. Ultimately, you can end up wasting lots of advertising dollars on Facebook if you don’t approach it in a strategic, thoughtful manner.
To Boost or Not to Boost: That is the Question
I submit to you that it is not necessarily a good idea in most cases to use the boost post feature. It may be quick. It’s simple, for sure; however, when you compare it to the other advertising tools available through the "ads manager" and “power editor” within Facebook, you will discover there are other more cost-effective options that offer much better targeted advertising that can be utilized to achieve the same goal of getting that post seen by select groups.
The biggest down side of the “boost post” button is that when you press it, the post typically goes to friends of friends (and their friends) who like your Facebook page. The problem is that many of those friends don’t necessarily care about your school. You might want them to and think they should, but why do you want to advertise to them as opposed to others who might actually be interested in your school? This is the same problem you face when committing dollars to a radio, newspaper or magazine ad. You waste money showing your ad to an audience that might not be interested. The good news is with the power of Facebook ad targeting, you don't have to repeat that mistake.
Let’s say you have an upcoming event you want to promote that you recently posted on Facebook. Pressing “boost post” would make the event known to all of the grandparents and relatives of the friends of the friends who like your page. In other words, you are basically spending money to advertise to people who have zero interest in what you are doing. In contrast, if you go into Facebook’s "ads manager" or “power editor,” you can put that money to much better use by narrowing the scope of your audience, such as those in a particular demographic or with specific interests, and getting ads in front of people on Facebook who are much more likely to respond.
Think Before You Click
While you are still going to be playing the percentage game, you can save a lot of money by doing it correctly and having a good strategy through targeting the right audience with the right content through Facebook's advertising tools. In the future, I will talk more about tips for advertising through the "ads manager" and “power editor” in Facebook. I will also explain the difference between the two tools. In the meantime, don’t be so quick to press “boost post” every time you have something exciting and important because you might not really be spending your money as wisely as possible and getting the results that you are seeking.