Facebook Advertising: The Key to Building Brand Presence
It’s hard to imagine a world today without Facebook. It seems that more and more of our time is spent on this all-encompassing social networking site. Most of us would never remember a birthday without it!
This is no different for companies; it is becoming a necessity for brands to have a presence on Facebook. However, with the constant changes to Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm, it can be difficult for a company to maximize engagement. Towards the end of last year, a Facebook algorithm change significantly decreased the amount of organic (unpaid) reach brand page posts receive, decreasing fan views and forcing many companies to look into other options. This is where paid Facebook advertising, specifically “boosted posts,” have become an important part of a social media strategy.
Since October last year, we’ve seen a major decrease in organic reach for our clients’ unpaid Facebook posts. Posts that used to receive 300-400 views started seeing only 30-40. Most brand Facebook posts now receive less than 2% organic reach. In our constant quest to be trusted advisers to our clients, we’ve found that paid Facebook posts or “boosted posts” are now the best way for clients to reach their Facebook audience in a cost-effective manner with important information.
Facebook (not surprisingly) makes the process for boosting a post incredibly simple. There is a small button on the bottom right of each post that says, “Boost Post.” After clicking this button, one can select an audience, maximum budget, boost duration and payment method. Depending on the campaign, the audience can either consist of people who already like the page, or can be targeted more specifically (location, age, gender and interests). Proper targeting is essential to ensure messages reach the right people. When selecting a budget, Facebook provides an estimated reach, which will automatically adjust with increases/deceases in the budget, allowing us to set specific campaign goals.
Not everything is boost-able—Facebook’s ad team will review the post before it actually goes live to the audience. You can review the types of posts that can/cannot be boosted on Facebook’s ad guidelines page. It is important to review these guidelines carefully as unacceptable ads will be rejected. Notably, ads with over 20% text in an image will be rejected (most infographics cannot be boosted).
Once a post is approved, the campaign begins. Facebook makes it easy to track your budget spend and results throughout the duration of the boost. There is even a Facebook page manager app that can help keep track of boosted campaigns via smartphone.
We’ve found boosted post campaigns can generate great results for our clients. In one example, for less than $200 we were able to increase reach significantly, leading to more post engagement. In this campaign, the boosted post reached over 34,000 people (a normal post would reach about 50), and an infographic that was featured on the client’s page was shared by a national organization (helping lead to a reach of over 60,000 people). The page gained more than 50 new likes and engagement shot up with all posts, not only the boosted one. To sum it all up, during the month of the campaign, we were able to reach more than 100,000 people for less than one cent per view. These results were very positive; however, it is not necessary to spend $200 on a campaign. Companies can boost posts for as little as $5 and, depending on how many people currently like the page, still reach thousands.
Here are five best practices to follow when boosting Facebook posts:
Understand Facebook’s ad guidelines
Decide on the right post to boost
Notify relevant organizations or third-party groups (if involved)
Set budget, timeline and audience
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