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As a business of any size, you will almost certainly have a Facebook page (and if you don’t then you definitely should – but that’s a blog post for another day). When using your Facebook account you’ve probably seen or even used the Boost Post button.

Why wouldn’t you? It sounds like a great idea. Who wouldn’t want to boost their post and have it seen by more people? Of course, it costs money to use it, but if more people are getting your message and interacting with your brand then it’s worth it.

However, if you’re using the Boost Post button or thinking about it, then it might seriously pay to think again. Keep reading to find out more about how this might not be in your best interests and why there are other, more affordable ways of promoting your brand on social media.

What exactly is the Boost Post button?

Around five or six years ago, when Facebook’s ad platform was still in its early stages, it was often a little bit too complicated for some businesses without their own social media department. So, they introduced a simple button as a way of giving your content that extra push. This ‘Promote Post’ button was an easy way to sponsor your content, creating effective campaigns without ever having to leave your Facebook page.

This meant you didn’t have to spend valuable hours on your social media campaigns – you could do it all in a few clicks. It seemed like a great idea for small businesses and a clever way for Facebook to generate some easy income.

After a few years, this Promote Post button changed to become Boost Post, but the way it worked remained the same – a quick and easy way for your post to reach more people. As it became harder for businesses to grow their organic reach, this seemed like an easy way to get content out there. But is this necessarily the case?

How Boost Post works

When you click the Boost Post button you’re asked to choose your audience, budget and duration. As soon as you do this, Facebook creates a new ad campaign for you with the objective of Page Post Engagement. Many users don’t know about this and this is where the problems start to arise.

If you use Boost Post, then Facebook will always optimise your post for more engagement, even if your main objective is to get more website clicks and links. More engagement means more shares, comments and likes, which is great news but not necessarily what you’re looking for or the best way to increase conversion. A post might get hundreds or even thousands of likes, but if only a tiny fraction of those are translated into link clicks, then it’s not working in your favour.

How targeting works

Facebook post targeting works in three main ways. The first is to target people who like your page, the second is for friends of people who like your page and the third are the people you choose through choosing from a list of criteria.

The problems with this are that if you haven’t already attracted good-quality page likes then you’ll be immediately wasting your money going for option one. And going after friends of people who liked your page often casts the net too wide (just think how many connections you and your friends have and how different those people are). This means it’s impossible for Facebook to target good-quality likes. Even if you choose the targets, as for the third option mentioned above, then the options are still limited. What’s more, you can’t control the placements of these ads, so you’re almost certainly wasting a large amount of your budget from the moment you click Boost Post.

This last point is worth dwelling on a little bit more. When you boost your posts, you have no idea where this is going to happen and have no say in it. The default position is always the desktop and mobile news feed but Facebook will do all the algorithms for you, and in the cheapest way possible for them, which means your campaign might be a little hamstrung from the start.

Even for the elements you are allowed to select, such as country, age and gender, Facebook will often choose the cheapest option. So, you could end up with the majority of your ads on mobile news feeds in the countries you’re less keen to target, which will have a big impact on sales. And as the conversion rate on mobiles is lower than that on desktop, you probably won’t be getting value for money.

What are your options?

As you might have guessed by now, we don’t advocate using the Boost Post button as it is certainly not giving you good value for money. There are much more effective ways of targeting the right people, including creating ads in the Ads Manager or Power Editor sections. Yes, it might take you a few minutes longer, but crucially you will be able to select the campaign objectives and relevant target audience. This gives you a much greater degree of control over where your ads end up.

If you’re looking for better ROI on your social media marketing, then you should be focusing more on engaging the right people. If you really want to do this effectively and get great value for money, it might be worth brining in some outside help, and that’s where we come in at Juiced Marketing. Rather than just clicking boost post and seeing your marketing budget trickle away with little effect, we can work with you to drive ROI and boost conversion in ways that are far more effective.

If you would like to know more about what we do, then get in touch with a member of our team. We look forward to hearing from you.