BTXP 007: Don’t Boost Your Facebook Posts

47 amazing comments

Facebook Boost

We all know the Facebook Boost button. It’s been a controversial little addition since it was released.

Today I’m talking about a $200 experiment that I conducted using that button, and why I now think it’s probably best if you don’t boost your posts. There’s something much better out there.

If you’ve ever spent money boosting something on Facebook then you might want to listen to this one.

Subscribe and listen on iTunes or if you like you can download it to your computer.

What’s in this episode?

  • Why Facebook Boost is not the best option for exposing your content.
  • Why affiliates should be avoiding the Boost button.
  • My $200 experiment that you might have seen on Facebook.
  • Why avoiding mobile targeting might be a wise move.
  • Why I absolutely love the Facebook Ads platform.

My Boost test results

Here is a screenshot of the Facebook Boost test results that I talk about in this episode. You might want to look at it and follow along as I discuss the interesting aspects.

boost

Do you boost your posts?

Have you ever used the Facebook Boost button? Were you happy with the results? More interestingly, have you ever used Facebook’s awesome ads platform to any great success?

Please leave a comment and let me know.

Photo: Timothy Muza.

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47 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Tristan Duncan

    This was so well timed!

    I literally clicked Boost for the first time this morning.
    I Boosted a page though, so I at least I had some demographics and interests targeting, not like boosting posts.

    I had a lot of trouble choosing interests, as I’m trying to raise awareness for my campaign as a candidate for local council. Location is the obvious target, but after that I’d love to hear if you have any thoughts as to what interests or behaviours I could use to help target a local Government election campaign.

    Actually I’d love to see you do a post on Facebook ads in general πŸ™‚
    I’m kind of using my Council campaign as practice marketing for my blog. Seeing how things work.


    1. Linda Jordan

      Hi Ramsey and Tristan,
      I’ve done boosts before and it really doesn’t compare to a local awareness campaign which is what I do for all campaigns. When I first did it I got my clients leads, and even sales. Loved it and since then have been using it. I will measure this more and update you on its efficacy. I’m a firm believer in if it doesn’t bring sales why do it? More on this later πŸ™‚


      1. Tristan Duncan

        Hey, thanks Linda!

        I’m looking into Local Awareness Ads on FB now. They look like just what I need.

        Keep us posted on your findings.


      2. Tristan Duncan

        Hi again Linda,

        Just wanted to say thank you for mentioning the Local Awareness campaigns. It’s already working for me only 24 hours later.

        Here’s some quick results.
        I live in a smallish town of about 80k people. I’m campaigning to join the local Council in the next election. The division I’m nominating for has about 6500 people, so not a huge audience.
        I set up a local awareness campaign on FB (first time I’ve ever used ads was yesterday). So I set the address to around the middle of my division with a radius that would cover the entire division (5km).

        In the last 24 hours Ive had around 644 impressions with 9 clicks, so a CTR of about 1.35%. Of those 9 click, 6 people liked the page. So a conversion rate of about 0.93%. It doesn’t sound like much but I’ll take it as a win for the $3 I’ve spent so far! That’s 50c per like for an actual person who can vote for me.

        Now the best part, one of the likes was from our local newspaper. So that’s generating interest, and a journo from the paper contacted me through Facebook and wants to have an interview!

        All in 24 hours for a cost of $3. Not too shabby at all.


    2. Ramsay

      Hi Tristan.

      That’s a really interesting question. I wonder if you have any information about your main voters/targets and what the big issues are? That might influence how you do your targeting.


  • James George

    I wanted to extend the reach for a giveaway I am using to jumpstart a new logo design business with my new business partner. I’d done this before, and gotten much better results, even with a low budget. I am not sure why I am not getting any results now, though. I am doing the same thing as I did for another site a few months ago. Is it because the site and the Facebook page are brand new? Do you have to be around for a while to get more traction with your ads? If you know, I’d be glad to find out.


    1. Ramsay

      It might be worth changing your targeting. Sometimes I’ve noticed campaigns kind of “run out” if Facebook feels like you’re not showing anything new to the same people. I think Facebook wants to keep the ads kind of rotating fresh.


    2. WorPaint by PasClo

      Hi,
      I did Web seminar on marketing on Facebook and they discussed how FB has changed the way pages and advertising works. Based on your picture that you use can determine a lot how many views you get. You also want to target people who have liked similar pages to yours, so you may want to research those and steal some keywords πŸ™‚


  • Jamie Flexman

    Hi, I’m a bit confused. I thought Facebook boost was integrated with their ads? When I have used boost in the past I get to choose all the criteria such as age range, location, keywords, sex etc etc. I get a notification when I confirm that my ad is pending review.

    Anyway – I have found some interesting things using it in the past. Firstly, I once targeted India – as it is my 4th (I think) largest audience.. and I was shocked to see my article receive hundreds of Facebook likes for only a Β£5 engagement.

    I later discovered (via my friend Google) that India has ‘click farms’ where people are paid to engage Facebook and like everything they can see (I’m sure there’s a logic to it).

    Secondly, I discovered that when using boost/ads, the headline is absolutely crucial. Click bait headlines work wonders – says Captain Obvious. Moving on..

    Lastly, Monies! I haven’t tried this yet, but if you create a boost/ad to filter people towards an article where you advertise a product (or even to the product itself) then it could be worth the money.

    I think social proof still has an effect on most people, so generating FB likes and comments is handy – but only IF you have the money to spare.

    Of course, if your Facebook page/website has something like 50,000 likes, then there’s no need to boost. Just engage with them regularly and post interesting content not always found on the main site.

    I sound like I know what I’m talking about – I don’t. Merely an interested observer with ideas and plans. πŸ˜‰


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Jamie.

      That’s odd. That doesn’t seem to be available to me unless I go into Facebook Ads and create it there.

      Can you edit the platforms (mobile vs desktop) and use different titles/images, etc. on your boost?


      1. Tristan Duncan

        I found that when boosting a post I get no options, just like Ramsay described.
        Boosting the Page I got demographic and interests, but no control over desktop or mobile.


      2. Aaron

        I get all of those options too mate. I choose age, gender, location and another 2 separate options as to who I want to show it to; people who like this page or people who like this page and their friends. It’s still not worth it LOL


  • Maria Geronico

    Hi Ramsay!

    I work with Facebook Ads almost everyday. I don’t know if you are talking about facebook promoted posts, or about Facebook Ads, because the last ones are working really well for us.
    Facebook has the biggest capacity of segmentation among all Internet players. The CTRs & conversion rates of the users are quite good, the only “bad” thing, is that it might be more expensive than other advertising platforms!

    Bests


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Maria.

      Did you listen to the podcast? I wonder if maybe I wasn’t very clear now that I listen back – I love Facebook Ads – it’s the Boost function that bothers me because you can’t choose desktop or mobile or test different images, etc.

      Hope that helps. And sorry for the confusion. πŸ™‚


      1. Kimberly Rotter

        With all due respect, a little elaboration in the post would have helped alleviate the confusion. I don’t like being baited to a post only to find out that I have to make the time to listen to your podcast. I’m a long time reader/subscriber, appreciate the value of what you’ve got to say, and have recommended and linked to your content many times in writers groups. But when it comes to digesting the content, I need to be able to fit it into my own schedule, and that does not include a whole lot of time set aside for your audio.
        Indeed, this feels like some kind of forced experiment.
        I’m sure your podcast is interesting but I’ll never know……


        1. Ramsay

          Thanks for the feedback Kimberly. I really do appreciate it. Podcasting isn’t my favorite format either but so many people request it that it feels like something I should do. I kept this one down to 6 minutes in length as I know people are busy, but will take what you’ve said on board.


          1. Mary H

            Perhaps put in the blog post text how long the podcast is?

            If I had known that it was only 6 minutes, I might have listened to it first.

            Instead, I went straight to reading the comments. I usually avoid listening to podcasts because so many of them are so LONG. I just assumed this one was too!


          2. Kimberly Rotter

            Same assumption. Six minutes I can manage.


  • Arthur Immanuel

    Thank you for this post.

    It really help me to start a new blog


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks.


  • Elena

    I personally tried FB promotions in the past and found that I was not getting a good return on investment. For me, email still beats it all. With latest FB updates, I have noticed a drop in reader engagement (since they are trying to make you pay to be seen), so, I decided that it is time to redirect my energy toward better social platforms that would lead to more engagement.


    1. Ramsay

      By promotions do you mean the Ads platform?


      1. Elena

        Sorry, yes, ads. And perhaps it just depends on the business model. I am sure it works for some more than for others.


        1. WorPaint by PasClo

          Organic read have dropped for pages too. Like just the amount of people in general who see posts… have you had better luck with any other platform?


  • Lisa Frideborg

    I stay well away from paying for any of FB’s services since the started taking money out of my PayPal account for services not rendered. This has happened to at least three other people I know too. When I brought it up with them, I never even got a reply. Luckily, PayPal seems to be aware of this problem and returned the money.


    1. Ramsay

      What the hell?! I’ve never heard of that. What happened exactly?


      1. Lisa Frideborg

        What happened was that on months I wasn’t doing any boosts, money was still going out from my PayPal account. I pointed this out to both PayPal and Facebook. PayPal instantly refunded me and Facebook never even got back to me – they just cut me off from being able to do any posts with any form of payment method. This was one of the main deciding factors when I decided to make Tsu my main social media platform. Sadly, most people are still on Facebook, so I have gone back to it after being off it completely for just over 6 months.


  • Rachel

    Hi Ramsey,

    One thing about Facebook is that you need to first decide what your goal is, and choose the option that best fits it.

    In general, boosting a post is good for when you want to get people on a pixeled page for a retargeting campaign. In that case, you would send people to a content page, where embedded in the post is a call to action for a lead magnet, not a product.

    Since the page is pixeled (as well as your lead magnet page, and confirmation page), later on you can go back and target specifically those people who
    a) read the post but didn’t sign up for the lead magnet (you’d want to send them more content, perhaps for a related subject)

    b) went to the lead magnet page but didn’t sign up (then you’d retarget them with an ad that says” Hey, did life get in the way?” encouraging them to download your lead magnet

    c) took the lead magnet but didn’t buy your low-priced offer (under $20).

    If you want to get people to buy a product, then you’d use Facebook Ads, in which case you could send them to a lead magnet page for your product.

    However, you should really avoid this as much as you can, since FB is cracking down on a lot of areas (dating, making money online, weight loss) and disabling accounts that require a person to give their email address before giving the content they clicked through to get.

    Instead, much better – and cheaper, believe it or not (clicks cost less) when sending to content with a CTA inside).


    1. Rachel

      *Sorry, here’s the rest*

      much better and cheaper to send to content and retarget later.


      1. Ramsay

        Thank you for writing that out – it’s really helpful.


  • Darius Gaynor

    Enjoyed listening! I rather use the Create Ads section but when I do sometimes use the Boost Post button, I target the custom audience option. You can target website visitors or subscribers. You can also choose the people who like your page option. If you don’t then it boosts the post to anyone. Re-targeting website visitors who didn’t become subscribers is working for me right now.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Darius. Do you send them to a landing page?


      1. Darius Gaynor

        Yes! But I test sending them to different landing pages or a blog post instead of just the home page.


      2. Darius Gaynor

        I’m also testing that one strategy from ViperChill VIP niches with Boost post. Using the FB ID and adding @facebook.com to the end of it for a custom audience. I hired someone from Elance to build a list for me.


  • Abhishek

    Boosted a post for fun once,and the post got good engagement. But didn’t see any boost in signups, repeat visitors post that. Need to figure out a way to convert those engagement into repeat visitors as well.


    1. Ramsay

      Let us know how you go!


  • Jeff

    How recent was this experiment? I know it’s “bad” to use dates on your posts so you can recycle them and there’s not dates on any of the comments. I’ve been trying to determine the best way to use Facebook for promoting and was really hoping this might give some good insight, but with Facebook changing almost daily the way they do things, I do not know if this is relevant today or if this was a year ago. Thanks for the podcast & post though!


    1. Ramsay

      Just today! πŸ™‚


  • Mark

    In a boost post you can create a custom audience – so for example if you only want to target by age, device, interests, etc – you can.

    It is the simplest way to get started using FB Ads.

    I hope you do another experiment with boost post and custom audience.

    Because going to AD Manager and working on multiple ads – is really like telling students “What you need to do is get a Ferrari and race in the Monte Carlo Grand Prix if you want to learn to drive”.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Mark.

      That’s a good point. Thank you. But I guess my main worry is that with Boost you can’t seem to target desktop vs mobiles and so on.


  • Avichai

    Thanks Ramsay

    I found the Facebook boost button more of an ‘impulse buy’ as I like to think of it. You create a post, you’re checking the stats and it’s so easy to boost it for a few $. However, it doesn’t always work well for the precise the reasons you mentioned and to really target well, you need to use the Ads Manager.

    Same thing on Twitter. It’s soooo easy to promote a tweet but you run into the same targeting limitations there.

    So the moral of the story as you’ve pointed out, is to make the extra effort and use Ads Manager or Twitter Ads >> it really about saving yourself precious $

    Regards
    Avichai


    1. Ramsay

      Yep, I agree! Only take a few more minutes for a lot better results.


  • Paul Doherty

    I’ve recently been experimenting with facebook ads and the estimated reach for the small price I paid was between 1600 & 4000 people. The ad was for 24 hrs and 8 hrs into it the reach was at 625 and never past this point and as a result my page received no more likes. Sorely disappointed. I also tried contacting facebook to inquire as to what the problem was and received no word back.

    Ggrrrr


    1. Lisa Frideborg

      Oh boy, if I had a penny for every one of those stories I’ve heard! FB really REALLY SUCKS!


      1. Paul Doherty

        It really does, but right now its my best tool for exposure! Think I love to hate it. That boost button is also to easy accessed.


  • Annamarie

    Hi Ramsey, that is an interesting video.
    if it is on face book I certainly will share it.
    Thank you


  • Markbrown

    Nice Post i was not knowing this things i have used Facebook post boost but i have not getting my audience as my exception.


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