Social Media

Should you boost Facebook posts?

Fi Bendall /

Is it worth paying to boost your Facebook posts or should you just rely on organic views? This is one of the questions facing many small business owners running their own Facebook business page.

Often you’ll see a blue boost button appear when you’ve created a post for your page. This boost button is an invitation to convert your post into an ad that can be targeted to a defined audience based on things like gender, age, location and interests. Once you’ve selected your defined audience, Facebook will even give you an estimate of how many people might see the post.

As the name implies, this can give your post the boost it might need to be seen by the type of people who might be interested in your post. This can be especially useful when you’re trying to go beyond your regular audience and attract a different demographic. Once you’ve boosted a post it will also be labelled as a “sponsored” post when it appears in the News Feed, so people know it’s an ad.

Boosting posts can get your message out to a lot more people, who could then become fans of your page or might share or like your content. It could also lead to more sales if done well, as there is the opportunity to add explicit call-to-action functions for things like newsletter signups and contact details.

Boosting posts can be very cheap, starting from $1 a day, which might get you anything from 50 to 200 extra views of a post. Of course, the more you pay the higher the number of people who will see your post. But boosting posts is cheap enough to do for you to experiment a little before really committing any large amount of money to it.

Rather than trying to boost posts that have had poor engagement, look at boosting ones that have already achieved some organic reach. That shows that these posts already work with your audience and are more likely to get traction when boosted. After all, the idea is to boost your posts so they get seen by a sizeable number of people who are potentially interested in your offering.

One of the main issues people raise about boosting posts is whether it impedes the organic reach of your posts. This can actually be an issue not because of some nefarious Facebook plan to keep you paying for ads and post boosting, but because the additional views you might get from boosted posts or ads will skew your overall relevance rating.

A lowered relevance rating for your page means your posts are less likely to be seen as relevant or worthwhile enough for the News Feed algorithm to prioritise their appearance. This is also why it’s best to pick posts to boost that have already displayed some degree of organic success. If the posts are already proven to be engaging, they will probably continue to prove engaging as sponsored posts. That keeps your relevance rating safe and means you are less likely to see a drop in organic reach after boosting posts.

The sheer amount of content pouring through the Facebook News Feed each day means your posts are up against a lot of competition for eyeballs, let alone meaningful engagement. Your social media strategy needs to go beyond simply posting to Facebook and hoping for the best.

So if you’re starting out and looking to build an audience, boosting Facebook posts is a worthwhile endeavour. It’s cheap and can help you reach new people who broadly fit the demographic profile you have identified as fitting with your product or service.

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Fi Bendall

Fi Bendall is chief executive of The Bendalls Group and a Westpac/AFR 2015 100 Women of Influence, who was described by CEO Magazine as 'The CEO's Secret Weapon'. An expert and pioneer in digital strategy, she has over 23 years’ experience in the digital and tech sectors.

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