Social media post boosting on Facebook and Instagram: Why and how?
How can I get more out of my posts on social media?
A lot of our clients ask us about adverts and social paid-for boosting. Is it useful? Is it expensive? How does it work?
Yes, social media boosting is useful and has been proven to work in reaching new audiences that can often be hard to find using only ‘organic’ means of finding them. All you need to do is to get your target audience right to avoid spending money needlessly on people who aren’t likely to lead to a sale.
Facebook and Instagram advertising are linked up, and this makes your advertising efforts on these two platforms easier and more consistent between the two. Boosting social media posts is not especially expensive and can target a wide range of people according to demographics that you choose.
You advertise on Instagram via Facebook Ads Manager by either choosing to boost a post from within Instagram that will then hop you into Facebook Ads Manager to set it up and pay for it, or you boost a post from within Facebook and check the box ‘Run promotion on Instagram’ to run the same creative across both platforms.
When boosting you can choose between boosting a post to “people who liked your page and their friends” or to “people you choose through targeting”. Choosing who to target is a really effective way of reaching out to people through location, interests, demographics, relationships status, spending power etc..
Here are 3 tricks you should take into consideration:
- Use an eye-catching image with little or no text, people are more likely to interact if they like your post or are interested by its content. Facebook also penalises images with text by either not showing them at all, or charging you more for the privilege!
- Find posts that are already doing well, and boost them. If you have a selection of posts you want to test out, then make multiple audiences and see which audiences respond the best to your paid-for posts. This will help hone down the people most likely to convert.
- Be flexible in your approach. If your post doesn’t get any engagement, try to change it or just pause the spend and move onto something else. Putting more money behind a post that is not creating clicks, likes or sales won’t make it successful. Be prepared to learn through experimentation and you will soon find that you start to understand your audience better.
A key difference when boosting posts on Facebook and Instagram
Part of the reason for boosting posts is to also increase audience engagement organically. Organic engagement is not paid-for and so is more valuable to a brand. When a posting is being boosted and attracts a lot of likes and comments, it is best to keep on replying to comments, inviting people to like the page and generally keep the conversation going. This way there is more chance for that post to also reach a larger organic audience at the same time which makes the most of your ad spend.
However, there is one key difference between boosting posts on Facebook and boosting a post onto Instagram. When boosting onto Instagram the post doesn’t appear on your normal timeline. In this sense, it means that once the ad spend is over, then the post disappears forever.
Because you don’t get to ‘keep’ that post in your timeline, it also means that your regular organic audience doesn’t get to see all the likes and comments the post received, which lends itself to your online popularity. So if budgets are tight, then think carefully about spend on Instagram. It might be that with a little more effort put into hashtagging on Instagram you can create more buzz on this platform that you would get by paying for it.
Measure your Results
In order to know if an online advert has been successful you need to measure your success. This is essential.
- See if the traffic on your website has increased
- Did you get more followers, likes and shares since the advert launch?
- Have sales and enquiries increased?
On Facebook you will be able to see how your boosting on this platform has had an effect in the ‘Insights’ tab at the top of the page (and it will include the statistics from Instagram too if you boosted onto there at the same time).
As well as an at-a-glance view of how many people were reached and how many engagements you got for your spend, you can drill into each post individually to examine how well certain posts performed. If you have multiple audiences that you have been testing out, you will also be able to see if one works better for your brand than another, helping you with learning to understand your audience better. This kind of observation helps you in other areas of your business when putting together your sales messaging. For instance if your female audience responds better than your male audience even though your product isn’t gender specific (for instance you might be a restaurant, but it is mainly women booking tables for themselves and their spouses), it can help you in dealing with the tone of messaging in your wider marketing efforts
Once you have figured out the basics on Facebook and Instagram, you might find these articles interesting.
- Facebook Live: What is it and how should you use it?
- Growing your following on Instagram
- Hashtags: a help or a hassle?
- Instagram pitfalls your business could be making
- To outsource social media management of not to outsource, that is the question