It might seem a little odd that someone that spends his days running Facebook ads and persuading other people that they should be too is advising against using Facebook…
However, what I’m advising against specifically is using that shiny boost button that pops up, and you get constant reminders that you could be using. Things like:
“Want to get this post in front of 10,000 people? Just click Boost.”
One of the most common complaints I hear from business owners is that they’ve tried running Facebook ads in the past and they’ve seen little to no reward.
Or they’ve had plenty of clicks and maybe even likes and shares but that hasn’t transferred into sales/leads/subscribers or whatever else it is that you really want.
The trap they’ve unfortunately fallen into is the Boost button does NOT work the same as a “real” Facebook Ad campaign. I completely understand why this happens; it is super easy to set a few targeting opens, set a budget and there we go.
Marketing can already seem like a cost rather than an investment, so it makes sense to do everything you can to maximise the value you’re getting from each and every marketing $.
How does the Boost button work?
The “Boost Post” button is accessed from your newsfeed rather than the ads/business manager, which is why it does seem more straightforward, but there are so many drawbacks.
Facebook has a ridiculous amount of data at its disposal, so it is very good at getting your content in front of the right people. But who are the “right” people?
For most business owners that will be someone that will buy whatever it is we’re selling or at least start their journey along the sales funnel.
When you Boost a Facebook post, you are defining the “right” person as someone that will engage with your ad through likes, comments and shares. Which all seems like a great thing, but why aren’t they buying?
Because Facebook likes, comments and shares do not equal $$$
The customer profile of someone that might like your ad could be entirely different from someone that will actually buy from your ad.
What you miss when you use the Boost Post button
A Boosted Post is NOT the same as a Facebook Ad. A boosted post is purely the promotion of a post that has already been created; this creates several restrictions:
You cannot set an ad objective
This is the first step in getting your ad in front of the right people. Within the ad manager, you have a diverse list of various objectives. Facebook uses that information to determine who are the most likely people to fulfil that specific objective, not simply like or share.
For example, if I’m a Real Estate Agent running an open house it might make sense that I just want as much engagement and traction for my event as possible, so the Boost Button makes sense, right?
Lots of people like looking at pictures of pretty houses and Facebook will show your post to people that do and will like that post but have zero interest in attending your event.
Instead, we can choose an Engagement Objective with the specific objective of “Event Responses”. So now we’re targeting people that like pretty houses, but they also want to actually attend our event. 👍👍👍👍
Your audience targeting options are limited
Part two of getting your advert in front of the right people is being able to define who that person is. The Boost Post options are significantly limited compared to using the Ads Manager.
Some of the most significant limitations are:
- Not being able to use advanced behavioural and demographic data.
- Can only target Fans plus “friends of fans” (probably the most damaging restriction).
- You need to define an end date so you can’t create evergreen ad campaigns.
- It’s far more difficult to split test and see what is actually working and what isn’t.
- You can’t choose where you want your ad to be placed. For your business, it might not make sense to have your ad on Instagram, or you might only want to advertise on mobile devices.
These are the little tweaks that can make huge differences to your ad costs and the results you get, and by just Boosting a post, you’re losing the ability to make those tweaks.
That is why even if your aim is to generate engagement through likes, comments and shares I’d still strongly recommend doing that through the ads manager because you’re losing so much control over the campaign itself and who it is getting shown to.
As clever as Facebook is, nobody knows your business and your clients as well as you. The time taken to understand the Ads Manager and the different ways you can use it will be well worth it.
If anyone disagrees and loves the boost button, or they are on my bandwagon and hate seeing businesses losing money using it let me know in the comments.