3 reasons to stop boosting your Facebook posts today

You’ve written the perfect Facebook post. It’s valuable, on brand, and hits all the right emotional chords with your audience. You pause to admire your well-written copy and evocative graphic.

And then a sinking feeling hits you. 

Who will even see your post? Will anybody?

Facebook organic reach is at an all-time low, plummeting to 52% in 2016.

In 2016, Facebook began prioritizing posts from friends and family, as well as “informative” and “entertaining” content. It also started measuring a post’s value based on the amount of time users spent with it, even if they didn’t like or share it. Live video was also prioritized, as it was earning 3x as much watch time, compared to regular video. (Hootsuite)

Thanks, Zuckerberg.

For smaller pages, that 52% drop was devastating (especially when organic reach was already hovering around a measly 2%). You need Facebook engagement to drive business. So what do you do?

Chances are, you find yourself eyeing that blue “Boost Post” button on your Facebook dashboard. 

And I don’t blame you. The world of Facebook advertising and algorithms is a dense, dark web of constantly changing guidelines and bad UX design. And the guys running the Facebook show? They know it.

That blue button is an easy button. Once they have you stressed out about your declining engagement numbers, they overwhelm you with a complicated advertising interface (I mean seriously… couldn’t it at least look nice?).  At this point, most business page owners would do just about anything for an easy way out.

What the easy button doesn’t give you? A solid return on your investment.

The boosted post feature is designed to funnel money from your pockets into Facebook’s bank account quickly and repeatedly. It is not designed to help you create a well-optimized campaign.

3 reasons why you shouldn’t use Facebook boosted posts

1. There’s no way to split test your campaign.

Here’s the power of split testing: When President Obama was running for office, one email subject line split test resulted in a 529% increase in donations.

In advertising, split testing is essential. If you’re only putting up one ad (like a boosted post), you have no way to discover which parts of the ad your audience resonates with — and which parts are total failures. 

You’ve eliminated the possibility of improving your campaign over time… which is pretty disheartening, isn’t it? If your boosted post is a bust, you have no data to learn from. You’ll keep making the same mistakes again and again, and you might not ever find out what those mistakes are. 

2. The audience targeting options are limited.

Audience targeting is arguably the most important part of your Facebook ad campaigns. Even with the best copywriting and graphic design, if you show your ad to the wrong people, you’re missing an opportunity to deliver your ad to a well-targeted audience who will convert into paying customers.

With boosted posts, Facebook limits your audience targeting options. You can choose from 3 targeting options:

  1. People who like your page
  2. People who like your page and their friends
  3. People you choose via targeting

The first two categories are incredibly broad (and broad audiences mean wasted dollars). The third shows potential… but only offers a fraction of the demographic targeting available in the Facebook Power Editor. Furthermore, you are unable to specify the audience’s connection to your page (existing fans, people who don’t like your page, etc.) or utilize your Lookalike audiences.

3. It diverts your attention from your marketing goals.

Why do you want more people to see your Facebook post? What marketing goals are you trying to accomplish?

The Facebook boosted post dashboard makes it seem like your campaign can accomplish several different goals. After all, it prompts you to select a call to action for your post — learn more, shop now, etc. Aren’t these buttons a way to optimize your campaign?

No.

Not even a little bit.

The boosted post feature doesn’t let you optimize for your marketing goals. Boosted posts are only optimized for engagement. They’ll get you likes, comments, and shares. And that’s an ok marketing goal sometimes. But is it yours?

Successful Facebook ads have a well-thought-out objective. And the Facebook Power Editor offers 20 campaign objectives, from web traffic to conversions to video views. Each of those objectives will change to whom Facebooks shows your ads. For instance:

  • If web traffic is your campaign objective, Facebook will deliver your ad to the segment of your audience most likely to click your link.
  • If you choose video views, they’ll deliver it to a different segment with a history of watching videos.

Boosted posts? They only offer one objective.

So what should you do instead?

In Part Two of this series, we’ll be giving you our guide to the Facebook Power Editor. Using the Power Editor, you can make ad campaigns that give you the return on investment you deserve (Zuckerberg be damned).

 

22-year veteran of strategy: brand, business, organizational, communications. Certified in project management and regulatory compliance. Fan of dark tea, thick books, peace, and unity.

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Judi
5 years ago

Excellent article! Can’t wait for the next in the series.

Andrew
5 years ago

Good stuff, Hunter. Thank you!

Anja Skrba
Anja Skrba
4 years ago

I wanted to praise this post, as I liked it a lot! I’ve also shared it on my socials, as I’m sure my audience will find it informative 🙂

James
James
1 year ago

I was surfing the web to find out more about Facebook post boosting and was it trustworthy? Came across your article which completely made up my mind on the next move? Save my money and don’t even go there James. Thanks 👍

Vaughan Welding
1 year ago

Wow this article was EXACTLY the info i was looking for all of it in one article absolutely perfect! Thank you

Paul
1 year ago

By reading your article about what to expect in return, when boosting my post on Facebook, you saved me $$$. Thank you!

Anya Dee
1 year ago

Hi, do you still stand by that now? Where is the second part. I really need to reach local people to promote my business, help!

Stephen Oyelabi
1 year ago

I’ve been guilty of this for years. No wonder my campaigns are not as successful.

Thanks for the information.

Debora
Debora
1 year ago

Have you considered how you can use the Ads Manager tool to create an ad using an existing post, which gives you access to all the objectives and boosts the numbers on that public post rather than on an ad that no one can access unless they’re targeted? There’s something to be said about social proof, when someone comes to your page and sees that your posts have no interaction and no comments. I don’t believe a long-term strategy should only include ads for that reason.

Nazmul
1 year ago

Thanks for the information…

Duran Bodasing
Duran Bodasing
9 months ago

Brilliant

Alex Clark
Alex Clark
5 months ago
Reply to  Duran Bodasing

Thanks for post

Alex Bryne
5 months ago

Indeed, Facebook has become noticeably worse in terms of promoting your product or running a business account. But now Tik Tok has appeared and you can keep in touch and win an audience there. With a huge probability, your video can fly into the tops and recommendations, the most important thing is to take care of the quality of your content. But there is a problem that the tick current cuts the quality of your video very much, and if your camera records for example in mov or avi and you need to capture the video and then pour it into tt, then your quality will suffer greatly. Therefore, I advise you to use high-quality converters, since most of them are simply not usable. For example, I use a converter from movaavi for my videos, I’ll leave a link here just in case