Over the past few months, I have experimented a little with Facebook's boosted, paid posts. Yes, I said paid. I know most bloggers choose not to do this, but I decided to give it a try!
Facebook's Business page says this about ads:
Ads on Facebook are unique. They're shown to specific groups of highly engaged people on desktop and mobile. When your ads have great creative content and are well targeted, they get more likes, comments and shares. When someone takes any of these actions, their friends may see your ad, making it more powerful. When you boost your Page posts or expand the audience for your ads, more people will see them when they visit Facebook.
We'll help you create ads that achieve real results, whether that means connecting with more people through your Page, finding the right customers for your app, or driving sales on your website or in your store.
Reaching more people
Targeting a specific audience
Because I am using ads to reach potential customers and - hopefully! - generate more sales, I figured it was worth a try. After all, you have to spend money to make money sometimes, right?!
I have tried boosting posts on 4 different occasions:
1. For our Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Facebook party
2. On the last day of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle sale
3. When I released So Sew Organized's canvas totes for the first time
4. When I released these new tablet sleeves.
My first campaign, for our bundle Facebook party, was kind of a wasted effort in the end. I didn't realize that when you prepare an ad or boost a post on Facebook, it doesn't go into effect immediately. Facebook takes a few hours to determine your target audience and...I don't really know what else. I don't know why it takes so long to get up and running, but it does!
So I scheduled my ad to be posted at the start of our party - my idea was to encourage more people to join in! The post itself did reach my normal audience, but the paid, boosted audience did not get reached until well after the party was over. Bummer!
When it was time to write the ad for the canvas totes, I was more prepared and scheduled that post to go live hours before I actually wanted it to be seen. That worked better! Out of the 4 posts I've boosted, that one saw the most engagement.
Here is how Boosted posts work:
1. Click the "boost post" button on any of your page's posts.
2. Choose the type of targeting you want. This is indicated by the red arrow in the following screenshot:
You can choose to show your post to the people who like your page (which is maddening to me, they should already be seeing it!) or to a target audience that you choose. I normally choose a target audience, because my products are specific to a certain group of people. Just follow the prompts to choose your target audience.
3. The next important step is to set your budget. That is indicated in yellow in the screenshot above. This was the default amount of $160. It is estimated to reach 22,000-59,000 people. Sounds great, right? But I'm cheaper than that. :) You can set your budget for as little as $1, but obviously the less you spend, the smaller your audience will be. I normally choose $5 - $10 as shown below:
Many times the estimated audience is lower than what the post actually reaches. Here is an example of one of my campaigns. Halfway through, I had reached 1,837 people and had $3.58 left.
By the end of the campain (when all the money was used up!) I had reached 3,878 people, which was over the estimated audience. I'll take it!
Have I seen a lot of new traffic and/or sales from these boosted posts? I honestly don't know. I have gotten some new likes on my page, and interacted with some new people. I don't know if any of my sales have come as a direct result of these boosted posts, but the potential is always there!
My takeaway from these experiences is that I will continue to use the boost feature for posts and opportunities that seem worth the money. I may not make a fortune off it but I'm not spending a fortune, either!
Now I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever used the boost feature? How did it work out for you? If you haven't, would you ever consider it, and why or why not? I can't wait to hear your opinions and ideas!
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