November 30, 2014

Rachel Strella

Facebook Advertising: The One Option That’s Worth the Money

As many fan page admins know, Facebook’s organic reach has declined significantly since December of last year.  Simply put, the fans who ‘like’ the page are rarely seeing the content. For some businesses, this means jumping ship to another channel. But if your target audience is using Facebook, I recommend sticking around and parting with a few a dollars to expand your reach.

I’ve experimented with various types of Facebook ads in the past year and can assure you that it’s money well-spent. In fact, of all the options available and the myriad of things I’ve tried, I’ve found one option prevails and that’s boosting.

Also called “Page Post Engagement,” boosting allows for increased visibility of a fan page post. There are three options for targeting the boosts. Page admins can chose to post a boost anywhere from one to seven days and they can select the maximum amount to spend for the duration of the boost.  I typically select the option to target page fans and their friends, set the cost at $5 to $10 per boost and run the ad for one to three days depending on the time sensitivity of the ad.

facebook boosting options

To give you an idea of the difference boosting makes, I’ll highlight two examples from our current clients.

The first is a client who offers physical therapy. Before deciding to boost her posts, her posts only reached an average of 24 people per post. Over a 30-day period, these numbers span from 8 to 72 views per post. We decided to boost her blogs posts, which run every other week.

In the past month, both of the boosted posts reached 701 and 855 people respectively.* That’s not bad for $5 per boost. She also received 11 page engagements from each boost. This number represents how many people clicked on the content we boosted.  Below is a screenshot from our Sendible software of the fan page activity in the past month. As you can see, there was a spike in reach and impressions on the days we boosted the content.

page  boosting

The second client offers custom made memorials and plaques. Before deciding to boost the posts, the posts only reached an average of 41 people per post. Over a 90-day period, these numbers span from 16 to 92 views per post. We decided to boost their cleaning services and galleries each week.

In the past quarter, the boosted posts reached between 600 and 950 people when we spent $5/boost.* Post engagements ranged from 11 to 39 per post. We also boosted a post for $10 on October 20th, which reached over 2,000 people and received 27 post engagements. Below is a screenshot from our Sendible software of the fan page activity the past quarter. Once again, you can see the spike in reach and impressions on the days we boosted content; with the peak on the day we doubled the amount of the boost.

facebook for small business

There are a few things to keep in mind when boosting posts. To keep your budget in check, I recommend only boosting posts that you want to ensure visibility such as a blog post, a link to your website or a post with a clear call-to-action.

Also, be sure to adhere to Facebook’s advertising guidelines. One of the most significant hurdles is the image vs. text rule. Facebook ads cannot include more than 20% text in the image. There is a a grid tool that can show you if you will meet their guidelines before posting an image.

Other guidelines depend on the type of business. For example, a mortgage company advertising lending rates must include the lending rate in the text and include the name of a lending website or institution in the text.

Mark Schaefer predicts a business migration away from Facebook and his primary reason is reach. He may be right, particularly for those just starting out.  However, if reach is your concern and you have an established page and audience, you may be well-suited for alternative options such as post boosting.

Share your experience with Facebook advertising.

*Reach, according to Facebook terms, means the number of people the ad was served to.  Facebook’s numbers were slightly higher than what our Sendible software revealed. For example, one of the boosts for the PT client reached 701 people according to our software; Facebook reported that the reach was 787. This could be a nuance with the app, however I find the Facebook reach is about 5-10% higher than what our software reveals.
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