You’ve seen the blue “Boost Post” button appear on your brand’s Facebook posts. You know you should be boosting your best performing posts to increase their reach — but how do you choose exactly which posts to boost? How much should you expect to spend? Which audience should you target?

With extensive experience in both paid and organic social media management, we’ve got the answers to these questions. Here’s our guide for selecting which posts to boost on Facebook and Twitter, and our expert tips to help you maximize your social media spend.

Boosting Facebook Posts

If you run ad campaigns on Facebook or manage your brand’s page, you’re no stranger to the “Boost Post” button. You may have received notifications telling you a particular post is performing 80% better than others, encouraging you to boost it.

Facebook makes those suggestions with good reason — your highest quality posts, performing above your average, are often the most worthwhile to put budget towards boosting.

Unlike standard Facebook ads, boosting is available only for published posts. Boosting serves as a great supplement to ad campaigns, because it allows you to share your strongest posts with a wider audience.

You can boost posts in the following three ways:

  • To fans of your page only: The sad truth is that Facebook’s organic reach has continued to decline (publications are reporting that their organic reach fell by 52% between January and mid-July 2016) and just because you post something your page, doesn’t mean that your followers will see it. This is why promoting your post to your own audience is a smart strategy in 2017. This is the best option if your post is primarily (or only) relevant to your existing customers or subscribers. New features, product updates, or upcoming events are all worth sharing to your existing fan base.
  • To fans and friends of fans: This middle-of-the-road approach is great for businesses that want to expand their presence, while maintaining social value. When the boosted post appears on a non-fan’s page, it will include in the top-left corner which friend of theirs likes your company.
  • To a selected audience: If your post is getting a lot of shares, try boosting with a wider audience based on select criteria (age, gender, interests, and location).

Boosting Tips

  • Don’t immediately boost a post after publishing. Wait at least two days to assess the amount of organic engagement it’s receiving.
  • Consider boosting even if you haven’t received a notification. Facebook only notifies you if a post is performing at least 80% better than other posts, but a post that’s performing 60-70% better than others is still worth boosting!
  • Consider the content and format of your post. Remember that video is one of the most shared and engaging forms of content on Facebook. Posts that include video or graphic elements may be more worthwhile to boost than text-only posts.
  • Always boost posts that redirect back to your website or landing page. The ultimate goal of boosting a post is to get your brand in front of more eyes, in hopes that the expanded reach will draw in more visitors to your website.
  • Consider boosting Facebook posts that feature original content you’ve created – while sharing a relevant link can be valuable to your audience, you should focus your budget on work you’ve created yourselves!

Budget Spend

The cost for boosting is surprisingly low, considering the impact it can have on your social reach. Facebook has a daily budget minimum of $1, and many companies see impressive results from spending just $5 per day. Boosted posts are also more accessible than ads, because you don’t need to spend as much to use them. Facebook ads usually have a minimum spend of $155 per month, so if you have a smaller budget than that, or aren’t ready to invest that much, boosted posts are likely a good fit for you.

Boosted posts can be effective in a variety of situations, especially if you are trying to build an audience for your brand on Facebook. In on example, we created a boosted post for a client that had not built a dedicated audience on Facebook yet. By spending $25 and boosting a blog post that answered questions that addressed the client’s audience, we were able to increase post clicks by 63% and engaged users by 45%.

Even if you have an established audience on Facebook, boosted posts can work for you, especially if you have goals like increasing click throughs, increasing engagement or increasing shares — for example, by boosting for $30 a client’s blog post that addressed a topical issue, we received over 150 clickthroughs on the post, a great indication that the audience was interested and willing to engage.

Promoting Tweets

Just like boosting a post on Facebook, promoting a tweet allows you to share your Twitter post with a larger audience. When setting up a new Twitter campaign, you’ll have the option to choose from your organic (self-created) tweets for promotion.

You can target your promoted tweet in the following ways:

  • Following: Twitter allows you to target audiences based on who they follow. For instance, if you run a sports gear store, it might make sense to target users who follow major sports teams. Other categories include competitors, complementary brands, and influencers.
  • Timeline Keywords: With this option, you can promote tweets based on specific keywords. In one famous instance, Samsung promoted itself using the keywords “iPhone,” “iPhone 5,” and “Apple iPhone” at the time of the iPhone 5’s release.
  • Targeted Audience: Similar to Facebook, Twitter allows you to promote tweets to audiences based on demographics (age, gender, location) and behavior (interests, device).

Promoting Tips

  • Post selection should be based on engagement, such as number of retweets and clicks.
  • Don’t promote two tweets that are very similar. Not only are you likely to get diminishing returns on your efforts (who likes seeing the same tweet more than once?), but you put yourself at risk of violating Twitter’s Rules.
  • Promote tweets with visuals over those without visuals. Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets than those without images.
Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets than those without images. Click To Tweet

Budget Spend

Twitter’s cost for tweet promotion runs on a bidding system, in which you set the amount you’re willing to pay per engagement (i.e. when your tweet is clicked, retweeted, or favorited). You will only be charged for the number of engagements your post receives, but the larger your bid, the more Twitter will prioritize your post on users’ timelines. Brands generally spend around $0.20-$4.00 per engagement.

You can also set a daily budget to put a limit on the total amount you’re willing to spend each day, or over the course of the campaign.

Boost with Purpose

Before spending any money, it’s important to determine the goal or objective you want to achieve by boosting a post. Your goal may be a given number of Facebook shares or retweets that you want to achieve — or it may be a percentage of viewers that you hope to convert to blog subscribers. Consider the content you’re promoting when you determine the right goal for each boosted post; for instance, it’s likely more worthwhile to boost an infographic than a text-only blog post. Boosting posts aimlessly will garner some positive results, but boosting posts purposefully will make more efficient use of your social media spend, putting your money behind your best and brightest pieces of content.

Need help identifying which of your posts to boost and how much to spend? Or, having trouble determining appropriate social media goals for your business? At Main Path Marketing, we manage organic and paid social media strategy, to maximize the use of your social media dollars and reach the right audiences. Contact us for a free consultation.

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