You already know Facebook provides great opportunities for local businesses to promote themselves to current and potential customers. One of the easiest tools businesses like yours can use to market yourself via Facebook is the ability to boost Facebook posts. This means paying a specified amount to target a post toward any given audience. Simple enough.
However, it’s not so simple as throwing some cash at posts here and there and watching the likes, shares and new customers roll in. To get the maximum benefit out of boosted posts, it pays to have a strategy.
DO: Wait to see how a post performs organically before boosting it.
You’ve been around Facebook long enough to know that not all posts are created equal (…unless you’re actually Equal). Some of your posts just get more love than others do. The good news is you can use that information to help you predict how a boosted post will perform.
Use Facebook’s analytics to tell you which posts your fans already love. Those posts are ideal candidates for boosting. About 24 hours should be enough to give you an idea of how well a post is performing. Pro tip: Incorporating video into your post can help improve its performance.
DON’T: Try to target too large of an audience.
Once you’ve chosen your star performing posts, it’s tempting to want to blast them out to the entire world! Hold your horses. Targeting too many people with your ad can result in wasted effort and even worse – wasted money.
The reality is, you need to have an idea of who your customers are, and just as importantly, who they aren’t. Maybe your product or service targets a specific demographic. Maybe you rely on word of mouth from existing customers. Whatever the case, it’s necessary to know who the intended targets of a boosted post are, especially if your budget is limited.
DO: Include a call to action in your post.
We have no doubt you’re oh-so-popular on Facebook. But engaging with your fans on Facebook is about more than making friends. Don’t lose sight of the purpose of your business’s Facebook page – engaging current customers and finding more customers.
Any boosted post should allow the reader to do something that will help grow your business, like:
- Subscribe to your newsletter
- Claim a coupon
- Enter a contest
- Book an appointment
DON’T: Let your ad run for too long.
Remember when wildly creative commercials would air during football games and people would quote them for months (“wazzuuuuuuuuup!”)? Unfortunately (OK, maybe fortunately), those days are long gone. The attention cycle is shorter than it’s ever been, and something can go from fresh to tired in what seems to be the blink of an eye. Industry standards say a week is typically long enough to let your ad run.
But what if your business is gearing up for a special promotion that lasts longer than a week? Say, for National Barbecue Month (yes, this is a thing, and it’s coming soon). No worries – get your barbecue on. If you want to run a promotion for a longer period, simply come up with slightly different variations of your ad for each week you want to run the larger campaign.
DO: Consider the timing of your Facebook post.
One aspect of timing is the day and time you choose to publish a post. Again, you can use Facebook’s analytics to see when people interact with your content most frequently and boost your posts based on that information. However, if no clear pattern emerges, a useful general approach is to schedule posts to appear 1-2 hours before your target audience wakes up. Many people check Facebook as one of their first activities of the day, so having content ready for them is a solid approach.
The other aspect of timing refers to how your content might fit into a larger cultural conversation. Let’s say you own a salon or spa, and you’ve written a post predicting that bangs are the new trend for summer. Then, like magic, an A-list celebrity just happens to be sporting bangs in the most recent issue of Cosmo. There’s your perfect opportunity to boost that post (and to remind everyone to call you Miss Cleo).
DO: Ask for help. Need some?
Do you feel like all the time you spend on Facebook promoting your business takes you away from, well, your business? We offer a variety of solutions that include handling your social media for you.