Dwindling organic reach is a sore subject for a lot of Facebook Pages, and it turns out that it’s a problem more and more are solving with their wallets.
Facebook has a method for determining who sees your updates, and it’s a method that isn’t necessarily very kind to Pages – which means that while promoting yourself on Facebook is technically free, shelling out a few bucks here and there for better visibility is quickly going from luxury to necessity.
So why treat Facebook like a free ride? Why keep your strategy stuck in 2011 when Facebook’s advertising options are so easy, so cheap, and so popular?
Facebook advertising doesn’t need to replace your current strategy – in fact, it shouldn’t.
If you juice your reach here and there, though, it can seriously complement your existing social marketing efforts!
(You just have to know where to start.)
There’s more than one way to advertise on Facebook
Part of the reason that paying for reach on Facebook is so popular is that it’s pretty easy – and it hasn’t always been!
Paying for reach on Facebook is only as complicated as you make it.
If you’re a numbers genie, the Ads Manager is ready and waiting for you. And while it’s a useful tool, it’s not the most user-friendly way to get your feet wet when this is all brand new – its massive set of tools can make the advertising process a little complicated.
A significantly easier solution is to stick with promoted posts – that’s when you just slide Facebook a little money to increase the reach of an update you’ve already posted.
(You use the little “Boost Post” button, like in the bottom-right of the picture below.)
When you click that button, Facebook makes it easy to choose who you want to see that post. If you want, they can show it only to people who have liked your page, or to those people and their friends, or to an audience you choose based on factors like age, gender, location, and interests.
(If we really want our post to be seen by more people who love Taco Bell’s layers of beefy flavor, for example, we can make that happen. Technology, everybody!)
This is how you end up seeing a lot of the ads you see on Facebook, too! Pages out there find people like you based on your interests, and show you ads based on those interests.
This is a less in-depth way of doing things – but user-friendliness doesn’t mean it isn’t effective.
Facebook will even tell you how many more people you can expect to see your post based on how much you’re thinking about spending! If we spent just $10 on that update above, for example, we could more than triple its reach.
(Makes a lot of sense that 32% of reach on Facebook is paid for, doesn’t it?)
Still, ten bucks is ten bucks – and if you’re going to join the ever-growing contingent of Pages that pay for a little extra reach, you want your money to count!
That’s why it’s so important to keep this next thing in mind.
You’re not JUST paying for reach
You post a wide variety of stuff on social media. (Or at least, you should.)
How do you know what to boost – and how do you make sure you get your money’s worth?
Focus on what happens after someone sees an update.
When you pay to increase a Facebook post’s reach, your ultimate goal shouldn’t be for that post to be seen – it should be for something to happen after that, and something with long-term benefits.
For example, if you boost a post linking to your blog, you don’t necessarily just want people to see that update, or even to click through and read the post! Those are short-term gains.
If they read the post and then sign up for your newsletter, though, you’ve spent your money wisely – and you might have gained a pretty valuable lead. (Even if they so much as like your Facebook page, it’ll be easier to reach that person again and again over time – this is how you build an audience!)
Paying for Facebook reach is like paying the doorman at the club – it’ll get you in the door, but the rest is up to you!
If you’re going to pay to increase your reach, it should be to promote something you feel confident in, and something that could continue to pay off for you not just by being seen, but by eliciting actions in your audience. That’s the difference between it being about vanity and being an actual investment!
How to get started
Curious about how effective all this actually is?
Once you have a goal in mind and know what you want to share, head over to your Facebook Page and try boosting a post’s reach – it’s an experiment that only has to cost a few dollars.
Start small and try increasing your reach for one or two posts a week, and see how it goes. You might find that it’s really worth investing in every now and then!
What’s your experience been like with boosted posts and Facebook advertising? Crucial part of your strategy? Refuse to give in? Share your thoughts in the comments below!