Boost Post: Creating Your First Facebook Ad
When posting to your Facebook page, be it a business update, video, or picture post, you may well have spotted the large blue ‘BOOST POST’ button alongside your original post.
While Boost Post is a simple and easy way of running an advert for your business, its limitations mean they are not as effective as creating adverts through Facebook Ads Manager.
If you’d like to know more about the Facebook Ads Manager method, click here or message us to help you. If you want to get started with a quick and easy advert, then read on…
The ‘Boost Post’ button is Facebook’s way of providing users with a very simple and straightforward method of increasing the ‘reach’ of a post, ie getting their post, business or brand in front of more people.
Boost post allows you to target selected audiences, but it does have limitations, compared to a full Facebook advert campaign through Ads Manager.
While creating an advert through the main Facebook Ads Manager tool allows you to pick from several ad objectives, the boost function is a little more limited.
This simple boost method can help to grow post visibility and engagement, such as likes, comments, and shares, as well as sending people to your website or getting them to contact you.
However, it won’t allow you to prioritise more strategic outcomes, such as obtaining potential customer email addresses (leads), or making a sale, unlike the Facebook Ads Manager. You won’t be able to test different adverts, creative or copy, either with one overall budget, either.
Boosted posts are also a lower priority for Facebook, so they will always favour showing business adverts created in Ads Manager over similar and competing boosted posts.
Ads Manager also allows you to customise adverts further depending on your goal, ie adding a call-to-action, use catalogue or carousel ads, or use language and behaviour targeting.
But using Ads Manager can be a little daunting for some, especially as Facebook often change the lay-out of its platform, so what you might have done a year ago, may well not work now.
So, to get help you started, here we’ll run through the Boost Post function, to enable you get your post out to more people quickly and simply.
If you want to learn more about creating advert campaigns in Ads Manager, click here to learn about that, or contact us and we’ll give you a hand…
Note: For both methods, you need to have a verified Business Page set-up for your company, and also set up a Facebook Ad Account with your bank details added to enable payment for your advert budget.
So, you’ve created and submitted your Facebook post as normal, so it appears in your post feed, as well as the feeds of your Business Page’s followers.
But you’d like a few more people to see it. Perhaps this is based on the area your business services – if you are a gardening company based in Essex, why advertise your services in Liverpool? Or it might be further afield if you are selling a service or product that can be supplied outside of your local area.
*The following can be done on either your desktop computer via the Facebook website, or using your smartphone via the Facebook App.
Now your post is live on your Facebook Business Page, you will see a blue button at the bottom of the post [Boost Post] and you will be taken to a new page…
The Boost Post page will open up and you’ll be presented with a number of options to enable to set up a simple advert and get it live to your desired audience:
1: Select Ad Account
On the desktop version, this options is in the top right-hand of the page. On the Facebook app, this option comes lower down the page, alongside your payment details.
2: Goal (your advert’s objective)
You can leave this as it is – ‘Automatic’ – and let Facebook choose which it feels is best for you, or you can select one of the following choices:
- Get More Messages: This is if you want people to contact you directly through Facebook Messenger, Instagram or even Whatsapp, if you have connected your Whatsapp number to your Facebook account.
- Get More Website Purchases: This is if you are selling products on your website store.
- Get More Engagement: This is if you want your post to get likes, shares and comments.
- Get More Leads: This is if you want people to sign-up and give you their email address. You’ll need to create a simple form if using this Goal, via the Facebook functionality. (‘Create Form’ button)
- Get More Website Visitors: This will go to those most likely to click on any URL links in your post.
- Get More Calls: This will appear for those most likely to call your business phone number.
Once you have selected your goal, click ‘Save’. You will then be presented with goal-specific options, ie create a form, add a button link, or add a phone number.
Complete that and then more down the Boost Post page to the next option.
3: Advantage+ creative
You can switch this off, so Facebook will follow your instructions for advert delivery and placement.
However, by switching this on it will allow Facebook to use the data it has in its vast systems that is relevant to you to use different advert creative – ie the image or video, and text (copy) – to get better results for you.
This is where you can add an appropriate CTA (call-to-action) button to your post that will send people to the relevant destination, based on your Goal.
This image goes to a website, but it could also be a message, a form or phone number.
For the button label – the wording prompt that people will see on the button on your post – you can select from five different options, including Sign Up, Learn More, or Book Now.
Ensure this relates to your objective, eg, don’t use ‘Sign Up’ if the button sends people to a page where you want them to book an appointment.
5: Special Ad Category
It’s unlikely you’ll need to use this option, but if you are advertising something related to those listed (social issues, housing, employment or credit) then there will be certain restrictions on who can see your ads.)
6: Audience (who you want to see your advert)
Within the Audience section you will see a few options to help you target your advert to the people you want to see it.
At the top is ‘Advantage Audience’ which is set automatically by Facebook based on what it knows about your business. The system will automatically select a location to target (the image shows it will target those within a 40km radius of London, England. It will also select an age range and gender (this example is 18-65+ years, male and female). Finally, it will select the interests of the type of person you want to reach (the image show interests around gardening and food).
We cover more about ‘Interests’ and ‘Interest Targeting’ here.
If you would like to know more about understanding your perfect customer or target audience, click here to read this article.
However, you might want to modify this in case Facebook has suggested an audience that you don’t want to target. So, you can either click the little pencil icon in the top right of the grey ‘Audience Details’ box, or click the ‘Create New’ button at the bottom of the section to create a new audience. We’ll cover how editing and creating an audience works in just a moment.
Below the Audience details box, you will see four more options:
- People You Choose Through Targeting: Similar to the Advantage Audience, this selection will allow you to target your boosted post based on location, age, gender and their interests.
- People Who Like Your Page: Selecting this option will set your advert to target those who currently like or follow your Facebook Business Page. You can edit this slightly, honing in your location targeting. Ie, if you only want those who follow you in a particular area to see the advert.
- People Who Like Your Page And People Similar To Them: This combines the above option with what is know as a ‘Lookalike Audience’ (which is something that can be created and used for more advanced adverts through Ads Manager). A ‘lookalike’ is basically someone who, through the data that Facebook has on them, ‘looks like’ some who follows you. For example, if the majority of your followers are females, aged between 25-45, who have children and like fashion, going to the gym, and music, Facebook will target people like them, who don’t follow your page. Again, you can also set this to a certain geographical area.
- People In Your Local Area: This allows you to target your ad on a simple geographic basis, so anyone within the radius you set can see the advert.
*If you have used Facebook Ads before, or your Business Page has, you might see other custom-made audiences which can be created in greater detail with Facebook Ads Manager, or simple ones through the ‘Create New’ Button…
By clicking the Create New Button, you will see more options, similar to those mentioned above, that will enable you to come up with, and save, a custom audience based on your more specific needs.
You first must give your audience a name which will appear in your list of audiences when you click ‘Save audience’.
You will then be able to create your target audience by selecting the following criteria: Gender, Age, Location (or locations), plus more detailed interest-based targeting.
Once you have gone through and added the details relevant to you and your advert, you will see ‘Audience Definition’, which will rank your audience from Specific (your ad could go to fewer people, but will be very close to your targeting settings) through to Broad (your ad might be able to reach a wider group of people, but might not have a direct connection to your interest), and ‘Estimated Audience Size’, which will give a rough figure of the number of people who could potentially see your advert.
Once you’re are happy, click ‘Save audience’ and move on to the next section.
7: Duration and Budget
This section is pretty straightforward; How long to you want your advert to run for, and how much do you want to spend?
The tricky part is working out how much you are willing, or able to spend on your advert. The more you spend, the more people you will reach and the more rivals for the advertising space you will ‘beat’. For example, if you are advertising basketball trainers and targeting everyone in a particular country, spending £50 per day on advertising might not enable you to compete with bigger brands advertising. However, if you want people to see your post about an event you are hosting at your local village hall, a budget of £5 per day might be more than enough.
The basic outline for working out your budget for an advert is; how much are you willing to pay to achieve your advertising objective? There’s no point spending £200 on advertising to sell a single item that only costs £200, you won’t get any ‘return on investment’ or ROI.
To understand more about Facebook advertising budgets and how they work, click here.
Once you have your budget in mind, you can spread that over the period of time you want to advertise for, ie: if you are advertising an event happening in ten days’ time, you don’t need to run the advert for two weeks – but that’s obvious, right?
8: Placement, Pixel and Payment
In this section, you can set where your advert appears, which ‘Pixel’ is used to track your adverts performance, and how you want to pay your advert’s budget.
For placements, you have three options within the boost post function; Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. When you create adverts within Ads Manager, there are more detailed options for your advert placement.
The ‘pixel’ is a piece of code that is generated by Facebook that you place within the code of your Business website or online store. Your ad’s activity within Facebook will then be tracked, as will any activity that occurs on your website. If someone views your ad, clicks the link, and visits your website, the pixel will track that and the data will appear in your advert analytics.
For more on setting up your Facebook pixel and what it does, click here.
The final option in this section is where you can add your payment details so you can ay your advert budget costs to Facebook. You can use debit card, credit card, Paypal or set up a direct debit from your bank account.
In the Facebook app, you are limited to running your posted post on Facebook and Instagram, while the pixel will be automatically selected if you have one connected to your chosen Ad Account, which you can select here.
9: Preview Ads
You’ve now set up your advert, so on the right-hand side of the page you will be able to preview it and see what it looks like in the various placements by clicking ‘See all placements’.
On the Facebook app you can preview what the ad will look like on Facebook at the top of the page or click the ‘See Instagram Preview’ button to see what it will look like on Instagram.
10: Boost Post Now
Once you are happy with everything, you are good to go! Click ’Boost Post Now’ to submit your post to Facebook for approval.
You will be taken to a page where you can review the performance of your boosted post, though at this stage there will be no data until advert has been running for a few hours.
For now, you just need to wait until Facebook send you notification that your advert has been approved and will start to be delivered to your chosen audience.
And that’s it…
However, understanding how to run full Facebook Ad campaigns will be much more effective for your business.
If you need help and advice, or would like us to set-up and run campaigns on your behalf, drop us a line today via the form below…