I have heard many arguments both for and against boosting posts in Facebook. In the end, I don’t think it matters if you use the simple boosting interface or the more robust Ad Manager. BUT, if you are going to boost posts I want to show you how to do it more effectively.
Please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t hit boost with all of Facebook’s default settings untouched.
The first and MOST important thing you will need is the correct audience. When you boost a post you’ll see the default audiences plus any custom or saved audiences in your account. The defaults are things like people who like your page, people who like your page and their friends, people in your local area, etc.
I have gotten multiple panicked messages from people who boosted a post that tell me it’s not working, and here they had it somehow set to show their post worldwide and were getting comments and likes in foreign languages, or they were targeting their entire state when they wanted to show their post to a warm audience. Just pay attention to this audience section. It’s pretty vital.
You can just push your post to people who like your page. But I’m going to show you how to create an audience that includes ALL your warm traffic. That is, people who are engaged with you on Facebook and Instagram, people who are on your email list, and people who visit your website.
You’ll have to go into the Ad Manager. Don’t panic.
Head to www.business.facebook.com and set yourself up. If you already have an Ad Manager, that’s great! If not, you can create one at the link above in a few minutes. Now find your way into the Audiences section using the hamburger dropdown menu in the top left corner.
Now we are going to create 4 separate custom audiences. One will be FB engagement, one for IG engagement, one of your email list, and one of website visitors tracked by your pixel.
Find that blue Create Audience button and click on Custom Audience.
These are all of your custom audience options! There are quite a few, so check them out if you are interested. We’ll start with the Facebook page option.
Select your page from the dropdown menu and choose the date range you want. If you are trying to get as many people as possible I would leave it at the default 365 days.
You can choose something other than everyone who engaged with your page, but that will grab the most people into your audience. If you have a ton of traffic and you are trying to target a higher quality segment of your warm audience you could use a narrower targeting criteria.
Name that audience, save it, and click Create Audience again.
This time choose Instagram business profile as your custom audience type.
Same basic deal. 🙂 Save the audience and move on.
Now this time let’s choose the Customer List audience type. You’ll need to go to your email service provider and export your email list. This type of audience will only populate if you have a list of 100 or more from the same country.
If your audience file doesn’t include lifetime value, choose the middle option. (Lifetime value or LTV means your customer file includes data about how much money each customer has spent with your business. This gives Facebook info about which customers are most valuable and helps them find other customers like your most valuable ones.)
Make sure you select your data source. If your list is from people opting in to your freebies or signing up for your content, you would say “Directly from customers.”
Upload the list, name it, and save it.
Now our last custom audience will be your website traffic. You’ll need to have the Facebook Pixel installed in your site in order for this to work. See my post on How to Install the FB Pixel in a WordPress Website if you need help.
Decide how long you want to capture traffic, name the audience and save it.
NOW. We have a small problem. Facebook will only let you boost a post with one audience, but we have four custom audiences of warm traffic from different places.
The solution is to combine all of these custom audiences into one saved audience. Here’s how you do it!
Create a new audience, but instead of selecting Custom Audience, choose Saved Audience. This type of audience is usually where you would target interests, demographics or behaviors. But we are going to use it to combine our warm audiences into one.
Name the audience and add all four of your custom audiences into that section. You’ll also be able to narrow this audience by location, gender, and age. Finish up and save the audience.
Now head back over to Facebook and the post you want to boost.
Go through each section and make sure you are choosing the best option for your goals. When you get to the Audience section, look for your saved audience that includes all of the warm custom audiences!
You can make changes to your optimization, call to action button, placement, budget, and duration of the boost campaign. Use common sense here. If you have a link in the post, choose website traffic as your optimization. If there’s no link you should use post engagement. Decide if you want a CTA button and what call to action makes the most sense (learn more, sign up, watch more?) If you want IG engagement and your photo is optimized for Instagram use that placement, if not, take it out. All of these options are really specific to your campaign and goals.
You can manage your boosted post in the Ad Manager or by clicking on it. Facebook gives you stats on how much of the traffic or engagement is organic and how much came from paid interactions.
Boosting is a good way to make sure your whole warm audience is seeing new posts. If you put out new blog or podcast content regularly, or if you are doing a free challenge and want to make sure everybody sees it, this is a great way to do that!
Comment below if you have questions about boosting or ads. 🙂