To Boost or not to Boost?
I always hear business owners complain about their advertisements not converting to sales. When I ask them how they are advertising on Facebook and Instagram, they say, "I boost our posts." I'm here to tell you right now that boosting is not advertising and it's a waste of money.
I'm going to start off by saying that I am not an advertising expert by any means. My expertise is in organic social media practices. However, I have experience with Facebook and Instagram ads and often have to coach my clients on what and how to advertise.
So, let's dive into what boosting really is. Let's say you post something on Instagram and it isn't doing that great. Instagram might even say, "This post is doing better than 95% of your recent posts. Promote it now." You can choose to boost it and it does just that, it boosts your post to get in front of people who follow you and even in front of a few people who don't follow you if you choose to target the audience. You can set a budget as low as $1 making it super tempting because you feel like you're advertising for the price of a coffee.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT boost that post!
Boosting is not advertising. Boosting is just to get some vanity metrics in your Insights. Sure, your post will see more likes and your insights will show a rising "reach". But, if you think about it, you are utilizing a free app and now you are paying for that app to do exactly what it should be doing for you already, for free. And I will tell you, I have never seen good conversion rates from boosting. Ever.
I'm here to tell you, dear business owner, that you need to stop boosting, and start advertising. Here's what you need to do:
Make sure your organic presence on social media is top-notch. Create meaningful content, post at a good time, utilize hashtags to reach a wider audience, ask questions to encourage engagement, and then keep practicing all of this over and over until you have a knack for it. Or hire a social media manager.
You need to set a budget for advertising. This is the scariest thing for business owners because advertising usually feels like an investment not worth investing in. So set a budget that works for you.
Know your customer. You probably hear this all the time, but OMG it's so important. Who is buying your product? That's your audience.
Lastly, get familiar with business.facebook.com and use that tool, and that tool only, for advertising on Facebook and Instagram. From now on you're going to dismiss and ignore all boosting suggestions.
Now, the absolute hardest pill to swallow, are you ready? Your budget is going to be spent on acquiring a community of people, not customers who purchase right away. No one is going to buy from you if they don't know you or trust your product. You're going to be spending a lot of money to basically be seen digitally, but this is so essential for long-term growth.
This is why influencer marketing tends to be so popular. Influencers already have a loyal following, so if their audience sees them using your product, then the audience will trust you and some of them will even purchase from you.
If you're familiar with a marketing funnel, then you'll recognize that your advertising budget is for the top of the funnel where you're reaching the most people. Some of those people become customers, that's at the more narrow part of the funnel. A smaller, but essential part of the funnel is the very bottom where you have your loyal customers, the ones who keep coming back. Usually you don't have any or many customers unless you start at the top of the funnel, which is getting in front of people's eyes.
Be patient. You will have success if you don't have expectations to immediately make sales.
Back to boosting... it's easy and that's why business owners love to boost their posts. But if you create an advertising campaign (tip: spend money to make a video!) in your Business Manager on Facebook, you can actually track real results beyond just "likes". You will get to know your audience and learn what adjustments you may need to make so that your audience become your biggest fans and paying customers.
So. TLDR; Don't boost, do advertise.