If you pay attention to your Facebook stats, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed that there is often a big difference between your “post reach” – the number of people who see your posts – and the number of fans you have.
Once upon a time, businesses that posted content on Facebook could feel confident that a significant portion of their fans was seeing their updates. But changes in Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm now mean there’s a good chance the vast majority of people who like your local business’s page aren’t actually seeing your posts in their feeds.
“Organic reach” refers to the number of people who see your page posts in their newsfeed without any intervention – i.e. paid advertising – on your part. (If you’re unfamiliar with Facebook’s measurement tools, you can check the reach of each post by looking just below the content – if you’re a page administrator, the number of people reached will appear to the left of the blue “boost post” button – or talk to a Yellow Pages social media expert to learn how to use Facebook’s more detailed analytics reporting).
Organic reach varies from post to post and page to page, however a study of 5,000 Facebook pages found that the average post only reaches 2.6 percent of total fans. That means for every 1,000 people who like your page, only 26 are seeing your posts. Anecdotally, this reach can be even lower.
While these low numbers may make Facebook updates seem like a lot of work for relatively little payoff, there are ways to grow the audience size of any post. “Boosted posts,” which allow page administrators to pay a fee in order to reach a larger audience, are an easy, flexible way to grow the visibility of any given post. Not only can publishers choose which specific posts they want to boost, but they can also use targeting tools to determine who will see the post, and select an audience size based upon how much they want to spend.
How do boosted posts work?
Boosting posts is one of the simplest ways for publishers to get their content in front of more people. Posts can be boosted either at the time you create them or after they have already been published. Just follow these simple steps:
- Click the “boost post” button. For new posts, this button sits just to the left of the “publish” button below the content editor. For previously published posts, look for a blue button below your content and above the likes and comments.
- Decide who sees the boosted post. Targeting tools allow publishers to define the audience for boosted posts. You can choose to show your post only to people who like your page, to your fans and their friends, or to an audience that has been selected by Facebook based on criteria you choose. These include location (although unlike ads managed through Facebook’s Ad Manager, targeting at the hyperlocal level is not available on boosted posts), age, gender and interests. Once you define your audience, you can save your criteria groupings for future promotions.
- Input your budget. Once you’ve inputted the criteria for the audience you’d like to reach, Facebook will compute the cost and show you the reach your post can achieve at various budget levels. The minimum spend is $1 per day.
- Select the duration of your promotion. Posts may be boosted for one, seven or 14 days, and your total budget will be spread across those days. For example, if you input your budget as $7 and choose a seven-day promotion period, you’ll be buying $1 worth of newsfeed views each day. For added flexibility, you can boost posts a one-day basis and then repeat. This approach has the added benefit of letting you refine your targeting based on the previous day’s performance.
- Enter payment information and hit “boost.”
How do I know which posts to boost?
To get the most bang for your buck, it makes sense to boost posts you already know are successful. But what does success mean? That depends on your goals.
- If your goal is to incent new fans to like your page boost posts that have a high level of engagement within Facebook. Lots of likes and comments mean the people who have already seen the post in their feeds find the content useful or entertaining – so there’s a good chance you’ll make a great first impression on a new audience.
- If your goal is to drive visitors to your website boost posts that are resulting in lots of click-throughs back to your site.
- Still not sure what posts to promote? Yellow Pages Facebook Solution includes expert advice (and implementation) to help ensure your page activities directly support your specific business goals.
How much should I spend on boosted posts?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much your local business should budget for boosted posts. To determine the amount for you, it can be helpful to think about the ROI you’re hoping to achieve from the promotion and portion out your budget accordingly. If a post is fun and engaging but not closely related to your business, you may not want to spend as much promoting it as you would a fun contest that is seeing a high level of signups for your mailing list. However the boost tool makes it fairly easy for businesses to see how many views their boosted post will achieve and what that will cost.