We wrote last week about the death of organic reach on Facebook, and we promised to follow up with more information about how news organizations can fight it.
The good news is that as a news organization, your content is in high demand by readers and generates significant engagement. So, you’re in an excellent position to leverage that by paying to extend your reach. Facebook offers two kinds of post advertising: boosting and promotion. Boosting posts allows marketers to easily expand a post’s reach and allows for limited targeting. And Promoting posts via Ads Manager or Facebook’s Power Editor provides expanded targeting, and bidding options for more sophisticated marketing needs.
But for broadcasters, we recommend boosting posts because it provides “good enough” targeting and pricing options and is extremely easy to use. As little as $20, can expand your post reach by as much as 300 percent, and get your content in front of more of your existing audience. You should think of boosting posts as an audience development strategy similar to SEM. That’s right. Boosting posts is a great way to elevate your content in the newsfeed of your existing audience, but it’s also an opportunity to expose your content to new audiences.
We recommend “boosting” posts that show early potential for big engagement. Our Share Rocket dashboard offers a content stream (right/above) that helps you see what posts are trending in your market. If you boost a post that’s already generating significant engagement, it will allow you to maximize your spend. Boosted posts that drive significant engagement are surfaced even more than those that aren’t. But choose wisely.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for boosting posts
1. Audience targeting
Facebook provides you with three options when choosing how to expand your reach:
- People who like your page: ensure more of your fans see your post
- People who like your page and their friends: expand beyond your existing fans
- People you choose through targeting
The last option is a great way to expand reach and target content to certain demographics. Facebook allows you to target your ad to location, age, gender and even interests, activities and the pages they like. That’s right. You can target fans of your competition’s pages. So, for example, WFAA in Dallas could target fans of their competitor KDFW in an effort to convert them. Now, that’s powerful.
This is an especially important option for local broadcasters. Given the nature of local news, our target audience likely should be limited to the local DMA. By boosting the post, you can gain reach ONLY in your DMA in an effort to drive brand exposure and ultimately tune-in to your newscasts. Choose your target city and remember to include people within 50 miles of the city, if appropriate.
3. Set your budget
Again, you can start testing for as little as $1 per day. Facebook pre-populates budget bands of $5, $20, $30, $40, $60, $100, $150 and $200. But you can enter any amount you wish by typing in the box, or selecting the “choose your own” option.
4. Estimate reach
This area allows you to see your estimated reach based upon your chosen budget. Try different budget options to see how that choice changes your estimated reach.
5. Set duration
Facebook allows you to boost your post for up to 7 days. For more options, you’ll need to use the Ads Manager product.
6. Select payment method
This link allows you to select an existing payment option or to add a new method. Facebook accepts credit or debit cards and PayPal.
7. Check mobile
Remember that more than half of Facebook’s referral traffic is delivered via mobile. So, don’t forget to Q/A your ad for mobile.
That’s it. Click boost and your post will be submitted for approval.
Remember that just like any other ad, your boosted post must be reviewed before it’s exposed to people who do not like your page. Expect approval within 15-20 minutes. Also, it’s important to remember the 20 percent type rule for images; violation of that rule can cause your ad to be rejected. You also will not be allowed to edit or update your post while boosting. To edit the post, you’ll need to stop the campaign. Edit the post. Then, boost the post again to restart the campaign.
It’s important to note that people who already like your page will see your post immediately. So, there’s no delay in sharing content with your existing fans while you wait for you boosted post to be approved.
You can learn more about boosting posts at Facebook.