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What Really Happens When You Boost a Facebook Post

By Ted Janusz

Have you flown on a plane recently?

Yesterday on my flight I noticed there were three separate sections to the cabin.

First, we had first class (and everyone understands the implications of that).  Next, we had something called “business class.” After that, in the back, the cattle car.

Here is what “business class” means: If you don’t want to be jammed in among the cows mooing in the back of the plane, you now need to upgrade to business class. It’s something that we fliers used to, in many cases, get for free. But now, to get the same legroom on a flight that you used to get before, you need to pay an additional fee.

The same thing happened to Facebook.

THE BAD

Not so long ago, Facebook changed an algorithm so that not all of the people who “liked” your business page would see all of your updates to your page in their newsfeeds.

Facebook recently instituted yet another algorithm change that reduced that number even further.

Some experts now claim that the percent of people who have liked your page who will see one of your organic posts has now dropped into single digits.

So how can you get more of your fans to see your posts?

You are now required to “boost” your posts. In other words, to pay for what you used to get from Facebook for free.

Now, despite what you might think, this is not all bad.

THE GOOD

For instance, you probably have liked multiple Facebook business pages yourself. Could you imagine if you saw every post from the owner of every business page? Your Facebook newsfeed would soon start to look like your email account — which can now be up to 80 percent spam.

Even further, let’s assume that you are an insurance agent. Facebook now gives you the ability to place your post or an ad in the newsfeeds of the people who are not yet aware of your page but are most likely to desire your services. For instance, you can now target all of those Facebook users within your community who have recently changed their status to, say, “engaged.”

This presents you with an opportunity that you can get in no other medium. For instance, instead of wasting your resources to put your message in front of people who have no need for your services, you can cost-efficiently target only likely prospects.

And because the information would be more relevant to that target audience, they would be more likely to engage with your post, and other similarly boosted targeted posts, they now find in their newsfeeds.

Certainly makes a lot of sense.

THE TEST

So, I decided to put boosting a post to the test.

Based on my experience and insights, I had written an article on “The Association Conference of the Future.” The article does not directly promote services, but instead discusses the benefits of having an interactive keynote address at a conference.

I elected to spend $20 for the day to boost the post on Facebook.

Since I am not an insurance agent, but a professional speaker, when it came time to select the interests of the people on Facebook that I want to reach, I chose “Meeting and convention planner or Meeting Professionals International in the United States.”

Then I spun the wheel.

THE RESULTS

A day later, Facebook informed me that it had achieved for me following numbers:

  • 576 — number of people I had reached with my boosted post
  • 40 — number of people who had liked, commented or shared the post
  • $20.00 spent
  • $0.50 — cost per action

All of which seemed very commendable and reasonable, considering that I had recently mailed postcards to association contacts, at a cost per action that was nearly double. Might Facebook be a more economical way to reach similar prospects?

THE DEEP DIVE

But then I took a look at the profiles of those who had actually liked my post, and I discovered the following in their descriptions:

  • works at Self Employed and Loving It!
  • studied at Apollo College of Medical and Dental Careers
  • worked at Getting MONEY
  • self-employed and works at Detective Works
  • in an open relationship
  • works at Asplundh Tree Experts
  • security guard at Admiral Security Services Inc. and sales associate at DIRECTV
  • operations packed down crew member at Home Depot
  • blow mold operator at Igloo Coolers
  • works at Titan Tube Fabricators and Wortham Theater Center
  • studied CDL Class A license at College of Life and lives in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
  • stay-at-home parent
  • studies at Ecumenical Theological Seminary
  • works at VIP Handbags & MORE and Local Union 1175
  • help desk at Ernst Conservation Seeds
  • worked at Hustler

These were not the kinds of Facebook users I had intended to reach when I had selected my interests.

No meeting professionals were among the group. No members of Meeting Professionals International. Some users were not even from the United States.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Based on this deeper dive, I elected not to re-boost the ad.

Although, in theory, being able to target your intended audience on Facebook is very appealing, the results that I achieved left something to be desired.

Ted Janusz has been honored to contribute articles to all seven annual PIA Agency Marketing Guides and has conducted multiple webinars for PIA on marketing. Because Baby Boomers learn about and use social media differently from other generations, Ted conducts his “Social Media for Baby Boomers” workshops for insurance agents and insurance companies who want to use social media to produce a bottom-line impact for their agencies and companies.