Someone at Facebook heard “nothing easy is worth doing” and took it WAY too seriously. We know – Facebook Ads Manager is clunky and confusing. The unfriendly interface coupled with Facebook’s constant reminders about the ease of boosting posts makes it seem like a no-brainer: Why would anyone run an ad over boosting a post? Well, we’re here with a list of those very reasons. Spoiler alert: Boosting posts is not worth the money.
1. The very best thing that Facebook has to offer advertisers is unavailable through boosting – Lookalike Audiences.Lookalike audiences are a KEY tool for companies looking to reach anyone outside of their existing customer base. Facebook creates lists of users who mirror your existing social followers, email subscribers and website visitors. You know how people hate how much Facebook knows about them? We usually do too… except for when it comes to these lookalike audiences. These mirror audiences have the same demographics, interests, social habits and spending tendencies as the people who are already connecting with your business. In short, the “FBI Agent” who lives inside everyone’s computer is your biggest selling tool, and you won’t find him in your boost options.
2. You aren’t reaching the right people with boosting. Have you ever noticed that the people who are interacting with your boosts seem… familiar? It’s because they are. Boosting a post brings your content in front of essentially anyone who is on Facebook “right now” with a special focus to those who are likely to engage with your company, AKA – your most loyal followers. These followers are already shopping with you, using your service and engaging with your page. This means that you’re spending money to make your followers do what they’re already doing for free. It’s this aspect of boosting that makes us think they should just go ahead and have a “throw away money” objective added to the boost options. Speaking of objectives…
3. The Objective for Boosted Posts is Vanity-Based. We understand why boosting is so intoxicating. The likes, shares and comments not only feel good to receive, they also generate that “e” word everyone is talking about – engagement. While engagement is great, it only “counts” if it’s organic. That’s to say, if you post something that your followers LOVE, more people see your future posts, and your reach expands. That’s not the case if you’ve put money behind the post via a boost. It’s kind of like paying for likes on Instagram – it’ll make your post look appealing to you, but it will cost you money without showing any kind of real return. (There are roughly 50 other reasons not to buy Instagam likes, but we’ll have to tackle those in another blog post). Further, Facebook Ads Manager does not even display the number of likes, comments or shares that your ad gets in the reporting metrics. This is because – and we know this is hard to hear – it does not matter. The conversions that matter (and are tracked by Facebook) are conversions, store visits, check outs, subscriptions to your email lists, etc. The list seriously goes on and on.
We could (and sometimes during team meetings – do) go on and on about the cons of Facebook Ads Manager. It changes frequently, while still keeping the appearance and functionality of a ‘90s era site. Running a great ad involves trial and error. The reporting, while thorough, isn’t offered in an easy-to-digest format. However, for all those cons, there are certainly pros. Whether you’re promoting an event, selling a product, advertising a service or raising awareness for your brand, Facebook Ads are effective and relatively inexpensive. They offer lookalike audiences, reach buyers that are likely to convert, have objectives that actually move the needle and WORK.
Next time you see “Boost this post for $50 and receive a $50 credit from Facebook!” resist the urge. Instead, focus on creating the best content possible on your feed and using your ad budget in Facebook Ads Manager. As always, you’re not in this alone! If you’d like a Here Molly Girl social ad expert to get in touch with you about your social strategy, send us a message at email@example.com.