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Boost Post: Pro and Con

Pitchtarget - Sep 2 2015

Facebook gives its users the possibility to promote their posts through the Boost Post feature. Being a kind of ads, boosted posts have more visibility than normal posts. We find this feature to be very useful to improve the performance of businesses on Facebook, because it allows to enhance the effectiveness of the best posts, highlighting the most attractive contents of a Page. While being definitely valuable, Boost Post has some limitations. In this article we review them together with its strengths, while we explain how it works.

Those familiar with Facebook Pages should already know that it is possible to highlight posts by clicking on the “Boost Post” button located in the lower-right corner of each status update, photo, video and offer published. Boosting a post allows to increase the chances of appearing on the News Feed of the targeted audience. In other words, a boosted post is basically an Ad which uses the post itself as creative.

For those who don’t know yet instead, here is how it works:

First of all, a post can be boosted only through a Facebook Page. Those who are not admins, advertisers, moderators or editors of a Page cannot do it.

Once clicked on the “Boost Post” button, the user has to set a bunch of parameters including the audience and the budget, based on the desired amount of people to reach and the duration of the boost (up to a maximum of 7 days).

It is possible to boost posts for the existing Fan base to reach more of the people already liking the Page (and their friends), or to target a new audience by choosing for their location, gender, age and interests. Finally, after a short review process, the post can be boosted.

After the boost post is launched, its performance can be monitored in several ways. The total number of unique people who have seen the boosted post will be shown at the bottom of the post itself, and by clicking on it it will be possible to break the number down into Organic Reach (people who would have seen the post anyway) and Paid Reach (people who saw the Sponsored post). A more detailed analysis including the demographics of the viewers and the actions they took can be obtained by clicking “See Results” at the bottom of the post, by going into the Posts section of the Page Insights or by using an Ads management tool.

If there is the need to stop boosting the post before expected, it is possible to pause the boost (and eventually resuming it later) or remove it definitely. It is sufficient to go to the post, click on the button on the bottom right corner displaying the budget and choose to pause it, or to delete it from the options. The Boost Post feature is not pre-paid, so there is no waste of money if the post is deleted or paused before its scheduled expiration. It is charged only for the portion of the budget that was already spent while the boost was active.

Boosted posts appear higher in News Feed, so there's a better chance the targeted audience will see them. They are labeled as “Sponsored” and don't appear in the right column of Facebook. Promoting the most performing posts with the Boost Post feature could thus help improve the success of a Page by increasing the likelihood of attracting new user or engaging more Fans to participate in the conversion thanks to the (supposed) high quality of the contents promoted (see our previous article on quality contents).

Checking the performance and setting the parameters for a few posts does not require a large investment in terms of time. However, one would probably be tempted to take advantage of this useful function as much as possible, but doing it frequently could involve a huge waste of time. Indeed, while monitoring and setting a boost post is not a difficult or time-expensive task per se, as the number of boosted posts increases so does the cost of investing time in their creation. A relatively simple and quick task then becomes an exhausting set of repetitive and tedious tasks.

Therefore, the Pro Con list for the Boost Post feature thus looks like this in this in our opinion:

Pro Con
Increases the effectiveness of the best contents Inefficiently time-consuming to use in large scale
Easy to use
Not pre-paid (no waste of money)

To overcome to the scalability issue, at Pitchtarget we created the Automatic Boost Posts function, that allows to fully exploit the benefit of boosted posts without inefficiencies and waste of resources. Want to know more? In the next article we will describe more in details the functioning and the features of Automatic Boost Posts.