Why Boosted Facebook Posts Sucks — But Ads Are Great

Ever notice those notifications from Facebook asking you to spend $20 to reach more people? You’ve probably wondered if they really work. Maybe you’ve even tried it and gotten quite a few more likes on your post than your average.

Boosting a post will certainly earn you more likes than usual, maybe even a few comments. However, you’re much less likely to see actual conversions (sales, email list sign ups, etc.) with a boosted post than you will with many of Facebook’s other ad options. It’s not that boosted posts are “bad”, it’s just that they are meant for ease of use rather than for careful sales optimization.

Facebook has many ad objectives to choose from; you’ll see these when you dig into the actual Facebook Ads dashboard (as opposed to hanging out on your Page’s timeline). Since Facebook is the king of digital data collection, it has incredibly smart ad algorithms. It can determine if a user is most likely to visit a website, attend an event, make a purchase, or like a post based on their past behaviors. Boosted posts serve the objective of increasing engagement (likes and comments) on said post. This means that Facebook serves your ad to the users that are the most likely to interact with your post… they might be your fans already or they might just be folks that like EVERYTHING in their timeline. If you connect the dots here, you’ll realize that, although more people will be liking your post than usual, they probably aren’t going to be the people that will actually become your customers or sign up for your email list. You are basically paying for “vanity likes”.

Vanity likes aren’t totally useless though. These can serve as “social proof”… a concept that says that people are more likely to trust something if they see that other people are already doing/using/liking it. That being said, unless you have a specific plan to tactically utilize social proof in your marketing plan, there are much better ways to utilize your ad spend. I’ll address some of these in my next post.

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