Good advertisers do not Boost Posts!

Many of us work with social community managers, right? And whether or not they have any Facebook advertising savvy, they all see that “Boost post” option enough to think about trying it.

I think boosting posts is stupid. Here’s why: it’s a cheap way to get people to advertise without going into the ads manager and having them do all the “complicated” targeting. It’s basically taking advantage of those people who don’t fully know what they are doing.

I’m not saying that having a way for newbies to advertise on Facebook is a bad thing, but what it does is create a combination of bad targeting and bad ad units, which ultimately clobbers the perceived value of advertising on Facebook.

When you hit “boost post” on Facebook, you are given options. First is to show your ad to “people who like your page and their friends” and “people who you choose through targeting.” So, basically what you’re given off the bat is the ability to target both fans and friends of fans.

boost post to fans

This is traditionally not a bad audience, but what happens is it’ll create a version of your advertisement to your fans (fine), your friends of fans (usually a huge audience), and then a sponsored story version of that post (which usually targets almost no one).

sponsored post option

What normally happens is something like this:

boost post

In my opinion, this is a waste of money. Wouldn’t you agree? As an experienced Facebook advertiser, where do you think the budget is going to go, especially if you’re bidding oCPM (which it does by default)? It’s going to go to Friends of Fans (option 2), with absolutely no targeting layered on top of it. This is unfortunate because people would be so much better off if they knew all the valuable tools available to them in the self-serve ad creation area.

The targeting that Facebook offers is its biggest strength. The more Facebook can prove that by launching people into ad creation flow with full targeting options in mind, the better off they’ll be.  I have spoken to many social community managers who believe boosting posts is the best option they have for getting fans to see a post, which is incorrect. With only a few more clicks, a new world could be opened up to them.

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Andrew Foxwell Andrew Foxwell grew up on a farm in western Wisconsin, where his Macintosh Quadra 610 with its lightning fast 28.8K dial-up connection first sparked his interest in digital marketing. After graduating from St. Olaf College, Andrew went to work as a digital director for a U.S. Congressional campaign, which led him to Washington, DC to work as a press secretary/new media director for a U.S. Congressman. Recognizing an opportunity for improved digital communications between members of Congress and their constituents, Andrew founded and managed the social media marketing agency within iConstituent, the leading online communications firm working with Congress. Andrew worked with members and staffs from both sides of the aisle to deepen much needed Congressional dialogue, improve constituent services, and create a more effective 21st century democracy. Andrew then took his diverse skillset to Silicon Valley where he directed the social media division of 3Q Digital, a full-service online marketing firm. There he tripled the agency’s social media client base, managed a team of account managers and production professionals, and oversaw an average monthly revenue growth of more than 20% while working with companies like Square, Fitbit, Eventbrite, 23andMe, Citrus Lane and more. Andrew is the CEO and Co-Founder of Foxwell Digital, a digital creative agency that works with clients as diverse as small-town cafes to multi-million dollar start-ups. Find him @andrewfoxwell and