The Scourge of the Boosted Post

The Scourge of the Boosted Post

Key Takeaways:

  • Using Boosted Posts on Facebook is not Facebook advertising.

  • A bona fide digital marketer will very rarely (or never) use the Boosted Post feature.

  • Using a Boosted Post is paying for likes.

  • Using Boosted Posts is a waste of money.

Digital marketing is difficult to understand, and even harder to implement. A digital marketer only becomes an expert after years of experience and training.

Facebook recognizes this. They understand that most people do not have the time or desire to wade through tutorial videos, webinars and training sessions. They understand that most people will not invest the time needed to gain proficiency in Facebook Ads. Effective digital marketing requires complex ad platforms to optimize campaigns and achieve KPIs, but the difficulty of these platforms also excludes potential advertisers.

The Dawn of the Facebook Boosted Post

To mitigate this, Facebook created the Boosted Post, a solution for non-experts who have trouble understanding the complex and nuanced Ads Manager platform used by digital marketers. The Boosted Post button poses as an easy way for companies to dabble in Facebook advertising without hiring a qualified digital marketer: the button appears on a post, and a few clicks later companies can spend a nominal amount of money to “advertise” on Facebook.

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However, few are aware of what the Boosted Post is designed to do. A Boosted Post is actually one specific type of eleven different Facebook campaign objectives. A digital marketing expert is trained to know which campaign type to choose depending on strategy and KPI. With the Boosted Post, Facebook chooses for you, removing any decision paralysis.

Unfortunately, the Boosted Post campaign type is one of the least effective types for most KPIs. The Boosted Post is known as a “Post Engagement” campaign. The goal of this campaign is to increase the likes, comments, and shares on a certain post. Thus, Facebook will deliver the ads to users that have demonstrated that they are more likely to like or comment on a post. However, the user who is prone to liking posts is not necessarily the user who will buy a product, visit a restaurant, or engage with a business in any meaningful way. Those users are targeted in other campaign types only available through the Ads Manager, and thus only accessible by a trained digital marketer.

Boosted Posts Waste Money – A Test

Even worse, companies that use Boosted Posts often pay more for impressions, link clicks and reach (the number of unique users that see the ad).

To illustrate this, we tested six relevant campaign types to ascertain which works best for different goals. Each campaign had a budget of $50.

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The Brand Awareness and Traffic campaign garnered the most link clicks, while the Reach campaign lived up to its name and delivered ads to the most unique Facebook users and delivered the most impressions.

The Boosted Post campaign fell short in all three categories, which makes sense because it was not designed for those objectives.

Any company relying solely on Boosted Posts can expect similarly subpar numbers for their budget. Companies often use Boosted Posts as a way to circumvent hiring a qualified digital marketer or digital marketing firm. Yet a company that uses Boosted Posts is sinking money into one of the least effective Facebook campaign types.

A good rule of thumb is that any marketing tool that makes it seem like you do not need a qualified marketer to deploy it is too good to be true. Ultimately, only a seasoned digital marketer will be able to deliver desired results.


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