Algorithm changes on Facebook and Instagram is making organic reach decline, which is why many businesses have lost a ton of engagement and can't make as much money from social organically.
Us marketers are a smart bunch though ;) - it's possible to use Facebook’s API to streamline and automate a lot of advertising strategies, including auto boosting Facebook posts.
And now it's even possible to auto boost Instagram posts.
Revealbot is the first platform to introduce auto post boosting for both Instagram and Facebook.
Why promote and boost Instagram posts at all?
With Instagram’s growing popularity and its younger, more socially-engaged audience, it has become a primary marketing channel for businesses to reach its customers. In 2018 ad spend on Instagram grew ~170% compared to 2017.
That's why when you have an organic post do well (despite unfavorable algorithm changes), it means your audience (and potential customers) really like the content of that post. It then makes sense to promote it, getting you even more likes, followers, and brand awareness.
Why auto boosting Instagram posts is magic
You will get more:
- Likes, comments, and followers
- Engagement from existing followers who don't always see every post
- Awareness of your brand, products, and services
- Website traffic
- Leads, customers, or app installs
- People you can retarget with ads at a lower cost
- Trust from new people seeing a highly active and popular Instagram account
By setting up auto boosting for Instagram posts, only your best content is automatically promoted. Just set up the conditions and campaign settings one time, and then you don't have to think about it - saving you time and money from being wasted promoting bad content.
Note: Facebook's API doesn't yet allow anyone to auto create ads using Instagram posts while keeping your organic engagement on the ad. For this reason, a new ad is created. The upside to this is you have the full range of audience targeting options available. If you want to use an Instagram post as an ad and keep engagement, you'll have to do it manually in the Facebook Ads Manager with limited options.
Now you're probably dying to know...
How to auto boost Instagram posts
The only way to automatically promote Instagram posts when they meet certain conditions (likes, comments, etc) is through Revealbot's auto boosting tool (if I'm wrong, let me know in the comments).
If you don't have an account, we have a 14-day free trial (and plans start at just $49/mo for a ton of additional Instagram and Facebook ad automation features).
1. Integrate your Instagram accounts
Once you have your Revealbot account, you need to integrate your Facebook Insights and Instagram account by clicking on your circle profile icon in the bottom left corner and selecting Integrations. On the Integrations page, you can connect your accounts.
2. Set Instagram auto boosting conditions
Once you've integrated your Facebook Insights and Instagram page, you can set up auto boosting. On the left sidebar, click Auto post boosting and select Instagram under source.
Under Source, select your Instagram page from the drop down under Page name. Next, you can select the post type you want to auto boost. You can select all post types, a few, or just one. You can create multiple auto boosting rules so you could create an individual auto boost rule for each post type if you want.
Depending on the run time you select in the next step (for example, 4 days) there could be a possibility of multiple posts being auto boosted at the same time. If you want to limit that amount, select the number under Number of posts promoted at once.
Now you can select the conditions a post needs to meet in order to be eligible for being auto promoted. You can selected a number of criteria for conditions, such as count of total engagement, likes, comments, saves, impressions, or if the post text includes certain text, length of time since the post has been published, and more.
In the above example says to only auto boost posts that contain "new" in the post and received more than five comments. Before I get to showing you more example conditions you might want to test, I want to explain the overall process first. So next is your campaign parameters.
3. Set campaign settings
Here's where you'll be able to name your ad Campaigns and choose the Campaign Objective (the Facebook ad Campaign Objective their algorithm will optimize for).
With macros, you can use dynamic text in your Campaign name so each campaign will be unique. In this above example, I'm using the date the campaign is created as part of the name so each Campaign name will be unique.
Then set the Campaign Objective. Here's where it makes sense to create multiple auto boosting rules. Depending on the type of post or a keyword that's included in the post text (for example, "sale" or "limited time"), you can set different Campaign Objectives. All posts that meet the rules you’ve set earlier will have the same objective you choose within this particular campaign.
In the above example, I chose the Post Engagement objective (read more about Campaign Objectives in Facebook's Help Center).
4. Configure Instagram ad set settings
On the next page you can set your Ad set naming conventions, campaign run time, budget, audience, optimization goal, and placement. You should keep in mind the initial goal of your campaign, but for regular Instagram posts (image with text) the ‘Post Engagement’ Optimization Goal will work.
While most of the options here are self-explanatory, the Target audience selection is important. First, Revealbot gives you the opportunity to customize the audience your boosted post is shown to. So if an organic post does well, you aren't limited to boosting it just to your page fans or followers. You can boost it to a new audience entirely. This is because behind the scenes, Revealbot is taking your post ID and creating a new ad using that post as the creative. So you can target custom audiences, lookalike audiences, retargeting audiences, or saved interest audiences.
Scrolling down this page you'll see options for placements.
You can choose automatic or custom placements. I recommend choosing custom placements because your post might look out of place when used in some unsuitable placements.
In the above example, I'm auto boosting Instagram posts to both Facebook and Instagram users in the feed only, but you can select other placements as well.
Learn more about placements and campaign structure in our Guide to Facebook Campaign Structure Best Practices for More Profit.
4. Configure tracking settings
Almost done now. In Tracking settings, you can add custom URL Parameters, choose your Facebook Pixel, App Events, and even Offline Events. Again, you'll have macros available to make your URL Parameters dynamic and know exactly from which post traffic and conversions are coming from.
5. Configure rule settings
Lastly in Rule settings, You can name your auto boosting rule and set up notifications. You can be notified via email, Facebook Messenger, or Slack by setting up our Slack integration.
Now lets get to some example auto boosting strategies you may want to try.
3 Awesome auto boost strategies for Instagram posts
1. Auto boost Instagram posts with a lot of likes
This is the most popular scenario, because marketers are more inclined to spend money on content that has proven to be good in terms of organic reach.
To automatically promote posts like this, you should first analyze your average engagement rate (likes, swipe-ups, comments) and the average time it takes for your content to gain this engagement.
Let’s say your posts are liked by around 900 people on average and it takes about two days to get all those likes.
Using that data, we can specify the amount of above average likes before auto promoting it. So in this case, the formula would look like this:
So in our example, we'll auto boost an image, video, or carousel image post if it gets 1,000 or more likes in 48 hours or less. The audience targeting and placement will depend on your business and goals of each post, so we'll leave that part up to you as we move along.
2. Auto boost Instagram posts with video that gain lots of views
Auto promoting videos is as easy as promoting posts, but should be done with a slightly different set of rules. Because Instagram auto plays videos and shows a view count by default rather than a like count, view count, in my opinion, is the more important metric because it actually tells you people are watching your content (for at least 3 seconds anyway).
Let's say our average video view count is around 3,500 views. Then we can create an auto boosting rule like this:
Just a note here: You can also combine a like count and video view count if you wish.
3. Auto boost Instagram Stories with lots of views
Instagram Stories might include videos, images, polls and links which makes them perfect for reengaging users and driving traffic to your website and app. Let's say we want to auto boost an Instagram story if it's a video story and has above average views (500). Here's what that would look like:
Just another note here: I added a time length restriction because you can save stories to your profile and I didn't want to include those if they are old.
Instagram post boosting tips
You might consider separating all your auto boosting rules by post type. So in other words, individual rules for:
- image posts
- carousels posts (the mechanics of carousel posts are a bit different)
You might also want to further separate image and video posts by, for example, whether they contain a keyword or not. If a post contains the word "sale" (or any other "buying" related keyword), you may want to have a different optimization goal and "like" threshold than a regular post.
Other things to remember
- Ultimately, you want to boost Instagram posts that engage your current users
- You should keep an eye on text in images (20% rule still applies!)
- Keep in mind Facebook Advertising Policies - you might have some more leeway when posting on Facebook and Instagram, but once you submit your post for promotion, it gets checked in accordance with Facebook Ad Guidelines
- Choose budget, optimization model and number of posts promoted at the same time based on your prior experience and within your overall budget.
Don't yet have Revealbot? Remember, we have a 14-day trial that includes the auto boosting tool. So why not give it a try and see how it can help you achieve your business objectives.
Want more Instagram and Facebook ad automation tips? You're in luck! We wrote the Ultimate Guide to Facebook ad Automation.