Ever since Facebook pulled the rug on organic reach in 2014, businesses have been looking for ways to reach their target audience for free, or at least as cheap as possible.
To no one’s surprise, Facebook launched ‘post boosting,’ a way people can pay to promote their Facebook posts to reach the followers they had already acquired. Six years later, this is now just the norm and a part of the nature of Facebook ads.
Although post boosting (same as ‘promoting a post’) may not always be the best type of Facebook ad for ecommerce companies, or any kind of business really, it can be a useful tool in engaging with existing followers and audiences beyond your followers.
In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of promoting a post, the best post promoting strategies that make it worth it today, and how to automate post boosting.
What does promoting a Facebook post do?
Promoting a Facebook post makes one of your existing posts be seen by more people by paying Facebook to “boost” its distribution. A Facebook boosted post is a type of paid advertisement product from Facebook.
Most Facebook marketing experts will advise against promoting Facebook posts because generally people don’t take into consideration the goal and whether there are more effective alternatives. However, I’ll show you a few ways how boosted posts could be a part of an effective Facebook ad scaling strategy.
How do I promote a Facebook post?
Facebook makes promoting a post really simple.
1. Choose a post to promote
Go to your Facebook Page and find the post you want to promote. You should see a “Boost Post” button at the bottom of the post.
2. Select your advertising objective
You have two options:
- Send people to your website
- Get more people to react, comment and share
The first option will ask Facebook’s algorithm to prioritize showing your ad to people who are more likely to click the link. The second option asks it to prioritize people who are more likely to engage with the post on Facebook.
3. Define your audience
There are three audience choices:
- People you choose through targeting
- People who like your Page
- People who like your Page and their friends
Each audience type has its benefits and your choice should depend on your advertising goal. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, you could build a completely cold audience from your Audience Insights research with the first option. If your goal is purely engagement, you could choose the second option. The third option can also be good for both engagement and reaching a cold audience, albeit with less control.
Unfortunately, you can’t promote a Facebook post to a custom or lookalike audience. In order to do so, You will have to start in Ads Manager and create a campaign the traditional way and when creating the ad, choose the “use existing post” option.
4. Select where you want your ad to be shown
Facebook allows you some flexibility with your placements, which means where your ad is shown. When promoting a Facebook post, you can leave the default setting on automatic placements, which means Facebook’s algorithm will display your ad where it’s getting the best results for your stated advertising objective.
You can also choose to turn this setting off automatic and choose to deselect Messenger and/or Instagram placements. However, you won’t be able to deselect Instagram or Facebook Stories - it’s all or nothing.
5. Define the duration and budget of your post promotion
The last step is deciding how long you want your promoted post to be promoted for and how much you want to spend during that period.
Once you’ve filled these settings out, Facebook will show you an estimate of how many people your promoted post will reach and how much you will spend per day on average.
Once everything looks good, click the “Boost” button and you will have successfully promoted a Facebook post.
Is promoting a Facebook post worth it?
Promoting a Facebook post can definitely be worth it in some cases. For instance, if one of your posts does well organically, it’s a strong signal the content will do well as an ad that you could boost to a cold audience.
Here’s a few scenarios where promoting a Facebook post is worth it:
- Promoting posts that get better than average engagement organically
- Promoting posts that contain important announcements, like events or limited time only sales
- Promoting your best performing Instagram content as Facebook ads
- Promoting posts to custom or lookalike audiences
- Automatically promoting posts so it all happens without a second thought
The first two scenarios are simple to do with Facebook’s native post boosting tool, but the last three will require a third party tool, like Revealbot.
In the following section, I’ll show you how to automatically boost Facebook posts with Revealbot.
How do I promote Facebook posts automatically?
Because the organic social media strategy is very different from the paid social strategy, you might have a separate social media manager making the organic posts. This is a perfect scenario to use post boosting automation because you or the social media manager don’t have to think about which posts to promote - it’s all done automatically!
Here’s how auto post boosting with Revealbot works.
- Select the type of posts eligible for promotion (status, link, photo, video, offer, etc)
- Set the limit of how many posts can be promoted at once
- Create the conditions a post needs to meet in order to be promoted (more on this soon)
- Name the campaign, choose the objective, and other settings
- Each boosted post will create a new ad set inside this single campaign
- Set the budget limits and schedule
- Choose the placement - you can “boost” Instagram posts on Facebook and vice versa
Once you set up a post boosting automation, any organic post that meets your auto post boosting conditions will be promoted automatically. Let’s look closer at how you can create the conditions as this is where the “magic” happens.
Promote posts that get better than average engagement
When writing auto post boosting conditions, you can choose whether all conditions are true, or just at least one of them. In this example, I chose “OR” to include any post that meets at least one of these conditions.
With these conditions, if any organic post gets more than 20 likes, more than 10 comments, more than 5 shares, OR has a 1% click-through-rate or higher, it will be auto boosted.
Promote posts that contain important announcements
Sometimes, promoting a post is required even if we know it might not get a lot of engagement. So instead of writing our conditions based on a threshold of engagement, we can instead write a condition that looks at the text in the post. If it contains a keyword or a specific emoji, we can use that as a trigger to auto boost it.
Here I have a single condition that says a post will be promoted if it contains the ✨ sparkles emoji. With this rule, we can instruct our social media manager to use that emoji only when they want that post to be promoted.
You could also use this type of condition to look for the words “sale” or “limited-time only” if you don’t use emojis.
Promote Instagram posts to Facebook
Most social media managers are spending more time creating content for Instagram where organic content (for now) gets much more traction. So a popular strategy is to take the best performing Instagram content and use it as a source for Facebook ads. Here’s how to do that with Revealbot.
In the auto post boosting settings, you can choose Instagram as the content source.
Now that our post boosting automation is looking at Instagram content, we can set the conditions to something like this.
This post boosting automation now says any Instagram post that gets over 200 likes OR gets more than 120 comments will be auto promoted. Now we can customize the placements to only run the ad in the news feed.
To sum this auto post boosting rule up, it will auto boost any Instagram post to the Facebook news feed that gets more than 200 likes OR more than 120 comments.
Promote Facebook posts to custom and lookalike audiences
Comparing Facebook’s native tools to Revealbot, Facebook’s post boosting tool doesn’t allow you to promote posts to custom audiences as shown earlier in the article. With Revealbot, you can!
When auto boosting a post, Revealbot takes the post ID and uses it to create an ad in a traditional Facebook ad campaign, which then allows you all the traditional ad targeting options.
Here’s an example in the auto post boosting settings where I’ve selected to target a lookalike audience. With Revealbot, all the same audience options you have in a traditional ad campaign are available for targeting in auto post boosting.
Should I automate Instagram and Facebook post promotion?
As I briefly stated earlier, there are plenty of effective Facebook ad strategies where post boosting plays an important role. For example, with automated post boosting, you can automatically use provenly effective organic Instagram posts as ads and promote it in the Facebook news feed to custom or lookalike audiences.
As you might have already learned from the four post boosting examples I walked through, here’s additional benefits for automating this process.
Invest in performance
Instead of promoting posts you think will do well, you can promote posts that already have proven they’ve done well by setting a criteria of performance that will trigger a post to be promoted. By creating an automation for this, you can ensure this happens every time without fail in a timely manner.
Play by your own rules
With Revealbot auto boosting, you’re able to set conditions that would define the automation process for boosting. Every post boosting automation includes settings for promotion conditions, campaign, ad set, and complete audience and placement settings.
Save time on manual work
Revealbot works 24/7 and will take care of analyzing whether a post should be promoted and then boost it without you having to log in and do it yourself for each post. If you like learning about how you can automate manual Facebook ad tasks, check out our complete guide to Facebook ad automation.
Every time a post is auto boosted, you can be notified via Slack or email. You can also build advanced Revealbot reports that will let you know how each promoted post performs against your chosen performance metrics.
Consistent tracking and attribution
You can automatically attach tracking and attribution parameters to promoted posts so you can ensure every promoted post will be tracked accurately.
It might seem like Revealbot auto post boosting is a good fit only for companies that run huge campaigns, but I’ll share an example from my personal experience that shows it works well for smaller campaigns, too.
My friend in Berlin is an active feminist. Her latest post on usage of gender-neutral words in the everyday language and its impact has received a lot of attention from relative communities. They have thousands of followers and new content every day. They’re looking for solutions to expand their horizons and grow their community, and that’s exactly when Revealbot auto post boosting comes in handy. She uses it to automatically promote their organic posts that begin to go viral.
Another case is a marketing agency that actually has people focusing on Facebook ads and content creation. They’ve got enough resources, but choose to optimize the time they spend on promoting the posts manually. By saving half an hour here and there, they make more room for creativity and let Revealbot’s algorithms perform the tasks that can be automated. Even if it’s only 30 minutes saved per day, that amount of time adds up to more than three weeks of work.
I could go on for quite a while! Now it’s up to you to decide what needs to be done for your next post and whether it’s worth your time to do it manually, or automatically.