Facebook receives the highest traffic of all the social networks, but unfortunately the company is limiting the number of people who see your posts on your business page. Facebook’s Edge Rank algorithms determine what content shows up in users’ news feeds, and you are probably reaching a much smaller audience than you realize.
For example, when you share your latest blog post on your Facebook page, it is likely that less than 5% of your audience will see your post in their news feed (these numbers are listed under each post on your page). That means that an author with 500 fans on a page will see stats like this: “30 people saw this post,” and oftentimes even less.
Facebook argues that their algorithms are in place to improve the user experience on Facebook, but the overwhelming belief in the business community is that Facebook limits the reach of posts from business pages in order to drive ad sales. And can we really blame them? The platform is otherwise free to use and they’re running a business after all.
While there are some things you can do to improve exposure (share content that inspires engagement more frequently), you will never reach your entire Facebook audience organically. The only way to significantly increase exposure is to utilize Facebook advertising.
How to Boost Posts
If you want to reach more eyeballs on Facebook, the quickest way to do this is by boosting a post (also known as Promoted Posts). When you add a new post on the wall of your Facebook business page (this option is not available on personal pages), you’ve probably noticed an option below to “Boost Post.”
This feature allows you to set a budget of as little as $5 to reach more of your fans, the people in their networks, or you can choose to target specific demographics or custom audiences. When you use this option, your post can appear in the newsfeeds for hundreds or thousands of users, depending on how much budget you allocate.
I have personally done quite a bit of testing with the promoted posts feature. Here are some ways you can use it more effectively:
Test promoted posts with a small budget. You can overwrite the default budget Facebook places on the screen and simply input $5 or $10. If you get good results from a promoted post, you can always go back and extend the promotion.
Have a goal. Use this feature with the goal of boosting website traffic, increasing brand visibility, or with a call to action.
Periodically boost a recent blog post. If you have a new post that you suspect will be popular with readers, promote the post and then track traffic results to see how many clicks the post receives. Spending $5 or $10 on a promoted post that brings 50+ visitors to your website can be a worthy investment if you’re able to convert that traffic into regular readers, buyers or subscribers to your mailing list.
Promote posts that have a call to action. When I put out a call for book reviewers and spent $10 on a promoted post on Facebook, the post generated over 30 applications for reviewers, far exceeding my expectations. If you have an upcoming event you want to promote, a special sale that you’re running, or other announcement that invites readers to take action, a promoted post can potentially generate worthwhile results.
Set a budget and track results. Marketing is all about testing and you can allocate as little as $10 per month to testing sponsored posts, though you’ll get better results when you raise your budget. In the world of advertising, Facebook ads are actually a pretty good bargain.
You should find that these posts raise your page’s overall engagement with your network, help to generate new “Likes” for the page, and drive traffic to your website.
Cool Tip: After boosting a post, click on the comments and look for the people listed who liked your post. Click on them and you’ll see a list with all of their names. If anyone isn’t yet a fan of your page, you will see a button that says “Invite.” Click on the button for each person to send a notification inviting them to like your page.
Though we may not like Facebook’s method for getting us to advertise, there is no denying that these ads can be effective once you figure out what works for your audience.
If you like this blog post, you’ll love our Author Toolkit covering websites, blogging and social media for authors. Check it out!