In case you haven’t noticed the red coffee cups or the tree lot going up in your nearest grocery store parking lot, I’ve got some news: the holiday season has arrived.
For business owners, those words should bring on a wave of excitement...and anxiety. In a recent survey, 46% of small business owners said they expect holiday spending to increase this year. So how can you cut off a slice of the pie for your business and still have time to get your own shopping done?
With wish lists on everyone’s mind and motivation to buy at its peak, the holidays are the perfect time to take advantage of one of the quickest and easiest ways to reach more potential customers: the Facebook boosted post.
Everyone knows organic reach on Facebook has fallen off a cliff. One study found that in October 2016, the average post reached only 9.75% of the total Page audience. Despite this, just 15.33% of the Pages in the study had paid to boost their content. This is your opportunity to get a leg up on the competition and show the world the best your business has to offer. Let’s get to it.
Step 1: Pick the Right Post
If you’re going to set aside some of your holiday marketing budget for boosted posts let’s make sure you’re set up for success.
A photo of your staff at the annual holiday party? We’re sure it’s cute, but not a great candidate for boosting. An animated slideshow of your five most popular deals for the holidays? Boost away! Every post should encourage an action that benefits your business - just getting more Likes won’t cut it.
Our other big suggestion: boost a post with video. Whether you have some footage of your business in action, or you use Ripl to turn your photos into an animated video, this piece of advice is key to getting the most bang for your buck. Why? On average, Facebook posts with a video get 28% more engagements than posts with just a plain old photo.
Step 2: Nail the Set-Up
Once you’ve picked your post and clicked the blue “Boost Post” button, you have a few decisions to make.
The first thing you’ll see is the option to add a dedicated call-to-action button, like “Shop Now” or “Sign Up.” If you’re selling online or want to add new people to your mailing list, 100% absolutely use this optional feature. The 30 seconds it takes to grab the right link and paste it in will almost certainly increase the amount of people clicking on your post.
Now, the the big one: audience. This is the critical factor in whether your boosted post succeeds or fails. We strongly recommend the “People you choose through targeting” option. Facebook offers some of the most advanced ad targeting in the world. Take advantage of it to reach new customers. And even if some of the people don’t turn into customers right away, there's a chance they’ll Like your Page so you can try to seal the deal later.
Aside from the basics (gender, age, location), you’ll have the opportunity to add a list of interests. You can browse the broad options Facebook offers and pick a few that match up with your most valuable customers. Then click the “Suggestions” option on the right to see what Facebook recommends based on your initial choices. It’s also worth getting more specific – while “Coffee” is a choice in the interests drop-down, if you start typing “Pumpkin Spice Latte” you can pick that instead. Get as specific as possible in order to reach the right people. We recommend adding at least 3-5 interests.
And with that, you’re almost across the finish line. Budget and duration will vary from business to business and depend on what you’re promoting. Then just enter a credit card number and you’re set!
Step 3: Launch
After you’ve double-checked your settings, hit “Boost” – and you’re done! Once the promotion is over, make sure to check the results and learn from them in order to tune your targeting on future boosted posts.
Good luck, and Happy Boosting!