Keep seeing messages recommending that you boost your posts? 

Ah, Facebook! Always tempting us to press that Boost button. Reach more people, get more likes. Sounds like a good idea, right? But should you boost facebook or instagram posts? Before you press that Boost button, read on.

boosting facebook or instagram posts

Facebook’s Boost option was always a bit ‘meh’. It gave little direction, control or insight into what you were actually doing. At best, it got your post out to more people. But for anyone who wants to get the best results from ads, it wasn’t considered to be that useful. Now, Facebook has improved the setup of boosted ads. Here’s what you can do:


What are you trying to achieve? Facebook has added more options to Boost Posts, so instead of just looking to increase engagement with your ad, you can also boost a post to encourage people to message you or send people to your website.

Call to Action

Encourage click throughs by adding the most appropriate button - there are 7 to choose from.

Audiences - where are the people you are trying to reach?

  • Local marketing - include all people in your local area
  • Regional, National or by Country. Here you can drill down by age and gender, as well as narrowing your audience down by choosing people with specific interests, life events or behaviours.

If you’ve already got custom audiences saved (e.g. people with similar characteristics to your customers) you can use them here, but you can’t create them. For that, you need to use Facebook Audiences.

Automatic placements

Where do you want your ads to be shown? Adjust if desired, e.g. if your audience is only on Instagram, you may want to turn off Facebook and Messenger here.

Budget - set how long to run the ads and what your budget is.

It might be that the post content is time-sensitive or only appropriate for a few days, but you can set to whatever timeframe you’d like. How much should you spend? Of course, it will depend upon the size of the audience you are trying to reach. We would recommend £8-10/day if you’re just looking at engagement, but if you want to send people to your website or run message ads, this might not be generate many results (and unfortunately boosts provide very little insight, whereas Ads Manager is rich in useful metrics). You can find tips to help you budget here

Headlines will automatically feed in from your post.

If it’s linking to a blog post or article, the heading will be shown - but you can’t make any changes beyond what is automatically displayed.

Would we boost Facebook or Instagram posts?

No, but we will use popular posts for an ad. However, we set them up in Ads Manager. Why? Because we really think that you can squeeze much more juice out of your ad budget by using the array of opportunities that Facebook’s ad manager provides. Here are 7 reasons why.

1) Objective: Ads Manager gives you many more options to play with and allows you to be so much more strategic.

Unless you’re a pretty huge brand, you won’t want to use Brand Awareness or Reach, but all of the others are really worth investigating:

  • Put your explainer video in front of people who watch video ads
  • Collect more leads from people who will give you their info
  • Get people to download your app
  • Send customers to your online store
  • Show the items that you are selling via an online catalog. You can also show them the most relevant items or ones that they have engaged with. Help push them to make that purchase!
  • Show ads to people who are more likely to visit your stores when they are close to them. You can even have different content for each store and give directions to each one.

2) Audiences: If you’re using Boost, then chances are, you’re building pretty basic audiences.

In Facebook Ads Manager, you can create more sophisticated audiences as you go. There are many tactics to use here. Some of which will depend upon how established your business is. If you have a decent amount of customer data, you can create a custom audience of your customers, highest value customers, or even customers who bought seasonal products in a certain timeframe last year. You can also get Facebook to find a huge audience of people who look a lot like those coveted customers, by using lookalike audiences. These often perform really well. Of course you can drill-down into demographics, interests and behaviours. And - really important - you can exclude people too. For example, you don’t want to incentivise people with a product discount if they have just bought from you last week. (your comments section might blow up with peeved buyers who want a retro-active discount!).

3) Budget: You have so much more control

set limits on costs and add bid controls to optimise how your budget is spent and how much you're willing to pay for results.

4) Dynamic creative: Find winning combinations of elements.

This automatically generates different combinations of the various elements in your ad (images, videos, titles, descriptions and Call-to-Actions). With time, the best combination of elements will be emerge as winners.

5) Headlines and descriptions: customise them

so you can add something that will grab attention and easily test different versions.

6) Variations of Creative: Test all the possibilities!

Maybe a video version of your post might be even more popular or a carousel of images will get more clicks or a slick Collection format ad might stop the scroll and get the ball rolling.

7) Call to Action: so many more relevant options to encourage those clicks.

Choose from one of 17 buttons: Download, Get Quote, Schedule, Play Game, See Menu and so on.

So, our verdict? Boosts can be a useful way to get your content to a wider audience. But always ask yourself, “what am I hoping to achieve?”

Unless you are tying your ad tactics to a strategy, you’re short-changing yourself. It’s tempting to dip your toe into ads by trying to boost posts, but to get the most from your ad spend, step away from the Boost button and put a successful, strategic plan into action with the array of brilliant options that Facebook Ads Manager offers.

Here at Searocket, we ask our clients what they want to achieve and then we work with them to make a plan to get there. If you want to improve the ads you’re running or if you’d like us to manage campaigns for you, get in touch or schedule a Power Hour session with us.

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