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The Difference Between Facebook Ads and Boosting Posts … and Why ECPs Should Care

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IF YOU USE your business Facebook page to engage with your patients and community, you’ve definitely been tempted. That friendly little pop-up at the bottom of your posts is so enticing, telling you how well your post has been doing, and how spending a little money will get you seen by more people. It’s just a few dollars, right? But before you hit click, do you know what you’re paying for?

Boosted Posts and Ads Are Not the Same

At the bottom of every post is a little icon to the far right asking if you want to boost that post for a fee (usually $0.50-$1.50 per like or post interaction). When you boost a post, it is served to people you’ve specified as your target audience in your settings. If you haven’t set a target audience, it’s served to everyone at random. Make sure you target an audience before boosting a post (see our August 2017 article on “Getting Hyperlocal”). While a boosted post will get likes, it may be from people who live far away who won’t visit your website or schedule an appointment. Paying more for likes gives you no real value; you only want to pay if they are doing something that builds your business, like going to your website or scheduling an appointment.

That’s were Facebook Ads come in. Instead of boosting a post to get likes, an ad campaign lets you specify goals. If you want to drive people to your site, your campaign will be designed to achieve that target.

To do this, click to the Facebook Ads Manager tool from your homepage, or through the link at www.facebook.com/advertising. There you can choose from 15 objectives, including our favorites, “Send people to a destination off Facebook” and to your website to book an appointment, and “Increase conversions on your website” to get appointments scheduled. Or, you could pick a campaign to grow your brand awareness (which basically targets growing your Facebook followers).

After you’ve chosen your objective, select a target audience, which is where you’ll use geotargeting to specify the age, gender, location, language, and behaviors of the people you want to reach. The more specific your target, the more likely you are to see specific results.

You will need to set your budget. You can choose a daily budget or a lifetime budget (with the latter, your ad will run until the money is spent).

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For each campaign, you can schedule one or multiple posts. There are a ton of choices; you can utilize posts you’ve already done that were high performers, or create all new posts. Studies recommend utilizing both images and video in your ad to maximize your returns.

Determining Your ROI

Make sure you look at Facebook’s campaign stats to track your return on investment, and for guidance on changes to improve your ads’ effectiveness. Go to “Manage Ads” on the Ad Manager page to access these statistics, and sort the data generated according to your priorities. For example, change the drop-down menu from “Cost per Click” to “Cost per Website Click” to see how much you really paid for Facebook users you converted into visitors to your website. Utilizing the statistics will give you a complete picture of your ROI and maximize the platform’s benefits! Next time you think about clicking that enticing little “Boost Post” button, hit the brakes and create a campaign that is trackable and performs to give you the results you really want.

 

 

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at [email protected].

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