As you already know, having a Facebook Author Page is essential for promoting your author brand online. But did you know that weekly or even daily posts may not be enough to build your fan base? Facebook has changed the way it serves posts to users, making it more “pay-to-play” than ever before. Organic reach may no longer be enough to ensure that people will interact with your Facebook posts.
Facebook now offers two ways you can pay to increase the reach of your posts: Boosted Posts and Promoted Posts. Both will help you achieve the same results: more engagement and traffic.
How will these promoted posts affect your overall marketing strategy—and how much money can you expect to spend? Let’s take a look at the benefits of each to determine which is right for you.
What’s The Difference Between Boosted Posts And Promoted Posts?
Boosted Post: A boosted post is any post from your Author Page’s timeline that you pay Facebook to promote on other people’s News Feeds. Essentially, you select one of your best posts and pay Facebook to share it with a much wider audience. Boosting a post is a great way to increase the engagement on individual posts, especially those that link to your author website, blog, or book sales page.
Promoted Post: A promoted post offers you more options. You can promote posts to achieve specific goals: getting page Likes; driving traffic to your author website; tracking page views or mailing list sign ups; and more. And the targeting tools available for promoted posts let you custom-create the best possible audience.
Both Boosted and Promoted Posts allow you to decide who will see your posts. You can target both fans and non-fans of your Page. You can also determine the demographics—such as age, interests, and gender—that will ensure your paid-for posts aren’t shown to random users unlikely to become fans.
Social Media Examiner has a wonderful article that provides an in-depth look at how to both boost and promote your Facebook posts.
Why Pay To Promote?
While organic reach is best in terms of SEO, advertising on Facebook to promote your author brand and drive traffic to your author website has definite advantages.
Extra Reach: The first perk of paying to advertise on Facebook is also the most obvious: You’ll be able to reach a larger audience and increase your opportunities to build your fan base.
Targeted Demographic: By boosting or promoting posts, you’ll be able to select the demographics of Facebook users who will see your content. For example, if you know readers of John Green may also like your writing, you can target Facebook users who have already Liked John Green on Facebook. This pinpoint targeting will increase your chances of gaining new fans.
Facebook Will Reward You: Facebook has recently changed the way it serves content to its users. You may have noticed a slight decline in Fan Page content on your News Feed. This is because Facebook is awarding more and more of that precious News Feed space to Pages that pay to promote themselves and posts that meet certain criteria as defined by Facebook’s newest algorithm.
What does this mean? Facebook looks at a user’s (let’s call him “Joe”) past engagement with a Page (for example, your Author Page), the Page’s overall popularity, the time the post was published, and the existing engagement on the post—before deciding whether or not to serve the post organically to that user/Joe. If your Page doesn’t have much engagement from visitors or many Likes yet, paying to promote your posts may help kick-start your overall engagement so that your posts get served organically to users like Joe more often.
You Choose Your Budget: One of the best features of advertising on Facebook is that you can set your own budget for each post you promote or boost. So if you’re just starting out, a small budget of only five to twenty dollars a day can be very effective with the right demographic targeting.
How Do I Know If Paying For Promotion Is Right For Me?
Are you satisfied with the current reach of your Facebook posts, or would you like to see an increase? If your book sales have plateaued, or if you don’t seem to be gaining new mailing list subscribers, paying to boost or promote a post may be a good idea. Posting updated, fresh content that visitors want to see is always a smart strategy, but paying to target your post to new markets can supplement your own organic reach.
While boosted and promoted posts do come at a price, you don’t need to spend a fortune to see an increase in engagement and traffic. We recommend starting small with one of your most highly engaged posts. Boost the post for ten dollars a day to an audience you select based on what you know about your existing fans, and keep the post boosted for a week. See what effect the boosted post has on your engagement, book sales, etc. Then you’ll be able to determine if it’s worthwhile to continue to advertise on Facebook.
Photo by Master OSM 2011
QUESTION: Have you paid to boost or promote a post on Facebook? How did it work for you? Share your experience with other writers reading this article.