Facebook for Business (and Bands) Still Works

Facebook used to be awesome for businesses because you could get a lot of organic (non-paid) exposure; your posts would show up on news feeds and garner easy likes, shares, etc. Facebook changed though, and now they will show page posts to only a small (like super small, tiny tiny) fraction of a page’s followers. Lame sauce. If you have not yet started your Facebook page, check out our 7 Tips to Start a Successful Facebook Business Page post first, then come on back here!

The good news is that a *little bit* of money and savvy (that you will get from here!) leads to exposure and audience reach. I have been part of a band called The Query for the last four years, and often act as our marketer extraordinaire. We have a very small budget at the moment but we have been able to lead a crowdfunding campaign to success, and utilize Facebook to grow our fan base. Below are examples of how ads and sponsored content work on Facebook, and how to tell if you are getting your money’s worth.

Boosting Posts on Facebook

$4 Leads to 10X the Response!

A photo posted to our Facebook page generated 4 organic likes. Now in the normal world, your aunt gets more likes on her status about bunions, but in the Facebook Page world I knew there was potential here, so I boosted the post with $4:

Facebook Boosted Post

47 likes! Holy moly, Batman! That’s more than 10 times what the post started out with. The great part is that the more likes content gets, the more those who ‘liked’ are going to see future updates. Additionally, more paid engagement = more organic engagement.

How to Boost Posts on Facebook

Below is a quick walk-through for how to boost a published Facebook post:

Reach Existing Fan Base & Their Friends

Boost Post
Selecting “people who like your page and their friends” is great for growing a page’s audience, but is a bit inaccurate as there is no way to tailor the demographic reached beyond “fans and their friends”. That means a fan’s 70 year old grandmother is just as likely to see the post as a fan’s friend from college. Nevertheless, this is still a great way to connect with current fans and a wider audience without having to go through an entire targeting process.

Boost 2

Boost Facebook Photos

As far as posts go, photos get the most engagement. If you have some promotional budget, put up some fun photos and boost ’em! Do not get scared away from photos – no need to hire a professional photographer. Casual smartphone snaps are perfect! Remember, people are on Facebook to connect in a real fashion. Keep the professional photos for your website. Start out with just a few dollars to test the waters without breaking the bank. As you get more comfortable with boosting posts, you can throw tens of dollars at them! Gasp!

How to Tell if Facebook Boosted Posts Are Any Good

How do you know if that hard-earned money is well spent? I only know now because of testing, and being able to make Facebook ad campaigns here at Lawton Digital. Check out some recent boosted posts for my band’s Facebook page. Access your own page with this kind of info by going to Facebook Advertising and click “Manage Your Ads”.
Boosting Campaigns

Take a look at the green boxes under the “cost” column. Per Post Engagement means how much was paid for each person who liked, commented, shared, or clicked on the picture. Anything under about $0.15 per engagement is pretty good, because for some posts, the engagement cost can end up being $0.50+. Sometimes Facebook will say something like: “this ad is performing better than 80% of similar ads, pay us more to keep promoting this awesomeness” In which case you know you are doing well.

It certainly helps being a band page, as fans are more likely to engage with a band’s content on Facebook. A lot of times, business pages have it harder as fans might have a mild product interest but are not hard core. While it is totally possible to get a great rate on boosted posts for business pages, it is reasonable to expect a higher cost per engagement in certain industries.

Click-To-Website Facebook Ads

Boosting posts is just one type of Facebook ad. Another useful type is a click-to-website ad where you pay each time someone heads to your website through the ad. Compared to other online ads (like AdWords), this option is incredibly affordable! For example, one ad shown below cost $0.29 per website click.
Website Click Ad

I made the above ad a while back for a crowdfunding campaign, I did not know at the time, but $0.29/click is pretty darn good (little did I know I am a Facebook ad prodigy). Many other website click ads run from $0.50 – $3.00. Paying less than 1$ per click is usually comes after lots of testing and tweaking! Of course if you are a Facebook ads master like Jon Loomer, you might be able to pay $0.02 for a website click (which is absolutely ridiculous but he did it). Someday.

The ad above was targeted to people in the US who like Folk music (28,000,000). Usually it is more effective to target 1 million or less, however the picture played really well to that audience. Yay! The bad news is, I have no idea if any of the 56 people who clicked actually supported the campaign (a conversion) because I had not yet learned conversion tracking (now I have!). Just one person converting would have paid for the entire $16 ad. By the way, there is a way to track conversions from Facebook ads, but that does not track all the way through to conversion for crowdfunding sites and is a whole other nail-biting post.

Facebook Ad Click-Through Rates

Facebook will charge less for a bigger targeted audience. It will also charge more if going after an audience a lot of other businesses are targeting with ads as well. Sometimes targeting a very specific audience with a subsequently higher cost per click is fine because those people are very high-value prospects. Paying less per click doesn’t always equal success, but it is one good way to measure. Another way is by click-through rate (CTR), which is the percentage of people who see an ad or boosted post and subsequently interact with it.
For click-to-Website ads, a CTR of:

  • 0.5% is a good baseline to aim for,
  • 1%+ is good
  • 3%+ is great!
  • For boosted posts add an extra .5% to the baseline and so on.

Check out the CTR for the boosted post example:


3.3%, wonderful! This post is a great candidate for boosting even more.

So, now you know a bit about boosting Facebook posts, how click-to-website Facebook ads work, and how to gauge results. Use your newfound knowledge to reach your audience! Let us know how it turns out in the comments or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.