When a Facebook Post Becomes an Ad: How to Design for Boosting

facebook boosted post cover

When a Facebook post takes off, you can boost it to reach even more people. Here’s how to approach Facebook post design with boosting in mind.

It wasn’t so long ago that placing an online ad meant working with a digital marketing agency to develop creative, make a media buy, and launch a campaign. Today, self-serve advertising options enable brands big and small to do these things themselves — and few tools make it easier than Facebook’s boosted posts.

Boosted posts allow you to expand the reach of your Facebook posts beyond your Facebook Business page. They can attract more page followers and likes, increase product sales, generate interest in an upcoming event, drive visits to your brand’s website, and more.

Boosted posts vs. managed ads: Choosing the right approach for your brand

Many businesses choose to use Facebook Ads Manager to create and run ads on the social network. However, boosting an existing post can be a powerful way to convey your advertising message to your audience.

While ads provide a broad array of targeting options for promoting your product or service, boosted posts offer the ability to define your audience, too. The parameters available to advertisers for boosting a post include:

People you choose through targetingPeople who like your pageAnd finally, people who like your page and their friends

Once you’ve selected one of these options, you can target even further by:

Location (region/country, city, or mile radius from your business)Age (18 to 65+ and anything in between)GenderCharacteristics, including interests and behaviors. This includes industries like health care or architecture, along with very specific interests like yoga, French cuisine, hair products, and detective fiction. You can drill down deep to find the audience you’re looking for.

With boosted posts, you can also select your total budget, choose the length of your campaign, and determine how much money you’d like to spend per day. Facebook estimates the number of people who’ll see your boosted post daily. So, you’ll be able to easily gauge the overall reach and exposure of your message.

Designing for a better boost

While there are some similarities between Facebook ads and boosted posts, the latter does have its advantages. Because you can only boost posts once you’ve shared them on your Facebook Business Page, you’ll be able to pick and choose the messages you distribute based on which is the most effective. In other words, if a post is already getting good traction organically, boosting it to reach a wider audience can have a major impact on its ultimate performance.

But this strategy begs the question: how do you design a Facebook post that’s effective in the first place? How can you ensure your post will stop consumers in their tracks when it appears in their feed, and encourage them to click or visit your page?

Sample interface of boosting a Facebook postWhat it looks like when you pay to boost one of your Facebook posts. Image via Umlaut.

Determine your goals

Start by defining your goals. There’s a reason why you’re gravitating toward posting on Facebook, and knowing your business goals can help you design a post that helps you meet them.

Rather than working with broad objectives (“I want to increase my follower count,” or “I need to increase sales”), set a goal that’s more specific and easily measurable. For example, aim to increase your follower count by 20%, give yourself two months to achieve this, and track your progress to make sure you’re on course.

Choose an image with impact

With a visual medium like social media, choosing the right image to accompany your message is key. Studies show that photo-based Facebook posts are more effective than giveaways, links, and coupons when it comes to engaging viewers.

Collage of Facebook post imagegryImages for boosted posts need to be eye-catching, enigmatic, and inviting, Product shots, human expressions, and evocative scenery, are all great places to start.

When you’re designing your post, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Pick an image that reflects your brand’s values and expresses the feelings your customers have about your brand. When you’re searching for potential images, using terms that capture your aesthetic (e.g. fresh, traditional, minimalist) can help you narrow down the options. Favor images that are engaging, with colors and filter effects that fit your brand’s palette. If your brand photos are typically warm rather than cool, stick with that editing style to create a consistent, cohesive look on your Facebook Business page. Select an image that has a clear and central point of interest. This will ensure the object you want your audience to focus on remains intact even if the image is resized. Add your logo to your image — but only if you own the rights to the photo. Enhancing a product photo with your logo can help catch your audience’s eye, but if you’re using a stock image, save the logo for your profile picture. Don’t skimp on quality. A premium image that’s crisp and original, produced by world-class content creators, is more likely to pique a prospective customer’s interest than the same old stock photo they see all over the web.

Many of the same rules apply when you’re working with video. Be sure to post videos that send the right message while also reflecting your brand. Research shows that 84% of consumers have bought a product or service after watching a brand’s video, and internet users are twice as likely to share a video with friends. What’s more, video posts can generate 59% more engagement than other types of Facebook posts.

Test your creative

A/B testing exampleA/B testing, or split testing, lets you analyze how small variations in messaging and design affect performance.

It may seem like there’s no rhyme or reason to which social media ads perform best, and to some extent, that’s true. Different audiences gravitate toward different creative. Some photographs will perform better than illustrations, while in other cases, illustration will come out on top.

That said, whether you’ve already been advertising with Facebook for some time now or you’re just getting started, employing A/B testing will produce invaluable insight into your audience’s ad preferences. Simply changing the variables in your creative can result in information you can use to optimize future posts.

To test your posts, design three or four different creative concepts. Use the same copy for each, but vary the image. To ascertain which image is most effective, pay close attention to analytics that include:

Number of people reachedNumber of page likesCost per page likeLink clicksPost reactionsPost commentsAnd post shares

Refine your ad copy

Writing the text for your Facebook post requires just as much consideration as choosing an image. Not only must it be actionable in order to incite a response, but the copy should also be short and succinct.

Social media software application Buffer advises brands to keep text to 40 characters. “Posts at this length tend to receive higher like rate, comment rate, and combined like/comment rate,” the company writes.

Facebook adds that marketers should “Try different tactics to grab your audience’s attention and drive them to take actions you care about.” This might include incorporating a call-to-action button to “prompt people to call, sign up for something, book appointments, and more.” In general, the simpler the copy, the better the chances that it will pop on the page.

When you take a potential boost into consideration right from the start, there’s a good chance you’ll design better Facebook ads every time. Keep these strategies in mind as you work to enhance your social media presence and build a Facebook Business page that does justice to your brand.

Discover more tips for building your brand on social media:

How to Shoot and Edit Videos Using Instagram ReelsCreating a Great First Impression with Facebook Pinned PostsHow to Master the PC to Instagram Workflow for PostsOverlooked Digital Spaces You Need to Rebrand ASAPHow to Make a Brand Book for Your Small Business

Cover image via MovasDesign, Theus, and Sasha Ka

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