Are you tired of spending money on “boosting your posts” and getting no return?
Do you get excited that you had 11,000 people reached and 27 likes on your post, and yet your deposit slip is still blank? In other words, are you tired of the vanity metrics and now you are wanting actual leads from boosting your posts?
Then look no further.
First and foremost, I want to make sure we are on the same page when I’m talking about boosting a post on Facebook.
Check out the image below. When I say “using the Boost Post button” I specifically mean the button that is on each of your posts on your Facebook business page.
When I saying “boosting a post” I’m referring to a much more powerful way to get your posts out there than the “boost post” button can provide you. I’ll explain more below.
What is your goal?
There are reasons for and against boosting a post.
First and foremost, you’ve got to figure out what your goal is. Most of the time, an agent’s goal is to “raise awareness” or to increase “brand awareness” or to create “name recognition.” I’ve got to tell you, those are the absolute worst reasons to boost a post. Truly. They are. Don’t ever boost a post because you want to “grow your brand.” It’s a massive waste of hard earned moolah.
Another debate that is out there is the whole “boosting only posts that already have organic traction” vs. boosting highly targeted posts, whether they have traction or not.
It is hotly debated.
Again, it all comes down to what your ultimate goal is. Is your goal to capture leads or is it the ambiguous “name recognition” I mentioned above? If your goal is to generate solid leads, you want to boost posts that are highly targeted.
Organic traction (meaning, posts that have garnered likes, comments and shares) is a moot point here. The entire point of getting that post in front of people who are likely to take action (your target) is so that they will take action, specifically action that leads them into your database. Don’t waste that action on a click through to someone else’s content.
Organic traction really doesn’t matter. Really. It doesn’t matter in this case.
You should ONLY be boosting posts that are yours
The LAST thing you want to be doing is paying money to promote someone else’s business, and that is exactly what you are doing when you boost a post that points to (or talks about) someone else’s content.
Think of it this way, would you go door-to-door and give a listing print out with the listing agent’s name and contact info on it when you are prospecting for your business? Boosting a post that isn’t your content is doing the exact same thing.
Now, don’t misunderstand me here. This is NOT an opportunity for you to steal someone else’s content and claim it as your own. Be ethical. Be moral. If you aren’t ethical or moral, I can’t help you. Create (or buy) your own content.
Only boost posts that have a clear path into your database.
What do I mean? I mean… boost a post that gets someone to take a step towards your database. Whether they are liking the post you are boosting (and you then invite them to like your business page) or they are clicking through to a blog post you wrote and are sharing (and you then have a content upgrade in that post and you are pixeling them and re-targeting them with the next logical call-to-action step in the process).
You want your reader to take action and click through to your “capture point” whether that capture point is via your IDX, a landing page or a website page with a capture form on it – you want the post to funnel people through to a capture point.
Your call-to-action capture point can be any number of options . . . home values, market reports, market analysis, home sellability analysis, neighborhood sold reports, IDX links to a single home or lists of homes, just a click through to your blog post that you’ve included a content upgrade on (and you’re pixeling to re-target), or just a simple like on the post that you can invite to like your page.
Require registration on your IDX
If you aren’t willing to require registration on your IDX, go ahead and stop reading right now.
If you aren’t doing that, you aren’t ready for powerful online lead generation. I’m no longer debating it with agents. It’s a proven fact that IDX registration works and it works well and yet agents still like to insist that since they don’t like it, consumers don’t like it and consumers won’t do it and it’s not professional or it’s bad form or whatever the heck soap box they are on at that moment.
And I really meant it when I said stop reading right now. Every thing I have done (and continue to do with my private consulting clients) and I now teach and share about online real estate lead generation centers on the exchange of a prospect’s information for something of value you are giving them, including listing information. You aren’t stealing something from them they aren’t willing to give. It’s a fair exchange and they wouldn’t be doing it if they didn’t think it was fair.
Back to the topic at hand, if you are boosting posts that have no call-to-action, you are basically paying to push a non-engagement focused statement out into the interwebs and I know I’m not willing to pay to do that. I assume you want your money to bring in leads, just like I do.
What things should you have in place before you boost a post?
First of all, you want a strong capture process…
Think of the process that someone goes through before they know you until you sit beside them at the closing table.
They have to be introduced to you, then they have to get to know, like and trust you, then they have to be ready to take action, then… you get the point, right?
It’s a journey… a customer journey.
When you think of a capture process, you want to know exactly where your post that you want to boost falls in line in this process.
- Is it at the very beginning where people just click like on the post (and you then invite them to like your page and see more of your content)?
- Is it where people are willing to click through to your blog post and potentially opt-in to your content upgrade?
- Is it where people are willing to click through to your IDX link and give you even more info (including their phone number) to move forward?
Think this through… when you’re targeting cold traffic, it’s usually the first and second one. People are willing to click like and possibly accept your invitation and they are possibly even willing to click through to your blog post (that is, if you are giving them real value and truly helping them in some way).
Please note: don’t pretend that a home value or home search or some sort of discount at closing coupon is value. It’s not. The consumer knows it and you know it. Value is answering their questions before they’ve asked. Value is helping them with a specific problem and giving them a specific solution, before they’ve asked.
Take this blog post for example… I’m giving you value, helping you get control of your Facebook boost post ad spend, without selling anything to you.
When it comes to a strong capture process, make it something they want – in verbiage they understand – something powerful.
The second thing you’ll want is a well written post
(Meaning the Facebook status update you want to boost.) It should be less than about 225 characters (that’s what will show without readers having to click “see more” not to mention there is hard data to suggest that the shorter the status update, the more likely it is to be engaged with) and it should address a want or need, even better if it addresses a pain point your consumer has, in a positive way.
The third thing you’ll want is a great image for the post.
You’ve got to own the graphic so don’t head over to google and think you can just use an image you find there. You do not own those images, you have absolutely zero legal right to use them. That’s stealing (aka copyright infringement.) Just don’t go there. Don’t delude yourself either. It’s stealing. Plain and simple. If you don’t believe me, do it and suffer the financial consequences later (and let me tell you, those consequences could destroy your entire online presence).
Fourth, take your own photos.
It’s not that hard and quite frankly, if you don’t have a smart phone with a decent camera, as a real estate agent, you need to upgrade. Your consumers want to see photos of your area, whether they are scenery photos, architectural photos, selfies from around your area, whatever. If you don’t want to take your own photos, go to places like Shutterstock and purchase a photo to use.
Then, take that photo over to a place like PicMonkey and customize that photo. Optimize it to fit Facebook’s desired image sizes… if you are using it in a blog post it should be 1200 x 628, if you are uploading it directly to Facebook it should be 1200 x 1200 (pixels).
You can even add a little bit of text on the image… but here’s a hint, the less text, the better. If you are going to use text overlay, you have to follow Facebook’s 20% text rule (and yes, I know they “officially” did away with this and yet, they penalize you if you go beyond it – go figure).
Not sure what that is? All you have to do is go to Facebook’s grid tool and upload your final photo and Facebook will let you know if they will approve your photo when you boost your post. If they won’t, adjust your photo so your text only takes up 20% of the photo (based on Facebook’s parameters.)
If your post doesn’t fit their guidelines, although they may initially approve your post for boosting, they will reject it in less than an hour. Don’t go to all of this trouble just to have the post rejected for something as simple as this. Too many “disapproved ads” and your ad account will be shut down and no, you can’t just open a new one. You’ll lose your ability to advertise on Facebook. Don’t push the boundaries on this.
When should you boost your posts?
Ok – now that you know the 4 reasons for and against boosting a post and the 3 things you want to have in place before boosting a post, now I’ll bet you want to know when you should boost your posts.
So, when should you boost your posts?
The best time to boost your posts is when your fans/followers are online.
You’ll want to use your Facebook insights tool to determine this. I’ve included the image below to accompany this explanation.
First of all, to get there, click on your Insights, then click on your Posts.
If you’ll notice, Sunday, Friday and Saturday the largest amount of this pages followers are online. In addition, the time most of them are online is between 4 pm and 8 pm.
So in this case, the best time for this page to boost a post is on Sunday, Friday or Saturday starting at 4 pm.
There’s more to this though.
Keep boosting posts that work
Don’t just boost your posts when you first post them. Boost your posts 7-10 days later, and again a month later. Especially if they are “Evergreen” posts (aka posts where the content doesn’t expire or they are not date specific.) Keep boosting posts that work. If the post lines up with a known event, boost that post right before that event.
Here’s an example: we have an Ironman event in our town every June. If you were to have a status update that pointed to a blog post you wrote that focused on vacation or short-term rentals (that of course has a capture point so that you can help them find that rental if you are in a market that compensates real estate agents for rentals) that you put out in March or April, boost it every so often, but especially boost it about 7-10 days before the event and again 2-3 days before the event.
This is powerful.
What should you be measuring when you boost your posts?
For the most part, real estate agents don’t know what they should be measuring in their Facebook metrics, if they are even looking at those metrics.
When it comes to looking at the results of a single post though, agents are right on top of it – at least when it comes to reach, likes, comments and shares.
The reach of the post doesn’t matter. At all. It’s an inconsequential number. Basically, I think Facebook provides it just so we feel that the money we spent is working to “reach” people.
The next thing real estate agents typically look at are likes, comments and shares. But let’s look at this deeper. While those three engagement actions have a sideline benefit (I’ll explain more later,) they definitely are not what you should be looking at.
What should be looking at when you boost your posts?
You should be looking at how many leads you captured
(aka how many signed into your IDX, your email capture or your landing page) during the run of that boosted post. If you didn’t get any leads, something is wrong in your funnel process.
The second thing you should be measuring are click-throughs.
If you are getting good click-thru’s, but no captures, look at your capture page. Something is up with it and it’s not converting. Before you run any more ads, you want to get this fixed and working well. An excellent resource for creating high converting lead capture pages is LeadPages.net.
If you aren’t getting good click-thrus on your post, you need to take a second look at your offer, post verbiage and image. Something there isn’t working to capture the consumer’s attention. You need to tweak it and change it.
I’m showing you things that will help your post boosting actually work, for you, in your market. Giving you resources that will help you create successful, lead generating posts on Facebook. But don’t get caught up in the need to use someone’s “exact ad” because you just may be disappointed with the results.
The third and final thing you need to be measuring are likes, comments and shares.
Hold on. Didn’t I just say that those metrics don’t matter?
In your goal for lead generation, those metrics should not be measured.
However, there is a wonderful sideline benefit (as I mentioned earlier) to engagement on your posts. On one hand, these are the least important metrics to look at and on the other hand, these metrics are very important.
They are the least important when you are measuring actual lead capture. They are the most important when you are measuring your presence in your followers News Feeds. The more your followers (and anyone else for that matter) like, comment or share your posts, (any of them) the more often your posts will show up in your followers News Feeds.
It’s a strong “side benefit” to the lead generating aspect because, the more often your posts show up in News Feeds, the more likely you are to capture your followers attention, the more likely they are to respond to your call-to-actions, the more likely they are to allow themselves to be captured, the more likely they are to use your services.
It’s a synergistic circle.
Let’s get into the nitty gritty of boosting a post on Facebook.
The traditional way to “boost”
Here’s the “traditional” way to use the “boost post” button on Facebook and let me preface this with this statement: you do NOT want to be doing it this way. I’ll explain more below.
The traditional method is to simply click the “boost post” button on your individual post on your Facebook business page.
Your audience targeting options (as of the writing of this) are narrowed to two choices:
- People who like your Page and their friends
- People you choose through targeting.
Now, a third option is currently being rolled out. Page owners will have access to their custom audiences they’ve created in Power Editor. This definitely makes using the boost post button much more viable, when it’s fully rolled out.
Let’s get into each option and I’ll share with you why you don’t want to use these options.
Targeting the people who like your page is awesome.
- IF you’ve highly targeted those likes.
- IF those likes were not acquired by asking colleagues around the country to like your Page.
- IF those likes were not acquired by paying a service $40 to bring you 500 ‘real’ likes.
- IF those likes were not acquired through any ‘like building’ groups.
In other words, IF those likes are highly targeted and every single one of them is a solid, viable person that is likely to use your real estate services, no matter how far in the future they may use them then targeting your Page likes is absolutely ideal.
Here’s the deal, if your Page likes are not people who are likely to use your real estate services (and be brutally honest with yourself, the bread and butter of your real estate business does not come from an obscure chance that an agent 3,000 miles away might have a client moving into your area) you are going to harm your page.
If your Page likes are people not likely to use your services, they also are people who are not likely to engage with your content and they are also people likely to hide or unfollow your content. That is the worst thing you can have happen to your page. It destroys your placement in all Page likes News Feeds, completely obliterates Facebook’s ranking algorithm when it comes to your page and makes your Page almost worthless.
Don’t use the targeting option when using the “boost post” button
The problem with this targeting option when using the “boost post” button is that you can not simply target by your Page likes. You’ve also got to include their friends.
Ugh. Come ON Facebook! You’ve got awesome targeting options and you think this one is a great one?
Here’s a perfect example of why this is an absolute waste of your money.
My business is focused on helping real estate agents capture, convert and close Facebook leads, which means that a solid portion of my Page likes on Facebook go to resources that help me help agents. To narrow this example, I “like” Mari Smith’s (she’s a known Facebook marketing expert) Facebook page.
If she were to use the targeting option of Page likes and their friends, not only would she pay to target me (that’s ideal as I’ve already shown I have some sort of connection with her by liking her page) but she would also target my friends, of which less than 10 would be interested in anything she has to say. So she’d be paying to reach my 900 or so friends when only 10 or so may be actual viable prospects for her.
Let’s take this back to real estate.
IF you’ve highly targeted your Page likes, then using this option to promote to your likes and their friends put you in the same boat. Take a look at your friends list. Is everyone on that list local? Is everyone on that list old enough to sign a contract? Is everyone on that list financially able to buy a home? It’s the same with every other Page like you have. Just because they may be targeted does not mean their friends are your target.
Do you see where I’m going here?
There are much more powerful targeting options available to you in Power Editor vs. using the “boost post” button.
OK, so what about the “People you choose through targeting” option?
For one, you can’t drill down to zip code here. It does you no good to target an entire city in a single. Again, more money spent than necessary and lower (if any) results. Additionally, you can’t target home owners, people likely to move, certain income brackets, etc. These are all options (amongst many more) that are available to you in Power Editor and yes, you can use them to boost your posts!
What’s the absolute best way to boost your Facebook posts?
The absolute best way is to go into your Ads Manager and then into Power Editor, and create an ad by choosing the post you want to boost and then using the targeting options within Power Editor.
This is the ultimate in targeting and will give you the most amazing results!
I would love to hear about your results. Please do share them here!
Want to download a printable version of this guide? Click Here To Download A PDF Copy Of The Ultimate Guide To Boosting Your Facebook Posts