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How to Boost a Post on Your Facebook Author Page


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#1 AQCrew

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 01:10 PM

This is the first of a series of paid ad experiments that we are performing on our Facebook author page.  

 

There are at least 4-5 ways to pay for advertising on Facebook, and we're interested in testing all of them and comparing the results.

 

Here's today experiment:  boosting a post on your Facebook Author Page

 

Our budget is $5 for one day-- if you would like to run your own ad and chime in with your results/experiments, please keep the budget the same so we can compare apples to apples.

 

#1. Create Your Post on your FB Author Page 

 

First you have to create a post on your Facebook author page before you can choose to pay to "boost" it.  We created our standard customized book promo post and since it started taking off in terms of reach, we thought it might be a good candidate to test the "boost post" option.

 

#2. DESKTOP NEWS FEED vs. MOBILE NEWS FEED

 

We believe that FB creates both versions of the ad.  At first, we thought that we could select desktop vs. mobile, and we clicked on MOBILE and proceeded with creating the ad since Facebook is overwhelmingly a mobile social media tool.  But while the ad is under editorial view, it seems like they have created both a desktop version and a mobile version, so we have no idea what's going to happen.

 

#3. AUDIENCE

 
Option A. People who like your Page and their friends
 
Option B. People you choose through targeting
 
We are choosing to use option B. in order to target the audience who will see our boosted post.  We believe the usefulness of advertising on Facebook for your novel is the ability to micro-target your audience based on their gender, age, and interests.
 
#4. LOCATION: COUNTRY/State/Cities: USA 
 
Yes, we know there is a world outside of the USA, but for now... we want to try to keep our targeting criteria narrow rather than broad.
 
It should be noted that in order to target by State or Cities, you have to select from the drop-down arrow.
 
#5. AGE
 
Facebook allows you to select a range - as young as 13 and as old as 65+
 
#6. Interests
 
This is where things get both awkward and interesting... finding "interests" that Facebook will accept is NOT easy.  In fact, it's extremely frustrating.  We had an old list of Facebook "interests" that we culled from a very early FB ad that we ran -- and now, we seriously cannot remember now which type of ad it was or how we stumbled upon our hand-crafted interest keywords list.  But without that list, we would have had a very hard time coming up with specific keywords that FB would accept.  
 
Yes, they accept broad interest keywords like "Amazon kindle", "reading books", "fiction", "novels", "e-books" and those interests will gain you a much broader reach for your $5.
 
But that is the opposite of the strategy we are choosing to deploy (for better or worse).  We want to micro-target our audience based on our book's genre, and FB does allow you to do this... BUT this tool and this section for finding and selecting your interests is NOT user-friendly.
 
When we find the original FB tool that we used to discover all our cool helpful interests that we plugged in... we will update this section.
 
In the meantime, our estimated reach number was 1,000-2,700 after we inserted all our specific interests.  Then, we further targeted by gender and age, and our final estimated reach number is 290-770.
 
#7 - Select BOOST POST
 
#8. Wait for Facebook Approval
 
When you click on the BOOSTED for $5 button, it shows you that the ad is currently under review by Facebook to ensure that it meets their Ad Guidelines 
 
 
RANDOM QUESTIONS:
 
Here are a few random questions:
 
We did not include a link within the post.  In hindsight, this might be the wrong strategy because we're not sure if the entire post will remain "clickable" the way it is when it exists on our FB page as a non-boosted post.
 
We have no idea how we're going to measure whether or not boosting a post is effective.  Should we expect page "likes"? Increased sales?  More comments on our exiting posts? No idea...
 
Are they only going to show the MOBILE ad?  Or are they going to show both?  And if they show both, then it seems that within the BOOST POST ad option, there is no way to select one over the other....?
 
Our final estimated target reach number is 290-770.  Is micro-targeting to a very small number with specific interest the right strategy?  Is $5 worth it for 290-770 additional reach of non-fans?  


#2 AQCrew

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 02:14 PM

UPDATE: so this is extremely interesting -- it seems you can do the same thing above through this link (you have to be logged into FB via your profile, NOT your author page):

 

https://www.facebook.com/ads/create

 

Then, click on PAGE POST ENGAGEMENT -->Select the Post you want to boost.

 

What's the difference?  

 

It seems the tool for setting up the boost post ad is FAR MORE user-friendly and sophisticated than the tool they give you on your author page by clicking on the BOOST POST button.

 

More to come...



#3 AQCrew

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 02:21 PM

Okay, here we go...

 

The post just shot up from 88 reached at 12:20PM PST to 135 reached with $4.85 remaining... plus 2 likes



#4 AQCrew

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 04:45 PM

2:45PM PST and the post now has 292 reached (103 organic/189 paid) with $3.58 remaining and a total of 3 post likes.  

 

Insights show a total of 11 link clicks (there's no link in the post, the whole post is clickable so we assume they're getting forwarded to the Amazon page -- big assumption? since we can't see the ad in action) and 1 Other link click.



#5 AQCrew

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 07:48 PM

5:45PM PST and the post now has 437 reach (126 organic/311 paid) with $2.84 remaining and still a total of 3 post likes (although we also picked up one comment, but from a reader who already read the book)

 

Insights show a total of 16 link clicks and 8 Other clicks.



#6 AQCrew

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 11:18 PM

9:15PM PST and the post now has a 661 reach (135 organic/526 paid) with $1.98 remaining and still a total of 3 post likes 

 

Insights show a total of 20 link clicks and 8 Other clicks



#7 AQCrew

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 07:58 AM

6:00AM PST (the following day but still within the 24 hour period) and the post now has 922 people reached (159 organic/763 paid) and $1.04 remaining and still a total of 3 post likes, one comment, and one share

 

Insights show a total of 25 link clicks and 8 Other clicks



#8 AQCrew

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 12:02 PM

Okay, here are final numbers:

 

10AM PST the post has 1063 people reached (160 organic/ 903 paid) and a total of 3 likes, one share, and 1 reader comment.

 

Total budget: $5

 

Insights show 31 link clicks and 12 Other clicks

 

You can review your Ad Manager reports to gain additional insights such as "cost per post engagement numbers" and total reach numbers (which isn't quite the same as the numbers showing on the post reach section)

 

Okay, what's the upshot here?

 

A few random thoughts...

 

For the record, despite supposedly getting 31 link clicks, we're not certain that those clickers actually got forwarded directly to our book's Amazon sales page.  The next time we perform this test, we likely will include an actual mini-link to our Amazon page.

 

That said, we also don't think we got any sales.  Our sales number was exactly the same as yesterday -- and in-line with our usual sales patterns.  Borrows were a little up, but borrows are a lagging indicator because readers have to download then read 10% before they show up on your reports.

 

Now, in contrast, after going through the PAGE POST ENGAGEMENT option to promote your post rather than boost it, we KNOW that we can do much better in terms of selecting our target interest keywords.  You can get really specific if you use that portal and really work it.

 

We don't think we would bother doing this in little $5 increments -- except to learn and experiment.

 

THEN, we absolutely WOULD drop $50-100/per day for a few days during the week of our next book's release and push it hard through FB ads.  Yes, after only experimenting with one ad, we definitely think there's merit to advertising on FB.  But it's not an easy learning curve.

 

If you want to compare these results of boosting your post versus promoting your post, go ahead and follow the HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR POST ON YOUR FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE thread.



#9 AQCrew

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 12:19 PM

One more thing: Facebook estimated our daily reach to be 290-770.

 

In the end, the post's reach was over 842 paid non-fans.



#10 J. Lea Lopez

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 05:37 PM

My biggest headache is I don't know what the heck I'm paying for, or what exactly uses up the budget. It's hard to compare my failed boosted post to your experiment, but it's the only experience I have to work off of. I gave them a budget of $23. Before my ad was yanked (I think it was up for 6 to 8 hours in the middle of the freaking night), my paid reach was 1,377 people and I garnered 2 whole clicks. That cost me $14! My organic reach was 692 with 11 clicks.

 

So I don't understand what the triggering mechanisms are for charging you, and how much, and why, and when, and.....



#11 AQCrew

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 06:32 PM

So I don't understand what the triggering mechanisms are for charging you, and how much, and why, and when, and.....

 

 

Agreed.  

 

We suspect the secret to this lies in using the PAGE POST ENGAGEMENT option to promote the post, and then control these issues in the "How Much Do You Want To Spend" section where you can customize based on the following criteria.  

 

Bidding:

 

* Optimize for Page Post Engagement

* Optimize for Clicks

* Optimize for Impressions

 

Pricing:  You can pick automatic or manual bid pricing

 

 

That said, we've seen articles about this section which are like reading AP chemistry experiments (charts, graphs, complex equations -->  :wacko:

 

So we're going to chip at it and post here about it, and maybe if everyone chimes in, we will be able to work through it and come out with a really cool smokin' red potion that tastes delicious but doesn't poison us.






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