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How to Optimize Your "Boost Your Post" Ad on your Facebook Author Page


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#1 AQCrew

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 12:15 PM

ADMIN EDIT: Please note, shortly after these experiments, Facebook changed the name of "Page Post Engagement" Ad within its ad creator to "Boost Your Post"

 

Continuing with our Facebook ad experiments:

 

Today, we are creating a new Facebook page post engagement ad using the same targeting criteria from this original Page Post Engagement experiment:

 

The only difference will be that we are choosing to optimize for clicks rather than optimize for post engagement in the How Much Do We Want To Spend section of the FB ad creator tool:

 

 

Bidding (select one below):

 

* Optimize for Page Post Engagement

* Optimize for Clicks  --> we picked this option

* Optimize for Impressions

 

Pricing:  You can pick automatic or manual bid pricing

 

*Automatically optimize your bid to get more clicks --> we picked this option

*Manually set your maximum bid for clicks (CPC)

 

 

What's the difference between optimizing for clicks rather than optimizing for post engagement?  

 

We're on a quest to find out...

 

All interest keywords and targeting demographics, and connections will remain the same.  Same budget of $5 per day.  The page post engagement ad will run for 3 days.



#2 AQCrew

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 07:45 PM

UPDATE: 5:45PM PST - the ad was "in review" status the entire day and only now was approved and turned on "active' status.

 

Reach just exploded to 535 and total spent is $2.89 of $2.89 budget -- just like that, in a flash.  There is an "i" icon saying that if an ad starts late in the day, FB only uses a portion of the daily budget since the campaign won't run the entire day.

 

For reference, currently the post ad has 7 likes, 1 share, and 28 link clicks and 16 other clicks (but some of that existed prior to the ad run because it had its own organic reach)

 

It seems like this ad won't do much more until tomorrow...



#3 AQCrew

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 09:53 AM

UPDATE - 7:45AM PST the next morning Day 2 of ad (first full day):

 

The ad still hasn't done much -- FB shows (within its data pulled from the Ad Manager report):

 

Total cost-per-engagement rate of $0.74

 

Total post engagement of 5

 

Total paid reach: 745 

 

Total spent today is $0.83 of a $5.00 daily budget.

 

No new likes, shares, comments, etc on the post itself.  

 

Basically, the only thing increased since starting the ad yesterday is reach.

 

We know from the previous PAGE POST ENGAGEMENT ad experiment that things don't really getting moving until the end of Day 2 and into Day 3 -- let's see if this ad follows that pattern...



#4 RSMellette

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    Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand, Dec. 2014 Elephant's Bookshelf Press

Posted 22 October 2014 - 10:33 AM

It's like tracking a torpedo in the old submarine movies.

From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#5 AQCrew

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 11:06 AM

Yeah, lots of scanning, scanning, scanning... nothing.  Except sales were down double digits yesterday with no ad running... so that's keeping everything on red alert.



#6 RSMellette

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    Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand, Dec. 2014 Elephant's Bookshelf Press

Posted 22 October 2014 - 01:56 PM

The date may have something to do with that too. The closer to having the rent due the harder sales are.

From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#7 AQCrew

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 05:40 PM

UPDATE - 3:30PM PST

 

Total post engagement: 20

 

Total reach: 1046

 

Total cost-per-engagement: $0.38

 

Total link clicks: 45 

 

Total Other clicks: 26

 

Total direct post likes/comments/shares: 9

 

Total spent: $4.62 of a total $5.00 daily budget

 

So far... this ad seems to be performing far less well than its counterpart that we optimized for post engagement rather than optimized for clicks within our budget.

 

Today's total budget is almost spent, so it's hard to believe there's much juice left.  We'll see about tomorrow, but early results seem to show that optimizing the way that FB recommends -- for post engagement -- for this type of ad is the better route.



#8 AQCrew

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 02:14 PM

UPDATE - 12PM PST -- DAY 3 ------> and so far, this ad is an #epicfail

 

Total post engagement: 33

 

Total reach: 1211

 

Total cost-per-engagement: $0.37

 

Total link clicks: 58

 

Total Other clicks: 32

 

Total direct post likes/comments/shares: 10

 

Total spent: $4.20 of a total $5.00 daily budget

 

So... thus far, the take-away from this experiment is NOT to optimize for clicks over post engagements within your budget.  Yes, we are going to make that assertion with only one data point, but if you compare the results between this experiment versus the PAGE POST ENGAGEMENT ad experiment that optimized for post engagement, that's clearly the better way to go.

 

That said, we're out to prove it, so we're going to stop this ad at the end of today, and re-run the same ad with the same metrics/targeting/connections -- but this time -- optimize our budget for post engagements.



#9 AQCrew

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 02:31 PM

Okay, several unexpected developments to report:

 

First, the good news: you can change the optimization options (or any of the other ad criteria) within an FB ad; you don't have to recreate the whole ad.  

 

You simply click on the ad in your FB's ad manager, click on --> the AD SET link -> click on the name of your ad --> CLICK HERE under Targeting, Placement, and Optimization

 

FB will throw the ad back into review after you make this change, but the other good news is that it only took less than an hour for the ad to be approved (as opposed to almost 7 hours for the ad to be originally approved by FB).

 

Now, the unexpected development:

 

UPDATE: 12:15PM PST ---> Day 4

 

Total post engagement: 39

 

Total reach: 1287

 

Total cost-per-engagement: $0.37

 

Total link clicks: 62

 

Total Other clicks: 35

 

Total direct post likes/comments/shares: 10

 

Total spent: $2.04 of a total $5.00 daily budget

 

So what's the unexpected development?  The ad has done nothing -- almost NOTHING -- despite changing the optimization from clicks to post engagement.  It's continued to under-perform the original PAGE POST ENGAGEMENT EXPERIMENT and it's cost-per-engagement rate is still a whopping $0.37.

 

What does this means?  Perhaps it means we got lucky the first time, and our first ad was a super-star, and we didn't know we had a good thing until it was gone.

 

Right now, it seems as if the change from optimization from clicks to optimization to post engagement is doing nothing to help us.  And overall, the ad is continuing to under-perform.

 

That said, there is THIS lingering question: are the same people seeing this ad who already saw the first page post engagement ad?  We used the same targeting criteria and the exact same "interest" keywords, so maybe we're exhausting the pool of viewers -- thus, lower engagement.  The ads use different photos, but the same product is ultimately being advertised.  We've seen FB marketing gurus talk about the important of ad rotation, but really, what the heck does that even mean?  Maybe this is an example of what it means...

 

We're going to end this ad experiment tonight, and start fresh with a new ad and some new fresh "interest" keywords, just to see if we can replicate the awesome cost-per-engagement rate of the first ad as well as it's eye brow-raising engagement results.

 

We suspect nobody is following this experiment anymore because, quite frankly, this stuff is getting to be more tortuous than navigating the DMV.  

 

But still, these posts are now reference for our killer Insider's Guide to $5 FB Advertising For Your Novel that we plan to write.  And yes, Facebook -- we're obsessed with you.  And we're not gonna stop until we make you our $5 ad slave.



#10 J. Lea Lopez

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 03:37 PM

LOL I've totally been following! It just makes me go cross-eyed. But I still hope something will sink in via osmosis or something.



#11 jwmstudio

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 02:18 PM

I'm following too.  :happy:


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#12 AQCrew

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 04:19 PM

UPDATE: 2:15PM PST --> Day 2 of optimizing for post engagement; Day 5 of ad  ---> total budget thus far for this experiment: $25 ($5 per day)

 

Total post engagement: 89

 

Total reach: 1967

 

Total cost-per-engagement: $0.23

 

Total link clicks: 108

 

Total Other clicks: 32

 

Total direct post likes/comments/shares: 19

 

Total spent: $2.71 of a total $5.00 daily budget

 

OK, so instinct told us to keep the ad running one more day -- and interestingly enough:  there's been some serious traction.

 

Over 9 new post likes, dozens more direct link clicks, and definitely a lower cost-per-engagement rate of $0.23.

 

There's still over $2.00 left in today's budget, so we'll have to see what final numbers are at the end of today, but we're back to the belief that the best way to utilize a PAGE POST ENGAGEMENT ad is for a minimum of 3 days, optimizing for post engagement, and don't expect to see fireworks until the middle of Day 2 and into Day 3.



#13 AQCrew

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 12:35 AM

Logging this in for posterity:

 

10:30PM PST - End of Day 2 of running ad with optimization for post engagement -- END of Day 5 for ad overall

 

Total post engagement: 121

 

Total reach: 2429

 

Total cost-per-engagement: $0.19

 

Total link clicks: 108  ---> NOTING THERE WAS NO CHANGE IN THIS NUMBER FROM THIS AFTERNOON TO THE END OF THE DAY

 

Total Other clicks: 32  --> DITTO

 

Total direct post likes/comments/shares: 22

 

Total spent: $5.00 of a total $5.00 daily budget

 

OK, today was a great day in terms of the accruing direct post likes and additional link clicks.  WAY, WAY, WAY better than the first three days that we ran the ad while optimizing for clicks.  So clearly, we're back to proving that optimizing for post engagement over clicks is the way to go.

 

Because our cost-per-engagement rate is currently sitting at $0.19 -- exactly where we want it to be -- we're going to let the ad run tomorrow (Sunday). 

 

Also, Sunday will be Day 3 of optimizing for post engagements -- and at this point, the belief is that DAY 3 is where all the fun begins... 



#14 AQCrew

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 09:55 AM

UPDATE - 8:00AM PST - DAY 3 (morning) of optimizing for post engagement

 

Total post engagement: 132

 

Total reach: 2666

 

Total cost-per-engagement: $0.18

 

Total link clicks: 153  ---> NOTE THIS OVERNIGHT CHANGE

 

Total Other clicks: 37  

 

Total direct post likes/comments/shares: 23

 

Total spent: $1.19 of a total $5.00 daily budget



#15 AQCrew

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 10:32 PM

UPDATE - 8:30PM PST - DAY 3 (evening) of optimizing for post engagement

 

Total post engagement: 171

 

Total reach: 3459

 

Total cost-per-engagement: $0.16

 

Total link clicks: 192  ---> AFTER ALL DAY OF NOTHING; SUDDENLY FB REPORTS THIS CHANGE

 

Total Other clicks: 52 --> DITTO

 

Total direct post likes/comments/shares: 23 - SAME; NO CHANGE

 

Total spent: $4.60 of a total $5.00 daily budget



#16 AQCrew

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 11:12 AM

UPDATE - 9:00AM PST - DAY 4 (morning) of optimizing for post engagement

 

Total post engagement: 197 (from ad manager report)

 

Total reach: 3807 (from ad manager report)

 

Total cost-per-engagement: $0.15 (from ad manager report)

 

Total link clicks: 217  ---> (data pulled from post's stats) - NOTE THE CHANGE

 

Total Other clicks: 56 --> (data pulled from post's stats); ONLY A SMALL CHANGE

 

Total direct post likes/comments/shares: 23 - (data pulled from post's stats) - SAME; NO CHANGE

 

Total spent: $1.16 of a total $5.00 daily budget

 

NOTE: It is interesting that the ad manager report updates in real-time, but the post's direct stats only update approximately 2-3 times per day



#17 AQCrew

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 11:09 AM

UPDATE - 9:00AM PST - DAY 5 (morning) of optimizing for post engagement

 

Compare these stats to the stats above for a 24 hour period:

 

Total post engagement: 258 (from ad manager report)

 

Total reach: 4817 (from ad manager report)

 

Total cost-per-engagement: $0.13 (from ad manager report)

 

Total link clicks: 280  ---> (data pulled from post's stats) - The ad manager reports 71 vs. a 63 net change (280-217=63)

 

Total Other clicks: 68 --> (data pulled from post's stats); SMALL CHANGE

 

Total direct post likes/comments/shares: 25 - (data pulled from post's stats) - EXTREMELY SMALL CHANGE

 

Total spent: $5.00 of a total $5.00 daily budget

 



#18 AQCrew

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 11:18 AM

OK, we are ending this experiment today.  We think we've gotten enough data to make some conclusions:

 

1. optimizing for post engagement definitely yields BOTH a lower cost-per-engagement rate AND more direct link clicks and/or direct likes on your post

 

2. you have to run the ad for more than one day in order to gain an economical cost-per-engagement rate.  We started at $0.37 on Day 1 of optimizing for post engagement and ended with $0.13 on Day 5.  BIG CHANGE.

 

3. We only received a burst of direct post likes on Day 3 -- Saturday -- after that, nothing except direct link clicks (the link sent our viewers to our book's Amazon sales page).  So if your goal is to get direct post likes, you may only want to shut off the campaign the moment you get your burst.

 

Technically, if we wanted FB users to click on the ad and be forwarded to our book's Amazon's sale page, so direct links clicks were exactly what we wanted from the campaign.  But still, it's a curious thing, almost as if Facebook figured out direct link clicks was best way to optimize our campaign and and produce the results.

 

4. The lower the cost-per-engagement rate became, the more daily direct link clicks we received.  So the longer the campaign, the more bang for your buck.

 

All in all, it's been an illuminating experiment.  Definitely something we will utilize during our next book's next release.

 

That said, we STILL think there's value to BOOSTING POSTS as well, despite all the negative feedback this option seems to receive from marketing gurus and FB users who hate the ideas of paying FB anything to increase their posts' reach.  

 

Boosting posts is still the cheaper option because you can expand your post's non-fan reach quickly and economically with only a one-day $5 commitment.  

 

And if you go back and compare the stats of the BOOST POST experiment for its one-day run, the results were 31 direct link clicks and 12 Other clicks. Pretty good for a one-day run for $5.  But not as good as our final DAY 5 of this PAGE POST ENGAGEMENT which yielded approx. 71 direct link clicks and 12 Other clicks for the same $5.



#19 Jean Oram

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 09:06 PM

So, was it worth it?


I love connecting with and helping other AQCers outside this forum as well. You can find me all over the place!

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#20 AQCrew

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 01:17 PM

So far, we've had ads that have had a $0.30 engagements rate versus other ads that have a $0.10.  You get down to $0.10 per click for a very targeted niche audience within your genre, and yes... how can it not be worth it?

 

We all know Amazon doesn't give analytic data to help determine where sales are coming from... and since we have consistent sales and borrows, it's been impossible to really know for sure.

 

But what is certain is that the big name authors aren't just using FB for fan engagement.  They're using it as a major advertising and promotional tool.

 

And the more time we spend on FB, the more we're shifting our focus from fan engagement to targeted advertising and promotions.






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