Facebook Boosted Posts vs Print Ads

Is its worth it to use boost posts on Facebook? I do and I believe the answer is YES!

 

Why you may ask, let’s compare what you get when you boost a post on Facebook verse a print ad.

When you put an advertisement in a local weekly or daily newspaper or magazine you can be spending anywhere from $500.00 to $1000.00. The print outlets can have a circulation that ranges from 7200 for local weekly papers, 300,000 for our largest daily paper and around 91,000 for a state-wide monthly magazine.

 

These circulation numbers can seem impressive at first look and placing ads can seem like a good idea, particularly because your competition is more than likely doing the same thing, but do the ads paying off?

Are you really reaching the people who you want? Do people really “buy” what the ad is promoting and how do you convert them to take some type of action?

 

What you really want to do it to reach people who you know might be interested in what you have to offer.

 

You want to target these ads to people who have a high likelihood of taking that next step to find out more.

“Word of Mouth” advertising is great for getting people to take those next steps largely because people are hearing it from people they already trust. A Facebook boosted post is very close to this type of advertising because it focuses the promotion to “friends” and “friends of friends” to your page.

What does this mean?

 

If you “Like” your school’s Facebook page and the school boosts a post on that page that post it will reach not only your Home feed but also your friends feeds and even those  that have not already “Liked” the page. According to Facebook [NOTE: Facebook recently changed the name from Promote to Boost for posts]:

“When you promote a post from your Page, it will be shown in the news feeds of more of the people who like your Page than you would reach normally. Additionally, your post will be shown to friends of people who like your Page.” – Facebook FAQ

As your friends may know that you or your children have either attended or are attending the school you are targeting those that might have heard things “word of mouth” and taking it digital.

 

While this is not a new concept, what does it really look like? Where is the pay-off?

 

At my school we recently boosted two posts on our Alumni page and our school page. In each case we were trying to achieve similar goals.

 

Alumni_PayoffOn our Alumni page we were trying to get our alumni to do download our new EverTrue Alumni app. We posted links to both the iOS and Android versions of the app and boosted the post. We spent $15.00 to boost the post, reached 3500 (paid) had 46 click-throughs which translated to 35 new downloads/users to our app.  We spent $.42 per user gained.

 

We also boosted a post on our schools page to let people know about an Admissions information session. The post reached 4552 people (4314 paid) and had 25 click-throughs on the link. But more importantly we had someone comment on how this post helped as they had missed the dates for registration the pervious year.

 

All of this was achieved for $20.00. If you convert this one person to an application and enrolled student was it worth $20.00?

 

School_Comment

 

In both cases we were able to see up to the minute statistics of how well our promotion was working and what type of response we had. When you cross-reference this with other analytics at your disposal you can get a much clearer idea of how your promotions are paying off. Having a specific landing page for the post – or print ad for that matter – can help you determine the value of the promotion. Brendan Schneider (@schneiderb) has written a great post to get you started if you have questions about landing pages.

 

This type of information is critical for anyone managing your communications or marketing efforts.  I would encourage schools to look at how they use boosted posts in their marketing strategy. When you look at the cost of print ads in either weekly, daily or monthly publications by simply taking the money from one of those ads and putting it to the promotion of post for an entire year can have huge payoffs.

 

How are you using boosted posts and what has your experience been like? Please comment below.

 

William Stites

William Stites

Director of Technology at Montclair Kimberley Academy

Director of Technology for Montclair Kimberley Academy (http://www.mka.org), "Blogger in Chief" for edSocialMedia.com, consultant for Educational Collaborators, husband and father of two crazy boys. All that and still trying to find time to write and share as much as I can with you here and at http://www.williamstites.net.

http://www.williamstites.net