Episode 007: To boost or not to boost? That is the question

Apr 2, 2024Podcast

To boost or not? If you’ve been studying digital marketing for a while, you may have marketers telling you to avoid it. But in this episode, I’m going to give you permission to boost your Facebook or Instagram posts. Yes there are use cases when a boosted post can work! And there are times when you really, really shouldn’t.

Watch this episode on: YouTube.

Listen on: Spotify, Apple Podcasts.


To boost or not to boost, that is the question that we’re addressing in this episode.

So, boosted posts. I’m really excited to talk about this because I know that it can be a bit of a hot topic among digital marketers. I’m sure you will find a vast majority of digital marketing and paid ad specialists telling you, “No, don’t boost your posts. Avoid boosting like the plague.” They have a reason for that, and it’s not just that they want you to pay for their services, although, you know, that’s allowed. They’ve got a business to run and all that. When they tell you not to boost posts, it’s also coming from a place of wanting to protect you from the potential danger of wasted money. And I’m here to say, actually, you can use both.

You can use boosted posts. There’s a way to get them to work in your favor. They can actually benefit you and provide a good return on investment.

The Problem with Boosting Posts

So, the problem actually with boosting a post, and why most people shouldn’t, and the things that go wrong with boosted posts, the problem is where you kind of just look at a post that you want to boost. Maybe it’s because you didn’t get as many likes or attention on it as you wanted, so you hit boost and you let Facebook do its thing. That is not ideal, and I’ll tell you why.

There are two reasons why that’s not a good idea. The first thing is when the post didn’t get the attention that you wanted, it’s not the best idea to boost it because what boosting does is that it multiplies and amplifies what you’re getting. So, if that post that you want to boost has vaguely any likes at all compared to your other posts, what’s going to happen is that Facebook is not going to have information about the types of people that would be interested in that content.

On the flip side, if you’ve got an organic post that did super well and got likes and comments and shares, there’s information there for Facebook to tell it, “Okay, there’s a whole bunch of people that like this. I can go and look for traits of other similar people who share these traits and show the post to them.” So, when you don’t have that data for Facebook, it’s just going to have no freaking clue who to share that post with.

If you are looking for likes and engagement, you may get it from people who just randomly click on stuff because it’s there for no reason, and they may not be the kind of people that you want to reach.

Not Tweaking the Settings

The other problem with letting Facebook do its thing is a similar reason. If you don’t tweak any of the settings when you go and create your ad, your boosted post, which is essentially a type of ad, again, what’s going to happen is, because there’s a lack of information about the type of people who have shown interest in your content, it’s just going to go worldwide, everywhere, anybody with a pair of eyes and a phone, and it’s like, doesn’t care, it just wants you to get what you want. And if that’s clicks, views, and engagement, it’s going to spread your content far and wide to anyone, and you’re going to end up with potentially some really rude customers who are like, “What is this? I don’t like this. Stop showing it to me.” You could get disgusting, dirty men in your DMs sending you things that are probably not appropriate. You’ll get attention from bot accounts, potentially.

So, those are some reasons why you want to be a bit tactful with boosting your posts and not leave it on the default settings.

Deciding What to Boost

So, when it comes to deciding what to actually boost, you actually want to consider boosting something [an organic social media post] that’s already got lots of likes and comments. Because again, those people who took the time to stop scrolling and look at your content and say something, if a lot of people do that, it meant that it had resonance. And that’s a clear sign to you that that piece of content was worthy to the people who are already following you. And so, the more people who stopped and looked at that thing and commented, the more data the Facebook algorithm has to fuel that if you want to boost that content further.

Boosting Content with the Right Objective

Now, another problem with boosting content is that you kind of want to do it with the right objective in mind. So, typically when we boost a piece of content, we’re showing it to a cold or a sort of semi-cold audience who may not be longtime established followers. The longtime established followers are probably more aware of what you teach or what you sell. Maybe they sort of don’t need as much warming up to do in order to make a purchase from you.

But when the audience is cold or maybe lukewarm, and we show an ad to them because we want to get something from them, what actually happens is that if they’re only seeing you for the first time, or maybe they haven’t seen you that many times, and you show them an ad that asks something of them, that may not be an easy decision.

So, I’ve talked about this before. If you’ve got a product that’s a novelty item that people will instantly throw up their hands and say, “Oh my God, yes,” like a cute jacket for a dog, you know, you show that ad to a cold audience, and they can decide yes or no. Like, it’s a fairly easy decision. It’s not really a life-changing thing. And if you show people a series of different dog jackets in ads, they, you know, it’s not hard to decide which one they like the most.

But if it’s more of a service, if it’s a higher-ticket product, if it requires more trust and connection established between you and them, the thing that you ask them to do in that ad needs to be something that’s easy for them to say yes to and something comfortable that they’re saying yes to.

My Personal Strategy for Boosted Posts

So, one thing that I like to do personally in my boosted posts is that I set the objective just to view my Instagram page. I’m not asking you to buy something. I’m not asking you to give me your email address to sign up to something because that’s like, “Oh, I just met you.” When I set the objective of the ad as visit my Instagram page, that is a really easy decision to make based on one piece of content. And if I boost a piece of content that my resident audience has shown interest in and I’ve got proof that people have liked it, when that ad is shown to more people, there’s more chance that that will be shown to people who are going to resonate. And if they go, “Oh yeah, that’s really good. I think I might check this person out,” that is a really easy, low-effort, not much thought going into making a committed step.

Whereas if I’ve got like a $5,000 coaching package and I want to get more sales, if I go to a mass cold audience with a big ask like, “I’ve got this amazing thing that will transform your life. You work one-on-one with me,” if that goes to a cold audience, they’re going to be asking themselves, “Who is this wacko? What? I don’t even know you, and you’re asking me to hand over a bunch of money.”

So, do you see now, with these examples laid out to you, do you see what I mean by making an easy ask with your colder audiences?

Boosting Posts for Different Audiences

Now, another thing you can do with a boosted post is that you can show this to people who already follow you, especially if you’ve got an account that’s got well over 10,000 followers. That can be really good to bring back people who may have dropped interest in you.

Also, once your account reaches those thousands, you may actually want to exclude your followers from your boosted post because sometimes what happens is that your people who are naturally organic, really following you and see your posts regularly, if they see a boosted post that’s sort of like an awareness-generating one, they’re going to be like, “Hey, wait a minute. I already saw this. Why am I seeing it again?” And if you cause that kind of friction, it may be a small amount of friction, but if you do it too many times, that can also negatively affect the thoughts that your warmish audience has of you.

So, this is why it’s important to understand where people are at each time they see you and understand the strategy and how we need to adjust the strategy depending on what stage they’re in. And we can do that by targeting them depending on whether they’re a cold follower or they’ve been following you for a while.

Boosting Free Events

Now, another great thing to boost is actually a free event you may be running, particularly if it’s an online one. It doesn’t really require somebody to plan out their day too much. If it’s, say, a presentation or a webinar or something like that that a lot of people have shown interest in before, it’s not that hard to commit to, especially also if you’ve got a replay for that webinar.

Wrapping Up and Additional Resources

So, there’s a lot more that I can say about boosting posts, but I’m going to wrap it up here because I like these podcast episodes to be fairly bite-sized. If you’ve got any questions about boosting a post or creating Facebook ads, I am here. I am all ears, I have been doing this for a while; I have trained with one of the best agencies in Melbourne. And I got you. I want to make sure that your advertising dollars are hitting the mark and bringing you more of the good stuff and not just going down the toilet.

PS, also if you are looking for some extra guidance on how to boost posts um some of us like to call them Boosty Posties you may want to check out what my friend Tash Corbin is doing. Because she’s actually got her own podcast episode about boosting posts that sort of extends upon what I’ve been saying. That podcast is more applicable to female women and non-binary entrepreneurs but it’s kind of reinforcing a lot of what I just said already. I definitely recommend checking out Tash Corbin as well when it comes to boosting posts. So yeah I hope this helped you out and happy advertising!

➡️ Where Next? Want to know more about Boosty Posties? Check out Tash Corbin: Episode 384: Reach preachers and the boosty posty – #TASHMAS Day 4.

Want to learn how to set up and manage Facebook ads beyond boosted posts? Check out The Digital Picnic for all your digital marketing learning needs.


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