The Difference Between Traditional Paid Social Media and Using the Boost Feature: Best Practices

How and why to promote organic posts on Instagram, Facebook and other social platforms

Growing an audience and upping engagement on social media takes time, effort and energy. With high market saturation, it’s increasingly challenging for businesses to stand out organically. As organic reach declines and competition increases, it’s essential to invest in a robust content marketing strategy to grow your brand’s presence on social media. Engaging and informative organic social posts should serve as the groundwork for a brand’s social presence, but paying to boost some of these posts can have big benefits. When done correctly, using paid social media or the boost feature on social platforms can grow your audience in a meaningful way. Here’s what to know about best practices for promoting social media posts across platforms. 

Comparing Organic Social Media Boosting and Traditional Paid Social Media 

Both paid social media and social media boosting are forms of targeted advertising. Boosting means paying to promote an individual organic post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or other platforms, allowing it to reach people who don’t follow your account but are likely to be interested in your product or service. Giving your social media post a boost is a great way to test out content and beat the organic algorithms that may be preventing your posts from being seen. 

On the other hand, other forms of paid social can include any form of advertising or marketing on social media platforms, such as pay-per-click ads, influencer marketing partnerships, social media display ads and in-feed ads. You use platforms’ specific advertising managers—such as Facebook Ads—to share and monitor these. Ad managers also typically have more robust goal-setting, targeting, placement and formatting options than boosting offers. 

When and how to boost a social media post

Be strategic about boosting posts. First, get familiar with social demographics, determine the content viewers want to see and focus on platforms with the highest potential to reach that audience. For example, B2B brands may have better luck advertising on LinkedIn and D2C brands on Facebook. Social listening and monitoring can also provide insights into these factors. Then, determine which individual posts you want to promote. Posts that might be worth boosting include contests or other promotions, events and webinars and calls to donate, purchase or join. Many times a great first step is to boost a post that is already performing well organically. These forms of actionable content entice people to meaningfully engage with your brand. 

How to Promote a Post on Facebook

Facebook makes boosting posts easy and includes a lot of targeting options. Here’s how to take advantage of Facebook boosting: 

  1. Go to your business’ Facebook Page and scroll to the post you want to promote. Click on the blue Boost Post button. 
  2. Set a goal, call to action, audience, duration, timing and budget for your post. Based on your selections, Facebook will let you know the estimated number of people your post will reach per day.
  3. Choose your ad placement and select payment method. Since Facebook and Instagram are connected, you can boost posts on both platforms from Facebook. 
  4. Hit the Boost Post Now button. This will appear following a preview of your planned boosted post. 

For more information on this topic, check out Facebook’s guide to boosting posts

How to Promote a Post on Instagram 

While it’s possible to promote Facebook posts on Instagram as well, you can also promote specific Instagram posts on the platform. Here’s how: 

  1. Go to your business’ Instagram profile and tap the post you want to promote. Below the post image, hit Promote. Instagram recommends against boosting posts featuring images with sizes above 8 MB.
  2. Set the goal, audience, budget and duration of the promotion, and then hit Next. 
  3. Complete the promotion by tapping Create Promotion under Review. Your ad will then be submitted for review to make sure it meets Instagram’s ad policies. You’ll receive a notification once it has been approved or if it has not. 

It’s also possible to promote a new Instagram post by selecting the Create a Promotion option that appears just before you share it. 

How to Promote a Post on LinkedIn

Much like with Facebook, on LinkedIn you can hit the Boost button on a post to promote it. Take these steps:

  1. Go to your business’ LinkedIn page, scroll to the post you want to boost and then hit the Boost button that appears in the top right corner. 
  2. Select the objective, type of audience, profile language, audience location and other targeting criteria. 
  3. Confirm the advanced LinkedIn audience options. 
  4. Set a lifetime budget and schedule for the boosted post. 
  5. Select an ad account to bill and hit Boost!

Note: You can only promote a specific post on LinkedIn once. Find out more in LinkedIn’s guide to promoting posts

How to Promote a Post on Twitter

Finally, Twitter makes promoting Tweets simple as well. To boost a Tweet: 

  1. Go to your Twitter profile and find the Tweet you want to promote. 
  2. Hit the View Tweet activity icon—it looks like three uneven bars next to each other—and Promote the Tweet. 
  3. Provide your country, time zone and contact information and agree to Twitter’s advertising terms. 
  4. Enter your credit or debit card information and billing address. 
  5. Set the location and budget for your boosted Tweet. Twitter will show you the estimated number of engagements for each amount. 
  6. Confirm your spend to kick off the promotion. 

Unlike LinkedIn, you can promote the same Tweet again. Here’s more on increasing reach on Twitter.

Social Media Boosting Best Practices 

  1. Boost posts that already have good engagement and reach. If a particular post is doing well organically, it’s worth seeing if giving it a boost will be good for your following.
  2. Make use of all available tools. All of the above platforms show insights from boosted posts and offer targeting options. Especially when you’re first gathering information about your audience, use these features to make your content more strategic all around.
  3. Monitor and refine as you go. Boosting a post on social media can inform larger advertising campaigns by determining which posts work well as ads and what your audience finds engaging. Keep data on what works and make adjustments accordingly. 

Promoting social posts is a cost-effective and easy way to introduce new people to your brand and get your products and services out to people who have yet to discover you organically. When used in tandem, organic social and paid social ads can increase your brand’s visibility, improve engagement on social platforms and on your website, generate leads and increase conversion rates. Launch a new social campaign with the help of our social media marketing experts. Contact Yakkety Yak today.

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