Once you've thought carefully about how to spend your hard-raised funds, it's time to put your first paid boost into action. Here's how.
The buttons to press...
Once you've picked a suitable post to boost, here is how to get started:
- On your page's timeline, find the post you want to boost.
- Click the blue Boost post button.
- A window will appear.
- First, you'll want to set your audience. On the left-hand side you'll see "AUDIENCE". Select the radio button "People you choose through targeting. Then select "Edit" on the same row.
- Another window will appear. There are now four steps to follow to specify who your paid ad will be shown to.
Step 1: Select any gender targeting
If you want to show your ad only to one gender, you can select this here. The default is All.
Step 2: Select an age range
If you only want to show your ads to a particular age range, select it here. Unless you particularly want to target children for some reason, remember that the minimum voting age is still 18, so you would normally want 18 as your minimum age.
Step 3: Select a location for your audience
You can specify a town, or city neighbourhood, for your ad to be shown to. You can choose either just one place, or as many different towns/neighbourhoods as you want. If your campaign group is local, you will definitely want to do this.
Make sure you select the right option from the drop-down list of suggestions that will appear. Sometimes Facebook confusingly has two options for the same place.
If that happens, the best thing is to try clicking both of them in turn, and see what happens with each to the Google Maps pin.
When your town is selected, the next thing is to set the "radius" from the pin on the map that your boost will cover. Facebook defaults to a 40 km radius for towns, and a 1km radius for city neighbourhoods. You can change the default radius by clicking on it, and then dragging the slider which appears.
Not sure what radius to pick? If you're targeting a particular constituency, it's a good idea to look at a map of your constituency boundaries. (You can do this easily at the website Boundary Assistant, by just entering your postcode.)
Step 4: Select specific interests of your audience
Lastly, you can optionally select Facebook users with specific interests to boost your post to.
If you're a local group, you don't necessarily need to do this, if you're happy reaching a full cross-section of local voters. If you're targeting a particular community of interest, you will want your boost to reach people with that interest.
Try typing different variations and see what groups Facebook offers you to choose from.
For example, you could target to everyone in Derby who likes "football", or you could target to everyone who likes "Derby County FC".
You can choose multiple different interests - just select one and then type the next one.
Once you're done, click Save.
Step 5: Set a budget
The last thing to do is set your budget. Type in the amount you want to spend. Make very sure you get this right so you don't end up being charged for more money than you intended.
Facebook will then show you an estimate of how many people you will reach for your budget. The actual number will depend on how strongly your audience "engage" with your post.
It will also show you how large the available pool of Facebook users is for your advert (in the example on the right, all 71,000 adult Facebook users living in Telford). If you're trying to reach a very niche demographic (e.g. older female backgammon players in Rhyl), it would be possible to spend too much money and exhaust all your available audience, potentially wasting the remainder of your budget. Make sure this doesn't happen.
Facebook always shows you an estimate of how many people you can expect to reach with the budget figure you have chosen, and alternative options. If the total audience numbers are the same for a higher budget as for a lower budget, don't spend the extra money on that audience.
Step 6: Set a timeframe
You can select one of the buttons under 'Duration', for how long Facebook will take to spend all the money you're putting in. Or you can manually enter an end date. Unless you have a specific strategy to the contrary, we suggest that you select 1 day here.
When you're all done, click the blue Save button in the bottom right-hand corner.
Step 7: Enter your payment details
Finally, enter a payment method.
Facebook doesn't charge you instantly for your order. It will bill you periodically once you've reached a 'threshold'. You can find out more about this in the Facebook Business help pages.
After you've placed your order
At the top left of the 'Boost post' pop-up window you will now see a blue status "In Review". Facebook check every paid boost order to check the content isn't inappropriate.
This shouldn't take more than 15 minutes, after which you will get a notification saying: "Your advert has been approved!"
While your boost is in review, if you scroll back through your timeframe (in admin view) you will see this button replacing the blue 'Boost post' button on your post. Once approved, this will change again to show you how much of your budget remains.
If you need to pause your boost at any point, click on the slider in the top left-hand corner of the Boost post pop-up.
If you want to increase the budget of your boosted post, go back and enter a new budget. The new figure you type in should always be the new total budget, including the amount you'd previously put in.
Viewing the results
You can see your 'results' (the number of people reached with the boost, and their interactions with your post) at any time once your boost starts running. (Note these are not your full reach figures; it only shows the number of people reached specifically by your paid boost, and not organic reach. So if you get extra 'shares' from your paid boost, that person's Facebook friends who see the 'share' will be counted as organic reach, not paid reach. If you want to check out the total reach of your post, see the "x,xxx people reached" line underneath each post on your page itself.)
If all is going well, you should be reaching anything from 150 to 300 extra news feeds for every £1 spent. If you're reaching far fewer than that, you may be doing something slightly wrong. Have a play around, and email us if you get really stuck, sending screenshots, and we'll try our best to help.
If you are in a position to boost more than one post, compare the figures for the different posts to see which one is your top performer!