So, you've raised some funds for a paid Facebook boost - congratulations! Here is the start of our step-by-step guide to putting your advertising budget to good use.
Basic paid boosting of Facebook page content is neither difficult nor scary! Facebook has two different methods of boosting - one of which is really simple and easy for anyone to use! This page shows you everything you need to become proficient in placing Facebook paid ads, and using the money you've raised effectively to reach hundreds of real voters.
Choosing a post to boost
It will be beneficial if you try to think about what kind of messages, and what kinds of ways of expressing ourselves, are likely to have a net positive effect on the Facebook users you are trying to reach with your boost. Unless you're targeting like-minded people *probably early on) to build an audience,
If you're really really angry about a particular issue - and let's face it, there are many many reasons to be very angry indeed about this Tory government - it might be a good idea to check that you might not be coming across as off-puttingly angry to a general audience. It's a difficult balance, because passion is definitely a good thing. Can you talk to others in your project group about what's best for talking to your community?
Check before you start: Unfortunately there are some restrictions on which Facebook posts you can boost:
- Generally, Facebook will not boost any image which is heavily covered in text.
- If it's moderately covered in text, you can run the ad but it is likely to be 'dampened', i.e. reach somewhat fewer people for your given budget.
- This is an example of a meme designed not to transgress the text coverage rules.
- You can check how Facebook rates the image by using the Facebook text overlay tool.
Not sure which post to boost? Check out some of these boostable posts on the central Stop the Tories 2017 Facebook page. You can 'share' any of these as your page and then boost them in the usual way, as your page:
- #VotingToryStarvesChildren - viral to 465,000 Facebook users with over 4,000 shares.
- #VoteHuman - viral to 275,000 Facebook users with over 2,000 shares.
- #VotingToryKillsDisabledPeople - Fiona Robertson's article is generally viral around social media.
- Should I vote Tory?
Who are you trying to reach?
Facebook's advertising platform is incredibly powerful - you can specify reach (if you want to) to people with any particular interest, in any local area, in any age range, or one particular gender.
There are at least three main strategies you can use:
- Reach a left-wing audience first (Facebook helpfully has an umbrella 'interest' category of left-wing politics, although it is imprecise). The advantage of this is that typically you will get more 'page likes' and more shares from a sympathetic audience, which will speed up the buildup your community. Obviously though, aiming at the already-convinced will tend to have less impact on taking votes away from the Tories
- Reach a general cross-section of your target population (e.g. in your local town, or your community of interest). Remember that typically younger people use Facebook a lot more than older people, so if you do not specify an age range, the majority of your reach will be to younger people. (Younger people are much more likely to vote against the Tories, so this is not necessarily a bad thing.)
- Target a specific message to a specific demographic. For example, a post which highlights the Tory government's poor record on young people's issues should probably be targeted to a young audience. This is a more sophisticated way of operating, and there are many, many possibilities here - get your thinking caps on!