It’s 2013. You sit down and type a new post for your client’s Facebook Page. As you’re rewatching NSYNC at the VMAs, you take a sip of your nonfat caramel macchiato and check your Facebook analytics. Half your followers have seen it and it has 100,000 impressions already. Life is good.
Sorry, friend, in 2023 social media managers would be lucky to get an average 0.07% engagement rate on Facebook posts. Womp womp.
But all is not lost, intrepid marketer. You can get back the glory — and organic reach — of the good old days by boosting your Facebook posts. Here’s how.
Bonus: Get the Facebook advertising cheat sheet for 2022. The free resource includes key audience insights, recommended ad types, and tips for success.
What is a “boost post” on Facebook?
A Facebook “boost post” quickly turns an existing, organic piece of content into a paid ad. Facebook boost posts are a simple and effective way to broaden your reach beyond your existing Facebook Page audience.
Boosting posts on Facebook can help you:
- Attract new followers (Page likes)
- Improve engagement
- Promote your brand
- Understand what content works best for your goals and audience
- Begin exploring social media advertising
How to boost a post on Facebook
How to boost a post in the Facebook dashboard
Boosting a post is quick to do from Facebook but there are a few prerequisites:
Once you have these two things sorted out, follow the steps below to boost your first post.
1. Go to your Facebook Page.
You can boost a Facebook post from a web browser or the mobile app.
2. Find a Facebook post to boost.
Scroll through recent posts to find the one you want to boost, then click Boost Post at the bottom.
Button grayed out? You can’t boost some Facebook posts, but 99% of this time, you’ll be able to.
3. Choose a goal.
Facebook will automatically fill in goal suggestions, audience targeting criteria, a link, duration, budget, and more. You could press Boost Post Now and run your ad.
But for the best results, go through each section of the page to ensure accuracy. Start by clicking Change in the Goal section to see all available options and choose the best fit.
For example, if you’re including a link in your boosted post, your goal should be to “Get more website visitors.”
4. Edit the action button and URL.
Next, choose what you want the action button to say. Facebook defaults to Shop Now, although I’m going to change it to Sign Up. Ensure the link URL is accurate, too.
5. Target your audience.
Select who you want to target with this boosted post, or choose one of your existing custom ad audiences (if you have any). You can also save your criteria as a new custom audience for next time.
You can target:
- Gender (Only men, women, or both for now. Hopefully Facebook will represent all gender identities in the future.)
- Age range
- Location (Choose from the country level all the way down to individual cities.)
Targeting is optional. If you don’t specify any of these options, Facebook will attempt to target your boost post to who they think is most interested. Want a crash course? Learn Facebook ad targeting 101.
6. Set a budget.
The default duration is 7 days which is fine for most Facebook boost posts. Set your total budget for the post and you’ll see an estimate of how many people you’ll reach and how many clicks your link will get.
Click Boost Post Now and that’s it.
How to boost a Facebook post using Hootsuite
You can follow the steps above — or, save a ton of time with automatic Facebook post boosting in Hootsuite.
With Hootsuite, you can:
- Manually boost a Facebook post, or…
- Set up automatic boosting for posts meeting a specific criteria.
Heads up: To boost Facebook posts with Hootsuite, you first need to add your Facebook Ads Manager account to Hootsuite.
How to manually boost a Facebook post in Hootsuite
Method 1: Go to Advertise in your Hootsuite dashboard, then Facebook Boost. Scroll through your Facebook posts and click Boost on the one you want. Follow the prompts to target and tweak your boost post.
Method 2: You’ll see the Boost button on Facebook posts elsewhere in Hootsuite, including:
- In a Facebook stream
Clicking Boost in any of those areas will bring up the same targeting and set up menu as the first method. If you have any current Facebook boost posts running that you created from Hootsuite, they’ll have a $ symbol in Planner.
How to automatically boost Facebook posts in Hootsuite
Automatic Facebook post boosting can really grow your Page. Here’s how to set it up.
1. Go to Advertise, then Facebook Boost. Click on Set up an automated boost.
2. If you have multiple Facebook Pages connected to Hootsuite, choose the correct one. Give your automatic boost campaign a name.
3. Choose an Engagement Trigger.
You can let Hootsuite decide which Facebook posts to boost based on your average engagement rate, or set your own criteria.
You can trigger a Facebook boost post based on number of:
- Video views
You can also combine criteria. For example, only trigger automatic boosting when a post has at least 100 likes and 50 comments.
Or go full throttle and boost every single Facebook post for the last 7 days. Woo! (I don’t recommend this unless you’re doing a big launch or special promotion.)
4. Edit your boost post settings.
As with the other methods, you’ll need to set your audience target, budget, etc. The same settings will apply to all your boosted posts within this automated campaign, so you only need to do this once.
Hootsuite can boost your posts on both Facebook and Instagram, or only Facebook.
Click Boost and you’re set.
Facebook boost post cost
You can boost a Facebook post for as little as $1 USD per day. But if you spend more, you’ll reach more people with your ad.
You can type in a specific amount or move the slider to set your maximum total budget. This is what Facebook will spend over the duration of your boosted post. Changing your budget changes your potential reach, which Facebook will estimate for you.
For example, if your budget is $50 and duration is 7 days, Facebook will spend an average of $7.15 per day. The actual daily spend will vary a bit, but you won’t pay more than the total budget specified for the campaign.
Facebook ads vs. boosted post
A Facebook boost post is a very simple form of Facebook advertising. They’re quick and easy to set up and a good way to start or experiment with social media ads.
Here’s a rundown of the key differences between Facebook boost posts and traditional Facebook ad campaigns:
If you’re wondering how to fit Facebook boost posts or traditional ads into your overall social media strategy, check our (very) complete guide to Facebook marketing — freshly updated for 2023.
FAQs about boosting a post on Facebook
How do I boost an existing post on Facebook?
From your Facebook Page, click Boost underneath any existing post to turn it into a Facebook boosted post. Or, boost Facebook posts from your Hootsuite dashboard. You can choose your own or set up automatic Facebook post boosting in Hootsuite, alongside all your other social media content and ads.
How can I boost my post on Facebook for free?
You’ll always have to pay the actual ad cost of your boost post, but you can set your own budget for as little as $1 USD. You can boost a Facebook post from the Facebook website so you don’t need any additional software.
Go to your Facebook Page, scroll down until you see the post you want to boost, then click the Boost button in the lower right corner. Fill out the ad targeting, link, and budget options and you’re good to go.
You can boost a Facebook post for one day for $1 USD. However, I’d recommend spending a little bit more for better results. Doing $5 USD per day for 7 days is a low-cost way to try out post boosting and gather data on who you’re reaching.
Wondering how to get the best deal on Facebook ads? Check our complete guide to optimizing your Facebook ad costs, complete with industry benchmarks.
Does boosting a post on Facebook work?
Yep! Facebook ads, including boost posts, reach over 72% of monthly active users. Which is a lot of people: Facebook is approaching 3 billion users, almost 40% of the planet’s 7.7 billion residents.
The actual reach of your Facebook boost post depends on your targeting strategy and budget. As the world’s most popular social network, Facebook boost posts are highly effective for expanding your audience.
Why can’t I boost my Facebook post?
You can boost any existing post on your Facebook Page as long as it has the blue Boost Post button in the lower right corner. Sometimes this button is grayed out, meaning you can’t boost that particular Facebook post.
For example, only verified brands can boost live video posts, or the payment method in your Meta Ads Manager account may need revising. Learn which types of Facebook posts can’t be boosted and troubleshooting tips if you run into this issue.
Can I boost a post on Instagram and Facebook at the same time?
Yep! To boost a post on Facebook and Instagram at the same time, you need to create it from the Meta Ads Manager dashboard instead of from your Facebook Page.
Or for a super simple option: Boost Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn posts right from your Hootsuite dashboard with just a few clicks.
Whether you’re just getting started with social media or have a dozen accounts to manage, Hootsuite is here to help you save time and grow faster. Plan, schedule, publish, promote, and analyze all in one place. Try it free today.
Grow your Facebook presence faster with Hootsuite. Schedule all your social posts and track their performance in one dashboard.