If you are doing any marketing at all for your real estate school, you likely have a Facebook page. But are you getting everything you can out of the platform? Smart small business owners today are recognizing and capitalizing on the value of spending some marketing dollars to reach their audience with the right message at the right time in Facebook.
Why Spend Money in Facebook When I Can Publish for Free?
When you post to Facebook from your business page, not everybody who follows your page will see your post. That’s because Facebook uses an algorithm to determine the value of a post. Initially, your post is shown to a small percentage of your followers. If they interact with it (click, like, share, or comment), Facebook takes that as an indicator that the post is valuable and shows it to a slightly larger percentage of followers, and so forth and so on. But what if that small percentage of your followers who initially sees your post doesn’t react to it? If nobody interacts with the post in a relatively short amount of time, it is deemed less valuable and simply stops showing up in news feeds.
There are several reasons Facebook does this. First of all, they want to prevent brands from flooding the news feed with posts throughout the day. For that same reason, if you post three times within an hour, Facebook will choose one of those posts to actually go in the news feed. The other two will be relegated to obscurity. Second, Facebook believes its users are the best judge of the quality of content that’s shared. Relying on user reactions to determine the value of a post is a fairly reliable way to determine if other users will like that post. Finally, Facebook is a business. They know the value of their user base, and they want to be paid for allowing you to reach it. Facebook is estimated to take in over $1 billion per quarter in advertising revenue.
The good news is, you don’t need to have a high-dollar budget to get value out of Facebook’s advertising capabilities. The strategies below will help you wring maximum value out of Facebook’s advertising tools at a minimal investment.
How to Boost Your Facebook Posts
One way to ensure your posts get seen by a larger initial audience is to boost them. When you post organically to your page, there’s a little “Boost” button in the lower right corner of the posting window, just to the left of the “Publish” button. When you push that button, a new window opens up with several options:
The first option is “Audience.” Facebook has a variety of sophisticated audience building tools that can help you create and reach very specific audiences. But for now, select “People who like your Page.” If you’d like, you can also select a specific geographic location in which you’d like to target page followers. So if your school has one location in Denver, you might choose to target people within a 30-mile radius of your school.
In the next section, you can apply an overall budget to your boost and decide what time frame you would like the boost to last. You can spend as little as $1 per day boosting a post. But the larger your spend, the larger the audience it will be shared with.
Below that, it will prompt you to enter a payment method. Once you have completed all of the fields, you can click the blue “Set Budget” button in the lower right corner. You will be returned to your original post.
You are now ready to “go live” with your Facebook post. Click the “Publish” button in the lower right corner of your post, and it will go live with the boost you’ve specified.
At any time, you can come back to Facebook and see how your boosted post is performing. Underneath your post, you will see a box that indicates how many people your post reached, as well as a button indicating how much of your boost is left to spend. Clicking on the number of people reached will open up a window with details about the specific interactions your post has received.
An Added Organic “Boost”
The reason boosting is so valuable is because it expands the audience that can see your posts. If this expanded audience interacts with the post, Facebook will still show it to a larger segment of your followers organically as well. So you end up getting more out of your boost than just the audience you are paying for.