It’s the button that appears on every business post. It lures you in with a false sense of growth and success. It makes Facebook advertising quick and simple, but is it really worth it? Sophie Metcalfe, The Soapy Group Creative Director and self-proclaimed Facebook geek, explains why you need to leave it well alone.

I’m going to put it out there straight away – I have little patience for time wasters. My time is precious and has to be used effectively.

I’m also not one to beat about the bush.

So to be blunt, the Facebook boost button is designed for people who don’t know what they’re doing.

Facebook are very good at making the experience as easy and enjoyable as possible, but when it comes to business, it’s a whole other can of worms. The process of setting up an effective ad campaign can be a minefield for someone who has never done it before.

The boost button makes it quick and simple. But I cannot stress enough how ineffective, time wasting and misleading a post boost is.

I had this actual conversation with a small business owner last week:


Client: “Facebook ads don’t work.”

Me: “Why do you say that?”

Client: “I’ve tried it. It didn’t work”

Me: “Why didn’t it work”

Client: “It just didn’t. I ran an ad last year and I didn’t get anything out of it.”

Me: “Well running just one ad won’t. Have you run split tests to try different parameters? Have you tried and refined your strategy? Did you test creative or audience?”


Client: “Yeah.”

Me: “Yeah, what?”

Client: “Yeah I boosted it and everything. Didn’t work”

Me: “Ok so you did a post boost, not an ad campaign.”

Client: “Yeah. I put a fiver on it for a week. Got nuthin’.”

Me: “Ok, so you haven’t really tried Facebook ads then…”


I also see clients who boost posts regularly. They get a flurry of activity from a few quid and they think this is sufficient.

Now consider this: In 2017 Facebook made in excess of $40.7-billion in advertising revenue. It’s a fact – Facebook is making it more difficult for businesses to promote themselves for free (Read my previous blog about organic posting – HERE)

Facebook also identified a few years ago that some businesses were put off advertising because the process was confusing and too complicated for the average user. That’s why it introduced the Boost button so that page owners could place a few quid on a post and it get shown to a few more people.

In other words, it became easy for Facebook to make a few quid off businesses using it.

What if I told you that you that boosting a post is completely the wrong way to go about it?

The main reason is that you get very few options for targeting the right people. Your post is also limited to display in Facebook newsfeeds only; and the creative (ie. Copy, image, video, link etc) will not be fully optimised for the goal you want to achieve.

Below: An example of what you see when you boost a post….

facbeook boost

The possibilities with Facebook ads (through Ads Manager) are bewildering and will get you results from testing and refining over a longer period of time. You cannot effectively advertise your business by simply boosting posts.

Now what if I told you that you can upload a customer database to Facebook and create a lookalike audience that is most likely to convert from seeing your ad?

What if I said you can target people who follow your direct competitors? …Or those who recently visited your website and abandoned their cart?

Nearly every business owner I meet to discuss Facebook marketing did not know these simple tools existed. Sadly, many think the Boost button is the only available option.

By running split ad tests and experimenting with the options, you will learn what works and where your money is best spent. So follow these simple steps for successful ads:

Step one:

Set a plan for three months. Mark out when you will run ads, what they will be promoting and the objectives they will work towards.

Step two:

Budget. I get asked “what’s a sufficient budget” for Facebook ads. The answer: How long is a piece of string?

There is no right or wrong answer, but the more you try and test ads, the more you will see what works. You may even find it’s a lower budget than you first anticipated.

Step three:





Learn from each ad through split testing. Start by testing audience – it’s wise to start broader so that you can refine it as you go along. Test creative by using different copy and images… and so on and so forth.

You will learn – just as Facebook learns – where your money is best spent to get a better return on investment.

Need help? I would love to sit down with you and explain more about the benefits of Facebook marketing. Get in touch and lets organise a coffee…