When to Put Money Behind Your Facebook & Instagram Posts

Maddy Sharkey

Content Marketing,
Digital Marketing

Tips for Paying to Promote Facebook & Instagram Posts

When deciding whether you should pay to promote Facebook and Instagram posts, businesses should consider one thing; what is your goal? Your goal might be to promote an event, grow your brand's social media presence, or many times to drive traffic to your website. If reaching a larger audience on social media achieves that goal then you might consider paying to promote your post, but should also consider a number of factors before putting the money behind it.

Before entering your credit card information into Facebook's advertising platform, it's important to understand how Facebook and Instagram advertising works.

  • First, Facebook and Instagram are both owned by Facebook.
  • In order to promote any of your Instagram posts your Instagram account needs to be a Business Account which is set up through your Facebook account.
  • Keep in mind Facebook and Instagram's marketing goals for paid posts are focused on increased engagement.
  • Increased engagement does not always lead to increased sales.

When to Boost a Facebook Post

You can promote your Facebook post three different ways.

  1. Promote your post to your fans.
  2. Promote your post to your fans and their friends.
  3. Promote your post to a selected audience.

When to Boost an Instagram Post

Instagram Ad is quite different than paid Facebook promotions. Rather than a price tag, Instagram has users name their price. You decide what you want to spend and Instagram will give you a close estimation of how that post will perform with that amount of money. Keep in mind, if you decide to turn your original Instagram post into an Instagram Ad then Instagram will create an entirely new post causing you to lose your organic traffic from the original post. Your likes and comments from the initial post will not appear on the Instagram Ad post.

Timing is Everything: When To Boost Instagram and Facebook Posts:

  • Two days after the original post- Give your post a little time to breath. After seeing your post's organic reach, you will have a better understanding on if you want to promote it further.
  • Promoting an event- If you're business is hosting or involved in an event, you might consider promoting this post to a target audience. Increased awareness of your event will likely lead to increased attendance, so it is fairly simple to see why you would want to put some money behind it.
  • The post drives traffic directly to your website- You don't make sales on Facebook. You create compelling content and brand awareness, that drives traffic to your website, which could ultimately lead to sales.
    *Tip: Track your website traffic by embedding tracking codes into the links on your social pages. Analyze if social media is truly driving traffic to your website. $5 for a social post might seem like nothing, but if it only brought 5 people to your website then you can decide whether it was worth $1 per visitor.

Tips for Optimizing Free Social Posts

Ultimately, social media traffic boils down to original content and utilizing the free capabilities of each social platform. Rather than focusing on how much your are posting, focus on what you're posting. People stop to look at a captivating visual with content they care about. If you don't care about the content and are posting just to post, then people won't care about it either.

Keep your social posts free and successful by optimizing on these Facebook and Instagram features:

  • Hashtags: Stay up to date on trending hashtags. Did you know that #FBF and #TBT are more popular than #flashbackFriday and #throwbackThursday? Relate your content to popular hashtags that will reach a further audience. And most importantly, keep editing and evolving your hashtags. Don't use the same tags for every post.
  • Geotagging: This is particularly true for Instagram. Instagram has a great geotagging platform where you can see a collection of images that have all been taken at a location. It's easy to tag your location and could lead to an extended audience.
  • Handles: Profile usernames are referred to as handles. Handles vary between social platforms, so be vigilant when finding the correct handles. Tag every business, person and profile that is relevant to what you're talking about.  For example, if you're posting about a podcast make sure to tag the podcast profile and the host of the podcast. Many times, this leads to your post showing up on their profiles which instantly expands your social network.

Never lose sight of your goals and the purpose for business presence on social media. Focus on solid content that streamlines to your marketing intentions. Optimize every social post by utilizing every platform's unique free features, and consider paying to promote posts that lead to your businesses' ultimate goals.


Digital Coordinator & Junior Designer

Maddy is a graphic designer and enjoys being immersed in everything digital. She has been an East Side resident for over six years and believes Milwaukee is the place to be! She prides herself on always having a restaurant recommendation and believes a screen should be replaced with a good book every night.

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