While undertaking a spot of competitor analysis for one of our key clients, I spotted something quite startling. But what could be so startling that it compelled me to put pen to paper?

There are a surprising number of businesses out there creating, in many cases, great Facebook content, yet failing to support it with spend. And at a time when Facebook’s algorithm limits the reach of un-promoted content.

Why would you employ someone to produce content if you’re not going to ensure it reaches the intended audience?

Why Spending Matters

It’s no secret that there has been a decline in the organic reach of posts to a Facebook Page. To put it as simply as possible, if you post to your Facebook Page then it won’t reach everyone who has liked that Page.

According to Facebook, it started doing this circa 2014 for two reasons; firstly, because there is too much content being published on Facebook and; secondly, Facebook wants to show its users content that is relevant to them.

Whether or not you accept that reasoning is of little importance. Either way, it means that the content you’re producing won’t reach most of its intended audience, which defeats the point of investing in content in the first place. It’s even less likely to grow your audience.

You’d be better off investing in half the amount of content and reallocating the extra money in promoting that content. While it’s difficult to give exact figures, spending £20 on boosting a piece of content would likely result in a 5-10 fold increase in reach.

Don’t Boost

Naturally, Facebook has made it as easy as possible for businesses to increase the reach of their content. Author a post and you’ll see below it the option to boost.

Ignore it. Promoting your content this way gives you reduced options for targeting and goal setting, thus devaluing the money you do invest.

Instead, I’d recommend using Ads Manager. Doing so will give you access to all targeting options and the ability to optimise for metrics like web traffic, as opposed to topline engagements (likes, comments etc…).

At first, these two pieces of software may seem daunting, but it isn’t difficult to get to grips with them at a basic level. So give it a go. And if you get stuck, just get in touch and we’ll lend a hand.

Targeting: How to Spend Right

We’ve covered how it shouldn’t be done. So, let’s be a little more constructive. How can you, as a business, make the most of what you spend on Facebook content?

Assuming you’re going to go ahead and use Ads Manager, then using targeting correctly is key to success. After all, there’s no point increasing reach if you’re not getting in front of the right audience.

Firstly, ‘Custom Audiences’ are key. This clever bit of functionality allows you to feed your own customer database into Facebook, thereby targeting those users. You can then use that information to create a ‘Lookalike Audience’ composed of similar, new Facebook users.

Secondly, drill down into specific audience interests to create a bespoke audience for each post. Do not target only by generic demographics or geography, this will only get you so far. Experiment with Facebook’s targeting tools to get right to the heart of those you want to reach.

Finally, be flexible with your spending. We’d recommend setting a percentage spend across the board and allocating more to posts that are performing well. Optimising your content in this way will enable it to perform to its potential within your budget.

Conclusion

To reiterate, I’ve been surprised at the number of businesses I’ve seen investing in good content, but not in making sure it’s seen by the right people. To me, as a social media manager, it’s madness. And it could be one reason why some are unwilling to allocate additional budget to marketing channels like Facebook.

Fundamentally, if you’re going to invest in something at least give it a chance to perform. Start spending on your Facebook content and watch the number of people it reaches blossom.