$25 Did What? Boosted Facebook Posts

Last Updated by Liz Bowles | Digital Media Editor | UNC-TV on

unctv_blue_logo.png Truth time: Marketing budgets are always the first thing to go. When tough decisions have to be made, promotional costs are the easiest target. So after we spend our hard-earned funds on creating meaningful content that public media is known for, how do we make sure it has the reach to make the biggest impact? 

UNC-TV, like most public media organizations, doesn’t have the promotional budget it once did for traditional media campaigns. However, after I cursed Facebook for making it so hard to reach our own fans, I explored boosted posts. This service allows you to ‘boost’ any given post with a maximum budget of your choosing, as low as five dollars, putting a megaphone on your post that allows it to be seen by more people—people you choose through robust targeting parameters.

We received a station grant to help promote Debt of Honor, the special about disabled military veterans. A small pot of money was left over after screenings and other events – so I was given $25 to promote the broadcast. Not a lot – but enough to have some impact.

DebtOfHonor-FBSuccess.jpg Images work best on Facebook, of course – and it only took a few minutes to find and edit an image from the documentary. Facebook only permits boosts of posts whose images contain less than 20% text, I kept the logos small and saved tune-in information for the written post.

The minimum time frame for a boosted post on Facebook is 24 hours – so I posted the graphic along with very simple promo text and tune-in the day before the broadcast. I targeted the post for the audiences Debt of Honor likely would appeal to, including men and women ages 16-65+ located in North Carolina (our viewing area), and showing interest in:

· Military bases located in and around North Carolina
· Documentaries
· Independent Lens
· Disabilities
· Military spouses and veterans groups

And success! By the time Debt of Honor aired on Nov. 10, the promotional post had been liked by approximately 500 users, received a handful of thankful comments, and had been shared 129 times. For those of you keeping score at home, a graphic that took 15 minutes to find and tweak, and a post that took mere moments to compose combined with $25 to reach nearly 15,000 interested users in one day, shining a strong spotlight on one special program. 

Not every boost performs like magic. The boost just gives you a megaphone, so what you say and how you say it still makes a big difference.

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