How to Earn 50,000 Views on Facebook

One post with 50,000 views on Facebook. Sounds like a marketer’s dream, doesn’t it?

It might be a marketer’s dream, but it’s also reality – one post with 50,000 Facebook views is possible, provided you have all the right elements to make it happen.

How?

The story behind a post receiving 50,000 views on Facebook starts with content. Yes, I said it. That old saying – “content is king” – applies everywhere, including social media.

Our approach to digital marketing and SEO (which you could argue, and I would agree, is an important piece of the digital marketing puzzle) is a content-based model for driving earned traffic to a website, which leads to a website conversion. What that website conversion is will depend on the website and its goal, but every website encourages action that is, in turn, defined as a conversion. Tools like search engines, Google AdWords, banner ads, and social media are all vehicles to drive traffic to a website. And that thought process is where we began in this success story.

The Facebook Post

I will go ahead and put the cart ahead of the horse in order to provide a reference. Here is the Facebook post that has earned over 51,500 views and counting:

The Strategy to Earning Visibility on Facebook

Make no joke about, if you are a Facebook Fan Page manager, Facebook is becoming a pay-to-play arena. Boosted or promoted posts and ads are almost a necessity to reach any portion of your full fan base, much less branch outside of that reach to other link-minded consumers. And that’s what we did here. But just how much did 50,000 views cost us? Read on.

Step 1 – Pay

Be willing to promote your content with actual money. It doesn’t mean that you boost every piece of content that you share or create. But be willing to commit for the right content to the right audience. Just a few dollars can go a long way toward visibility – but we’ll get to that in a moment.

Step 2 – Create

As I mentioned above, the play really stems from the content. If the content you’re boosting isn’t a great piece of content, it won’t be shared, liked, or otherwise engaged with and your money will be (poorly) spent on the superficial metric of impressions. In this case, this particular piece of content is a resource for the community that we would like to service with our SaaS offering, PBIS Rewards. The Ultimate List of PBIS Incentives is just that:  a monster resource of PBIS Incentive ideas that we identified, curated, and put together in one single resource. This content isn’t a hard sell. It’s not a “Hey, buy from me!” type of promotion. It’s a resource, it’s a Youtility.

Step 3 – Imagery

You’ve likely heard it said that humans are visual creatures, and it’s true – 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. All social media platforms use the power of an image to help attract eyes to your posts, and some social media channels are primarily for images – so you can’t leave the images in the closet or wait for next time. The images stop the viewer in skimming their news feed, leading them to read and take action on your post. A recent study found the 82% of viewers found images to be “important” or “very important” in a social media post.

Here is the image we used in our 50,000 view Facebook post:

pbis incentives

A few key design considerations around this image:

  1. A cute kid. Am I right? With PBIS Rewards, we are targeting teachers and school administrators. So the image of a child gives the content an immediate association. Not to mention the fact that this little guy reminds me of Ralphie from a Christmas Story.
  2. Attention-grabbing graphic element. The “loud” starburst background element is indeed by design. We wanted this image to sing in the hustle and bustle of the Facebook news feed.
  3. Subtle branding. You could argue that not including our logo was a mistake. But the choice of colors and the trophy icons are elements that we use in the branding. And again, this piece of content is a resource, not a buy-from-me-now advertisement.
  4. Proper dimension. It is sized to display in the Facebook news feed per their specifications.

Step 4 – Writing the Post

Be quick, provide value, get to the point. The digital age and its associated community is filled with fast-paced marketing and consumers running circles around you. Don’t drudge down your post with a 600-character intro if 197 characters will communicate your message. Just because your Facebook post could be 63,256 characters doesn’t mean that it should.

As you can see, our post contained 78 characters:  “Now with over 200 Items!! Check out the Ultimate List of PBIS Incentive Ideas.”

Step 5 – Targeting

When you promote a post on Facebook, you can target your reach by the many demographic factors that Facebook provides to its advertisers. It’s important to spend some time configuring your audience. Be sure to put your message in front of the right people, not all people. Targeted reach is a better spend of your advertising budget and may even drive down your cost per engagement.

And if you strike the right chord, those that you advertise to will share, comment, and like your post. That’s free advertising with organic reach in Facebook; it makes the small amount you invest to promote the post go further. Our cost-per-engagement dropped to pennies on the dollar because of the successful interaction within the audience we were targeting.

A Look at Facebook Reach, by the Numbers

So from an ad standpoint, just how did this 50,000+ view Facebook post add up? Here are the Facebook engagement metrics that we received from this promoted post (as of this blog post):

  • Total Reach = 51,649 views
  • Paid Reach = 24,657 views
  • Organic Reach = 26,992 views
  • Actions = 1,522
    • Link Clicks = 903
    • Page Likes = 201
    • Post Likes = 155
  • Shares = 350
  • Comments = 34

Does Facebook Traffic Convert?

With the right content, targeted at the right audience – YES. During the time this post was boosted (a period of 8 days) we saw the following increases for our website:

  • 373% increase in traffic
  • 42% increase in Goals
  • 4 times as many qualified inquiries

Not to mention, we doubled the number of Likes to the Fan Page.

All this for (drumroll please) $80 – and the impact continues to be felt as the views continue to add up. This type of ad spend is very, very efficient when you stack it up against other methods of advertising. In fact, the math on our cost-per-engagement dropped to $0.06 per engagement – not too shabby.

So let’s recap the elements of success for this Facebook post:

  • Great content
  • Strong, appropriate image
  • Accurate and brief post message
  • Defined and refined target audience

While we were hopeful that boosting this post on Facebook would garner increased traffic, it greatly exceeded our expectations. The content provides an immediately useful resource for the PBIS community, and the echoes of that usefulness continue to be heard in the form of views and shares. All we did was give it a little helping hand to get it in front of the right people.