Facebook Boosting 101

If you’re looking to promote your steno nonprofit or your primary steno business, the numbers don’t lie, marketing is going to bring more eyes to what you’re selling. That’s a common-sense statement, but let’s drive it home. This blog, on average, will get about 500 to 1000 unique visitors a month and about double the views or clicks. That’s just me writing what I write and sharing it on Facebook. In honor of CRCW 2021, I ended up posting a lot this month. I published over a dozen articles, and the “average” did not change much. Now we’ll compare that to December 2020, where I wrote three posts and advertised two on Facebook.

I wrote my heart out and it’s not even close.

About 700 visitors, 14 posts, that’s about 50 visitors a post. That’s compared to nearly 3,000 visitors, three posts, a thousand visitors a post. About $200 gave me 20x the reach.

Yay for me. Why am I writing this? To help you. On Facebook today there are groups and pages. Groups serve, more or less, as discussion boards. Pages are more like ad space. They’re promotional and you generally control the content on there. You can have a page and a group, and you can have a page act as an admin to a group. There’s one major difference between the two. As best I can tell, groups cannot advertise. Pages, on the other hand, have the power to boost posts. So if you’re looking to market, get yourself a page.

What kind of monster doesn’t even like his own page?

When you create a post on your page, you have the option to boost a post. Check the boost post option before you make your post to get to the “boost” controls.

Nobody liked that.

After you click post, you’ll get transported to the magic world of the boost page. That’s going to look like the image below, hopefully, and it’s going to give you options to put in your budget, and more importantly, edit your audience. Generally if you put in more money, they’ll estimate more views per day. If you put in more days, you’ll get fewer views per day, but the ad will run longer. There are some minimums, but you can go as low or as high as you want. Again, in December, I felt comfortable spending in the ballpark of $200 for week-long campaigns. What will you see in the edit audience tab?

You get to target, gender, age, location, and then add specific demographics.

The only thing you should know is your audience has to be broad enough to run the ad. If you’re way too specific, it blocks you. For example, I started clicking demographics for all these things and the potential reach was only about 5,000. I clicked “lawyer” and the potential reach jumped up by millions.

That’s all there is to it! There are a few other options, like whether you want your ad to run in Facebook, Messenger, or both, and whether you want to use Facebook Pixel. My personal preference? I run the ad only Facebook and do nothing with Facebook Pixel. I know a lot of us trust and believe in face-to-face conversations. We want to grow deep connections and be one with our audience. But again, we’re looking at 20x the reach with a small budget.

With that in mind, I’ll be launching and advertising a post on March 1 directed at digital reporters and transcribers. Here’s my thinking: We have this whole group of people who probably like sitting in court proceedings, the companies they work for are not telling them about steno, or maybe even lying to them about steno. It’s time to break that in half and get the good ones over to us. If you support that, or even if you’re just grateful for the information in this post, feel free to donate here. I’m very grateful to people that have donated in the past. Every dollar helps keep this place ad-free. We don’t want to go back to that time.

Alternatively, if you’re tired of my blog, check out Glen Warner’s or Matt Moss’s. There are so many out there, including businesses like Migliore & Associates or MGR. It can be really heartening to see the incredible amount of information and opinions we have out there. Highly suggest checking out any of them.

Site Updates May 2020

I don’t often make posts about the blog itself. For the last couple of years now I’ve committed to making it an ad-free experience. Some of you will see that we no longer have to deal with the ugly FTRREPORTING title in the site’s URL. Don’t worry though, all of those links will still work and redirect to their proper pages. Everything should say Stenonymous now. If your browser says this website is “not secure,” that’s a “lie” that you can fix by typing in https://stenonymous.com.

Unfortunately, for a short time last month, the stenonymous.com domain and search box were not working. Guess what? Now they do! Users can sort by relevance, oldest, or newest.  Most of the unlisted pages and all of the uncategorized pages are purged. They were old and had nothing of import, so now readers won’t have to stumble onto them.

The Table of Contents has been updated with anything that wasn’t on it before from this year. I’m still not entirely happy with organizing it this way, but it’s a lot better than the old way.

Let’s talk about content real quick.

  1.  Usually I do a monthly jobs post. This month I’m going to try something different and try posting that around the 15th, because as luck would have it, now that I do a post around the 1st of every month, governments routinely post their jobs immediately after my post!
  2. I’ll be on a short segment of NCRA’s Stenopalooza tomorrow, during the NCRA Strong POW session. If anybody needs CEUs, it’s still available. But I am sure to write a little bit about that this month, so keep an eye out. I’m going to be talking with an audio expert. What I’d really like people to think about is how they can use this information to educate clients and fellow stenographers. Think about the stories that my fellow Strong members are going to talk about and think about how we’re all normal people making a difference. You can be that person.
  3. Despite my general hesitance to cover the organization, STTI held a webinar last Wednesday. Most of what they said seemed reasonable. It was the panelists’ opinion of the direction of the field. It’s only when we got to about 40 minutes in and they mentioned the stenographer shortage that I’d like to address. If you’re somebody who has not really researched the shortage a lot, please be on the lookout for that article this month.
  4. I actually had a freelance writer interview someone in the Open Steno group. As I understand, she’s a transcriber that used Word’s autocorrect features to make her own shorthand. It’s the same concept of steno, shortcuts to words, and it shows you just how valuable what we do really is in terms of inputting the words fast! This is why I have always been a proponent of letting transcribers know there’s a better way. Why force people to invent workarounds when there’s something tried, tested, and working right now with machine shorthand reporting? That’s coming up. Stay tuned.
  5. I have two other things I’m trying to decide how to present. One, some page rate data I had started work on months ago. Two, some really great ideas pertaining to marketing I got from a book I read and what it means for us. Look out for these in late May. If my procrastination talents prevail, perhaps summer 2020.
  6. Far future project. I’m going to look into whether it’s possible to embed my automatic marking program into the website itself to make it more intuitive for people. I talk a little bit about the coding behind it here.  In the meantime, Todd Olivas already has a similar tool, but it might still count Q. and A. as words.

Remember, I don’t censor comments here unless it’s caught in my spam filter or completely off topic, hate filled, nonsensical. Same goes for my Facebook discussion group. That hasn’t changed! All are welcome. Also remember, if you generally like the stuff you see here, you can donate or buy a Sad Iron Stenographer mug. If every reader this month donated $5, we’d be ad-free for ten years. If every reader bought a mug, we’d be ad-free for 20. Don’t do the math on this one, just trust me.


A Quick Note About Typos On This Blog

Once upon a time, and still from time to time, I poke fun at typos, errors, or omissions in various forms of media including newspapers, news articles, and blog posts. Having come to a point where I write my own blog, I see how fast the typos can pile up. When I wrote primarily on my PC and made specific time to write, my posts were generally very clean. Now that I’m hooked up on mobile and find myself writing any time I have time, I see that mistakes are quite common. Periods go missing, commas get misplaced, text gets accidentally deleted, header scripts get added to paragraph text.

I need to ask a favor of every reader now that the blog is approaching a good 400 views a month or more: Let me know when I have made a mistake. Laugh about it. Post jokes publicly or privately. Do what you have to do to make yourself feel better, but let me know that there’s an error so that it can be fixed.

In return, I do and will continue to practice what I preach and gently let publications know when there are errors. I will do my best to read all criticisms and correct things I feel warrant correction. The rationale here is simple: We may disagree with each other’s views or philosophy, but it is intellectually dishonest to point at a spelling/grammar mistake and say that makes someone less of a reporter, writer, or truth teller. We protect the collective record, so to speak, when we speak up and let each other know there’s a mistake or a goof.

There’s a time and place for castigation of people who needlessly and carelessly make mistakes. For everyone else, there’s a road to improvement and a way forward, and it reflects positively on every reporter when we encourage others to do better.