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    Traffic | 5 min read

    Boosted Posts Vs Facebook Ads; What's the difference?

    Do you know the difference between placing a Facebook Ad and boosting a post?

    If you don’t, you should. It can be the difference in how much money you spend on your ads for the results you desire and whether your ad is seen by the right audiences or not.

    Have you ever logged into your Facebook page, or scroll your feed, and Facebook has taken a specific post from your page and has “suggested” you should boost the post for $40 to get more eyes on it? When you have never run ads before, this suggestion becomes an opportunity to get in front of more people for a reasonable price. It seems like an easy thing to do, right? Put some money behind a post already on your page, and then millions will see it!


    No. Not really.

    Boosted posts are there to help your business begin to spend money on Facebook. Originally they were the first paid advertising method you could do, but over time Facebook built out the Ads manager and created a proper system for placing ads.

    But there is a time and place for both a proper Facebook ad and a boosted post.

    Facebook ads are more effective when you want to run a specific campaign with specific action steps to take. When you run an ad you have the ability to select different objectives that you want to achieve. These can include ads like:

    • Traffic Ads for directing traffic to a website, sales page, webinar, store, etc.
    • Video View ads to build an audience who watch a certain amount of the video for retargeting later.
    • Carousel Ads to showcase numerous items in a store for sale
    • Lead Generation ads to obtain information a person's interest in your product or services.
    • Purchase Conversion ads to track who purchases your products or services.
    • Plus many more.

    With both an ad and a boosted post, you have the option to target age, gender, and interests. But with Facebook ads, you have the ability to create lookalike audiences, audiences who took certain action steps within your previous ads and custom audiences that are built from your website views, email lists, and landing pages. These audience types can be a very powerful tool in building your warm audiences for selling purposes later.


    Creating an ad within the ads manager, you have the ability to place the ad not only on Facebook and Instagram news feeds, but your ad can be placed on the sidebar, audience networks, instant articles, Instagram stories and within Facebook Messenger, increasing the reach and visibility giving you more opportunities to get in front of your audience.


    While boosted posts do have some targeting options like a Facebook ad does, it doesn't have the objectives, the ad placements and unique audience creation that you can get with a Facebook ad. Boosted posts can still have a place in your marketing strategies and there are a few times when boosting a post can be more effective than creating a proper ad. For example, a boosted post is a great way to gain engagement and reach on a specific post on your page in a quick turnaround. This can help get more eyes on your post quickly and can help push a post to go viral.

    Engagement can be achieved through both a boosted post and an ad, but it can be achieved a bit quicker through a boosted post simply because the approval is sometimes a lot quicker than an ad. However, engagement is best achieved when you know who you are speaking to and how best to serve them, and that can be done through either option.


    There is always talk about whether a boosted post or an ad has a higher ROI than the other and I think that comes down to answering some important questions about your goals.


    • Are you running ads to make sales?
    • Are you running ads to build an email list?
    • Are you running ads to create an engaged audience?
    • Are you looking for engagement and reach to build your following?

    If you are looking to achieve anything besides reach or engagement, a Facebook Ad generally performs far better than a boosted post. That's not to say you can't get an ROI through a boost. However, spending your budget on creating a proper ad campaign that builds and nurtures your audience through an entire sequence will always serve you better than boosting posts from your page only.


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    Kelly Sturtevant

    Kelly Sturtevant is a Social Media Strategist and Facebook Ads Manager who specializes in digital marketing strategies to help Entrepreneurs and business owners grow their online presence, generate leads and attract their ideal customer to their products or services.

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