What’s the Difference Between Boosted Posts & Ads on Facebook?

magnifying glass hovers over computer screen showing Facebook for Business webpage

With around 2.9 billion users, Facebook is still, by far, the most popular social media platform worldwide. It’s part of the reason why advertising on the site is an attractive option for all kinds of companies looking to reach different audiences. And for small to medium-sized businesses in particular, running ads on Facebook is typically one of the more accessible advertising options available—given constraints on time, budget, and other resources like manpower. That said, there’s more than one way to advertise on the platform. In this blog, we’ll explain the difference between boosted posts and ads on Facebook.  

What are Boosted Posts?  

According to the Meta Business Help Center’s website, “A boosted post is a post to your page’s timeline that you can apply money to in order to boost it to an audience of your choosing. This is the simplest way to advertise on Facebook.” They’re simple because, unlike Facebook ads, they can be quickly created from an existing post on your page’s timeline in just a few steps; they don’t have all the same customization features as the ads do. In order to boost a post, you’ll need the following three pieces of information: 

  1. Your target audience – Define who you’re looking to reach by setting a specific target audience.
  2. How long you want to run the ad – This is the duration of the campaign.
  3. Your max budget to spend – Enter exactly how much money you want to spend over the duration of the campaign. Facebook won’t go over the limit you set.

When you boost a post, it shows up in your audience’s Facebook feed as an ad. You can choose to boost a post that you’ve already published to your page, or you can click the “boost” option instead of “publish” when creating a new post. 

What are Facebook Ads?  

Ads on Facebook are a bit more involved than boosted posts. In fact, during a recent webinar about advertising on Facebook and Instagram, our Chief Operating Officer Julia Becker Collins referred to boosted posts as the “JV level of Facebook advertising,” whereas Facebook ads could be considered more “varsity.” The Meta Business Center writes, “Facebook ads are created through Meta Ads Manager and offer more advanced customization solutions. There are many advertising objectives to help you reach your specific business goals and the audiences you care about most.” 

Here’s what you can do with Facebook ad campaigns that you can’t do with boosted posts: 

  • Choose different ad placements. Select where you want your ad to appear: Facebook mobile and desktop Feed, Facebook Feed side ads, Messenger ads, Instagram stories, instant articles, and Audience Network. 
  • Identify specific ad objectives. Objectives help you hone in on your goal with the ad campaign. If you’re aiming to generate leads, promote app downloads, or boost sales, Facebook ads enable you to choose those objectives. (Note: Facebook is gradually introducing a new set of six campaign objectives in Ads Manager.)
  • Exercise creative control. With Facebook ads, you design and format ads in your own way. Create a carousel post, add a call-to-action button, and more.
  • Use advanced targeting capabilities. In addition to selecting age, gender, and interests in your ad targeting (as you can with boosted posts), more advanced tools with ads allow you to create overlapping audience types, lookalike audiences, and more. 

Should I Boost Posts, Run Ad Campaigns, Both, or Neither?  

There’s no “one size fits all” answer to this question. When it comes to social media advertising (and advertising in general), there are several things your company or organization needs to consider to decipher which approaches are right for you—and that may or may not include ads on Facebook. First and foremost, you need to identify exactly what you hope to achieve with an ad. This should be aligned with your target audience and your business’ overarching goals. If your ideal client isn’t very active on Facebook, it wouldn’t make sense to focus your marketing and advertising efforts there, right?  

If you do decide to run ads on Facebook, a boosted post might be best for increasing page likes, comments, shares, and brand awareness. Facebook ads are better suited for more advanced campaign types, like encouraging website conversions, video views, online orders, and more. 

If you need support with your company’s social media marketing and digital advertising, our team here at Vision can help. As a full-service marketing agency with more than 24 years in operation, we work with numerous B2B and B2C brands spanning different professional fields, targeting different audiences, and pursuing different results. We’re happy to talk with you about your unique needs to plan and strategize your marketing appropriately. Contact us today to get the conversation started. 

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About the author : Dominique Goyette-Connerty

Dominique Goyette-Connerty is a Marketing Specialist at Vision Advertising. With a background in journalism and marketing communications, she brings her strong writing skills, social media experience, and passion for public relations to the Vision team and clients. When the workday is done, you can find Dominique at the kickboxing studio, kayaking on the lake, reading, and cuddling with her two adorable kittens.

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