Which one you should do? Facebook Ads or Boosted Posts

The goal of any advertising campaign should be unique and tailored for the product or service being offered. But what if you don’t know where to start? Some goals are better achieved through boosting posts, while others require Facebook ads; this guide will help explain when each type might work best!

What’s a boosted post?

Facebook keeps making it difficult for small businesses to organically reach their followers because of its complex algorithm which favours engaging and high reach posts from friends and family opposed to content from small business with 100 followers. Unless you have a following base more than 5,000 your very unlikely to reach your desired target audience. Boosted posts are a cost-effective and shortcut approach to getting your content in front of users who might not have seen it otherwise.

According to Facebook  When you boost a post, it’ll show up in your audience’s Facebook Feed as an ad. You can also select Instagram as an ad placement for your boosted post. You can choose a post that’s already present on your Page’s timeline and boost it by following only a few steps. When you boost a post, you’ll need 3 things:

Who you want to reach: you’ll pick a target audience of the type of people you want to connect with

Your max budget: exactly how much you want to spend over the course of your entire campaign

How long you want to run your ad: once you click Boost and your ad is approved, people in your target audience will see your ad in their Feed for the duration you’ve set

Note: boosted posts are still considered ads because they require budget to be shared with a wider audience. This is the core similarity it shares with Facebook Ads. When you receive your bill, your boosted post will be identified as an ad.

Sometimes Facebook will promote you to boost any post that gets minimum engagement. You need to keep an eye on that otherwise you will spend all your budget on posts that you should not. You can read a blog post we did about this here.


What are Facebook ads?

Facebook ads are more advanced than boosted posts because they allow for a complete ad customisation and performance tracking. They have a wide range of objectives such as app installs, website conversions, video views, shop orders and more.

According to Facebook you can do all these features and more:

Choose different ad placements: When you boost a post, you’ll be able to check or uncheck whether or not you want to place your ad in Instagram in addition to Facebook mobile and desktop Feed. With Facebook ads, you get the added benefit of choosing placements in Facebook Feed side ads, Messenger ads, Instagram stories, instant articles, and Audience Network.

Use specific ad objectives: Choosing an ad objective early on will help you to focus on which campaign type best aligns with your current business goals. Boosted posts allows you to focus on website clicks, Page engagement and local business promotions, but the full ads system in Ads Manager lets you choose objectives like store traffic, conversions, and lead generation. You can also create and manage ads through the Ads Manager mobile app.

Maintain creative control: With Facebook Ads created through Ads Manager, you can design an ad that fits your goals. Create carousel ads, add specific descriptions and add a call-to-action button that’ll drive more of your audience to take action. These are only a few of the creative and formatting options available in Ads Manager that aren’t available when boosting a post from your Page.

Use advance targeting capabilities: Boosting posts let you decide on interests, age and gender for your ad targeting. This helps you reach people who most likely care about your business. With Facebook ads, you can use more advanced tools to create overlapping audience types, lookalike audiences and more.

What are the key facts and differences

Our Social Media Advertising team run a test between to identify the key differences between boosted posts vs Facebook ads. We created a video and published once as a boosted and once as an ad with the same budget, objective, duration and audience. Here are the data:

  • Boosted posts got approved faster and started getting engagement right away while Facebook Ads took 6 hours to get approved and 2 days had passed until it got out of the learning phase.
  • The boosted posts cost 15% less than the Facebook ads video.
  • Facebook Ads Manager got 230% more clicks.
  • Facebook Ads Manager’s Cost per -Click was $0.68 while the boosted post was $1.76.
  • Users watched the video twice with Facebook ads.
  • The boosted post got 5 times more engagement (clicks, shares, reactions, comments) than ads manager but Facebook ads managed to get 45% more traffic to the website resulting in 2 leads.

When to use what?

Based on the results above and running ads for more than 10 years we can certainly say this that Facebook ads is the go to platform if you want high quality traffic and conversions while boosting posts is best for engagement, re-actions and quick brand awareness.

Boosted posts can be an effective way of getting your message out there, but they come with limitations. When you boost a post it appears instantly in the feed and on news feeds for followers – which is great if reach isn’t important! But customization options are limited (at least until Facebook changes their algorithm) so make sure that what type/layout of ad will work best before boosting one just to see how things go down afterwards because there’s no going back after boosted content has been released into broader circulation than intended by its creator.

Facebook’s Ad Manager is a powerful tool that can help you present your business to the world in almost any way imaginable. With features available within this platform, users have complete freedom when advertising their products or services on social media sites like Facebook so it would be best for major marketing campaigns with wide-ranging objectives – something perfect if we’re talking about an Advertising Agency!

If you’ve been holding off on creating advertisements because of the time it takes, consider combining both formats. Many marketers find that they can boost a few organic posts and gauge which ones performed best before turning those content into full new ad campaigns.

If you want to start your campaigns or have tried boosted posts or Facebook Ads and looking for improvement we are here to help you through our Seriously Digital Training courses or Seriously Digital Packages. Give us a buzz!

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Simone Douglas

Simone is co-founder and Senior Principal Solutions Architect of Digital Marketing AOK. Simone offers over 17 years in corporate management roles encompassing generalist HR recruitment and development of small to large teams across multiple sites, industry sectors and states. Experienced in a variety of social media platforms and their complimentary applications, social media strategy, risk management, disaster recovery and associated HR policies and processes.