Facebook Boosted Posts versus Facebook Ad Campaigns


What’s the difference between Facebook Boosted posts and Facebook ads?

Advertising options through Facebook are one of the most cost-effective paid advertising platforms available to business. Generally, you have two options; to boost your post or to set up an ad using Facebook Business Manager.

More often than not, we would recommend the latter.

What is a Boosted ad?

A boosted ad is simply applying some budget to an organic post to get it in front of more eyes on Facebook.

If you have a Facebook page for your business or community group, you may have experienced one of the following:

  1. Once you’ve posted to Facebook organically (that is, you’ve simply put a post on your page), you will see a “Boost Post” button in the bottom right corner;
  2. Facebook sends you a message along the lines of, “This post is performing better than most. Would you like to Boost it?”

Boosting a Facebook post is an easy process:

  • Click on Boost Post in the bottom right of your organic post
  • Select an action button (for example, Learn more, Contact Us, Shop etc…)
  • Select a previously used audience or create a new one (with limited criteria available)
  • Apply a budget
  • Select the duration for the ad to run

When is Boosting a Facebook post suitable?

  • You want more people (both current followers and also non-followers) to see your post
  • You have a current post that’s doing quite well organically and you just want it to do a bit better (maybe for just a short period of time)
  • You have a limited budget
  • You have limited knowledge and experience with more complex Facebook advertising options

What is a Facebook Ad campaign?

To set up a Facebook ad campaign, you will need to Facebook Business Manager.

The process for paid advertising on this platform is a little more complicated and detailed than simply using Boost options.

You will create a Campaign which sets your objectives or goals. Within that campaign, you will create Ad Sets which determine who will see your ad, when, where, for how long and how much you will spend. Within your Ad Sets, you will create your actual Ads.

Why should I create Facebook Ad campaigns instead of Boosted ads?

Facebook ad campaigns allow you to do the following:

Select an objective

An objective is the result you want to achieve from your ad. For example, that might be:

  • Awareness – get more people to know your name and your product;
  • Reach – get as many people as possible to see your ad;
  • Traffic – get more people to click on your ad and go through to your website;
  • Engagement – get more people to like, comment, share your ad;
  • Watch video – get more people to watch a video you have posted, and more.

Based on the objective you select, Facebook will serve up your ad to the people who are most likely to act upon or interact with your ad in the manner that you want. This is due to the platform’s powerful algorithms.

Facebook’s algorithms know exactly how its users behave. It knows, for example:

  • who is more likely to watch a video;
  • who is more likely to “like” your page;
  • who is more likely to comment, like or share your content;
  • who is more likely to click through to your website, and so on.

So, selecting your objective is incredibly important so ensure you give it due consideration. What action do you want Facebook users to take when they see your ad?

Define your audience

Sure, you can select an audience with Boost but the defining options are limited. With Business Manager, you can select, amongst many things, age, gender, location, interests, occupation etc.

Decide where your ad will show

You have a number of options for where your ad will show, using Business Manager ad campaigns. This could include:

  • Facebook feed (desktop and mobile)
  • Facebook right column
  • Messenger
  • Audience network
  • Instant articles
  • Instagram

This allows you to optimise your ad for your specific target audience by selecting where to show your ad based on where your audience is.

Specify your copy

With your Boosted post, your only option is to ad budget to the current organic post – that is, your boosted (paid) post will look exactly the same as your organic post. 

With an ads campaign, there are several components of the ad copy and content you can adjust:

  • The introductory text;
  • The heading;
  • The sub-heading;
  • The URL(s);
  • The image(s);
  • The video;
  • Will you use a single image, a video or a carousel, etc.

In summary

As tempting as it is to react to Facebook letting you know your post is doing well and that you should consider Boosting it, we recommend you resist. Sure, it seems so simple and that’s the point. It is simple; both in what you have to do but more importantly, what you might get out of it.

But the Business Manager can be complex; both in planning for your campaigns, setting them up, monitoring them and adjusting them when/if required.

Get help

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