Impact Group Marketing Blog


Boosted Posts vs. Ad Campaigns: What’s the Difference?

By now, you probably know that social media marketing should be a vital component of your digital marketing strategy. And, with 1.73 billion users every day, Facebook is clearly the leading social media platform. Because of social media’s popularity, especially Facebook, businesses now rely on it to connect with consumers. Unfortunately, organic posts will only reach 2-4% of your followers. So, if you’re looking to extend your reach on the most popular social network in the world, you have two options – boost posts or use Facebook Ads.

Let’s take a closer look at both of these choices so you can decide which one is better for your business.

What Is a Boosted Post on Facebook?

According to Facebook, 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.” Boosted posts are the easiest way to advertise on Facebook, but they’re still considered ads because you pay for them to be boosted. Your boosted post will be identified as an ad when you get your bill.

How are boosted posts different from Facebook ads? The short answer to this question is that boosted posts aren’t created in Facebook’s Ads Manager, so they don’t have the same customization features. (more about Facebook ads later)

How do you boost a post? To boost a post, all you have to do is select a popular post already on your timeline or create a new one. Since Facebook owns Instagram, you can also choose to place your boosted post on Instagram. When you boost a post, you’ll pick a target audience, set a max budget, and decide how long you want the ad to run. The post will then show up as a sponsored post in the newsfeed of Facebook or Instagram.

What are the benefits of boosting a post? You’re able to maximize the reach and visibility for that one post and get as much engagement on it as possible. This can help increase brand awareness and attract potential customers. If the post you boost contains a link to your website, you can also encourage people to visit your site.

What Are Facebook Ads?

Facebook ads provide more advanced customization options and are created through Ads Manager, Facebook’s ad manager tool. Boosted posts are considerably more limited than the complete Facebook Ads method.

A boosted post might initially optimize for overall brand awareness or likes, comments, and shares. However, Facebook ads can optimize for website conversions, app installs, shop orders, video views, and more.

What are the Benefits of Facebook Ads vs. Boosted Posts?

There are many things Facebook ads can do that boosting alone can’t, including:

  • Detailed ad placement options: With Facebook ads, you get to choose exactly where your ads are shown – Facebook news feed side ads, mobile/desktop news feeds, Instagram stories, Messenger ads, Audience Network, and instant articles. The only options included when you boost posts are Instagram and mobile/desktop news feed.
  • Specific ad objectives: When you choose an ad objective early on, you can focus on which campaign type is best for your current business goals. Ads Manager’s full ads system allows you to choose objectives like conversions, lead generation, and store traffic. You can also create and manage your ads through the Ads Manager mobile app. With boosted posts, you can only focus on website clicks, page engagement, and local business promotions.
  • More creative control: You can design an ad that fits your goals when using Ads Manager to create a Facebook ad. Some of the creative and formatting options available in Ads Manager include creating carousel ads, adding specific descriptions, and using call-to-action buttons to encourage audience engagement. These options aren’t available when you boost a post.
  • Advanced targeting capabilities: When you boost a post, you only have a few options for ad targeting like age, gender, and interests. With Facebook ads, you can use more advanced tools that allow you to target more precisely, reach a custom audience and maximize brand awareness, increase traffic and engagement, and achieve conversion objectives. Facebook ads also give you the ability to create overlapping audience types, lookalike audiences, and more.
  • Lookalike Audiences: If you don’t have a large Facebook following, or if you just want to keep growing, the Lookalike Audience feature is an incredible option. Facebook helps you reach new people who, because they are similar to your existing customers, may also be interested in your business.
  • Dayparting: With Facebook ads, you also have the ability to run your ads on certain days and at certain times to ensure your ads are shown when they’ll get the most results! This option isn’t available when you boost a post.
  • Custom conversion tracking: The Facebook Pixel allows you to track your website visitors’ actions, to a detailed degree. There are over 40 custom conversion options, including choices like: What content was viewed? What was purchased? Who completed their registration? Who shared a promotion?

Bottom Line

Now that you have a better understanding of each option, you may be wondering which one is best for your business. The answer to that question depends on your marketing goals and budget. If you’re trying to expand your reach and boost awareness for your brand on Facebook and Instagram, then boosting posts might be the right choice for you. But if you’re looking for a highly targeted and effective advertising solution that generates sales, then Facebook ads are the way to go. Of course, you don’t have to choose just one! Why not give boosted posts and Facebook ads a try?

Contact us today if you have any questions about getting started advertising on Facebook, Instagram, or any of the other social media channels. Our social media team is up to date on the latest social media marketing trends, and we can help you use this powerful platform to grow your business.