The Difference Between Facebook Boosted Posts vs Ads

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If you’re looking for increased engagement, more eyes on your post, and new followers, try boosted posts. If you want to reach new audiences, gain leads, and increase conversions, ads are for you.

If you’re just getting started with advertising on social media, Facebook offers one of the most versatile channels. However, knowing the difference between Facebook’s boosted posts vs ads is one of the key distinctions you’ll need to make—it will help shape your overall marketing strategy and drive your campaign. Let’s dive in!

What are Facebook Boosted Posts?

A boosted post is simply a Facebook post that you put money behind in order to reach a wider audience. It’s an easy way for brands who are just starting out to gain more traction behind their posts. With boosted posts, for example, you get to choose where you’d like your post to appear—the desktop news feed, the mobile application, or even on Instagram.

Boosted posts have three main campaign objectives:

  1. Who you want this post to reach
  2. What your maximum budget is
  3. How long you’d like the campaign to run

How to Boost a Post

Boosting a post happens through your page on Facebook.com with the following steps:: 

  • Find and select the “Boost” button- This is likely located in the bottom right of your post.
  • Choose your target audience- You may either choose a recommended audience or create a new one based on specific demographics.
  • Set your budget- Fill out how much money you’re willing to spend on this boosted post. Facebook will not exceed your specified budget.
  • Determine the length-  You can select one of the suggested time frames, or provide an end date.

You’re all done! Just enter a valid payment method in order to make it final.

What are Facebook Ads?

Facebook ads are created in Facebook’s Ads Manager and offer a wider array of customization and optimization solutions for your business. With three major categories featuring eleven different marketing objectives, Facebook ads are a diverse tool for promoting your brand.

The ads can also be portrayed in six different formats. You can choose to post a picture, a video, or even a carousel that showcases various items. You’ll be able to input audience information, choose placement styles, and have access to features that measure your performance in the Ads Manager.

How to Create a Facebook Ad

Whereas a boosted post takes place through your page on Facebook.com, a Facebook ad must be created in Facebook Business Manager. Here are the basic technical steps to create a Facebook ad:

  • Choose a marketing goal that fits your campaign. Depending on the category and objective you choose, you can drive your brand awareness and reach, measure traffic and promote engagement, or get the customer to take action.
  • Identify your audience. You’ll get to input demographics—such as age, gender, and education level. You can also pick the location, interests, and behavior of your target consumer.
  • Select your ad placement. You can showcase your ad on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Audience network, or across them all.
  • Set a budget for your campaign. You can either allocate a daily spending amount, or a lifetime amount for the entire campaign. This is how you’ll ensure that you aren’t spending more than you can on your ads.
  • Pick an ad format. You can choose an image, a video, a carousel of products, or a collection. Facebook has a variety of ad formats to suit your campaign’s unique needs.

Pro Tip: One thing about ads to keep in mind–it's a huge world but only some of it is really necessary to be successful. 

Similarities and Differences

One thing that Facebook boosted posts vs ads have in common is that they’re both paid ways to reach a wider audience. Boosting posts, however, only allows you to promote a single post whereas ads are tactical and flexible providing the ability to showcase your brand or product in a variety of formats. 

While boosted posts are more simple to create, you won’t have access to the Ads Manager. This means you’re missing out on tools and features that help track and edit your ads.

You’ll also have more limited audience targeting capabilities with boosted posts. Facebook ads are more customizable; you can select specific audience traits, and choose objectives specific to your goals. 

While it may seem like we’re biased toward Facebook ads, there are scenarios where boosted posts make more sense. For example, if you’re more interested in increasing your click-through rate (CTR), want to focus on page engagement, or are looking to advertise a local promotion, boosted posts are the way to go.  

Getting Guidance From Experts

Navigating advertising on social media on your own is certainly possible, however, it requires a lot of time and research to make sure your ad dollars are being leveraged in the right way. 

Social Ktchn is a small, dedicated team of Facebook and Instagram ad experts who love helping businesses reach their goals. The mom and pop shop of social ad agencies, we pride ourselves on being transparent with our clients every step of the way. 

Social Ktchn works closely with you in defining your business goals, and then we align our suggestions to support progress in the right direction. We love to guide companies through the social media advertising landscape, and view ourselves as an extension of your team. Let us show you what we can do. 

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