Boosting a Facebook Post vs Running a Facebook Ad

Let me start off by saying, I don’t offer Facebook Ads as part of my services. I am not a Facebook Ads expert at all and would suggest before you decide to start running your own, you consult with someone who is an expert. If you’re convinced you’re going to try it out on your own, be willing to do a lot of research before creating an ad willy-nilly just to see what might happen. Sure, you can create them yourself and even set a budget to run them fairly inexpensively. While it might not cost you a lot of money to give it a try, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you still could be wasting good money (and time for that matter). And I don’t want that for you.

Secondly, I’ve had multiple people tell me this week that they are running Facebook Ads, only to find out they are Boosting Posts instead. To be fair, if you visit Facebook’s website, they will tell you that Boosted Posts are considered ads. They will also tell you that they are different than ads. Huh? Clear as mud, Facebook. Clear. As. Mud.

Truthfully, it makes me pretty frustrated. I don’t like that there are a lot of people out there using Boosted Posts and not knowing that they aren’t the same as an ad. Facebook will often send you notifications that you have a post that is performing well, and suggest you boost to reach up to “x” number of people daily. And they use that to entice you to Boost a post. If you don’t know all the details, it sounds like a good idea. They make it so easy for you to do by simply clicking the “Boost Post” button, too.

Some online marketing professionals will tell you Boosting Posts is a waste of time and money. They’ll say not to bother with them. I actually don’t think that’s true. But you should know the difference so you can make the choice that is right for your small business and your specific goals.

What Is a Boosted Post?

You may have created a post on your business’ Facebook page, and decided to boost it, using the “Boost Post” button. It was already on your page’s timeline and you decided it was performing well and perhaps wanted to increase it’s reach. You may also have created a post with boosting it in mind from the start, and chose to “Boost Post” when you posted it initially.

Typically, when you post to your business’ Facebook page, it will go out to those who like and follow you. When you boost a post, that one post will begin showing up in people’s newsfeeds who don’t yet like and follow you, and may never have heard of your business before. It will show up in their feeds with the word “Sponsored” underneath your page’s name. That means it does look the same to the audience as it would if it were an ad.

You also have the options where to place the boosted post. Do you want it to show up in the Desktop Newsfeed, Mobile Newsfeed, Instagram, or In-Steam Videos? You can still choose the buttons that will show up such as “Learn More” or “Send Message.” You can customize your budget and your audience, and connect to your Facebook pixel.

Boosted Post on Facebook vs Facebook Ad
Here’s a sample of what my boosted post would look like, if I wanted to drive people to my website to go check out my blog.

How Is That Different From an Ad?

When you create your boosted post, you can do it all right inside your Facebook page. When you create an ad, you actually have to go to the “Ad Center” which you’ll find in the bottom right hand corner of the desktop site if you’re on your Facebook business page or under “More” on the top toolbar. Once in the “Ad Center” you can choose to create an ad. This is when you’re presented with more options.

You’ll notice in the section above, the picture details that when you boost a post, you have up to three options: send people to your website, get more engagement, or connect and chat with potential customers. When you create an add, you’ll be presented with this:

Facebook Ad vs Boosted Post
You’ll see you still have the option to Boost a Post, but you also get get more leads, get more bookings, promote your business locally, and promote your page.

There definitely is overlap then, so again, it’s important to note that you want to know what your specific goals are before deciding whether boosting a post or running an ad is right for your small business.

When you boost a post, you choose how many days you want to boost it for. When you create an ad, you have the option to choose the number of days it runs for, or you can have it run continuously. Either way, you’ll get to choose your audience and your budget.

Some people have success with using only boosted posts. Some people use only ads and see amazing results. I’ve also heard of people getting similar results using both methods. With the same content as a boosted post as an ad, run for the same duration with the same budget, to similar audiences. In the end, the ad got more reach, but the boosted post got more website clicks. Which means, I’m going to tell you what you may not want to hear. One of the best ways to know which method works best for your business is to test. If your goal is t get more engagement, more messages, or more website clicks, test them both, and see what your results are. Compare the results of your boosted both with an ad you run.

Now if your objectives fall into the categories of promoting your page, getting more bookings, and getting more leads, then definitely choose to go with an ad or else you truly are just throwing money away. Always test your ads and revisit. Like I said before, Facebook is ever-changing and what worked one day, may not the next.

I hope that helped clarify the difference between a Boosted Post and Facebook Ad for you. And that moving forward, you feel more educated and empowered to make the choice that is right for you and your small business.

Let me know in the comments, did you know there was a difference between a Boosted Post and an Ad? Are you using either in your business right now? Do you plan to in the future?

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