Boosted Posts vs. Facebook Ads – What’s the Difference?

Rizza Devega
By Rizza Devega

With users spending so much time on Facebook, showcasing your brand on the platform is a great tactic in gaining awareness. With that being said, it’s essential to take advantage of all of the tools that Facebook has to offer in order to create maximum exposure for your brand.

Boosted posts and ads are two similar methods in increasing awareness and engagement with your posts. However, the two have slight differences that are important to note before advertising on Facebook.

What Are Boosted Posts?

Once you post organically on your Facebook page, a “Boost Post” button appears in the bottom right corner of the post. When posting on your Facebook page, only a small percentage of users will see the content.

Related: 5 Tips to Get the Most From Your Boosted Post

Boosted posts are essentially regular Facebook posts in which you pay to increase the chances of your followers seeing your post, or to reach a wider audience. They are a quick and easy way to get your post in front of more eyes and are optimized for engagement (likes, shares, comments).

While boosted posts are much more limited in targeting when compared to ads, there are still a few options. You can build an audience based on:

  • People you choose through targeting – Here you can narrow down your audience through interests, demographics and behaviors.
  • People who like your Page – This one is pretty self-explanatory. You can target those users who have already liked your Page, and make it much more likely for them to see the post in their newsfeed.
  • People who like your Page and their friends – Targeting the friends of users who liked your Page may not be as effective, since they won’t necessarily be interested in your Page.

You will also be able to set your budget for as little as $5.00 and set how long you want your post to be boosted. Although boosted posts are limited in targeting when compared with ads, the post still needs to follow Facebook Ad Guidelines. This means you need to be aware of the guidelines, or your post won’t be approved! (The most common being the amount of text in your ad creative!)

How Are Boosted Posts Different From Ads?

Much like boosted posts, ads also display the light gray text, “Sponsored” under the brand name. Although they may appear similar to boosted posts, Facebook ads have a wide range of targeting, formatting and analytics options.

Related: 4 Social Media Posts to Boost Engagement

Ads have a larger variety of business objectives than boosted posts do, such as users making a purchase or installing an app. After choosing an objective on Ads Manager, you can strategically choose creative (videos, slideshows, multiple images, carousel ads, canvas ads, etc.) and ad copy that will cater to your objectives and target audience. This will ensure that your message is seamlessly delivered to your audience.

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Boosted posts are also limited in terms of placement. Once you boost a post, it will only show up in your targeted audience’s newsfeed. Ads on the other hand have multiple placement options such as in the right-hand column, Instagram, the Audience Network or even on Messenger.

Choosing Boosted Posts Vs. Ads

Choosing between boosting an already existing Facebook post or creating an ad from scratch largely depends on what your business objectives are. Boosted posts are great for improving your brand’s social performance and increasing engagement.

Related: Who Can You Target With Facebook Ads?

They are definitely quick and simple to set up when compared to ads. If your goal is one of the following, then boosting your post makes sense:

  • Increasing brand engagement or awareness
  • Increasing website traffic
  • Promoting content or blog posts

However, if you want to elevate your social media marketing strategy and create in-depth ads with highly-targeted audiences, I recommend taking advantage of Facebook Ads and the customizable options that come with it.

Wrapping Up

Before you decide whether you want to boost organic content or create an ad, it’s vital to take a look at your business objectives and goals. Are you looking to increase likes, comments and shares on your post? Or do you want to generate leads, drive conversions or drive traffic to your website?=

If you’re looking for a quick, less complex way to reach more people and increase engagement on your page, boosted posts are the way to go. Since boosted posts are optimized to drive engagement, it is a great method in increasing brand awareness.

However, if you have specific marketing goals such as getting a user to fill out a form, ads are well-equipped in driving users to take important actions and driving traffic and sales on your website. Once you identify what your business’ goals are, deciding on boosting a post or creating an ad will come easily.

Rizza Devega is a Paid Social Project Manager at Power Digital. Born and raised in San Diego, she is passionate about all things digital media and loves helping brands and companies tell their story through various social media platforms.