We often get asked a by clients whether, when advertising on Facebook, they should use boosted posts or ads. Many are unaware that boosted posts aren’t the only way of advertising on Facebook, or don’t understand the difference.
With regard to which is best for your business, it does depend what your goals are and what you’re hoping to achieve, but let’s start at the beginning.
A boosted post is a simple form of advertising that you can do on Facebook. Boosting posts involves using posts that are already on your business page, and you get given the option by Facebook to boost them. Boosting a post means that a higher percentage of your current audience will see the post on their news feed. Using our own Facebook page as an example, you can see below where we have been given the option to boost the post in the bottom right hand corner:
Boosting posts is a simple way for business owners that don’t have much experience with Facebook to run an advertisement, where the end goal is often to receive more engagement on the post. Boosted posts can work well in specific circumstances, like maximising visibility of a specific post, and for brand awareness. It’s often useful to make big announcements via boosted posts, to gain as much visibility and engagement as possible.
You can set boosted posts to be seen by your current followers, or set it to show to a new audience. A boosted post can target age, gender, location and interests.
To run Facebook ads, you will need to have an Ads Manager account set up and attached to your business page. Here you will be able to set up a variety of different campaigns and run various ads in order to pursue any different goals that you may have.
You can run Facebook ads with any budget. Obviously, the more budget you put in to it, the higher the reach of your ad will be. Like boosted posts, ads can still target age, gender, location and interests, but also provide many more advanced targeting options, including language targeting.
You can set up custom audiences and targeting from website engagement, email lists, previous Facebook page engagement and Instagram (owned by Facebook). By creating a custom audience, Facebook will then do the work to find the people who you should be targeting. You can also schedule the ads to run at certain times throughout the week, on a recurring schedule, depending on the times that matter most to your business.
The screenshot below shows the different campaign objectives available to pick from in Ads Manager:
Compare this to the limited options for objectives that you are given when setting up a Boosted Post:
You can also add call to action buttons to Facebook ads such as ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Apply Now’ to make it more interactive, and create a higher likelihood of someone clicking on your ad.
Why can’t I see my ads on my Business Page?
In opposition to boosted posts, Facebook ads will not show on your business page timeline. This is because they’re not posts, and they’re targeted at people who match the targeting options you’ve chosen – they appear in those people’s Facebook feeds rather than on your page.
In a nutshell, if you are an advanced user of Facebook advertising, you’ll always find that advertising through Ads Manager is far superior to boosting posts. This way of advertising gives you more flexibility and the ability to choose the exact objective you want.
All in all, Facebook ads are the perfect way to get in front of your ideal customers using the in-depth targeting that is available.
Although boosting posts may be easier to set up in the short term, Facebook ads are definitely the way to go for long-term success.