Creating relevant and meaningful social media content is only one half of the formula for an effective online presence - you also have to ensure people are seeing your posts. When it comes to Facebook, there are two options for increasing your reach and exposure – Boosted Posts and Facebook Ads. One of the questions I get asked the most is, “what’s the difference?” Let me break down the features and benefits of each and then I will explain the differences and which one is right for you.
A Boosted Post comes from content that you have already published on your Page. It can be text, a photo or a video that you pay to “boost,” or reach a wider audience. Boosted Posts are made to increase reach and/or engagement. I recommend starting with boosting your original content (posts you took time to create that are specific to you and your brand) or posts that are performing well organically that you want more people to see.
Boosted Posts allow you to:
- Easily advertise on Facebook. It only takes a few clicks to boost a post.
- Help more people see your posts.
- Insert call to action buttons, such as “contact us.”
- Reach desktop, mobile and Instagram users.
- Choose your audience based on gender, age, location and interests.
- Advertise on a limited budget. You can boost a post for as little as $1 a day.
- Schedule the duration of your boosted post for a length of time works best for you. When the boost expires, the content will still remain on your page.
Facebook Ads are designed with specific advertising goals in mind and offer incredible features for creating a targeted campaign. Facebook Ads are traditional advertisements, meaning they don’t show up as posts on your page but rather as ads in a variety of locations.
Facebook Ads allow you to:
- Choose your marketing objectives, from lead generation to video views.
- Target a niche audience using detailed targeting, including behaviors.
- Test different strategies to figure out which variables yield the best results for your advertisements. Facebook Ad calls this a “split test ad set” and will experiment with variables such as the audience or placement of your ads.
- Run a campaign on any budget. Options are available for as little as $5 a day or as much as $200 a day.
- Schedule your ad to run on a schedule or only at certain times.
- Take advantage of more ad placement options. Reach audiences on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, depending on where the ad would perform best.
- Utilize more call to action buttons to get your audience to take action, such as “shop now.
Overall, Facebook Ads have more features and is more robust! However, all of these features and options can make Facebook’s Ad Manager a bit overwhelming to a newbie.
Boosted Posts are an excellent way to get comfortable with Facebook’s advertising. I’d recommend beginning with a few Boosted Posts before launching a Facebook Ad campaign. That way you will feel comfortable with the platform and know what kind of numbers to expect. Since Boosted Posts are native advertisements, meaning they look like regular Facebook posts (because they are) they may actually get more engagement. This can be a good thing since we live in a society where no one wants to be advertised to.
Once you are comfortable with Boosted Posts, take it to the next level and create a Facebook Ad. Just be sure you have a clear strategy and objective in mind! Once you have completed your first ad, be sure to use Faceook’s comprehensive analytics in the Ad Manager to compare campaign results. A solid Facebook strategy should take advantage of both Boosted Posts and Facebook Ads!