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What's the Difference Between Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts?

We frequently receive statements like, "I'm advertising on Facebook already" or "Yes, I boost all or most of my posts." In reality, each post will perform differently according to Facebook's algorithm. Some posts create traction and engagement and even go viral. However, most don't. You could be wasting your time and money just boosting posts that don't have the reach you're looking for. Even worse is if you're posting randomly, without a call to action, perceived value, etc. Understanding when to use ads, boosted posts and how to get the most out of each will help you reach your digital marketing goals.

Facebook is still going strong as a way for many businesses to interact with their current customer base and read out to a wider audience. However, like all technology, social media continually evolves and changes to meet the needs of its users. As a marketing agency, we use many tools, platforms, and strategies to help you succeed. We stay on top of the trends so you can keep running your business. Simply put, Facebook is another marketing channel for your business to interact with your current client base and/or new leads.

Facebook currently offers two paid options for businesses and pages that want to expand their reach: boosted posts and Facebook ads. These two may seem similar at first, but there are notable differences in how they're used, who they reach, and what they can do for your business.

Let's break it down further...

What are Facebook Ads?

Facebook ads are paid advertising content created through Facebook's Ads

Manager, which also has a reach on Instagram. With Ads Manager, you can design your ad exactly how you want, set objectives for your campaign, and pay to put it in front of a specific target audience that you describe to Facebook. You can also compare multiple ads on performance, deliverability, interaction, etc. This is helpful to let you know what most people are interested in and how they interact with your brand. Our robust agency platform provides great data to modify and edit ads to keep performing well.

What are Boosted Posts?

Paid content and boosted posts will appear as "Sponsored" on your bill from Facebook and your audience's Facebook feed. However, most of the similarities end there. Unlike ads, boosted posts are not created in Ads Manager. Instead, you'll take an existing post from your page's timeline and pay to have Facebook boost it to an audience you choose. Just tell Facebook how much you want to spend and how long you want to run your boosted post. In the early days, Facebook would actually boost your post to thousands of people for simply $20. That has drastically changed for two main reasons. 1. The amount of businesses now participating in Facebook ads. 2. To avoid cluttering people's news feeds, stories, etc. Of course, Facebook wants to make money from any business on its platform, so boosted posts are no longer as cheap as they once were.

How to Choose

There are advantages and disadvantages to both boosted posts and ads. You'll need to refine your advertising goals in order to choose the right approach for your business.

Who do you want to reach?