All businesses should decide on their unique advertising goals before they start advertising on Facebook, as some goals can be reached by boosting a post and others can be reached by creating a Facebook ad. The following guide explains the ways boosted posts are similar and different and when you should use either.
What's a boosted post?
A boosted post is a post to your Page's timeline that you can apply money to in order to boost it to an audience of your choosing. This is the simplest way to advertise on Facebook. Boosted posts differ from Facebook ads because they are not created in Ads Manager and don't have all of the same customization features.
When you boost a post, it'll show up in your audience's Facebook Feed as an ad. You can also select Instagram as an ad placement for your boosted post. You can choose a post that's already present on your Page's timeline and boost it by following only a few steps. When you boost a post, you'll tell us 3 things:
Who you want to reach: you'll pick a target audience of the type of people you want to connect with
Your max budget: you'll tell us exactly how much you want to spend over the course of your entire campaign
How long you want to run your ad: once you click Boost and your ad is approved, people in your target audience will see your ad in their Feed for the duration you've set
Note: boosted posts are still considered ads because they require budget to be shared with a wider audience. This is the core similarity it shares with Facebook Ads. When you receive your bill, your boosted post will be identified as an ad.
What are Facebook ads?
While boosting a post is still considered an ad, Facebook ads are created through Ads Manager and offer more advanced customization solutions. There are many advertising objectives to help you reach your specific business goals and the audiences you care about most.
Where a boosted post may initially optimize for Page likes, comments, and shares or overall brand awareness, Facebook ads can optimize for app installs, website conversions, video views, shop orders and more.
What more can I do with Facebook Ads?
Choose different ad placements: When you boost a post, you'll be able to check or uncheck whether or not you want to place your ad in Instagram in addition to Facebook mobile and desktop Feed. With Facebook ads, you get the added benefit of choosing placements in Facebook Feed side ads, Messenger ads, Instagram stories, instant articles, and Audience Network.
Use specific ad objectives: Choosing an ad objective early on will help you to focus on which campaign type best aligns with your current business goals. Boosted posts allows you to focus on website clicks, Page engagement and local business promotions, but the full ads system in Ads Manager lets you choose objectives like store traffic, conversions, and lead generation. You can also create and manage ads through the Ads Manager mobile app.
Maintain creative control: With Facebook Ads created through Ads Manager, you can design an ad that fits your goals. Create carousel ads, add specific descriptions and add a call-to-action button that'll drive more of your audience to take action. These are only a few of the creative and formatting options available in Ads Manager that aren't available when boosting a post from your Page.
Use advance targeting capabilities: Boosting posts let you decide on interests, age and gender for your ad targeting. This helps you reach people who most likely care about your business. With Facebook ads, you can use more advanced tools to create overlapping audience types, lookalike audiences and more.
When to use Facebook ads vs boosted posts
It's important for any business to identify exactly what they're hoping to achieve with an ad. For example, if you want audience engagement on your Page or to develop your brand awareness, boosting a post is a great way to maximize visibility and grow your audience. To create more advanced ad types and campaigns, use Ads Manager.
Note: If you aren't interested in boosting a post that's already on your Page, you can create a new post and instead of clicking Publish, click Boost.