Facebook ads vs boosted posts – what’s the difference?


Social media can be tricky to navigate but there are a number of features that you can use to promote your business. Here, we take a look at the differences between Facebook advertising and Facebook boosted posts and explore which delivers the biggest benefits.

What is a Facebook ad?

In our previous blog post about growing your business using Facebook, we touched on Facebook advertising – which can be a cost effective and highly focused way of marketing your brand.

Facebook ads can be finely tuned and tailored with a specific objective in mind – for instance: generating more traffic to an online store or converting browsers into buyers. Facebook ads also have greater reach and can be placed on other platforms including Instagram.

You can only create an ad using Facebook’s Ad Manager tool which also allows you to be as creative as you like. Ad manager can help you generate product carousels, include a call to action or even produce your own video advertising. While Facebook ads can be a powerful mode of advertising, it doesn’t mean it’s the right marketing method all of the time and too many ads can start to look like spam.

What is a Facebook boosted post?

An alternative to Facebook ads is a boosted post. This is essentially taking a regular post from the news feed on your business page and ‘boosting’ it to a particular audience.

Boosted posts and ads do share similarities – both cost money and both can be shared with an audience of your choice. But unlike a Facebook ad, you don’t need to create a boosted post in the Ad Manager, so they can be far simpler to action.

Boosting a post in Facebook is straightforward. You simply choose a post (or create a new one) and tell Facebook the audience you want to target, how long you want your post boosted for, and what your budget is. Facebook will then do the rest.

So, which is better – Facebook ads or boosted posts?

Some businesses swear by Facebook advertising. Not only is it targeted, ads can be optimised to achieve very specific goals which make them measurable – letting you gauge the success of a campaign. However, boosting posts is a great way to organically increase your audience by encouraging them to share, comment and like your posts. It’s also incredibly easy and can be done in an instant.

In truth, Facebook advertising and post boosting are complementary methods of marketing – one naturally raises brand awareness (boosting) while the other maximises the sales opportunity with a specific message (ad). Ultimately, a well-rounded marketing strategy should include both ads and boosted posts.

Of course, if you’re a small business with limited resources, you may not have the time to do both. If that sounds like you, boosted posts could be a good starting point to test the waters. Not only is it a cost-effective way to gain awareness; you can also actively engage with potential new customers.

There is a lot of support available to small businesses with Facebook advertising, including companies who can mange this all for you. Of course, your budget is a key factor, and you may well want to invest some time in learning more about Facebook advertising so you can manage this for yourself. Facebook offer a free comprehensive, easy to understand, training series, so before you spend any of your hard-earned money, check it out - https://www.facebook.com/business/ads.

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At Grow My Small Business, we’re committed to helping entrepreneurs develop their brand. We provide a range of services including content creation, digital marketing strategy and implementation.

We also offer professional business coaching and mentoring programmes to help you navigate commercial challenges and improve resilience. To find out more about how we can help, call us on 01473 561023 or send us a message using our contact form or email: info@growmysmallbusiness.co.uk.

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