Facebook ads vs. boosted posts


We know 2018 has been full of Facebook activity … the Cambridge Analytica scandal, new algorithms, changes to analytics and much more. Flint’s social media team members are keeping up with all the changes and answering plenty of questions from clients on how they can handle details while continuing to get results from their own Facebook activity.


What hasn’t changed

Since business pages now get less reach from the algorithm, it pays to pay. Businesses must invest in paid Facebook posts and ads. What does this mean? It helps to put money behind posts to reach certain audiences and even target new audiences. This does not mean that you have to put thousands of dollars behind a post to get results. It simply means that boosting a post here and there or creating a paid campaign will improve your results.


Wait, what? Boosting a post? Paid campaign? In our experience, sometimes the difference between these two approaches is unclear. No worries, we can help!


Boosting a post

I’m sure you’ve seen the little blue “Boost Post” button at the bottom of your posts. The word “boost” sounds tempting in general. But what does this mean, how does it work and how will it help?


First off, “boosting” is a form of Facebook advertising that helps posts show up in more news feeds. It’s simple, really. You click the button, fill in the audience you want to target and your budget, then you’re good to go!


When should you boost a post? There are a lot of situations where boosting is appropriate. Here are a few where it makes sense:

  • When you’re trying to work around the algorithm and you want more of your followers to see your posts
  • When you’re first getting into Facebook advertising, it can help you test out performance with a smaller budget and get used to Insights
  • When a current post is doing well and has potential to perform even better
  • When you have a time-sensitive post you want to reach further, faster


Placing a Facebook ad campaign

Although boosting a post is convenient and easy, it may not always be the best option for your business goals and social objectives. That’s where a Facebook ad campaign comes in handy. So, what is an ad campaign? It’s generally done through the Ads Manager tool and involves creating a campaign from the beginning – you’re able to more closely align content and targeting with your campaign objectives. Ad campaigns typically include a larger budget than boosted posts.


First things first

Before making the leap into the Ads Manager world, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What’s the objective or goal for the ad you’re creating? (Broader reach, traffic to a website page and lead generation are some options.)
  • What’s your target market, and who do you want to see your ad?
  • Are there audiences you do not want to see your ad?
  • Are you trying to reach a new target market?
  • What content do you need for this ad? (i.e., images, videos or other resources)
  • What call to action button do you want to use?
  • Do you need to run A/B testing first?
  • How long would you like your ad to run?
  • What’s your budget?


This list may look overwhelming, but at the end of the day, Ads Manager will easily guide you through all of these steps while creating the ad. The best part: You get to see what your ad will look like at the end of the process and how many people you could potentially reach with it. For those of you, like me, who are visual people and like instant gratification, this aspect is super satisfying.


When is it a good idea to create a campaign, as opposed to boosting a post? Maybe when you have more advanced Facebook advertising knowledge or you’ve mastered boosting posts, when you want to expand your reach to new local consumers, and when you have a specific goal – like local awareness, generating engagement, page likes or conversions.


So what do you think? Will you be testing them out? Our advice, start small! You don’t have to throw yourself into it right away and put $500 down on an ad campaign. Start out with boosting a few posts for $10 or so for a few days and see your results, understand what the analytics mean, and go from there!


If you’re still having troubles or need a little extra help with your business objectives and needs, reach out to us. Our social team is always ready to guide you.

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