It’s one of the most common questions businesses have when they start advertising on Facebook: What’s the difference between a boosted post and a Facebook ad?
First, some definitions. A boosted post begins its life as a regular old post on a business’s Facebook page. Once it’s created, a post can be “boosted” by putting money behind it to increase its reach.
A Facebook ad, on the other hand, does not exist on a business’s page. Instead, it’s created in Facebook Ad Manager and can be differentiated by the “Sponsored” identifier and the call to action– Facebook ads either ask users to like a page or to click through to a website.
Which one should you be using? That depends on a few factors.
1. What's your goal?
The Digerati ran a test between a boosted post, a promoted post (this one is kind of like a hybrid between the other two, it’s created from an organic post but looks like a Facebook ad) and a Facebook ad.
In their results, the boosted post reached twice as many people as the promoted post and the Facebook ad, but the Facebook ad resulted in people taking the most actions by liking the page or clicking a website link.
So, based on their results, if your goal is simply getting the most eyes on a post as you can, a boosted post might be the way to go. If you want people who see your post to take action, go with an ad.
2. How do you want to track results?
If you are using a Facebook pixel, or any conversion pixel, those results can only be tracked from an ad created in Power Editor. A boosted post, therefore, would not be the best choice.
3. Is the post time sensitive?
Since boosted posts are posted organically, they will remain on the business’s Facebook page even after the boosting money runs out. If you’re boosting something like a news article featuring the business or an important update or anything else that will be relevant for a long time, it might be beneficial to keep it up on the Facebook page indefinitely.
Facebook ads, however, have a set start date and end date. Once it reaches the end date, the ad will no longer appear in any Newsfeeds. That’s ideal for special events, promotions or other short-term campaigns. You don’t want that 20% off code still showing up after the promotion ends!
Now you know the differences between boosted posts and Facebook ads and their various pros and cons. Keep in mind, though, that the best way to determine which one is truly best for your business is to test.
Written by: Kelsey Thompson