If you’re reading this, you’re probably well aware (and maybe tearing your hair out) of Facebook’s (or should I say, Meta’s) constant game of “Let’s Change Everything.” Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, they hit you with another makeover, and suddenly, it’s like navigating a maze in the dark.

Facebook has two paid strategies, Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts. People often mix them up, and honestly, who can blame them? While they might seem similar at first glance, they serve different purposes and have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

In short, a boosted post is uplifting an existing post from your page’s timeline and paying for it to be seen by a wider audience on Facebook. When you create a Facebook ad in Ads Manager,  you start from scratch with the creative (image/video, text) and audience targeting.

Similarities Between Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts

  • Sponsored Content: Both methods clearly indicate to users that they are viewing sponsored content.
  • Audience Targeting: You can precisely target your preferred audience with both strategies.
  • Integration with Partner Platforms: Both Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts can be run on Facebook’s partner platforms.

Differences Between Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts

  • Creation Platform: Facebook Ads are crafted using the Facebook Ads Manager platform, while Boosted Posts are set up directly on Facebook’s front end.
  • Objective: Boosted Posts aim to increase engagement or grow a page’s followers, whereas Facebook Ads are designed for specific objectives, such as lead generation.
  • Customization: Facebook Ads offer more customization options for headers and descriptions, whereas Boosted Posts automatically use your page’s description with limited customization options.
  • Ad Size: Facebook Ads allow customization of ad size based on placement, whereas Boosted Posts have a fixed size.

Now, let’s dive into the pros and cons of each type.

Facebook Boosted Posts

Wider Reach: Boosted Posts help your content reach a broader audience on Facebook.

Ease of Setup: Setting up Boosted Posts is straightforward and quick, making it accessible to beginners.

Budget-Friendly: These posts can be cost-effective.
Increased Sharing: Users can share boosted posts more easily
Limited Customization: Boosted Posts have limited customization options for size, headings, and descriptions.

Limited Target Customization: Options for targeting are restricted.

Limited Campaign Objectives: Boosted Posts offer fewer campaign objectives.

Facebook Ads

Diverse Campaign Objectives: Facebook Ads offer eleven different campaign objectives.

Advanced Customization: You can tailor ads to your preferences.

Precise Targeting: Facebook Ads provide more effective targeting.

Creative Options: You can use features like carousel ads and call-to-action buttons.
Learning Curve: Facebook Ads require more time and expertise to master.

Setup Complexity: They may demand more time and effort to set up.

Lower Shareability: Users may be less inclined to share ads.

Creation from Scratch: Ads must be created from the beginning, unlike Boosted Posts.

Budget Considerations: Costs may increase.

When to Use Facebook Boosted Posts: 

  • If your objective is to expand your reach to a broader audience.
  • When utilizing an existing post from your Facebook page seems more convenient.
  • If your aim is to attract more visitors to your page from a specific target audience.
  • When considering which posts to boost, prioritize those with strong, organic interactions, as they have the potential to reach larger audiences and raise awareness of your page. Keep in mind that the primary goal here is not immediate sales but rather introducing new customers to your offerings.

When to Choose Facebook Ads: 

  • If your focus is on lead generation, increasing website or store traffic, or boosting video views
  • If headline customization is important – Customizing headlines in Facebook Ads gives you the creative freedom to craft attention-grabbing, tailored messages that resonate with your target audience.
  • When your primary objective is not just to make your product or service known, but to provide potential customers with the opportunity to explore and engage with what you have to offer.

Considering all of the differences, it’s easy to feel like you’re trying to navigate a maze in the dark.  But hey, we get it. If you find yourself in need of guidance with your Facebook marketing strategy, we’ve got your back (and we’re not afraid of the dark)!