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The question of boosting a post against Facebook ads is a very common one, it’s easy to be led down the path of boosting posts as the notification which often pops up encouraging you to “boost a post” is very inviting. The reason you see this notification is that your post may be high-performing, or Facebook’s algorithms have a found it is similar to content other page admins may have boosted in the past.
When you break it down, a boosted post is a simplified version of the Facebook Ads System. It is designed to be less intimidating to small business owners who may be overwhelmed by the full ads system. This doesn’t mean it is better, if anyway it takes away the options a full Ad offers. It is quick and easy to do, you can have a post boosted in seconds with analytics showing you impression and reach in the thousands. Which is great, but it’s engagements you want to see.
Building an Ad on average takes around 8 minutes, so it is more time consuming, especially if you are running multiple campaigns. Choosing an objective early in an ad build will help you focus on what you want the campaign to be about. Boosted posts only allow you to focus on website clicks or engagement, but the full ads system lets you choose objectives such as conversions, store visits and lead generation. Overall there are campaign types you just can’t create through boosted posts.
You get more freedom with Ads for placement, boosted posts just let you check or uncheck an Instagram placement; desktop and mobile Facebook newsfeed placements are a given. Facebook Ads let you choose placements including Facebook news feeds and side ads, Instagram feeds, Instagram stories, instant articles, messenger ads, and audience network ads. You can also choose if you’d like your campaign to be shown to mobile or desktop users only.
Targeting your audience is very important when spending money on advertising, otherwise you may be just throwing your money into the ocean when you want to build your own pool full of your customers. With boosted posts, you can’t overlap audience types; you can’t for example, choose a custom audience and then add interest targeting. You can do that and more through the full ads system. There is also more creative control with an ad, you can build carousels ads, add headlines and descriptions, and choose a Call to action button. Options you just don’t have with a boosted post.
Does this mean you should never use boosted posts? Not really, they still can work in your favour in specific circumstances where you want to maximise visibly of a post that you have published on your timeline. You may want to build social proof or brand awareness such as announcing an event you have coming up, making big announcements like a new product or service.
To summarise, Facebook Ads will be the right choice over boosted posts, even if you aren’t familiar with the Ad system yet. You have more flexibility which in turn gives you more results.
Head of Digital Marketing
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