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Facebook Advertising vs. Boosted Posts
Social Media Management

Facebook Advertising vs. Boosted Posts

March 22, 2024

On the surface boosting content on Facebook seems like a fairly straight forward transaction. The more dollars you spend, the more users see your message. While that's certainly true, to get the most value out of your money it's worth knowing the fundamental nuances of how boosting on Facebook works. Truth be told, Facebook's Advertiser Help Center seldom provides the answers you're after on Facebook paid advertising, and true to form, it doesn't give a lot of guidance on the differences between boosting posts vs. ads either.

So in this article we'll cover the differences between the types of sponsored ads on Facebook-- a Facebook boost and a Facebook news feed ad-- and which we recommend as the best option for your business depending on your needs.

What are Facebook sponsored posts?

Facebook sponsored posts are promoted posts that get additional paid reach. Basically, your company has the option of boosting a post or developing an ad: boosting raises the chances your post will be seen by followers (growing loyalty), while news feed ads target users based on specific criteria, external from followers (potential new customers).

Wait, why sponsor ads on Facebook when you can post for free?

The truth is, organic posts do not go really far in today's Facebook world. Unless you have a substantial network of followers (50K+), getting positive results through organic content in a 1.6 B user world is pointless. Based on Facebook's current algorithms, organic reach has plummeted over recent years to the point where 50 million companies are posting 1.5 times per day, reaching approximately 2% of their audience. That is what we call "tough sledding".

Should we be surprised though? As the world's largest social network, it was simply clockwork until Facebook chose a Pay-to-Play model leading to paid advertising on the social network giant. But before you start yelling big corporate obscenities, it's still our opinion that Facebook provides the best advertising platform on the internet or anywhere else in the business world. It just takes a little practice.

Advertising on Facebook requires a strong strategy

Like anything, you will need a plan when tackling Facebook paid advertising. Depending on what your goals are, our quick advice is to spend money on posts that have quantifiable ROI, like lead capture, promotions, contests and content intended to get new customers.

Another basic guideline is to always promote your own content. Even if it's good material and related to your company, never pay to send traffic to someone else's site.

Now, with all that said, let's identify which Facebook paid advertising delivery strategy works best ... Facebook boosts or Facebook ads.

What are Facebook boosted posts?

Facebook boosted posts are promoted posts that show higher on news feeds, givinga greater probability that friends and followers will see it. While boosted posts can be targeted by location, interest, age and gender, more advanced targeting options are reserved for advertisements on Facebook. And that's really the rub with sponsored posts for your company. While it's easier to make them, you are limited in refining the post to receive the most out of your "boost juice" dollars.

What are Facebook news feed ads?

Facebook news feed ads are sponsored ads that show up right on the news feed of readers. News feed ads denoted "sponsored" directly underneath the company's name on the post you users know that the content could be coming from a source they haven't "liked" yet.

News feed ads are developed in Facebook Ads Manager (or Power Editor). Developing a news feed ad on Facebook is more involved than boosting posts, but, as with most things, more work usually results in more reward.

With news feed ads, you can establish a specific objective for your advertisement that directly aligns to your business goals. You can select from 12 objectives from three different categories: Awareness, Consideration and Conversion.

Notice how these three categories represent different areas of the sales and marketing funnel:

  • Awareness: for boosting posts, promoting a Facebook page, targeting consumers near the company's location and increasing brand awareness
  • Consideration: to send people to a site, getting app installs, raise event attendance or get views on videos and compile business leads
  • Conversion: for increasing website conversions, engagement to an app, or to have an offer claimed

Facebook paid advertising showdown: who is the champion?

So you've probably come to the conclusion that Facebook news feed ads have a lot more power behind them and are geared towards ROI-- especially seeing how there's no cost difference between both forms.

Boosted posts do have a place-- if your company is seeking a fast and convenient way to raise awareness and drive account traffic, then we say go for it, especially if you want to hit existing fans/customers. It takes all of five minutes to begin generating thousands of impressions for as little as $5.00.

If you are wanting to achieve tangible marketing results, like capturing leads and driving profits, my money is on news feed ads. If you want to really capture leads with Facebook paid advertising however, I recommend using Facebook lead ads.

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