Boost Posts vs. Ads on Facebook & Instagram

  • 18 April 2019

Gone are the days of reaching everyone in your social network on Facebook and Instagram. It’s not uncommon for businesses to reach only 2-4% of their fans on Facebook with each organic post. Businesses looking to extend their reach on the world’s most popular social networks have two choices to get their message in front of potential customers: boost posts or run Facebook Ads campaigns. While boosting posts might be a great solution for social media influencers and bloggers looking to build up engagement rates or get more blog post views, most businesses are looking for a greater return on investment from these networks. If you’re a business looking to use social media to generate sales, you should be running Facebook Ads, here’s why.

What are “Boosted Posts”?

Companies that create a business page on Facebook or a business account on Instagram, have the option to promote an existing or new post as a boosted post. These posts then show up in the Facebook or Instagram newsfeed as a sponsored post.

Boost posts give you the ability to select targeting parameters (demographic, location, and interest targeting), a budget, a CTA, an objective, and the length of time you want the post to run for.

What’s the difference between boost posts and Facebook ads?

Facebook ads offer a much more robust set of features and better performance than boost posts. These are some of the critical differences between the two.

  • Ads manager allows you to select different ad formats. Using Facebook and Instagram ads you can choose to show a single image, carousel, video, or slideshow ad.
  • Your ad placements go beyond the newsfeed. Advertisers have the ability to show ads in Stories, Facebook Marketplace, in the right-hand column, in Instant Articles, within videos, and in Messenger. Boost posts only show up in the newsfeed.
  • Boost posts only offer three objectives: post engagement, messages, or website visits. Facebook ads offer a multitude of objectives. Some of the more popular ones are website traffic, leads, conversions, and video views. When you select one of these objectives Facebook will deliver your ad the users who are more likely to take your desired action.
  • Advertisers can use a pixel installed on your company website that communicates with ads manager to create retargeting campaigns. These campaigns allow you to send an ad to warmer leads who’ve already visited your website.
  • In Facebook ads, you can create look-a-like audiences. Facebook can take an audience or list of customers and find people on Facebook similar to this group to send your ad to.
  • Ads manager gives companies in-depth reporting.
  • Ads give you the option to run A/B tests.

Why ads are worth the investment.

Boost posts are designed to help Facebook and Instagram users expand their reach on the platform. They aren’t designed to be used as a robust and highly targeted advertising solution for businesses looking to generate leads and conversions.

The multitude of targeting, testing, optimization, and format options that are available with Facebook and Instagram ads lead to better ad performance and better tracking than boost posts. The money you invest in these two types of campaigns is the same. The real difference is that one boosts your vanity metrics and the other makes it easier to generate meaningful business results.

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