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FB: Should I Boost Posts or Run Ads?

Posted on: April 18, 2018

Facebook Ads are complicated!

How do I know what campaign objective to use?

I just want sales, should I still do a Brand Awareness campaign?


How do I sell my new AI chair on Facebook's Teleporter Ad Platform? (It's going to happen folks. Mark your calendars.)

I see these sentiments all too often. And I completely understand if someone is new to Facebook promotions.

Frankly, it can be overwhelming with all the options Facebook gives us.

Thankfully, there is an alternative to running Facebook Ads: Boosted Posts.

What's the difference?


A boosted post isn't for everyone, but in the cases where it is used properly,  it can be a great start into the matrix of Facebook Ads.

What is a boosted post?

A boosted post is the most basic form of "Ad" you can run on Facebook. It is made by promoting a status update ("post") you have already put on your business page.

Let's take an example: Assume you and I own a donut shop in a small town. Our goal is to get more people into our store and buy them (before we eat the inventory).

So if I posted a great photo of our new chocolate covered glazed donuts on our Facebook page, we are now eligible to boost it.

The problem is most of the people who have liked your page, won't even see your post (sometimes as little as 1%!).

Boosting posts allows you to reach more people that not only like your page, but friends as well.

It's main purpose is to create more awareness to an existing blog post.

So in the case of something extremely shareable (tempting food), this is something that you know the general audience will likely be interested in.

This creates a great situation for high volume, low priced, consumable products that don't particularly need a brand name behind it (a food truck is another great example).

However, if you need something more specific and targeted than general audiences awareness, boosting posts, is not the way to go.

Boosted Posts

The Advantage: Easy to get started and minimal learning curve.

The Disadvantages: Every business wants to simply make more sales. The problem is not every consumer is ready to buy right away, or they expect a different presentation to buy. In those cases, it can be hard to build a comprehensive marketing campaign when all you can do is boost posts.

What are Facebook Ads?

A Facebook ad is the most advanced way you can promote on Facebook.

To even advertise, you will need an ads manager account.

The greatest advantage to running Facebook ads is the ridiculous customization you can make targeting your specific goal.

You can market for  likes, clicks to website, app installs, app engagement, website conversions, event responses, offer claims, video views & local awareness.

Another big advantage with using Facebook ads is the ability to use certain Call-To-Actions. "Learn More", "Shop Now" are a few examples of Buttons you can put on your ad.

The Advantage: Major customization of ad format types, targeting to exactly who you want.

The Disadvantages: Can be complex/confusing when you are starting out, and takes more time to manage.

Should I choose Facebook Ads or Boosted Posts?

Although there is never a black and white answer to this question, there are some general guidelines you can use to get started.

In the long run, you should plan to use Facebook ads because it's expansive capabilities.

But in the meantime, some industries can get away with just boosting ads and getting moderate success.

Note that this is very high level look, but it should at least give you a starting point.

When should you choose Boosted Posts: 

  • When you have a product/content that is highly shareable (aka donut discounts)
  • Low Ticket Items
  • Don't always need a brand name
  • Industries: Restaurants, Food trucks, Barbers, MLM Products, Realtors, Plumbers

When should you choose Facebook Ads:

  • When you have a product that people don't impulse buy
  • High Ticket Items
  • Need to build a level of trust before buying
  • Industries: Roofers, Business Consulting, Marketing Companies, Online software services

Hopefully this gives you a rough idea of how to navigate through deciding on Facebook Ads or Boosted Posts.

If you want to learn more about Facebook Ads Objectives, I posted a video giving the blueprint on how to decide where to start. You can view that here.

If you want to learn more about marketing, be sure to check out our blog.

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