Wednesday, 18 February 2015 16:00

Facebook Boosted Posts Vs. Ads

 Facebook Advertising: Should You Use Boosted Posts, Ads, or Both?

Many small businesses are looking to Facebook as a cost-effective way to get their content, deals, and offers in front of new potential customers. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the two main ways of advertising on Facebook — boosted posts and ads — and give you the knowledge you need to get started!

Boosted Posts

If you’ve posted anything to your business’ Facebook Page, you’ve probably seen a blue button, reading “Boost Post,” in the lower-right corner of each post. Clicking on this button will begin the boosted post creation process.

Boosted posts enable you to easily get a larger audience for a single specific Facebook post. Since you can include as much or as little information as you want in your post, you can make your paid content very informative. You’ll instantly see how many more people you can reach with a boosted post than an unboosted post. 

Spending Options: Total budget. Facebook will automatically optimize your spend.

Audience Options: Boosted post audience options prioritize connections to your Page. You can choose people who like your Page only, people who like your Page and their friends only, or people you select through targeting certain geographic locations, age-ranges, and interests.

Location Options: Newsfeed, mobile news feed, and right column.

Results: Page post engagements, a catch-all term that includes things like:

  • Photo or video views
  • Post likes
  • Post comments
  • Post shares
  • Page likes
  • Clicks on any included links to an external website (i.e., a site that isn’t on Facebook, like your business’ website)
  • Clicks on any “read more” links to view the rest of the post content
  • Conversions (if you have a Facebook conversion pixel set up on your website)


  • Your post’s content can have as much text as you want.
  • You can include as many links in your post.
  • Similarly, you can include as many or as few images in your post as you want.
  • It’s easy to be more thrifty with boosted posts since you can only indicate the total amount of money you want to spend.
  • Because you’ll see better engagement (i.e., more likes, comments, shares) on boosted posts, your Facebook Page will seem more active or lively to people who see the post later on.


  • This applies to both boosted posts and ads, but any images in your post need to have a total of 20% text. Use this image checker tool if you’re not sure if your image has too much text.
  • Your post’s content has to be shown on your Page. If you want your ad to contain information that isn’t visible on your Page, create an Ad instead.
  • You can only show your post to a single audience. This means that if you want to create content for specific markets (e.g., men versus women) you will need to create two separate posts on your Page and then boost them separately.
  • Similarly, if you want to test language or image, you’ll need to create a separate Page post for each version you’re testing.
  • Users will not see a call-to-action button.
  • You cannot include a headline.


Unlike boosted posts, ads are created separately from your Facebook Page (although you will need to still have a Page, in general, to create an ad). Clicking on the dropdown arrow in the upper right corner of Facebook, to the right of your name and notification buttons, and selecting “Create Ads” will begin the ad creation process.

Some people find boosted posts to be too broad for their tastes; while they’ll see page post engagements and greater reach, they may be getting engagement like post likes that don’t necessarily correlate to returns for their business. On the other hand, Facebook ads can be optimized for certain results (such as clicks to your website or conversions), showing your ad to people more likely to take those actions than others.

Spending Options: Per day or total budget. You can also choose whether you want Facebook to automatically optimize your ad for you or if you want to manually bid per click or impression.

Audience Options: Ad audience options prioritize specific targeting. You’ll first select certain geographic locations, age-ranges, interests, and even advanced targeting options such as relationship status, educational level, and life events. You can then select whether you want to include or exclude people who already like your Page and their friends.

Location Options: Newsfeed, mobile news feed, and right column.

Results: Choose from any of the below options when creating your ad. Facebook will only show your ad to people it thinks will give you more:

  • Clicks to your website
  • Website conversions (if you have a Facebook conversion pixel set up on your website)
  • Page post engagements*
  • Page Likes
  • App Installs
  • App Engagement
  • Offer Claims
  • Local Awareness
  • Event Responses
  • Video Views

*Note that you can create a boosted post from the ad creator, too.


  • You can include an optional call-to-action button for each ad. Options include: “Shop Now,” “Book Now,” “Learn More,” “Sign Up,” “Download,” or “Watch More.”
  • Since you can optimize for a certain result over others, you can focus on what is most important to your business.
  • You aren’t limited to content posted publicly on your Page. For example, you can offer a specific coupon or discount in an ad shown only to people who already like your Page without making it available to everyone who stumbles across your Page.
  • You can create multiple ads, varying any combination of images, audience, headline, call-to-action button, etc. to test which will perform the best.


  • Your ad’s text content is limited in size to 90 characters only (including spaces and symbols).
  • Your ad’s headline is limited in size to 25 characters only (including spaces and symbols).
  • You cannot include a link in your ad’s text.
  • You cannot include multiple images in a single ad.
  • As we mentioned, your ad images need to have a total of 20% text. Use this image checker tool if you’re not sure if your image has too much text.

Let’s get started!

Facebook’s advertising options provide exciting opportunities for online marketers and small business owners! Remember, boosted posts and ads are not mutually exclusive; you’ll likely see wonderful results no matter whether you use solely one or both ad types!

Want some Facebook advertising guidance? Check out our pricing and request a free strategy session!

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Jaime Nacach

Marketing Strategist

I love helping small businesses with their digital marketing and business strategy. I'm a young man with a passion in entrepreneurship and international experience in business development, marketing, sales, and web/graphic design. 

Find me on: Team Page | LinkedIn | Google+Personal Website

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