Every day, Facebook makes millions of marketers around the world breathe a sigh of relief. At the start of the year, Facebook’s ad revenue hit $16.6 billion. There’s serious money going into the channel. The social media website is an invaluable tool for digital marketing so this isn’t surprising. But it makes us scratch our heads until we expose our skulls when we see a client only boosting a Facebook post and then refusing to spend any more money on Facebook marketing. Boosted posts are excellent when incorporated into a full marketing strategy but that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Facebook’s advertising options are far more extensive and sophisticated than just boosting a post.
What is a boosted post?
A boosted post is a very straight-forward type of ad on Facebook. Users pay money to boost an existing Facebook post on the business’ page to a specified audience. The audience will see this post as an ad in their Facebook or Instagram news feed. The main hang up with boosting posts is the targeting options. They are far fewer options compared to Facebook ads, the most pertinent being that you can’t overlap different preferences, e.g. users who visited your website, who live in Edinburgh and are males between 18 – 35. Despite this, it is incredibly easy and effortless as Facebook seemingly does all the hard work for you. You don’t even need to log into Facebook Business Manager; you can boost a post quickly directly from your profile.
What are Facebook Ads?
A Facebook ad can be as broad or specific as you want. There are a LOT of variables in the settings here and it can be very overwhelming, especially in a high-pressure environment. It’s too easy to rush and forgetting to choose an option, potentially scuppering the whole set up.
You create the ad using Facebook’s Ads Manager, setting them up at three stages – the campaign stage, the ad group stage and the ad stage. The campaign stage is where you set your objective and Facebook changes the way it optimises your campaign accordingly. The ad group stage is where an overabundance of targeting options awaits you. This is where most people who don’t realise the platform’s full potential under-use it.
Not only can you target people based on the interests, demographics and location but you can layer these different targeting options to create better defined audience. The more targeted to an audience an ad is, the better response rate.
There’s also the option of choosing where exactly your ad will appear: on Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger. You’re not just limited to news feeds as you would be with boosted posts.
Another little benefit to ads over posts is being able to choose a call-to-action button to make your ad even more eye-catching and better direct users to the action you want them to take.
Which should you use for your business?
It’s impossible to say which of these two will work best for your business without a proper brief and some marketing expertise. A basic practice is that boosted post works well for social media likes, comments and shares. This could be ideal for promoting a competition or an event. A Facebook ad is more likely to outperform where you have a specific conversion in mind, detailed targeting is critical and you want to get in front of a particular kind of audience. Give both a try for different campaigns and discover the recipe for success for your business.