Should You Boost A Post On Facebook? Boosted Posts vs Facebook Ads

Facebook boost post vs Facebook ads

One of the most common questions I’m asked is: should I boost posts on Facebook? It’s a great question. You can’t seem to get away from that big blue button on Facebook.

If your post is performing well, Facebook encourages you to boost it to reach even more people.

If your post is performing poorly, Facebook encourages you to boost it to help it reach more people…

It’s no wonder lots of people have questions about boosting posts and whether it’s worth it or not. It can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the Facebook ads game.

There’s a lot of strong opinions out there on boosting posts. Some people think they’re amazing. Some people say they’re a waste of time and money.

In this article I’m going to talk about the differences between boosting posts on Facebook and running your ads through the ads manager. But first, let’s talk about the difference between the two.

What are Facebook boosted posts?

A boosted post on Facebook is a post on your Facebook page’s timeline that you put advertising spend behind to ‘boost’ it to a larger audience. This is the simplest way to advertise on Facebook, as you’re able to reach a new audience with just a couple of clicks. 

Facebook Boost post button

It’s very easy to boost a post on Facebook and as I said, they actively encourage you to do it.

You’ve probably seen the notification that says “Your post ‘xyz’ is performing 95% better than your other posts…”. This makes it very easy for people to waste their cash.

The difference between boosted posts and Facebook sponsored ads

On the other hand, Facebook ads are created inside the Facebook ads manager and allow for much more sophisticated customisation.

This little graph shares some of the differences between the two.

Facebook ads vs boosting posts

Essentially, creating ads through the ads manager gives you a lot more control and is a lot more powerful (when used correctly) than boosting. But that doesn’t mean boosting doesn’t have its place.

When you create an ad through the ads manager, you create what’s often referred to as a “dark post”. A dark post is a post/ad that’s created by you, but never goes into your Facebook page feed. So, unlike where you boost a post and it’s on your feed, any ads you create through the ads manager, don’t appear on your page, but appear in the feeds of the people you’re targeting.

Should you boost a Facebook post?

You’ve probably already experienced the decrease in reach for organic content on Facebook pages.

It’s turned Facebook into a ‘pay to play’ platform, much to the dismay of many marketers and business owners. However, we should see it as an opportunity.

Facebook provides us with the best advertising platform available today. Do you really expect that to be free?

You don’t need to boost or promote all your posts.

It really depends on your goals and audience.

I’m a big advocate of only boosting or promoting posts that have performed well organically. I use my Facebook feed as a testing ground for my content. Once I see a vlog that’s doing really well, I boost that… adding fuel to the fire.

Pros of boosting posts on Facebook

  • Ease of use – The boost button is incredibly easy to use, allowing you to have an advert live almost instantly. Facebook have made it so simple for a reason – the easier it is, the more people use it. 
  • Make up for declining reach – As I’m sure you’re aware, Facebook’s organic reach has been declining year on year for years, sitting at just 2%. The boost button is going to allow you to quickly and easily reach more people.
  • Boost engagement on key pieces of content – If you have key pieces of content you want to promote and you’d like to boost the engagement on them, boosting the post can be a a simple way to achieve that goal.

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Cons of boosting posts on Facebook

  • No strategy – The biggest reason businesses don’t see results with the boost button is the fact they use it without any real strategy in place. When you boost a post on Facebook, you’re asking Facebook to get more engagement on your post (likes, comments and shares). That’s what Facebook will optimise for. Meaning, if you’re trying to achieve more sales from your money, boosting isn’t a good way to do it. Also, effective targeting is much harder when boosting posts, meaning it’s harder to get in front of the right people. The end results is you sometimes end up promoting your message to a random audience, asking them to like, comment and share. 
  • Ability to optimise is limited – The key to success with Facebook ads is in your ability to test and optimise everything you do. When we create a campaign, ideally we want to test different audiences, placements and creatives to see which performs best. When you boost, you can’t really do any of these things, meaning you’re missing out on what makes Facebook so powerful. 

Cost of boosting a post on Facebook

Boosting posts on Facebook, like any form of advertising, costs money. But how much will clicking that boost button cost you?

Well, with any advertising on Facebook, the answer really is: it depends. But it depends on what you want to pay. When you’re boosting a post (or creating an ad through the ads manager) you set the budget. 

The minimum budget is $1 per day, so hypothetically, you could create an ad, set the budget to $1 per day and run it for 1 day. 

But the more you pay, the more people you’re going to reach.

The easiest way to get an accurate idea on how much it’s going to cost you to boost a post on Facebook is by jumping into Facebook and having a look! When you go through the boosting process on Facebook, it’s going to give you an estimate on how many people you’ll reach based on the budget/days you’ve specified.

These numbers will always change based on things like where you’re targeting (for example, some locations are more expensive than others, time of year etc.)

How to boost a post on Facebook

1. Head over to your Facebook page

Gavin Bell Facebook page

The first thing you need to do is head over to your Facebook page. Simple enough.

2. Find the post you’d like to boost

Then, find the post you’d like to boost. I’ve chosen this one here where I interviewed Andrew & Pete on my podcast.

Example Facebook post with boost button

3. Click on the boost button

Click on that big unmissable ‘Boost Post’ button underneath your post. It’ll then bring this box up, which invites you to set your targeting and budget.

Boost post options

4. Select targeting, budget

So go ahead and set that targeting and budgeting up, using the features there. Just like we’ve done here.

targeting on boost post Facebook

5. Hit Boost

Once you’ve confirmed all that good stuff, go ahead and click boost! Your ads will then enter a reviewal process, where Facebook will make sure you’re not promoting anything dodgy… and once they determine you’re a-ok, the ad will start running 🙂

Simple as that.

There we go! Facebook ads vs boosted posts. What is best? Well, now I hope you have the answers! Short answer from me: if you have strategy behind why you’re boosting a post, such as you simply want to boost engagement amongst a predetermined audience, go for it. However, if you’re looking to drive real business results through your advertising spend, you’re going to want to run ads through the ads manager.

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