[This post has been updated for 2019]
If you manage a Facebook page, you’ve no doubt seen that Facebook often tells you to boost your posts to reach more people.
But you may have also seen that you can choose to promote your post too. If you’re like many page managers, you might have thought this was the same thing, but boosting posts and promoting posts are in fact quite different things.
We’re going to take a look at promoted posts and boosted posts on Facebook and see exactly what the difference is between the two and if you should choose one over the other.
Facebook Boosted Posts
Boosted posts are a very simple way to get more eyeballs on your post.
You can choose some very limited settings and pay to reach more people of your choosing. Examples of targeting you can currently use when you boot your post (as it sometimes changes) are location, age, gender and interests.
If you’ve already created ads in the past with custom audiences, you can boost your posts to a pre-defined custom audience as well – this can be a lot more effective as these audiences have been tailored for your niche and type of posts.
There is a caveat you need to be aware of if you’re boosting your posts though. Boosting posts can often lead to a decline in your future organic reach, because Facebook doesn’t see your boosted post as an ad, it sees it as a post. So when your future posts fail to reach as wide an audience, the Facebook algorithm doesn’t think people are engaging with your posts as much and therefore can serve it less.
If you’re not comfortable with the level of detail offered by Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor, or if you’d like to keep things simple but still reach new people, boosting your posts could be the right option for you.
Facebook only lets you optimise your Boosted posts for:
A boosted post lets you target people who have visited your website but you don’t have as much control over setting up an ad within Facebook Ads Manager.
For example, in Ads Manager you can retarget people who have visited your website, who are also make and who are aged between 20 – 35, living in Perth.
Boosted Posts Give You Limited Placement Options
With boosted posts you can only choose to have your ad shown on Facebook or Instagram. Whereas, Promoted Ads lets you place your ad in Instagram Stories, Facebook Messenger, Audience Network, etc.
Boosted Posts Give You Limited Control Over Creative
When you boost a post you can only change the ‘call to action’ button.
When you set up an ad from Facebook Ads Manager you can completely customise the creative. You can edit images, videos, copy, headlines and buttons.
Facebook Promoted Posts
Using the Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor, you can choose to promote your post instead. This involves using the Ad Manager or Power Editor to effectively turn your post into an ad.
This option allows you to refine your audience so much further than simply boosting your post. You can choose an audience based on age, gender, geographic location, interests, language, behaviours, device types, and platforms.
You can also set your budget for a specific time and also schedule the delivery of your ads to certain times only if you prefer.
It also allows you to exclude people who already like your page, which means you can be sure you’re reaching completely new people, and not paying to reach people who already like or interact with your page.
Using the Ads Manager or Power Editor allows you a lot more control and flexibility over who sees your ad and for how long.
A Third Option
If you would prefer to create a post that isn’t publicly available on your Facebook page, use the Ads Manager to create an ad and then set your targeting. It can be made to appear like a regular post in the newsfeed but won’t appear on your page posts if someone goes to your page.
So what’s the best option for you page? While boosted posts are easy to set up, they are designed to be simple and essentially make Facebook money. If you’re serious about reaching the right audience for the cheapest cost per click, promoted posts are usually much more effective.
You should start experimenting with Facebook Ads manager to gain greater control over your posts and have your content seen by more of the right people.
Why not experiment and see what works best? Have you already tried both options? Let us know in the comments what worked for you!