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January 6, 2015

Posted by: Kevin Homer


What's the Difference: Facebook Ads vs. Facebook Boosts

Facebook is just as popular as ever. Yes, we’ve all heard the statistics about how use of Facebook is decreasing, but when you think about the hundreds of millions of users that are on Facebook, this slight decline has virtually zero effect on the potential reach businesses and brands can have. In fact, as the average age of Facebook users continues to increase, I’d argue that business potential has increased, as our Facebook audience is now becoming even more relevant for most.


One statistic that I do agree with is that Facebook posts are decreasing in viewership. There are two reasons for this. Facebook has admitted that they tweaked their algorithm and that posts only reach about 16% of a Page’s audience. Additionally, with the use of mobile devices growing each day, new content is created more frequently and a Page’s post gets pushed down the News Feed at a faster rate, making it less likely to be seen.


The actual content and information being provided by a Page is more important than ever. Companies are using Content Management Systems on their websites to create new relevant content, news is created and shared more quickly than ever, and online marketing strategies are becoming stronger each day as we all learn how to reach our consumers and convert leads into sales. So what can we do to ensure our Facebook content is receiving the views we want, and by the right people?


Facebook Ads and Facebook Boosted Posts are both options to ensure your posts receive visibility. Below I outline the difference between Facebook Ads and Facebook Boosts and the benefits of each.


Facebook Boosted Posts

Boosted posts appear higher in the News Feed, so there's a better chance your audience will see them. These “sponsored” posts look just like the other posts in the News Feed, other than the subtle “Sponsored” label. Boosting a post allows a post created by the Page to appear higher in the News Feed to followers of the Page, followers and their friends, or a custom audience. The goal of a Boosted Post is to increase Actions on the Post, which includes likes, comments, shares, or clicks.


Setting Goals for Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are like Boosted Posts on steroids. Ads can appear in a person's News Feed (just like a Facebook Boosted Post would), on the right column, and on the Facebook logout Page. However, the Ad does not show up on the Page’s timeline, as it is not generated from an actual post, like a Boosted Post is. Ad content is sometimes paired with news about social actions that your friends have taken, such as liking a Page. When creating a Facebook Ad through the Ads Manager, there are many more demographic options available to help drill down to the appropriate audience, such as marital status, income level, home owner or renter status, education level, and much more. Through the Facebook Ads Manager, we can create different graphics for each ad, and then track how viewers are reacting to each, which is helpful for future campaigns. Through Facebook Ads, we are able to select different goals, such as sending people to a website or increasing conversions, promoting your Page, increasing installs of an app or increasing engagement within it, raising attendance at an event, or getting people to claim an offer.


A common question that we receive is “So which is better, a Facebook Ad or a Facebook Boosted Post?” The real answer is that it depends on your particular goals. Facebook Ads are more robust and offer more dynamic functionality and specific targeting, but that doesn’t always make it appropriate. It’s recommended that you work with an agency who understands how to establish an appropriate target audience, create engaging ad content, and manage ads within a platform that has probably changed again just during the time I’ve been writing this blog post.


What kind of success has your Page seen using Facebook Ads or Boosted Posts, or what obstacles have you encountered? Please share your feedback below!

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