The difference between Facebook advertising and boosting posts

What's the difference between Facebook advertising and boosting posts?

Warning – this blog comes with a rant!⁠

Do you boost your Facebook posts?⁠

If so, please, please, please stop it. And stop it now. ⁠

If you're going to spend money on Facebook, spend it on proper ad campaigns that will actually deliver you some results. 

What's the difference between Facebook advertising and boosting posts?

⁠Put simply, Facebook advertising offers you a lot more than boosting. Better goal setting, better targeting, better flexibility, better reporting.

Overall advertising offers you a waaaaaaay better spend of your advertising dollars than boosting ever will.

Advertising offers you three stages of a campaign – Campaign Objective Ad Set and Ad

Stage 1 – starting with goal setting

Any ad campaign, regardless of the format or platform should be set up with a clear goal. With Facebook advertising this is your Campaign Objective.

Advertising offers you three key goal areas and a range of goal choices under those areas. This gives you 11 options with your goals.

And while boosting has recently introduced setting up a goal, you only have two choices.

Additionally, with advertising, you can set your whole campaign budget here, which is handy if you are running more than one ad set or ad within your campaign. It means you apply your budget to all your ads within the campaign rather than having to set a budget for each ad.

Boosting doesn’t give you the option of running more than one ad set or one ad within a campaign. And that means your budget applies just to your boosted post.

The difference between Facebook advertising and boosting posts score: Facebook Advertising 1, Boosting 0

Stage 2 – audience, duration and more

So, with both an ad campaign and boosting you can be very targeted with who you appear in front of and how long you want your ad.

However, the Ad Set stage of your Facebook advertising campaign gives you greater choice with your targeting.

This means you can be really specific about who your ad gets in front of. And I mean really, really specific.

You can create multiple audiences for one single ad campaign and see how they perform against each other. You can switch off an audience that isn’t working, you can do A/B testing. The list goes on.

For example. If you’re a skin care and beauty salon you might create a target audience of 25-40 year old females, who live in Albury, who are interested in skin care. You can create a second target audience for the same campaign and change the interest to beauty, (you don’t have to set up a second campaign or a second post). You can run the same ad for both audiences and see which one performs better. If your skin care audience actions your original goal, and the beauty audience doesn’t that gives you information about what/who/where your market is.

Boosting offers you a target audience choice, and that’s it.

And while you can choose both interests in the example above in your boosted audience you cannot set them up separately to compare them. No comparisons, no multiple audiences.

The difference between Facebook advertising and boosting posts score: Advertising 2, Boosting 0

Stage 3 – your ad 

Did you know that, with Facebook advertising campaigns, you can create your ad specifically to achieve your campaign goals?

Facebook advertising gives you a range of options to create your ad content. Yes, you can use an existing post. But, it’s so much more powerful to create an ad specifically designed to achieve your advertising goal.

And, there’s this really cool feature where you can preview the different formats of where your ad will appear, eg desktop, mobile, stories etc. Plus, there are options to change the backgrounds in some of the different formats to really make your ad pop and stand out.

A really, really, really important difference between advertising and a boost though, is that you have much better choices for where you can direct links for achieving your goal.

That’s probably because you have so many more choices of goals in the first place with Facebook advertising.

Boosting is simply sharing an existing post. You can’t change the content like you can with setting up an ad campaign. 

The difference between Facebook advertising and boosting posts score: Advertising 3, Boosting 0

Monitoring and reporting

Finally, and importantly, (and I can't stress this enough), you can monitor your Facebook ad campaign and change your ad set and/or ad content if your ad is not achieving the goal you set.

Facebook even monitors it for you and gives you a rating on how your ad is performing compared to goal averages. HOW COOL IS THAT!

That means, if your campaign isn’t performing how you want it to, that you can make changes mid-campaign. To both your ad set’s and your ad content.

Or you can switch your campaign off entirely if it's still not working – and save some marketing dollars.

Once you boost your post, it’s set and forget. You can’t do anything but wait until the boost period finishes. And that puts you at risk of wasting your marketing dollars if your boosted post doesn’t perform.

The difference between Facebook advertising and boosting posts score: Advertising 4, Boosting 0

Also very cool, is that you can choose wht you want Facebook to report on for your ad campaign.There are standard reporting formats that you can choose (dependent on your goal) or you can customise your reporting to see the information you want.Again, boosting does not give you this option.

The difference between Facebook advertising and boosting posts score: Advertising 5, Boosting 0

Facebook advertising is worth it!

When we look at the score (5-0), you can see, there is a big difference between Facebook advertising and boosting posts.

You can do all sorts of things with a Facebook Ad Campaign that you cannot do with boosting a post.

I am known for telling people boosting their Facebook posts is flushing money down the toilet. This is why!

While it may take a little more time to set up your Ad Campaign, IT IS WORTH EVERY CENT!!! ⁠

Can you tell we feel really strongly about this?

So, please, please, please, if you're boosting your Facebook posts, stop it. Stop flushing your money down the toilet.

Make a promise to yourself that you will stop it from today onwards.⁠ And that you will spend your hard-earned marketing dollars on Facebook ads NOT Facebook boosts.


If you want to do your Facebook advertising yourself, our friend Jenn Donovan, of Social Media and Marketing has a great Ultimate Beginners Guide to Facebook Ads. It’s free and you can sign up to download it here.

Of course, if you need help with setting up and running Facebook ad campaigns, we can help you. 

If you need help with your social media let us know. We'd love to help you.

If you need help making your marketing happen, lets have a coffee and a chat.

More to explore

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A Guide to Boost Your Online Presence