Facebook Ads vs. Boosted Post – Which Is Better?

If you’re an owner or admin on a Facebook business page you’ve probably been notified that a particular post is performing well and Facebook is prompting you to “boost” that post. This happens because Facebook’s algorithms see it as content that page admins have boosted in the past or because it’s performing at a high level and they want you to throw some money at it to increase its reach.

The “boost post” option is an extension of the Facebook Ads system and was designed to be less intimidating to small business owners who were overwhelmed by the full ads system. As the saying goes, “simpler doesn’t always mean better.” The full Facebook Ads system offers many more customization tools than simply boosting a post. In this article, we’ll go over some of the major differences between boosting a post and using the full Facebook ads system.

What are boosted posts?

The boost post feature allows you to promote a post that’s already on your timeline. You’ll be able to choose a target audience, budget, and the duration you want it to be boosted. Boosted posts focus on maximizing visibility for that one, single post and getting as much engagement as possible. This can be good for brand awareness. Thanks to a recent update, you can also choose to encourage people to visit your site. If you choose this option instead of engagement (likes, reactions), your boosted post will be shown to people most likely to click. This option is only available if the post you’re boosting contains a link.

Many small business owners prefer the simplicity and ease of use of the boosted post interface. However, the lack of options may be hindering the performance of a pre-planned ad campaign that you can create through the full Facebook ads system. Below we’ll go over those of these additional options.

facebook boosted post example

Facebook Ads Offer More Objective, Placement, Targeting, & Creative Options

Ability to choose your specific objective

Having the ability to choose the correct objective will allow you to place your ad in front of the viewers that will likely complete that task. Facebook ads give you the ability to choose from a list ranging from video views to lead generation. Boosting a post only gives you limited options. This customization tool will allow you to increase your ROI by not wasting time and money with people who are less likely to convert.

facebook ads objectives

Detailed placement options

Boosted posts only let you check or uncheck an Instagram placement. Facebook Ads lets you choose placement including Facebook newsfeeds, side ads, Instagram feeds, Instagram stories, instant articles, messenger ads, and audience network ads.  You can also choose if you’d like your campaign to be shown to mobile or desktop users only.

facebook ads placement options

Allows for more targeting customization

With boosted posts, you can’t overlap audience types.  You can’t, for example, choose a custom audience and then add interest targeting.  You can do that and much more through the full ads system.  It’s incredible how granular your audience can be from including options like users location, interest, job title, life events, and more.

facebook ads targeting options

More creative control

When using Facebook Ads you can create carousel ads, add headlines and descriptions, and choose the call to action button you think will work best for your objective.  These are all creative and formatting options that you couldn’t utilize with simply boosting a post.

Facebook Carousel Example

When To Use Facebook Ads vs. Boosted Posts

99% of the time, Facebook Ads will be the right choice over boosted posts. Alone, the ability to choose the exact objective you want your ads to be optimized for will give you more results.

For example with Facebook Ads, you can start creating funnels for visitors that are ready to pull the trigger. First, create a video awareness campaign.  Then, retarget people who watch 75% or more of that video with a lead ad that automatically fills out their contact information.  Once, they visit your site you can re-target them again and show them items similar to what they’re interested in with high-converting carousel ads. These highly engaging funnel campaigns aren’t possible with simply boosting a post.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to promote an event or make a big announcement a boosted post will still work, but there are limitations to what you can do with the creative assets and data after the boosted post has ended.

The full-throttle Facebook ads creation process provides much better customization in every way possible.  You have more room to optimize for you exact campaign goals and develop creative that will entice your viewers to engage.

Thanks for reading. As always, if you need help creating ads for your Facebook business page, give us a shout, we’d be happy to help.


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