The No Waste Approach to Facebook Ads

Boosted Posts vs. Ads: Which One is Right for Your Business?


Boosted post vs. Facebook ads, which one is more effective?

As the world’s most popular social media platform with over two billion users worldwide, Facebook is too big an opportunity to miss for advertising your business.

Facebook offers two types of advertising: Facebook ads and boosted posts. At upRive, a tool for significantly increasing your Facebook ads’ returns, we understand that Facebook’s paid channels can be quite challenging to understand at first. Which works better for your business aims, Facebook ads or boosted posts? And how can you use each type to generate more leads and promote brand awareness? 

In a nutshell, while requiring a steeper learning curve, Facebook ads are much more effective than boosted posts. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the following:

  • Boosted posts vs. ads
  • Why Facebook ads are more effective 
  • How upRive can help your ads become significantly cheaper and more effective with higher conversions

The Difference Between Boosted Posts vs. Ads

Given how often Facebook suggests boosted posts, it wouldn’t be surprising if you think that boosting is the best way for people to see your content. 

However, between boosted posts vs. ads, boosted posts offer limited customization and targeting opportunities, making them not the best option for your marketing strategy.

The good news is that boosting your posts is not your only option, and, based on your goals, creating a customized Facebook ad campaign can be a better choice.

What are Facebook Boosted Posts?

Boosted posts are advertisements created from your posts shared on your Facebook page. 

The idea behind boosting a post is that you can engage more people who are already following your business page along with those who were not previously engaged. Engagement can take the form of reactions, comments, or even engaging with the link in the post itself.

A boosted post can be potentially shared by existing followers, creating additional engagements with new customers. It feels less artificial than a standard ad and works as a virtual word of mouth. You can also optimize them for clicks, but with limited customization.

Pros of Boosted Posts: Easy to Use

  • Boosted posts are effortless to use: you can boost any post directly from your business page on Facebook without using Facebook Ads Manager.
  • You have several optimization options for different goals, such as post engagement, link clicks, and messages.
  • You can add a CTA to your existing post, such as Shop Now, Learn More, or Contact Us.
  • With boosted posts, you can choose existing audiences or create new ones.
  • You can set a timeframe and a total budget.

Cons of Boosted Posts

  • Boosted posts don’t have the capabilities for creating dynamic creatives and don’t allow you to customize or edit your ad creative beyond that of the post you are boosting.
  • You won’t be able to set cost controls for your budget or adjust your budget delivery.
  • The choices for which platforms to post on are limited: you either allow Facebook to automatically choose placements or post only in the basic feed on Instagram or Facebook.

In general, boosted posts are much more limited than Facebook Ads and more wasteful when it comes to ad spending. If you want to take advantage of paid channels on Facebook, ads are the way to go.

What are Facebook Ads?

Facebook ads are a more traditional form of social media advertising. These ads take a variety of forms and show up on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram. The ad can look like a caption, a carousel, a video, or a simple image.

On Facebook itself, ads may appear on the side of the screen or in the center of the news feed if you are using a laptop. If you are browsing using a phone or a tablet, the ads will show up during Facebook video content or as you scroll through the feed.

Facebook ads’ goal is to generate better conversions than boosted posts by using advanced algorithms to determine who is most likely to be interested in specific products. While their cost structure can lead to wasteful spending, you can use upRive to reduce your conversion costs significantly.

Pros of Facebook Ads: Best for Conversions

  • By using Facebook Ads Manager, you have a much broader selection of campaign objectives.
  • You can easily select individual placements across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Ads Network.
  • You can set Lookalike audiences from your website visits, email lists and Facebook engagement. This is a powerful way to scale your reach to relevant audiences.
  • With Facebook ads, you have significantly more flexibility when choosing the audience.
  • You can adjust your budget for maximum impact, including ad scheduling, lifetime vs. daily budgets, standard vs. accelerated budget delivery, and more.
  • You have a lot more creative flexibility with building ads, including dynamic creative.
  • Facebook Ads Reporting is a lot more in-depth and provides more information about your ad performance.

Cons of Facebook Ads

  • To create Facebook Ads, you need a Facebook Ads Account.
  • Using Facebook Ads Manager requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of things like audiences and bidding strategies, ad sets and campaigns, and more. Moreover, you need to be able to make sense of your ad reporting.
  • Split-testing can be quite hard to learn.
  • You might lose social shares if the winning creative has less engagement (e.g., likes, shares, comments, etc.).

You can use upRive to optimize your campaigns automatically and simplify things like audience research, split testing, and reporting. With upRive, create a reusable winning master ad across different audiences and campaigns without losing social proof.

When to Use Facebook Ads vs. Boosted Posts

So when should you use which? Boosted posts vs. Facebook ads?

  • Boosted posts are a great starting point for when you want to get some extra eyeballs on some of your posts or don’t feel like investing time into understanding how Facebook Ads Manager works.
  • Facebook ads allow more extensive control over ad placements, delivery, budget, and reporting. If you are comfortable with Facebook Ads Manager and are looking for superior flexibility, Facebook ads are your optimal choice.

All in all, Facebook ads offer everything that boosted posts do and more (including better results from your ads). Even though running a Facebook ad campaign requires a more in-depth understanding of the ad platform, it can help you get much higher returns and conversions for much cheaper with the right optimizations. 

upRive lets you create ads even more efficiently, which could drastically improve your Facebook marketing outcomes. For instance, poorly done split-testing can lead to wasted ad spend due to Facebook targeting the same audiences with overlapping interests. With upRive, you can eliminate this overlap and maximize your relevant reach.

Take Your Facebook Ads To The Next Level With upRive

When it comes to making profits from your paid ads, the format you choose matters. When deciding between boosted posts vs. ads, remember that even though Facebook Ad Manager is somewhat more complicated, it will be more beneficial long-term.

Using upRive, you can dramatically decrease ad spend and increase your conversions using Facebook Ads. Start your free trial today and see for yourself.

About the author

Samy Zabarah

Samy Zabarah is the creator of upRive. He also founded FUBSZ LLC, a Facebook ad management service based in Florida, USA, where he managed ad accounts for over 350 clients worldwide.

He started using Facebook ads in 2011, and since then, he has been using Facebook ads as his sole source of marketing.

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By Samy Zabarah
The No Waste Approach to Facebook Ads