The Difference Between Boosting a Post and Using Facebook Ads Manager

Gianna Callioni
. 12 Apr 2022 . 5 min read

Gone are the days when the majority of people who liked your Facebook page or Instagram profile saw the organic posts you created. Now, a mere 5.2% of your organic Facebook followers will see your content without you paying for more. While there are ways of increasing this reach organically (ie. without paying for it) and working on your organic strategy is highly recommended, we appreciate that it’s often not enough to get the results you want.

But, the key question is – if you’re going to pay to reach more people, is it better to use Facebook’s boosting feature or Ads Manager?

What is a boosted post?

Essentially, a boosted post is a paid way of achieving the same reach you used to get on organic posts before Facebook decided to change up their algorithm. It’s the simplest way of advertising on Facebook/Instagram because you can do everything via your usual desktop or mobile view with a few clicks.

There are three key steps to boosting your post:

  1. select your goal;
  2. define your audience; and
  3. set your budget and duration (as seen in the image below).

These steps are taken on an organic post that’s already live or on an organic post that you’re in the process of scheduling.

Screenshots depicting the various stages of boosting a post on Instagram

What is a Facebook ad?

While boosted posts are still technically classed as ‘ads’ because they’re a paid form of increasing reach, Facebook ads use Ads Manager to more thoroughly define and target objectives and audiences.

Additional options when using Facebook Ads Manager:
  • Can choose to optimise for more types of actions in the consumer decision making funnel. This includes things like website conversions, lead generation, app installs, and more.
  • Can more accurately filter the audience/s you’d like to target. From refining age, gender, and location options to creating custom and lookalike audiences based on website data or brand engagements.
  • Can narrow down where you’d like your ads to be placed and customize the creative depending on those placements. For instance, if you’d like your ad to appear both in the feed and on stories, you can create a specific 1:1 video to show in feeds and a 9:16 video to show in stories.
  • Can add additional creative features to ads like call-to-action buttons, headlines, and multiple description options.
  • Can create formal A/B tests between campaign types and ad sets.

So, which one is better? Boosting a post or creating an ad?

If you’re just getting started with Facebook advertising, it’s a lot easier to follow the process of boosting a post. And, if your aim is simply brand awareness or post engagements, then it’s not a bad option.

However, with simplicity also comes less-targeted results. It’s important to decide what you want to achieve with your social media advertising so you know exactly what results you’re looking for.

By using Ads Manager, you can create refined and targeted ad campaigns, rather than working with individual posts. Each campaign can include multiple Ad Sets (audience types) and each Ad Set can include multiple ads. It does take a lot more planning and it can seem overwhelming at first, however, when set up correctly the results are well worth it.

If you’d like to set up a campaign strategy but aren’t sure where to start, please reach out to our team and we can work on it together. We start with understanding your broad business goals and target audience, then outline a strategy that focuses on getting you there.

Need help navigating social media advertising?

Our social media experts can help.

Learn More