What’s the Difference Between Boosted Posts & Facebook Ads?

A female scrolling the web on an ipad.
Amanda Meadows April 18, 2019

What’s the Difference Between Boosted Posts & Facebook Ads?

In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced his vision for the future of Facebook: moving from “focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.” Facebook’s new focus means that we see more meaningful posts from our family and friends but fewer posts from business and brand pages in our newsfeeds.

On one hand, I think we all can appreciate the sentiment behind Zuckerberg’s vision. But on the other hand, this means that as businesses and marketers we have to adjust our tactics for reaching the huge pool of prospects spending time on Facebook.

Increase in Paid Posts

One way that businesses and marketers have compensated for these changes is an increase in paid posts, either by boosting or promoting. In both cases, a page’s posts reach a much broader audience, beyond the people who already like or follow the page.

Facebook currently has two paid post formats–the boosted post and the Facebook ad. But what’s the difference?

Boosted posts

You can boost a post for your business page when you’re writing the post or after you’ve already posted it. Boosting is very quick and easy, though the targeting options are less exhaustive than the targeting options for Facebook ads. If a particular post on your business page’s timeline performs really well, Facebook will notify you about boosting it.

Promoted posts (Facebook ads)

Promoted posts, otherwise known as Facebook ads, are created through the Facebook Ad Manager. Facebook ads have very thorough targeting criteria and can help you achieve a wider range of objectives. You can choose to run an ad for building your presence, creating awareness, generating leads, boost sales, and more.

Should I Boost a Post or Create a Facebook Ad?

Boosting a Facebook post works well for new pages or pages that have a small following. Your boosted posts will help you reach a wider audience to build awareness. And if you’re new to social media ads, boosting posts is a great place to start small.

Creating a Facebook Ad will allow you to choose from a broader range of advanced objectives and the action you want from the consumer. You can also take advantage of very specific targeting criteria, ad formats, and ad placement. These promoted posts work well for businesses with established pages and audiences.

For a more thorough comparison of boosted posts and Facebook ads, check out this page in Facebook’s Ads Help Center.


As more and more businesses crowd onto social media and as platforms change algorithms to favor the consumer over the advertiser, businesses and marketers alike need to adjust strategies to reach the right audience and grow their business.

What about you? Have you experimented with boosting posts or creating Facebook ads? What have you learned? If you haven’t tried advertising on Facebook yet, what has kept you from trying it? Tell us in the comments!

If advertising on Facebook seems intimidating to you or you’re not sure where to start, Red Razor Marketing is here to help you get started! Call us at 864-881-1382 to talk to us about how we can help you leverage this valuable digital marketing tool!