Should You Run Facebook Ads or a Boosted Post?

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Facebook Advertising can be an effective way to increase brand awareness and boost in-store sales.  And one of the best parts about running ads on Facebook is that you can see real business results by spending as little as $10-$20/day.

As a marketer, the selection of Facebook ad types can often be overwhelming.  Should you run Facebook ads that appear in the right column and the newsfeed or should you just boost a post?  It all depends on who you are trying to target and your current audience on Facebook.  

Here are three scenarios to think about before deciding between an ad or a boosted post:

Scenario 1:  You have a big audience on Facebook, and want to reach more of your fans.

If you’ve built up a big audience on Facebook but want to reach more of those fans because Facebook limits how many people your organic posts can reach, test a standard boosted post.  After you write up your Facebook post, click “Boost Post” in the bottom right.  

Boosting a post is an effective way to reach more of your Facebook fans.

Boosting a post is an effective way to reach more of your Facebook fans.

Since you want to reach your existing fans, select “People who like your Page and their friends.” As a bonus, Facebook will also show this post to your fans’ friends, which will help boost engagement (pro tip: you can target specific sets of your fans.  Maybe you only want to promote this fans in Massachusetts since your stores in Florida are not participating in this particular campaign).

Select "People who like your Page and their friends" for easy, quality targeting.

Select "People who like your Page and their friends" for easy, quality targeting.

Scenario 2: You are looking to grow your audience and want to reach people outside of your Facebook fans.

If you don’t yet have a big audience on Facebook, a boosted post can be a great tool to not only help you reach a new audience, but actually drive those people to spend money in-store.  

Here, instead of selecting “People you like your Page and their friends,” select “People you choose through targeting.”  What’s great about this ad type is that even if you only have 250 Facebook Fans, you still have the ability to reach thousands of high qualified eyeballs, since  Facebook gives you the ability to target geographic areas and specific interests.  

For example, SA PA, a fast casual Vietnamese restaurant in Boston, targeted people within a five mile radius of their Downtown Boston location who also liked the New England Patriots.

Facebook allows you to target geographies, interests, age and gender for a Boosted Post.

Facebook allows you to target geographies, interests, age and gender for a Boosted Post.

Scenario 3:  You want to target a very specific group of people, whether they are your fans or not.

Whether you have a big audience or a small one, traditional Facebook Ads (which appear in both the newsfeed and the right column) provide you with the most options around targeting. Taking things one step further than a boosted post, you have the ability to target very specific characteristics such as "iOS and Android users", or even "women in the Chicago area that are in graduate school and have interests in health and fitness".

Facebook also allows you to create one ad with multiple images - they rotate the images for you and optimize based on performance.  We know that an image can have a huge impact on the success of an advertisement, and it’s tough to tell what a consumer is going to click without testing multiple images.

For your next marketing campaign, set aside some budget to test a boosted post vs. an ad on Facebook.  A boosted post can be quicker to create and easier to manage if you are short on time and resources, while Facebook ads can offer more flexibility around targeting and customization.

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