Is Boosting a Post on Facebook Worth It: The Good, The Bad, & Ugly

If you are wondering if boosting a post on Facebook is worth it, the answer is no. 

Advertising on Facebook is a great way for many businesses to build brand awareness, increase leads, drive sales, and promote overall business growth. Advertising on Facebook can also be an affordable advertising method, a perk applicable to many digital advertising platforms. It can also be all-to-easy to start advertising on Facebook. All you have to do is boost that post, right? If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

FYI: The Difference Between Boosted Posts & Ads on Facebook 

A boosted post is one type of advertising on Facebook. When you boost a post, you pay to show a post you already have on your Facebook page to a larger audience than it would naturally reach. Boosted posts are created by clicking on the “boost post” button on your page’s posts. Boosted posts have very limited targeting and setting options. Because boosted posts are created from posts you have already created for your page, they will appear on your Facebook page.

A Facebook ad is created in Facebook Ads Manager (or in Ad Center). Ads differ from boosted posts as they are created specifically as ads and do not show up on your Facebook page’s timeline. An ad has more targeting and customization settings than a boosted post. 

Graphic with list comparing Boosted Posts vs Facebook Ads
Boosted Posts vs. Ads on Facebook

While it may be easy and it may seem cheap, boosted posts on Facebook aren’t worth it. They aren’t the best way for a business to advertise on Facebook. That said, there are a few, small benefits so let’s start with the positives & why so many people choose to start their Facebook advertising (the wrong way) with boosted posts.

Facebook Boosted Posts: The Good

While we would never recommend boosting a post, there are a few reasons we generally see businesses boosting posts.

It’s Easy!

We get it. You are busy. You made that post already. Why spend more time specifically creating an ad when you can just quick & simple boost your post? Just five quick steps according to Facebook. The ease of boosted posts is the main benefit, especially for businesses that don’t have the time to learn the ins & outs of Facebook Ads Manager, or the funds to hire a Facebook advertising expert to set up proper Ads.

It’s Cheap!

You can boost a post for as little as $1 a day. A small price for a bit of advertising that might bring new users to your brand or at the very least get your business name out there to build brand awareness. We understand it can be hard to resist boosting a post when it is advertised for such a small price. What many businesses don’t realize is you can create actual ads and reap all the benefits provided by Facebook Ads Manager for the same low price.

More People Like My Boosted Posts!

Yep, when your posts are shown to a larger audience, you are likely to see more likes on those posts. If your only goal is to drive page likes or post likes, boosted posts can help you to achieve this quickly.

Facebook Boosted Posts: The Bad

While it can be oh-so-easy to simply boost that post, there are a few things you should know about boosted posts before you decide to take the easy route. 

Limited Goal Setting

With a boosted post you currently have three goal options. Your goal choices are: get more website visitors, get more engagement, and get more messages. While these may be goals for some businesses, these don’t fit all businesses. What if your goal is to bring in more leads for your business, or to drive sales, or to increase traffic to a specific page on your website? Using a boosted post you are out of luck if you have other goals. In fact, the goal options you have available when boosting a post, getting website visitors, engagement or messages, are essentially proxy business goals that simply act as stepping stones to your actual business goals. 

When you create an ad in Ads Manager you have the ability to select from eleven different goal options AND you have the ability to customize these goals by telling Facebook what exactly that goal means for your business. For example, you may select conversions as your advertising goal. From there, you can then specify that a conversion to your business is a completed purchase or a submitted lead form or view on a specific content piece. Whatever it is, you have the ability to set the guidelines, which helps Facebook’s algorithms to more appropriately target the right audience based on your more specific goals. Using a boosted post, you don’t have these specific goal options, so the targeting isn’t optimized for your business goals. 

Limited Targeting & Control Reduces Relevance

When you boost a post, you have a few choices about your target audience & your goal, but that’s about it. You choose your target audience, your max budget, & how long you want the boost to last. That is all. You don’t have the ability to create custom audiences, you don’t have the ability to create a lookalike audience, nor do you have the ability to control when the ad is shown or link to a specific page on your website. 

With limited targeting and control, your boosted posts aren’t reaching the most relevant audiences, nor are you able to attract users to accomplish your business goals (unless those goals are specifically post likes). When you create an ad to advertise a specific benefit of your business, or targeted for a specific audience or type of customer, you are making the ad more relevant. As every effective advertiser knows, the more relevant an ad is for its audience, the better it is. You should be trying to use advertising to reach your customers who will take action, not just people who like what your business does or says. In essence, boosted posts are lacking relevance, which is one GIANT reason why you shouldn’t use boosted posts on Facebook.

It’s More Complicated

Sure, when you create an ad using Facebook Ads Manager, it is more complicated than boosting a post, but the extra time will be well worth it if you are using the better targeting options and creating an ad that is more relevant for your audience.

Facebook Boosted Posts: The Ugly

Here’s where we talk about the ugly truth of boosted posts.

Lack of Tracking

With a boosted post, you will be able to view limited tracking metrics in Facebook. Depending on the generic goal you select for your boosted post, you can see things like post engagement, link clicks, number of people reached, & cost per action (i.e. engagement, link click, etc.). Knowing this information is important; however, this is just a small portion of the data you could be looking at.

If you only have this limited tracking information, you don’t have the ability to see the post-click or post-engagement metrics. You don’t have the ability to determine your return on ad spend. You are missing the opportunity to retarget past website visitors or create lookalike audiences based on audiences that completed a conversion action. In short, boosting a post seriously reduces the ability for you to create more efficient and effective advertising campaigns in the future and make better decisions about where you spend your marketing dollars. 

When you use Ads Manager in combination with the Facebook Pixel, you create a much better opportunity for your business to be successful using Facebook advertising. Why? Because you actually do have the ability to track post-click interactions on your website (using Google Analytics & URL parameters), determine what advertising is most successful for your business, what is not working well (with A/B testing & conversion tracking), and create custom audiences or lookalike audiences. When you use Ads Manager instead of boosted posts, you gain the ability to see a much broader set of information. Although it may take a bit more time or cost more up front to use Ads Manager to set up your Facebook advertising, the benefits far outweigh the costs in the long run.

Boosted Posts Are Wasting Your Money

Boosting posts on Facebook is a waste of money. For the same price of boosting a post, you could use Ads Manager to set up your advertising with much more targeted goals, settings, and actual advertising copy and creative. This alone is worth the effort, but the real gold mine is that you will have access to tracking information that you just can’t get with boosted posts. All of this additional information allows you to find the right audience and create more relevant advertising, which gives you the ability to understand your customers and grow your business. 

Is Boosting that Post on Facebook Worth It?

In the end boosting a post on Facebook isn’t worth it. With more data, better targeting, and additional goal setting options, using Ads Manager you gain the ability to make better business decisions and reduce wasted spending. 

We hope it’s now clear why you shouldn’t use boosted posts to advertise your business on Facebook. If you want to learn more about effectively advertising on Facebook or would like the help of a digital advertising expert, contact us! We are happy to answer questions, or discuss your business goals and the potential of advertising on Facebook for your business. 

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