Boosted Post or Promoted Post?


Getting started with Facebook ads can be a confusing exercise and a waste of money.

Not sure when to 'Boost Post' or 'Promote Post'?

Understanding the pros and cons between Boosted Posts and Promoted Posts will help you get a better return on investment.

In this post I'm going to tell you the differences between Boosting a Post, Promoting a Post, and when to decide which is right for your marketing goals.

For the purpose of this post, I will not be getting in to Facebook's Power Editor, as that is a whole Pandora's Box in itself!


Why Should I Use Facebook Advertising?

Facebook's organic reach has been declining for months now, but in the past two weeks, it's gotten even worse. I've spoken to people who've been reporting Post Reach as low as 1%! This means that if you want your Facebook Fans to see your posts, you're going to need to dedicate some of your marketing budgets to Facebook Ads.

This isn't to say you should turn every post of yours into an ad. Choose the most important ones.

Here's a few rules:

  • Only pay to promote your own content. There's no point in forwarding traffic to someone else if you're footing the bill.
  • You don't always have to be selling. Pick content that genuinely helps people, too. Like how-to blog posts, free e-books, etc.
  • Pay to promote content that's designed to build your email subscriber list. If you're going to boost any one type of content, let this be it. Hook them in with opt-in offers (freebies), like free webinars, e-books, audio tracks, etc.

There's a few routes you could take when using Facebook Ads. If you're super advanced, you could use Facebook's Power Editor. If you're fairly inexperienced with running Facebook Ads, I recommend using Facebook's Ad Manager to begin with.

How to find Facebook Ads Manager

How to find Facebook Ads Manager

Which begs the question: boost a post or promote a post?


Boost Post

By far the easiest of the options, but also the most limiting.  All you need to do is click Boost Post in the lower right corner of your post.

How to Boost Post on Facebook

How to Boost Post on Facebook

Click on Boost Post, and you'll be given the option to either target “People who like your page and their friendsorPeople you choose through targeting.” You’ll also be able to set your budget.


How to choose who to target

People who like your page: The only time I would recommend using the option is if you have a limited budget and want to build your subscriber list. You have a better chance of existing fans wanting to engage with you more, so selecting your existing Page Fans as your target audience is a safe option.

People who like your page and their friendsIf you have a pretty good idea of who your audience is, and who their friends are, you could target 'People who like your page and their friends'. However, that's quite a broad segment to target. Facebook Ads has powerful targeting options, so I never recommend targeting a broad audience. You really need to define and refine your target audience in order for Facebook Ads to work in your favour. Otherwise, you're pushing out a post to people who are unlikely to click on your Ad or Like your Page.

Also, let's say you Boosted a Post and a friend of one of your Facebook Fans 'Liked' your Post. If they're not connected to your Page, they'll actually never see your Posts again. Waste of money!

People you choose through targeting: By far the best option! You'll be able to refine your audience and choose the people most likely to engage with your ad.


The targeting option lets you select the age of the people you want to reach, their location, gender, and up to 10 interests. This is like a watered down version of 'Promoting a Post'.

When you choose to Boost a Post with 'People you choose through targeting', my recommendation is to drive traffic to your website (that's set up with a strong call-to-action!). 

To summarise: Boosting a Post with a target audience is a simple way to set up an ad. It can also work for building your subscriber list from your existing Facebook Fans. However, it doesn't allow you to really refine your audience (segmenting).  


Promoting a Post

The best way for Facebook Ad rookies to push a post to the newsfeed is to use the Ads Manager to Promote a Post. Why? You'll have more targeting, pricing and bidding options, meaning more bang for your buck. As a small business owner, trust me - you want this!

To get started Promoting a Post, just go to, or select Ads Manager in the left hand side menu of your Facebook Home Page. You'll then see this list of options:


If you want more people to engage with your Facebook Page and its Posts, select Page Post Engagement. This will give people the option to see your Facebook Posts as Sponsored Posts, and will also give them the option to Like your Page within their newsfeed. Too easy!

After you've selected the Page you want to Promote, you'll be given the option to select the Post you want to Promote in the newsfeed.

When you click Continue, you'll see a whole range of powerful targeting options. Far better than Boosting a Post!

You also have more control on how your dollars are spent:


You'll see above that you also have a choice over how you bid (pay) for an for your Ad:

  • Optimise for Page post engagement - You'll only pay for Page or Post Likes
  • Optimise for Impressions - You'll pay per 1000 people the Sponsored Post is shown to
  • Optimise for Clicks - You'll only pay when someone clicks a link (to your website or blog, for example)

As you can see, Boosting a Post does not allow for such control, and Facebook's default bidding for Boosting a Post is to optimise for impressions.



Set some clear goals for what you want to achieve.

Many Page Admins choose to Boost Post because it's easy, but it really is like rolling a dice and letting Facebook run with your money.

In my opinion, you should use the Promoted Post option (or Facebook's Power Editor, if you're a pro), because it allows more control over who sees your ad and how you pay for it.

Which do you prefer? Promoted Posts or Boosted Posts? How do you optimise your bidding?