“I’m already doing Facebook advertising.”

We hear this response frequently when talking to clients about their social media marketing. But nine times out of ten they aren’t doing paid social—they’re boosting posts.

Yes, there’s a difference …and it could mean you’re wasting your hard-earned dollars.

What is a Boosted Post?

Do you ever receive messages from Facebook and Instagram telling you your organic post is performing x times better than your other content followed with a call-to-action and a bright blue “boost” button?

Sounds awesome, right?

Yes, it can seem like a quick and easy way to increase your post engagement in the form of likes, comments and shares. Facebook has even done the heavy lifting by auto-suggesting a budget and date range. All you have to do is agree.

And, of course, once your ad has completed. Facebook will recommend that you extend your campaign.

You are limiting your campaign’s potential by boosting. You miss the targeting of the inbound funnel when you boost this way. Facebook’s goal is to sell out their remnant advertising space.

You can’t control your hard costs for engagement or traffic with a simple boost, your targeting options are drastically limited and so is the potential success of that ad as a result.

What is a Boosted Post Ad?

A boosted post ad, on the other hand, is created in the backend of Ads Manager.

In this situation, you can pull in that same organic piece of content into an ad unit with a larger selection of ad objectives, whether you’re hoping to build awareness, consideration or conversions.

It also allows for a much richer, detailed audience targeting. Rather than simply geo-target and rely on behaviours, interests and demographics, you can create lookalike audiences, retarget website traffic or mailing list customers, interact with your most engaged social followers and more.

You also open up the number of placements where your ad can appear and set hard rules for what your goal should cost you, whether that’s bid, target or cost caps.

This type of campaign provides a better chance of converting your customers—and at a fraction of the cost of the suggested boost spend.

Sounds awesome, right?

It is.

TJ Joshi is a Social Advertising Strategist at Glacier Media Digital.