When & Why We Recommend Boosting vs Facebook Ads

March 18, 2016

At People & Practice we often find our clients are confused by the difference between Facebook Boosting and Facebook Advertising. Since they’re both paid advertising through Facebook, shouldn’t they do the same thing? Shouldn’t they have the capability of reaching the same target audiences? Unfortunately the answer is no. We thought it would be helpful to give a clear definition of the differences between Facebook Boosting and Facebook Advertising. Here goes! Facebook Boosting is the option to increase the visibility of a social post on your business’ page. The goal is to get more people to like, comment or share your post - in other words you’re boosting engagement on a post. Boosting allows you to do minimal targeting with three distinct options: (1) People who like your Page; (2) People who like your Page and their Friends; and (3) People you choose through targeting. While options 2 and 3 seem tempting because you’re hitting a larger audience, the goal of this paid advertising isn’t to increase awareness, it’s to increase engagement. That means that if someone likes your post who hasn’t liked your page (aka someone who is a Friend of someone who likes your Page - option 2), they’ve engaged with you, but they’ll never see another one of your posts because they haven’t been encouraged to like your Page. In other words, you’re paying for clicks but not increasing your audience. That said, Boosting isn’t all bad! Engagement is important! It shows that your fans are excited about what you’re doing and boosting makes sure more of your fans are seeing your posts. Because Facebook wants you to spend money with them, their algorithm is set so that your posts don’t reach everyone who likes/follows your page. By choosing Option 1, Boosting ensures that many more of your Fans see what you have to say. Here are our rules for boosting:
1) Only boost posts once you see that they’re already doing well. In other words, don’t boost a post right off the bat. Make sure you’re fans are interested, otherwise you’re throwing money down the drain. 2) Only use Option 1 (People who like your Page) when boosting.
Ok! On to Facebook Advertising. This is a much more sophisticated tool. Because we, as users, use Facebook to broadcast everything going on in our lives from our interests to our relationships to where we’ve eaten or traveled, Facebook has a TON of data that it can use for sophisticated audience targeting. This type of targeting is only available using Facebook Ads. Some of the biggest benefits to Facebook Ads:
    • You can set your objective. Whether you’re looking to get more page likes, send people to your website, reach people near your business or get people to claim an offer - you get to set the goal of your campaign and Facebook will help optimize your Ad to achieve that goal.
    • You can narrow down your target market by specific demographics. Want to reach parents of kids approaching middle school within a 10 mile radius of your town? No problem! Want to target newly engaged couples who might want their teeth straightened before the big day? You can do that too.
    • You can hit an audience outside of your followers. You’re not stuck getting people to like your page via their friends, you can reach out to them directly.
    • They’re optimized for mobile, side bar and in-feed ads. You can run tests within the Ads Manager to see which ad location is performing best and decide to spend your money where it is most effective.
To wrap it all up: if you’re looking for engagement from your current audience - you want more of your fans to see your post, like it, comment on it and share it - boosting is great. If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, your Facebook Page itself, or to an offer - especially among a new audience - Facebook Ads are the way to go. For more help with Facebook Ads or for questions around marketing your medical or dental practice, please contact us! 347-762-6330
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