Boosted Versus Promoted Facebook Posts: Are They Different?

  • February 16, 2015

advertising on facebook

You have a Facebook page and you feel like it is time you started to really take advantage of their provided advertising options. Good for you! They have one of the better ad campaigns for those who are working on a more limited budget, even if some of their policies regarding how your followers see your post on their feed may seem questionable.

But looking at the different ways you can improve visibility, you might have noticed something a bit confusing: promoted and boosted posts. The fact is, first we had sponsored stories, then we got promoted posts, now we also have boosted posts 🙂 No wonder most small business owners are actually confused.

Here’s the truth: Both work basically the same. They let you push your business page update for it to be seen by more fans (bypassing Facebook EdgeRank) The confusion results from Facebook’s tradition to keep coming up with always new terms for it. It seems now they tend to be calling both “boosted” update but there are still some differences you should be aware.

The main difference lies in where you start…

Organic Reach, and Why You Shouldn’t Rely On It

Organic reach is a part of most social networks, and still the status quo on sites like Twitter. Facebook used to have quite a bit of it, and being seen was a matter of how hard you worked to push your own content.

A while ago, Facebook decided to start pushing the profit side of things by lowering this organic reach capability for brands. Instead, users who had business pages would have to start paying to increase visibility, and the best results would come from those that paid more. To some extent, this left it within the realm of large corporations, and left small businesses and sites in the dust.

The good news is you are not competing against these massive brands. You are just trying to get seen within your own niche and level, making paid ads still a benefit. You just need to know which posts should be pushed, and whether they should be promoted or boosted.

Posts you should promote are:

  1. Put money behind posts that will get long-term views, and are likely to give your users something special they can re-share.
  2. Invest in your site special offers or updates. If you have a limited budget, you can’t afford to invest in each update, so it’s a wise idea to invest into brand-sensitive news.

Promoting a Post

Start here, choose the page you want to work with and select “Page Post Engagement”


Promoting a post is basically advertising a post with a more targeted demographic and more say in where your money goes. Since you are given more control in what audience is being promoted to, it is great for the more advanced ad users who have done research to find their proper user base.

For payment options, you are given two common options: Pay per click (PPC fans tend to use Facebook a lot), plus the daily budget that the ads won’t go beyond.

If you have a lower budget with better analytics, and you want to make sure you can really focus on a specific group, you should go with promoted posts.

Related: Don’t Boost! Promote Facebook Posts Properly to Increase Reach

Boosting a Post

Boosting works the same way (in terms of what it does and what you pay for). It’s just the simpler way to set things up.

You just go to your page, select the update you want to push and select “Boost”:

boost posts facebook

If that doesn’t give you what you want, you may want to select the other option to target. But it won’t give you as much control as promoted posts will, instead letting you pick limited demographic information and keywords.

Budget is also more basic. You will put in your maximum budget, and it will tell you how many people can be targeted within that set amount. Unfortunately, you won’t be given a very solid number. The range can be anywhere from within hundreds to hundreds of thousands of the people who will see your ad.

When you use boost for posts, you will have to watch your numbers daily to get an idea of your reach. It is still a great choice for people who would rather just set it up and leave it, without specifying their demographic.

Tips For Properly Advertising Through Facebook

  • Properly establish your goals. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve will help you to create an ad campaign. Ask yourself what audience you want to reach, how many people you want to see the ads within the first month, and in every month until then. Also focus some attention to what kind of interaction you want to see as a result, such as content shared, links clicked to your official site, regular readership growing, more products sold, etc.
  • Don’t increase or decrease your budget too often. These things take time, and results will be different for everyone. You need enough time to ascertain how well your ads are working, and whether or not Facebook is the right platform for your social media focus. Try not to change your budget more than once every three months, at most.
  • Read more about social media ads and how Facebook fits in here.



Facebook is a great platform for promotion if you use it the right way. Which means knowing how to be seen, and how to push certain content onto a wider audience. It will take time, trial and error. Don’t give up, even if you feel you should be seeing great returns. Remember that it can take a few months to begin growing a Facebook page, even for a larger brand.

Do you have any tips? Which Facebook ad type do you use? Have you seen good returns? Let us know in the comments.


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