Facebook wants your money.

Boost Post button That’s why they’re always trying to get you to boost your posts on your business page. But should you boost that post? And what’s the difference between boosting a post and running a Facebook ad? Read on – in four minutes or less I’ll give you the info you need to decide.

Facebook Like button Boosted posts and Facebook ads look very similar, but they’re meant to do different things. Boosting a post can reach more people who might be interested in your organization, but the end result is typically more “Likes” of your post and your page. While that may be great for building your audience, boosting a post doesn’t create actionable moments for the viewer. What does that mean?

Actionable ads offer an enticing message and the opportunity for a viewer to respond immediately in a measurable way. For example, a local church asked me to help them reach a new audience to promote their Saturday afternoon church services. It wasn’t enough to get more “Likes” for their Facebook page – they wanted viewers to show an interest in attending their Saturday services.

Facebook allows you to target ads for specific purposes. If you want to sell t-shirts, Facebook will help you drive traffic specifically to your shopping cart to sell shirts. If your business needs a “sales funnel,” Facebook will help you target qualified leads and capture their information. In the case of the church, they wanted to promote an ongoing event and get responses they could measure.

Facebook event I created a repeating event on Facebook for their weekly Saturday services and used their Facebook ads to promote those events. On its own, the event is shared by fans of the church’s Facebook page, which is free advertising. The accompanying ads are targeted to specific audiences in certain geographic areas and they allow viewers to click a button to show that they’re interested in the event.

When you indicate that you’re “Interested” in a Facebook ad promoting an event, that data is saved for later so the business can target you with future ads. As all savvy small business owners know, it’s crucial to get your message in front of the customer multiple times.

While Facebook’s Ads Manager can be complex to figure out, it allows a lot more control than a boosted post. You can create actionable moments for the audience that you can track over time, allowing you to adjust your ad campaigns on the fly and more closely target potential customers.

Need help figuring out Facebook’s Ads Manager? Send me a message.

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