Five Differences Between Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts – California Southern Baptist Convention

Five Differences Between Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts

Published Jun 27, 2023

It is common for churches to ask questions about Facebook advertising, specifically the differences between Facebook ads and boosted posts. There is a lot of confusion, and many people will use the terms interchangeably, though they are very different. Yet there are churches utilizing both successfully.

Here are five major differences between ads and boosted posts, including examples of when and why you would use each.

  1. Control Over Ad Design:
    • Facebook ads allow for more flexibility and control in the design of your ad. You can use different formats like carousels, single images, videos, and slideshows. For churches, this could be used to create engaging stories about community events, sermons, or testimonies.
    • Boosted Posts are essentially regular Facebook posts that you pay to reach a wider audience. The design is limited to what one can normally do with any Facebook post. This is a straightforward approach to ensure more people see important updates or event announcements from your church.
  2. Targeting Options:
    • Facebook ads provide comprehensive targeting options. You can specifically target who will encounter your ad based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and more. This is advantageous for churches trying to reach specific populations, such as families with children, local community members, or people who have expressed interest in religious activities.
    • Boosted Posts have more limited targeting options. You can target based on age, gender, and location, which can still help churches reach a broader local audience.
  3. Objective Options:
    • Facebook Ads offer several different campaign objectives, such as brand awareness, website traffic, and conversions. Churches can use this to direct people to a church website, increase event registrations, or encourage viewing of online sermon videos.
    • Boosted Posts primarily aim to increase engagement (likes, shares, comments) as well as brand awareness. They’re great for promoting engagement with specific posts about church announcements or events.
  4. Placement Control:
    • Facebook Ads allow you to choose where your ad will appear (e.g., Facebook news feed, Instagram stories, Audience Network, etc.). This flexibility can help churches reach audiences across different platforms.
    • Boosted Posts only appear in the news feed, limiting their visibility to Facebook users scrolling through their feed.
  5. Budget and Bidding Options:
    • Facebook Ads generally require a larger budget but offer a variety of options for budget and bid strategy. With ads, you are able to be much more selective about when your ads run and what your goals are.
    • Boosted Posts have simpler budgeting options, making them easy to use for churches just beginning to explore paid social media promotion. However, they lack the more advanced budgeting controls available with Facebook Ads.

So, How Do You Choose?

When To Boost a Post

If you are just getting started with social media advertising, a boosted post is a great option. They are much simpler to set up and can be useful if you don’t need very specific targeting. If you have an event that you want to let your whole community know about, or if you have an important announcement that you want to make sure your whole audience sees, a boost is very effective. Generally, if you want to increase your following and get more engagement from your established audience, a boosted post is the right choice.

When To Run Facebook Ads

Facebook ads allow much greater flexibility. You can run your ad as a Facebook or Instagram Story, on either Facebook or Instagram’s feed, or pretty much anywhere else on either Facebook or Instagram. The targeting is also much more robust. You can target people by interests, life events, and demographics. If you’re a more advanced user, you can create what Facebook calls a “lookalike audience,” where they will find people similar to the current audience that you have. Facebook ads are generally recommended when you want to make a bigger impact, you want to appear in places other than the Facebook feed, and you have a bit more of a budget.