Boost Post vs Facebook Ads? What’s the Difference?

I've spoken to a couple of people who advertise on Facebook and I'm quite surprised that most of them just use Boost Post to run their ads. So, what exactly is "Boost Post"? Why is it that everybody, including Facebook itself, says Boost Post is different from Facebook Advertising?

Here are some of the key differences between Boost Post and Advertising.

Advertising Objective

For Boost Post, you only have the option to set your advertising goals to be either get more engagement or get more messages. This means your post is optimized for better post likes, post shares, and post comments if your advertising goals is to get more engagement. On the other hand, your post is also optimised to get more people to message you if your advertising goals is to get more messages.

So, is this good or bad? Well, it depends on your advertising end goal. If your end advertising goal is to get more people to purchase from your website, Boost Post may not be the best choice for you.

At the end of the day, what you get in return from your Boost Post is either high impression, high number of likes, comments, and shares, or more messages, but this does not guarantee that the one that engages with you or the one that messages you are the one with high buying intentions.


You're using the wrong advertising objective. With Facebook Advertising, there are all sorts of advertising objectives for you to choose from, all optimized to achieve a specific type of advertising goal.

Here are some of the advertising objectives provided by Facebook.

  • Conversion
  • Engagement
  • Traffic
  • Brand Awareness
  • App Installs
  • Lead Generation
  • Messages
  • More

As you can see, engagement is only one of the advertising objectives provided and there are many better and accurate objectives for you to choose from in Facebook Ads besides using Boost Post. If you want more people to buy from your website, conversion is the objective to go with. If you want to strengthen your brand awareness, brand awareness objective is the best choice for you.

Advertising Placements

Facebook advertising allows you to decide where you want your advertisement to be appeared at. Currently the 4 main platforms Facebook provides is Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Audience Network. You can choose to include or exclude any of the placement you don't want your advertisements to be displayed at. If we look deeper on each platforms, there are various placements for you to decide where you want your ads to be shown at, e.g. Facebook News Feed, Facebook Stories, Facebook Marketplace, and Facebook In-stream Videos.

So, can I do this through "Boost Post"?

With boost post, Facebook only provides you with the option to promote it on Instagram only. That's it. So, if you're looking for more control over your advertising placements, you should be looking for Facebook Advertising instead.

More Features

Now, here's what I love so much about Facebook advertising. There is more than you think you can do with Facebook Advertising, here are some of the cool things you can do with Facebook Advertising: 

  • A/B Testing
  • Custom Audience
  • Dynamic Creative
  • Detailed Targeting Expansion

A/B Testing

With Facebook Advertising, it is possible for you to do all sorts of A/B Testing. You can compare between different ad creative, audience, delivery optimizations, placements, product sets, and more to see which brings the best results. With this feature provided by Facebook Advertising, it is extremely helpful in giving you insights on what actions you can do to optimize your advertising results. Thanks to A/B testing, it helped me improve the number of purchases from my advertising campaign with the same amount of budget.

Custom Audience

Another cool thing you can do with Facebook advertising is the ability to add a custom audience to your target segment. Custom audiences can be people that visited your website in between a specific time frame. Have you ever had the experience where when you visited a random website selling random stuff, suddenly, you found out that your social media is full of advertisements from the website you just visited? That's called remarketing, and can be easily set up using a custom audience.

P.S. Do note that you would need to set up Facebook Pixel before you're able to create a custom audience.

Dynamic Creative

Dynamic Creative is something that you should try at least once. Before I started testing on dynamic creative, I'm quite skeptical on how dynamic creative will help in improving my advertising click-through-rate (CTR). After comparing with my previous campaign, I'm surprised that dynamic creative had helped a lot in improving my website CTR.

What dynamic creative does is basically creating multiple sets of creatives (banners, ad headline, ad descriptions) and Facebook will help you to form different combinations of creative that suits different types of audience. Using dynamic creative makes sense when your target audience consists of both genders.

Detailed Targeting Expansion

Detailed Marketing Expansion is also something I found useful in Facebook Advertising where you cannot find in Boost Post. Facebook Advertising provides you with an option to expand your reach out to more people where Facebook thinks it would bring better results for your campaign. When Detailed Marketing Expansion is enabled, Facebook will allocate some budget to the audience that may bring better results at a lower cost.

So, is Boost Post the best advertising option for you? At the end of the day, it still depends on what your advertising goals you want. I hope this article will clear your doubts and provide you a better understanding of the difference between Boost Post and Facebook Advertising.


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