If you have a Facebook page for your business, you have will have seen a recent drop in the number of people seeing and engaging with your posts. Since the release of Facebook Zero (an algorithm update) over a year ago, organic (unpaid) reach for businesses has dropped significantly to ensure Facebook users are seeing more from their family and friends, rather than businesses. It is approximated that less than 20% of your audience will see your organic posts, meaning that advertising is more important than ever to increase your exposure.
Facebook has two mechanisms to promoting your businesses posts, the first is “Boosting” and the second using their advertising system “Ads Manager”. You are likely to be familiar with boosting as Facebook automatically offers this to anyone with a business page with “Boost” buttons on posts, whereas Ads Manager is a more sophisticated system not widely promoted. Both are very different, so before you decide how you are going to start advertising your business make sure you look at the pros and cons of each. We have broken these down for you to help you decide which is best for your business.
Facebook defines their Boosted posts as “a post to your Page’s timeline that you can apply money to in order to boost it to an audience of your choosing.” It is still considered an ad as it will appear in your audiences News Feed as a sponsored post.
Easy to implement
You can get an advert live on your audience’s News Feed in a few simple steps
Quick to do
As they are super simple to do, it won’t take up much of your time
Can do in-house
This is something that can easily be assigned to one of your team or even do yourself
Less functionality available
As it is a simpler option, you do not get the advanced functionality that is available through Ads Manager (see Ads Manager Pros below)
Less targeting and customisation options
This means you are likely to be hitting irrelevant audiences
Higher cost-per-result due to lack of optimisation
Due to the less advanced functionality and targeting you will be paying more per result, as you are unable to optimise to ensure you are hitting the right people with the right message
Facebook ads are created through a system called Ads Manager, which offers more advanced customisation solutions.
Advanced ad placements
Boosting a post allows you to place your advert in Facebook news feed or Instagram. However, with Ads Manager you can also have your adverts appear in Messenger, Videos, Instagram Stories, Facebook Marketplace and more!
Can specify campaign goals/ad objectives
Rather than just boosting an individual post with little or no strategy, you can choose an ad objective early on to align your campaign to your business goals. With the full ads system, you can choose objectives such as, collecting leads (Lead Generation), driving page likes, event attendance, app installs and more
Detailed targeting options
By boosting your advert, you are limited to targeting a small pool of interests, age and gender. Facebook ads provide much more detailed targeting to ensure you are reaching a highly relevant audience
For example, you can re-market to users who have visited your website (and even specific pages on your website) using Facebook pixel. Or you can set up Custom Audiences, such as users who have previously engaged with your page, a database from marketing sign ups or even users who have viewed a specific video.
Richer formatting and design options
You can maintain creative control and design adverts that fit your goals. For example, creating carousel adverts that highlight key USPs of your brand and drive users to a specific web page. Or running adverts with a specific call-to-action button (e.g. get directions, call now, shop now) to drive a specific action.
Range of optimisation and analytics options
The Ads Manager system allows you to split-test your target and optimise it throughout the time the campaign is running, unlike boosting adverts where you have no control over the spend. This allows you to keep costs low and ensure you are targeting the right people. Due to the analytics options you are also able to see what audiences, demographics, platforms, placements and more are working best to ensure your future campaigns are top notch!
Longer to implement, split-test and optimise
Due to the amount of functionality available, it does take longer to set up adverts. Unlike Boosting which only takes a few minutes.
Requires training/skill set
The advertising system is very advanced and would require training or certain skill set to use properly and ensure you are taking advantage of all the features available
Likely to require agency
As a result, you should outsource to an agency who specialises in social media advertising and are highly trained to ensure you get a strong return-on-investment. They will also be able to keep up with all the algorithm changes and system updates, to ensure you are staying ahead of the curve.
It is important to define your business objectives and what you are hoping to achieve from Facebook advertising to ensure you are choosing the right place to spend your time and money. If you are looking to simply increase engagement and reach on your page, then boosting is a nice and simple way to increase your visibility. However, if you are serious about Facebook advertising and truly want to take advantage to ensure a return-on-investment, you should be using Facebook ads manager or investing in a specialist agency to reach your advertising and business objectives.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you reach your business objectives through social media advertising, just get in touch and one of our expert team can discuss what we think will work for you.