Facebook marketing can be an advantage for small to medium-sized business owners, but it’s important to understand what the social network offers before spending any hard-earned dollars. For starters and maybe the harsh reality of posting (as opposed to paid advertising) on a Facebook business page news feed is that only the folks who have liked the page may see it. Wait, was that “… they MAY see it?” Yes, it is unlikely that even 10% of your followers will ever see posts hit their news feed.
Less than 10%? Yes, that is unless you a) boost or b) advertise. And while Facebook can offer some of the most incredibly specific ad-targeting ever, the days where all voluntary followers just see your posts in their feed are long gone!
How Does Facebook Advertising Work: Boosting Vs Advertising?
First, let’s understand how Facebook Advertising works. While regular posts demonstrate an effort to humans who visit and, in some cases search engines who look at an entity’s entire web presence, the posts will get limited visibility on Facebook (i.e. amongst like-followers) without advertising. In order to broaden visibility on Facebook, a business has no choice but to invest either via ‘boosted posts’ or Facebook Ads Manager.
Either option offers an unparalleled ability to target custom audiences including based upon the most highly specific interests or characteristics. So let’s take a look at these options and what they can offer.
Boosting a typical post to someone’s news feed is going to have a cost, but it will (at least) guarantee the post reaches all like-followers. Plus it can push a post way beyond those followers to a broader and hyper-targeted audience. You can also boost a post into Instagram.
It is the simplest way to advertise, but different from Facebook Ads in that it does not offer or require creation in Ads Manager with all of its’ customization features. Boosting a post gets right to the point: pick a target audience, a budget to reach that audience and a timeline to spread it over. Once launched, the target Facebook user will see the post on her or his news feed during that timeline. Boosts are similar to Facebook Ads ONLY in that they require a budget.
Facebook advertising goes further than a ‘boost’. These are created differently, in the FB Ads Manager. It offers a ton of different customization options. Whereas boosted posts might keep a brand on the radar of those who ‘liked’, maybe some shares from them too, plus reach more targeted folks, Facebook Ads are going to help you to drive website conversions and sales.
With Facebook Ads, there’s not only the choice of placement into lots of Facebook News Feeds, but into side ad opportunities, messenger ads, Instagram stories, and to the Audience Network. FB Ads Manager offers design options. You can create a carousel ad, call-to-action buttons to help motivate the audience, and enter specific descriptions too. Going beyond interest, age, and gender, the FB Ads Manager supports overlapping, lookalike audiences, and more. The key difference being the Ads Manager offers options to better support real conversions and sales.
Facebook ads can be a powerful marketing tool for your small business. With measurement and unparalleled ability to target based on specific interests and custom audiences, Facebook ads can be the difference maker—to help your business cut through the noise, reach new customers, and grow the business.
Understanding all of the above, your business should decide what it wants to achieve in FB first and then choose accordingly. If you want audience engagement and brand awareness, boosting a post will do it. It may even grow the audience, but if the goal is conversions and sales, then consider more advanced ad types, tools, and campaigns with Ads Manager.