Facebook advertising can be downright confusing. Many marketers stumble when deciding the right type of post to pay for for their marketing efforts. In this article, we’ll go through the big differences between these two Facebook advertising options, boosted posts and promoted posts, and which one to choose for your specific marketing goals.

Wait, why should I pay for Facebook Advertising?

You’ve might have read the news or noticed on your Page that organic reach on Facebook is slowly but surely dwindling. To be able to reach your audience and grow your marketing, you’ll now have to devote a little bit of time, money, and effort with Facebook ads.

We’re not talking about paying for every single post, just major ones you think might be engaging and helpful to your target audiences. Some guidelines to keep in mind when choosing the right content to use in ads:

  • Choose your own content, not an article someone else wrote
  • Choose helpful content
  • Choose content that gets fans to opt-in to your email list (eBooks, free downloads, webinars)

Boosted Posts

Boosted posts are available for every post on your Page’s timeline. To boost a post, just click the boost button at the bottom right side of a post. When you boost a post, you have two options for choosing your audience: “people who like your Page and their friends” or “people you choose through targeting.” You’ll also be able to set a budget.

Facebook Advertising: Boosted Posts vs Promoted Posts | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

Facebook Advertising: Boosted Posts vs Promoted Posts | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

The problem with the first option is that sometimes, friends of fans won’t be interested in your business which may cause you to lose marketing dollars.

If you want to drive some traffic to your website, choose the second option. The targeting option allows you to focus on reaching the people you want to reach as well as their location, age, gender, and up to 10 interests. Again, when you choose a targeted boosted post, the goal is usually to drive more traffic to your website where you have a great call-to-action or purpose. You’ll still pay for Facebook engagement on the post (even though you’re sending people away from Facebook).

Boosted posts with the targeting option allows you to quickly set up an ad and work best for posts you’d like to see more likes, comments, and shares on.

When you boost a post, the ad may show up in your Facebook Ads Manager where you can keep track performance, monitor, and run reports.


Promoted Posts

The other option for pushing posts out is through promoted posts. The big advantage of promoted posts is that they provide more targeting, pricing, and bidding options.

You can begin creating promoted posts by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/ads/create/ and clicking through the options to build the right ad for your business.

When you click Continue, you’ll notice that you get the same targeting options as boosted posts plus a little bit more.

Facebook Advertising: Boosted Posts vs Promoted Posts | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

Notice that the locations option is defaulted, so if you want to add more countries outside the US for example, you’ll have to add those manually.

For bidding options, you have the choice to choose cost per click or spend a max amount per day…or switch between the two. As with boosted posts, you can monitor and manage your promoted ads in Ads Manager.

Finally, what are dark posts?

One final type of post is a dark post. Dark posts don’t appear on your Page’s timeline organically to your audience, but purely as an ad.

This is handy if you’re testing out posts without seeming like you are by just posting it on your timeline.


Most marketers will go for the boosted ad because it’s more accessible and easy to set up (since it’s at the bottom right corner of a post), but it’s not the best option if you want to reach an exact target audience. If you’re trying to grow your audience, promoted posts will work best. With promoted posts, you have more options for targeting and more control over what you pay for.