Want to see how well Facebook Ads works compared to Boosted Posts? I’ll show you how I worked on a real Facebook Ads account and the different results I got. So let’s get started!

What’s a boosted post?

A boosted post is an organic post that is already on your timeline, that you decide to “boost” to reach and attain more people and engagement on your post. As you can see, it’s conveniently located in the bottom right-hand corner of your post so that you can advertise at a click of a button on Facebook.

I know, it looks much easier (and cheaper) clicking on that little blue “Boost” button but the truth is that the extra viewers you’ll get aren’t likely to respond to your message. They won’t make any sale, or subscribe to your newsletter, and so on.

When I talk about the importance of having a Facebook Business Ads accounts, especially for eCommerce businesses, people often come back to me with something like:

“I’m already advertising on Facebook, I boost posts”

No, that’s not Facebook Advertising at all!

Obviously, there is a little bit of confusion about what the two strategies are. I want to be very very clear about it: boosting posts is not professional advertising and, most importantly, it is a waste of money.

You can improve your posts’ reach with boosting, but that improvement is only superficial. You won’t have a reasonable return on your investment.  This means no growth for your business! And that’s because you have no clear strategy and your targeting options are extremely limited.

What are Facebook ads?

With Facebook Business Manager (aka Facebook Ads), you can take advantage of all of Facebook’s tools in one place. You can better control admin rights for each employee and partner and manage ads, product catalogues, pixels, and more.

You can centralize all your company’s Facebook resources and information in one place and have 100% control of your marketing strategy.

Using Facebook Ads, you can have access to many ad types and select your campaign goals, analyze data and create audiences and reports.

But let’s stop talking and have a look together at real data.

Look at this small eCommerce account. As you can see it only spent around £800 last month. That’s a very tiny budget!

So there’s no need to spend a lot of money to get Facebook Ads working properly. Many business owners think that boosting posts is better because it is cheaper, or perhaps they believe they can’t afford Facebook Ads, but that’s not the case.

In the last 12 months, this client ran both Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts. I created Facebook Ads using their Facebook Ads account while the Social Media Manager created some boosted posts; all of them will display here on the Facebook Ads account interface.

So I’m going to compare the results we got. I filter out all the ads that were created by me to analyze the results, and then I’ll do the same, and I filter out all the ads that are boosted posts.
How do I do it?

When applying the filters, I remove everything that says “Post” or “Instagram Posts” in the title because this is how boosted posts appears on the Business Manager interface.

Facebook ads results

Let’s see the results. Let’s start with ad spend: in the last year (1st March 2019 to 29th February 2020) this client spent around £16,000 on Facebook Ads, which is not a huge amount considering that some brands spend the same amount in months or in weeks. It means this client spent around £1,300 only per month.

Then, what have been the results? What was the return on the invested budget? Look here, the conversion value in the last 12 months is almost £80,000.

This means that the client spent £16,029 and got back £78,851, for each £1 spent they got back £5. And that includes the first months of last year when the ads were not fully optimized yet.

1,449 sales from Facebook Ads, they spent around £11 for each sale, got more than 40,000 page views and 3,707,186 impressions on Facebook and Instagram.

Now, let’s have a look at what are the results from boosted posts.

Boosted posts results

In the same period, the client spent £900 on boosted posts and had 4 sales totally. Each purchase cost £226.
He also got back less than the invested amount: £211.

Had he spent that £900 extra in Facebook Ads rather than Boosted Posts, we would have gotten around 80 more sales, which means £5,000 more in a single year!  This can make a big difference for a small business.

Conclusions

So, which one provides a higher ROI?

As you can see, Facebook ads win almost every time. Boosted posts are simply not complex enough.

Facebook boosted posts work well for certain campaigns, but they are always going to be limited when compared to Facebook ads. Facebook ads, on the other hand, provide nearly limitless customization options and have twice the number of targeting tools to utilize. The data and choices are clear: Facebook boosted posts pale in comparison to Facebook ads.