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Boosted Posts vs Social Media Ads - iStock

Boosted Posts vs Social Media Ads: What’s The Difference?

Written by Kelly Kiely, Creative & Digital Marketing Specialist

When it comes to advertising on social media, there are a few different options for businesses to choose from. If you’re new to the social media marketing world, one of the most common questions people have is: what is the difference between boosted posts vs social media ads?

There are some key differences between the two. Facebook and Linkedin both offer post boosting (also known as sponsored posts) and social media advertising. Let’s dive into what those differences are, and which form of advertising is right for your business!

What are boosted posts?

Best for promoting within 

Boosted Posts vs Social Media Ads: Boosting a Facebook Post

A boosted post appears in your feed or timeline. They are created in the same place you would normally create a post, with the added option to “boost” down below. Boosting posts is a simple way to advertise, as it doesn’t require you to set up an Ads manager account. Before running a boosted post, you must fill out:

  • Your target audience
  • Your budget
  • The length of time you want the post to run


Smaller businesses often opt to use boosted posts for their social media advertising! They’re also great for companies who are just starting out. Boosted posts can be great for simply expanding brand awareness and reaching new users with a small budget. You can optimize towards the goal of engagement, awareness, or page likes/followers


The features when using a boosted post for your business are a bit limited. If you’re looking for more comprehensive features that align with other business goals, like driving sales or generating leads, you should look at implementing Facebook Ads instead!

What are social media ads?

Best for driving users from social media to a specific destination

Boosted Posts vs Social Media Ads: Facebook Ads Manager

Linkedin and Facebook ads are created in the Ads Manager for each respective platform. They are tracked separately from your organic traffic and run in the background only targeting your curated audience. Facebook and Linkedin ads can do everything boosted posts can do, and so much more!


With Facebook and LinkedIn Ads, there are more objectives and more features to choose from that will align with different business goals:

  • More specific campaign goals: there are so many goals you can choose from when creating a social media campaign. For example, you can optimize for increasing website traffic, app downloads, leads, conversions, and more!
  • Advanced audience targeting: there are many more targeting options that allow you to reach the most relevant people for your business. From interests and behaviors targeting,  to various remarketing options, social media ads allow far greater options.
  • Additional ad placements: additional ad placement options like stories, messenger, and the audience network are available with social media ads.
  • Spending optimization: Facebook and Linkedin ad managers will optimize your budget to drive the most efficient performance. Whether you have multiple variations of creative/ads or multiple ad placements chosen, Facebook will optimize your budget between these different options depending on how individuals behave.
  • Campaign reporting: Facebook and Linkedin ad managers allow you to gain insight into what ad types, audience targeting, placements, and more work best for your business. This learning is key for future campaigns to drive continued performance for your brands! Boosting your posts won’t provide the same kind of valuable insight.


Facebook and LinkedIn ads can be a bit confusing if you’ve never worked in the ads manager before. The plethora of advertising options may seem more complicated and harder to get a grip on what all that data means. 

Which One Is Right For You?

Boost A Post vs Run An Ad?

So which one is right for your business: Boosted Posts vs Social Media Ads? If you have smaller budgets and are looking to increase your visibility and brand awareness, boosting posts could be a great option for you. However, if you’re looking to drive users down the conversion funnel, then social media ads are definitely the better option. In most cases, running ads will be a much more efficient use of your budget and can produce stronger, meaningful results.

Access To Media is fully equipped to help your business run all of your social media ads and boosted posts! Our expert digital team knows all the ins-and-outs to run a fully optimized social media campaign with strong results. Contact us below to get your social media advertising campaigns started!

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