That is the question! And what’s the alternative?
Those little ‘promote’ and ‘boost’ buttons on your Facebook and Instagram posts look so appealing, don’t they?
A quick, cheap and hassle-free way to get more business? Yes, maybe. Or maybe not.
Here’s the thing. If you’re going to spend money boosting posts, you still need to be strategic. You need to know what you want to achieve and how to read the results.
And before you part with any cash you should also weigh up whether you’d actually be better putting your money into ads created through Ads Manager – Facebook’s dedicated ad platform.
But how to decide?
To help you reach the right decision for your business, I’ve put together a list of the pros and cons for both options. And of course, if you need any more help, I’m always here.
(The words ‘boost’ and ‘promote’ are used interchangeably throughout this blog – they mean the same thing.)
Boosting posts – the pros
1 It’s a breeze
Undeniably quick and easy – it won’t take a chunk out of your working day.
You can get more eyes on your business quickly and can attract people to engage with your Facebook page or Instagram profile.
2 A low cost option
You don’t need to hire a professional and pay their fees. You don’t even need training, you’ll work it out for yourself in just a few minutes.
If you’re nervous about committing budget over an extended period, boosting is a good option. Thirty pounds over six days is a good place to start.
3 You have options
The objectives and targeting choices are much better than they used to be. You can pick from a small range of options (such as asking for people to click on your link or watch your video).
You can also select your audience by location, age range and some interests.
Boosting posts – The cons
1 You can’t promote any post
You need to choose carefully. If a post hasn’t done well organically, Facebook won’t want to show it to more people – even if you are prepared to pay!
Posts with plenty of social proof (likes, comments and shares) get the best results.
2 You might not get what you asked for
Whatever objective you pick, you’re likely to get likes and comments – but not necessarily the action you asked for. Boosted posts definitely get engagement, but they don’t always create lots of website traffic or sign ups.
3 It’s easy to waste a lot of money!
While boosted posts can get more eyeballs on your business, they don’t bring in the results that strategic, managed advertising can.
You may only be spending a fiver a day, but it all adds up and your spend may not get you the results you want.
It’s surprisingly easy to shell out as much on boosted posts as it is on a short, but much more targeted, ads campaign.
Facebook Ad campaigns – the pros
1 They hit the target (again and and again)
The targeting in Facebook Ads manager is far superior to boosting options. You can select your audience by age, location, interests, life stage, level of education and more.
You can ask Facebook to find the people most likely to take the action you want them to – such as watch a video or buy a product – and you can retarget people who have engaged with your brand both on and off the platforms.
2 You get more bang for your buck
The level of reporting Facebook provides is amazing. This detailed info means you can see what’s working and what not and can improve your ads accordingly.
Ads have so much more potential for profit than a simple boosted post.
3 You don’t have to do it yourself
This could be the best reason of all!
You can hire an expert Facebook ads strategist to provide a done-for-you service, saving you hours of time and stress.
They’ll get to know your business, build your campaigns and ads, test and adjust to get the best results possible and report back to you without any strange Facebook-speak or jargon.
Facebook Ad campaigns – the cons
1 They’re a tough nut to crack
Getting down and dirty in Facebook Ads Manager is hard work. It’s complicated and you’ll need to put a lot of time in.
It’s wise to invest in training, otherwise you can get out of your depth and waste a lot of money. Alternatively you can invest in specialist help but this comes at an additional cost.
2 They’re time consuming
Even once you know how to use Ads Manager, it takes time to build campaigns, continually test ads and regularly monitor results. It can be hard to find those hours when you’re busy running a business.
It also takes time for Facebook’s algorithm to find the people you want to turn into customers. It usually takes around 12 weeks to optimise ads and start getting the best results.
3 Loads of numbers to crunch
So. Much. Data! There’s a ton of it, and what does it all mean? The numbers are labelled with words, right enough – but it can be daunting if you don’t understand what you’re dealing with.
So what now?
If reading this has made you think twice about pressing that boost button, or you want to know more about running Facebook and Instagram Ads, I can help.
I offer a range of services:
Power Hours: An hour dedicated to helping you with a specific Facebook Ad issue. It’s ideal if you’ve done some advertising before and want to up your game.
Nurture Package: This is 3 hours which can split anyway you like. It’s perfect if you like the idea of Facebook Ads and want to know how to get started, without having to invest in full ‘done for you’ service.
Ads Management: This is where you sit back and let me do it all for you! I design the strategy based on your requirements, handle the creative and monitor results whilst you sit back and relax. Or, more likely, crack on with some other part of your business!
Bespoke Training and Consultancy: I also work with organisations on a bespoke basis providing them with strategic consultancy and/or training in both paid and organic social me