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Boosted Posts vs Meta Ads - Which Should You Choose?

Boosted posts and Meta ads…What exactly is the difference? And when should you choose one over the other? We’re here to break it all down so you can maximize your social media marketing strategy on Facebook and Instagram.

Boosted posts

A boosted post is a post you’ve already made on your Facebook timeline or Instagram feed that you apply money to in order to reach a wider (yet targeted) audience beyond your current followers. You can set up boosted posts directly from your Page or Post. You’ll get to tell Meta 1) who you want to reach, 2) your budget, and 3) how long you want to run your ad (yes, boosted posts are still considered ‘ads). 

Boosting posts is a good idea for brands who want to increase engagement with your current following and build awareness more broadly. But while you can target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, targeting options are much more limited than Meta ads. Additionally, your post will be displayed as ‘sponsored’ when they appear in people’s feeds, per legal transparency.

Meta ads

Conversely, Meta ads are created and fully customizable via Meta Ads Manager. Unlike with boosted posts, with Meta ads you can choose different ad placements (Facebook Feed side ads, Instagram stories, Messenger, etc.), use specific ad objectives (leads, app promotion, or sales), maintain creative control, and use advanced targeted capabilities. 

Meta ads can be much more highly targeted than boosted posts. In Meta Ads Manager you can create unique formats like carousel, slideshow, video, and lead generation ads. You’ll have a lot more control over budgeting, scheduling, optimization, and tracking compared to boosted posts. Therefore, Meta ads are ideal for more advanced campaigns with specific goals. Audiences will also know when they’re seeing a ‘sponsored’ ad. 

So, which one should you use? There are benefits to both boosted posts and Meta ads…It all depends on your comfortability and overall brand objectives.


  • If you’re a nascent brand looking to increase awareness and engagement, try out a few boosted posts. They’re simple and straightforward, so a great entry point into advertising on social media.

  • If your brand is running a more defined campaign to boost sales, Meta ads might be more your speed. They have more advanced features and customization options, so if you really know your target audience and can take the time to plan and optimize your strategy, Meta ads are for you.

The best-case scenario would be to implement both boosted posts and Meta ads in your social media strategy. We can help put this plan into action! Schedule a discovery call with Media À La Carte and together we can lay out your social media advertising strategy.

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