Boosting Posts vs. Running Ads| Which is Best: A Complete Guide

In today’s digital age, where the online marketplace is bustling with businesses vying for consumer attention, the art of effective advertising has become more crucial than ever. Two popular methods that businesses use to reach their target audience on social media platforms are “boosting posts” and “running ads.” Each approach has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, making the choice between the two a critical decision for any business aiming to optimize its online presence. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the differences, benefits, and considerations of both boosting posts and running ads to help you make an informed choice for your marketing strategy.

Understanding the Basics:

Before we explore the intricacies of boosting posts and running ads, let’s establish a foundational understanding of these concepts.

Boosting Posts:

Boosting a post is a feature provided by most major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It allows you to take an existing organic post on your page and pay to have it shown to a wider, targeted audience. Essentially, you are amplifying the reach of your content without creating a separate ad campaign.

Running Ads:

Running ads, on the other hand, involves creating custom advertisements with specific objectives and targeting options. These ads can take various forms, including image or video ads, carousel ads, and more. Running ads gives you more control over the creative elements, audience targeting, and campaign parameters.

The Decision-Making Factors

Now that we’ve established the fundamental differences between boosting posts and running ads, let’s examine the key factors to consider when deciding which approach is best for your business.

1. Objective and Goals:

The first step in making this decision is to identify your marketing objectives and goals. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, generate leads, or boost sales? Boosting posts is generally better suited for goals related to engagement and brand awareness, while running ads offers more flexibility for a wide range of objectives, including conversions and lead generation.

2. Audience Targeting:

Precise audience targeting can make or break your advertising campaign. If you have a clear understanding of your target audience and want to reach them with tailored messaging, running ads is the way to go. Social media platforms provide detailed targeting options based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and more. Boosted posts offer less control over audience segmentation.

3. Budget and Cost-Effectiveness:

Budget considerations play a significant role in deciding between boosting posts and running ads. Boosting posts is often less expensive upfront, making it an attractive option for businesses with limited budgets. However, running ads can provide better cost-effectiveness if executed strategically. You can allocate budgets more precisely and measure the return on investment (ROI) more accurately with ad campaigns.

4. Creative Control:

The level of creative control you desire is another critical factor. If you want to create visually compelling ads with customized messages, running ads gives you the freedom to design creative assets that align with your brand’s identity. Boosted posts are limited to the existing content, with minimal customization options.

5. Measurement and Analytics:

Measuring the performance of your advertising efforts is essential for optimization. Running ads offers robust analytics and reporting tools, allowing you to track key performance metrics, such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and ROI. Boosted posts provide basic insights but lack the depth and detail that ad campaign analytics offer.

Making the Decision

The decision between boosting posts and running ads ultimately depends on your specific business goals, budget, and resources. Here are some scenarios in which each approach may be more appropriate:

Boosting Posts:

You have a limited budget and want to increase brand awareness or engage with your existing audience.

You’re looking for a quick and straightforward way to give your existing content a boost in visibility.

You prioritize simplicity and ease of use over advanced targeting and analytics.

Running Ads:

You have specific marketing objectives, such as lead generation, conversion, or website traffic, that require precise targeting.

You have a substantial budget allocated for digital advertising and want to maximize ROI.

You’re committed to measuring and optimizing your ad campaigns for long-term success.

Tips for Success:

Regardless of whether you choose to boost posts or run ads, here are some essential tips to ensure success in your social media advertising efforts:

1. Define Clear Goals:

Set specific, measurable, and achievable goals for your campaigns to track success effectively.

2. Audience Research:

Conduct thorough research to understand your target audience’s demographics, interests, and pain points.

3. Compelling Creatives:

Invest in high-quality and engaging creative assets, such as images and copy, to capture your audience’s attention.

4. A/B Testing:

Continuously test different ad variations to optimize performance and discover what resonates best with your audience.

5. Budget Management:

Monitor your budget closely and adjust it based on campaign performance to maximize your return on investment.

6. Regular Analysis:

Review campaign analytics regularly to identify areas for improvement and refine your strategies accordingly.

7. Stay Updated:

Stay informed about the latest trends, features, and changes on social media platforms to stay competitive.


Boosting posts offers a quick and accessible way to increase the visibility of your content and engage with your audience, making it an excellent option for businesses with limited resources or those seeking simplicity.

Running ads provides advanced targeting options, creative freedom, and in-depth analytics, making it the go-to choice for businesses with specific marketing objectives and larger budgets.

Ultimately, the most successful social media marketing strategies often incorporate a mix of both approaches, strategically using boosted posts for brand awareness and running ads for targeted, conversion-driven campaigns.