Should I place a targeted ad or should I boost my post?

I hear and read this question so often!

This can get complex so I’m going to try to keep it simple.

Whether you “boost a post” or use “targeted ads”, you’re running an advertisement or what they call a “sponsored” post on Facebook.  It’s an ad either way.\


Let me start with this.  When you post something on Facebook, only a small percentage of followers will actually see the post – like 10-15%, or less.  I know, frustrating!   On a positive note, the more likes and comments on a post, the more Facebook’s algorithm will allow the post to be seen by more people.  This is why it’s important you share pictures or posts that get the attention of your followers.  But I’m totally digressing here.

So, on to my example (for shopkeepers)…

I co-own The Salvaged Boutique with my sister.  It’s a home decor boutique and we specialize in refurbished furniture and creative workshops.

the salvaged boutique logo

We have 4,000+ Likes on our Facebook page so this is a good-sized group I can target and the best part is it’s our ideal client!

  • AD #1 – Let’s say I have a newly refurbished piece of furniture that I know would sell quickly if enough of our followers would just get the chance to see it.
  • AD #2 – I also have an upcoming workshop that isn’t selling as quickly as others and it’s a workshop that Gardeners in our area would love.

Targeted Ad vs. Boosted Post

This can get complicated and some other people might offer different suggestions but for the sake of simplicity, I’ll explain it like this…

  • boosting posts is ideal and the easiest way to reach your own followers (and their friends too if you choose)
  • using targeted ads requires setting up a business manager (and this includes setting up some form of payment for the ads, like PayPal), it’s more complex with many, many options and numerous ways to target by location, demographics, interests, occupation, etc.

targeted ad or boosted post

How do I decide: targeted ad or boosted post?

Pretty simple.

Ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • Is it better to target your own followers or a targeted group in a certain geographical area?
  • What will bring you the biggest ROI (Return on Investment) for the least amount of money?

If you know your product and customers well, then you should be able to answer these questions pretty easily.

So for AD #1 (promoting the piece of furniture) – I would boost the post to our followers, this will give us great exposure to our most ideal client who I know likes our style and shops for furniture & home decor in our store.

And for AD#2 – I would use a targeted ad, targeting my ideal workshop attendee:  probably female between 25-65, living within a 30-mile radius of our shop, and with interests in Gardening (this too can get very specific).

To Summarize:

Boosting allows you to easily run an ad to your followers with the click of a few buttons, but doesnt have as many customization options as if you were to create a targeted ad from scratch.

So who has questions?!  What will you use next time… a targeted ad or boosted post?

We have so much more to talk about from here, this is just the beginning of Facebook Ads.  Comment below or contact me with any questions!

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