Skip to main content
Keyword Research, What is the Difference Between a Boosted Post and Paid Advertisement?, pointdot

Social media has become an indispensable part of modern daily lives. More than 4.2 billion registered users employ these channels to interact with one another, access information, and conduct business.

With this massive shift in user behavior, businesses have had to adapt their marketing strategies accordingly. Most brands use various social media platforms to reach their target market effectively.

Two of the most effective social media marketing strategies are boosted posts and paid advertisements. What are they, and how different are the two techniques?

This blog will explore everything about these social media marketing styles. But first, here are their definitions:

What Is A Boosted Post?

It’s an organic post on your social media page that you “boost” by spending a designated amount of money. Doing so increases the post’s reach and visibility to a broader audience.

Essentially, you’re paying to enhance the performance of your existing content. Boosted posts are simple and easy to set up. They’re also ideal for businesses that don’t have a dedicated marketing team or extensive experience with social media advertising.

How do you create a boosted post?

  • Go to your desired social media platform (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) and select the post you wish to promote. You can boost a post that has already been published or create a new one specifically for boosting.
  • Access the platform’s dedicated ad manager or promotion tool. The name and steps of finding it will vary depending on your social network.
  • Look for the “boost post” or similar button within the ad manager and click on it. After this step, you should see the boosting settings, where you’ll set up your ad’s targeting, budget, and duration.
  • You can target your boosted post to specific demographics, interests, and behaviors on most social media platforms. Choose from pre-defined audience categories or create a custom audience based on details such as age, gender, and location.
  • Specify how much you want to spend on your ad campaign and how long you want it to run. The platform will then show you an estimated number of people you can reach within your budget.
  • Double-check your settings, and if everything looks good, click “Boost,” “Submit,” or a similar button to launch your campaign.

Your post will now have the tag “sponsored post” when displayed to your targeted audience on the chosen platform.

What Is A Paid Advertisement?

On the other hand, a paid advertisement is a more advanced form of social media marketing. The marketer creates and publishes a tailored ad campaign to reach a specific target audience.

Paid ads offer more targeting options, ad formats, and placement choices than Boosted Posts. You can create them through Ads Manager, a tool on several social media platforms.

Using paid ads provides your business with more control over your campaign objectives. They can also help generate higher engagement and conversions.

Here’s how to create a paid advertisement:

  • Access your preferred social media platform’s ad manager or advertising tools.
  • Click “Create” or a similar button. It’ll open the campaign creation process, where you’ll set up your ad’s objectives, targeting, budget, and more.
  • Select the goal you want your ad to achieve, such as brand awareness, engagement, conversions, or app installs. Social networks may offer different objectives based on their unique features.
  • Choose a campaign’s name that will help you identify and organize it within the ad manager.
  • Set up your audience targeting based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and other criteria specific to the platform.
  • Specify where your ad should appear on the platform’s network. Popular options include users’ feeds and stories. Many platforms also offer automatic placements, optimizing your ad’s placement based on your goal and budget.
  • Determine how much you want to spend on your ad campaign and the duration of the campaign. Most platforms allow you to choose between a daily, weekly, monthly, and lifetime budget.
  • Design your ad using text, images, or video. Social media platforms may offer various ad formats, such as single image and video ads, depending on their features.
  • If you want to track the success of your ad, integrate tracking pixels or other tracking methods provided by the platform. You can also include conversion tracking within your ad settings.

Click “Submit,” “Launch,” or a similar button to launch your paid advertisement campaign. Your ad will now be displayed to your targeted audience based on your chosen placements and objectives.

But how are these two advertising methods different from each other? Explore below:

Keyword Research, What is the Difference Between a Boosted Post and Paid Advertisement?, pointdot

1. Objectives And Goals

The primary difference is the objectives they help you achieve. With boosted posts, the goal is to increase the visibility and engagement of your existing content. You can measure its success by checking the number of likes, comments, and shares.

Remember, the only purpose of boosting is to improve your business exposure. The benefits you receive, such as sales, will depend on how you craft your social media content.

On the other hand, paid ads aim to enhance your specific marketing goals. These objectives include brand awareness, website traffic, lead generation, and sales conversions.

Remember, your campaigns must have explicit goals. This way, you’ll better align advertisements with your overall marketing strategy and achieve better results.

2. Targeting Options

While both allow you to target a specific audience, paid ads offer a more extensive range of targeting options. As such, they let you reach your ideal customer more effectively. You can use custom audiences, lookalike audiences, and more detailed demographic information like language and job titles.

This level of specificity allows businesses to identify their target audience better and reach them more effectively. It enables them to get their ads in front of the right people more likely to convert.

However, boosted post targeting is quite general. The options include location, age, gender, and interests. These are ideal for businesses looking to reach a broad audience or increase engagement for their content.

3. Ad Formats And Placements

Boosted posts only allow you to promote existing content on your page. While this has benefits, it can be restrictive. It limits businesses that want to create a more dynamic and compelling advertisement with various formats.

Paid Advertisements give you more creative freedom with several ad formats, such as carousel, slideshow, video, and collection ads. Such variety allows you to create unique and engaging advertisements, helping your business stand out in a crowded digital space.

With paid ads, you can place your advertisements across multiple platforms. For instance, Facebook Ads Manager allows you to publish the same advert on Facebook, Instagram, and even Facebook’s Audience Network.

In contrast, boosted posts are limited to the platform where you initially posted. They don’t give your campaign an expansive reach.

This means that the performance and monitoring of paid ads can vary based on where the ad is displayed, while boosted posts rely on users’ feeds.

4. Split Testing And Optimization

Split or A/B testing is a technique used to compare two versions of a digital marketing asset. This method allows you to create two variations of a similar advert, say A and B, and post them to two sets of audiences. You’ll then analyze their performance after a given period.

A/B testing is valuable as it allows you to make data-driven decisions based on real-world user behavior. You can identify which element works best for your brand and improve your marketing efforts accordingly.

So, how do paid ads and boosted posts differ in implementing A/B testing? Paid ads often allow you to conduct this test and adjust your ads during the campaign. As such, you can optimize your ads for better performance.

On the other hand, boosted posts typically have limited options to make changes or conduct A/B testing once the post is promoted. It makes it more challenging to optimize performance on the fly.

5. Performance Metrics And Analytics

With boosted posts, you’ll typically monitor metrics related to post engagement, such as reactions, comments, shares, and overall reach.

However, paid ads allow you to track more detailed and specific metrics. You can monitor click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), cost per conversion, and return on ad spend (ROAS).

Paid ads also have more comprehensive reporting and analytics tools. You enjoy a more in-depth insight into the performance of your paid ads and the data that can improve future campaigns. On the contrary, boosted posts generally offer a basic level of performance reporting, focused mainly on engagement and reach metrics.


Boosted posts and paid ads are the best social media marketing strategies. However, choosing between them depends on your business’s specific objectives and needs. Your expertise in social media advertising and available resources may also determine the ideal option.

If you’re not conversant with the technical bits of social media marketing, then you may want to start with boosted posts. Although they have limitations, they’re excellent for increasing your brand’s organic visibility and engagement. Creating and launching these posts is also pretty straightforward.

On the contrary, paid ads are more advanced and versatile. They allow companies to achieve specific marketing objectives such as lead generation and sales conversions. But for better results, combining both boosted posts and paid ads would be prudent.


SEO plays a crucial role in the competitive world today. It is essential to customers and businesses as customers find the correct answers there, and companies get new leads. If you want to reap the above advantages of SEO, then get in touch with us. We are professionals in the field with the expertise to make your website rank higher.


1 page marketing plan.

Since 2016, pointdot has grown by adopting the same marketing principles in this 1-page plan, into our own agency and business. We have grown from a 2-person team, to a team of 11 super talented marketers. Download your free copy of this brilliant 1-page marketing plan and begin growing your business!

download for free