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To Boost or Not to Boost? An Intro to Facebook Advertising Options

June 6, 2019

Ah yes, the big question posed by Facebook marketers everywhere: to boost or not to boost? And beyond that, what does boosting even do? Is it worth it? How much should I spend? Is boosting the best marketing option to improve my brand awareness or impressions or conversions via Facebook?

Some business owners may be new enough to social media marketing that they don’t know what boosting is yet–that’s okay too. Let’s spend some time breaking down key facts you need to know, from what boosting on Facebook entails to alternative marketing options (e.g. Facebook Ads) and what you can hope to gain if you utilize them properly.

Note: This is not a yes or no, black and white type of situation, so buckle up for some major gray areas and a whole lot of contemplation on what’s best for your business specifically.

What is boosting?

The Facebook Business site explains it this way:

Boosted posts are ads you create from posts on your Facebook Page. Boosting a post may help you get more people to react, share and comment on it. You may also reach new people who are likely interested in your Page or business, but don’t currently follow you.

As you may have noticed, over time it’s become less and less likely that people who like your Facebook page will actually see everything you post. This is due to a variety of factors, but most of all it’s part of Facebook’s algorithm that helps them monetize the platform by encouraging business owners to spend money on increasing their visibility.

Currently, a News Feed post without money behind it (called an “organic post”) is seen by only about 5% of people who like your business page.

As frustrating as this can be, boosting is one way to make sure more people are seeing your posts, and it’s built to be a super simple option. You set your budget (minimum $1 per day) and target audience parameters, and boom: you’ve got a campaign.

Whether it’s an event announcement, a promotion, or a call-to-action, you can boost pretty much any type of content you want–but not all boosts are created equal.

There are differing opinions on the most effective ways to use boosting, but our team is in agreement with this summary

“Boosts are best for when you want to increase your following or build up a community. You’re not necessarily looking for conversions, you just want people to comment on, share, and view the video, and boosting does that job. If you’re writing good content, you can transition people from fans to customers.”

What qualifies as good content? It depends on your niche and specific brand voice, but informative articles, inspirational quotes, quick tips, videos, and even industry-related jokes are all great starting points.

At CountingWorks PRO, we know accounting and tax pros are busy and may feel like they aren’t “social media gurus.” Sometimes people simply don’t know what to publish to their social profiles in order to keep them consistently active.

For our clients, we automatically share informative articles, accounting and tax humor, inspirational quotes, informational videos and more at least 4x per week (for our Growth marketing packages, the number of posts is doubled). This means clients never have to worry about what to post or how often.

Boosting has a role to play here as well: if you do decide that this is an advertising option you’d like to utilize, you can easily go into your profile and boost any post we publish to your page. This is a great way to increase your exposure on Facebook. We’ve had clients create hundreds of interactions through boosting our automated posts, and this throws off highly valuable social signals to anyone who sees your page.

While boosting is known for providing greater visibility, increased reach, and ease of use for page owners, it doesn’t always allow you to leverage the full power of Facebook’s advertising system. Let’s touch on the more sophisticated (but also more complicated) option: Facebook Ads.

What are Facebook Ads?

Another option for increasing your visibility and reaching new audiences–and on a larger scale–is to use Facebook Ads Manager. Boosting is technically an ad as well, but Ads Manager offers users more advanced customization solutions and targeting capabilities.

For instance, you can choose different ad placements like News Feed, messenger, and Instagram stories; you can pick more specified ad objectives like store traffic, conversions, and lead generation; and you maintain more creative control in the design of your ad.

As you can see, Facebook Ads Manager offers much more in terms of control for the advertiser, meaning the ROI for your ads has the potential to be much higher.

However, the additional settings and options to choose from mean that Facebook Ads can also be much more complicated. So, how can you decide on the best course of action for your business to reach your target audience on Facebook?

When should I use Boost vs. Ads Manager vs. neither?

As we mentioned earlier, this is not a black and white situation, and the best route to take is completely dependent on your specific business and advertising goals.

The guidance offered by Facebook asserts the importance of businesses identifying exactly what they’re hoping to achieve with an ad. “For example, if you want audience engagement on your Page or to develop your brand awareness, boosting a post is a great way to maximize visibility and grow your audience. To create more advanced ad types and campaigns, use Ads Manager.”

So, both boosting and Ads Manager can be beneficial to a brand; it’s just dependent on the situation. Where a boosted post “may initially optimize for Page likes, comments, and shares or overall brand awareness, Facebook ads can optimize for app installs, website conversions, video views, shop orders and more.”

Because Ads Manager can become quite complicated–especially for new marketers or business owners without a decisive marketing plan–it is helpful to start out with boosting posts and eventually graduate to Ads Manager when you’re more comfortable with your goals, key metrics, and target audience.

In her book Facebook Ads Made Simple, Andrea Vahl recommends the following approach to boosted posts:

  • Choose a post that has a benefit for you, like a blog post with an amazing visual.
  • Wait at least a few hours to let that post get some organic reach and engagement.
  • Make sure the post is already doing well organically before deciding to boost it.
  • Optimize your Objective around your goal.
  • Add the proper targeting (like warm audience).
  • Choose your budget and schedule. 

At CountingWorks PRO, we have seen our clients find success with both boosted posts and Ads Manager. It really does depend on the level of experience, the type of business, and their specific objectives. 

The most important thing is to get clear on what you want to achieve, who you want to reach, and how much you’re willing to invest in that goal.

Have questions about where to start, or want to enlist someone to take care of your social media so you can focus on your practice? We’re here to help! Contact us today at 1-800-442-2477 x3 or set up some time to speak with one of our digital marketing experts

Pro advice, ideas, and information to help your practice get going and grow.

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Lauren Detweiler

My passion lies in storytelling. I start work every day aiming to convey the right messaging to the right people, and the role of content manager for the CountingWorks PRO team allows me to do that for both our company and clients across the country. After graduating university, I traveled and worked remotely across 5 continents for 3 years before finally landing in Berlin.

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