Boosted Posts vs. Ads: What’s the Difference?

Rahul Maheshwari
4 min readApr 9, 2024


Pic Credits : Buffer

It’s very confusing when it comes to understanding the difference between boosted posts and ads, because both are powerful tools in their own right, but knowing when and how to use them can significantly impact your marketing strategy. In this insightful article, we’ll explore the key differences between boosted posts and ads, from their creation and customization to performance tracking and analytics. We’ll also break down the strategic timing of using boosted posts and discuss the potential disadvantages of relying solely on ads.

What are Boosted Posts?

Alright, let’s start with the basics. Boosted posts, ever heard of them? They’re like the Swiss Army knife of social media marketing, versatile, accessible, and oh-so-handy. Essentially, boosted posts are your regular, run-of-the-mill content pieces that you sprinkle a bit of magic (and budget) on to reach a wider audience. Think of them as your trusty sidekick in the quest for engagement and visibility.

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When and Why to Use Boosted Posts

Now, here’s the million-dollar question: when do you whip out the boosted posts? Well, picture this: you’ve just dropped some killer content — a jaw-dropping product launch, a heartwarming customer testimonial, or maybe just a witty meme that’s bound to get the likes rolling in. Boosted posts are your secret weapon to give that content the extra push it deserves, ensuring it lands smack dab in the middle of your audience’s newsfeeds.

Disadvantages of Boosted Posts

Boosted posts aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. Sure, they’re quick and easy to set up, but they might not always pack the punch you’re looking for. With limited targeting options and performance tracking, they can sometimes feel like shooting in the dark. So, while boosted posts can be your go-to for a quick engagement fix, don’t be afraid to explore other avenues for those big-ticket campaigns.

Difference between Boosted Post and Ads

Boosted posts and ads are two different strategies used on social media platforms to increase the visibility of content. Boosted posts are essentially organic posts that a page owner pays to have shown to a wider audience. They are simple to set up directly from the timeline and can be targeted to a specific audience based on factors like interests, age, and location. They are often used to improve the reach of a particular post quickly and easily.

On the other hand, ads are created and managed through an Ads Manager, offering more advanced targeting options, placement choices, and customization features. Ads can be optimized for a variety of objectives beyond just visibility, such as website conversions, app installs, or video views, and can appear in multiple places across the platform, not just in the feed. While boosted posts are good for increasing engagement with your content, ads provide more tools for reaching specific business goals and measuring the success of your campaigns.

Differences in Performance Tracking and Analytics

Boosted Posts:

Performance tracking for boosted posts is limited to basic metrics like reach, engagement (likes, comments, shares), and clicks.

Analytics provide insights into how the boosted post performed compared to organic reach and engagement.

Ads manager:

Instagram ads provide comprehensive performance tracking and analytics through the Ads Manager dashboard.

Advertisers can monitor metrics such as impressions, clicks, conversions, cost per result, and return on ad spend (ROAS).

Advanced analytics tools offer insights into audience demographics, behaviors, and ad performance over time.

Differences in Creation and Customization

Boosted Posts:

Boosted posts are created directly from your existing organic content, such as a post on your Facebook Page.

Customization options are limited compared to Instagram ads. You can typically only adjust the audience, budget, and duration of the boost.

Ads (Ads manager):

Instagram and Facebook ads are created through Facebook’s Ads Manager or Business Manager.

Advertisers have extensive customization options, including choosing ad format, creative elements, call-to-action buttons, and ad placements.

Disadvantages of Ads (Ads manager)

The disadvantage of using Ads Manager is that it can be more complex and time-consuming to learn and set up. Additionally, it may involve a higher cost, which might not be ideal for businesses with a limited advertising budget or those just starting with social media advertising. Ultimately, the choice between boosted posts and Facebook or Instagram ads will depend on your marketing goals, budget, and resources.

In summary, while both boosted posts and Ads manager serve as valuable tools for promoting content on Instagram, they differ significantly in creation, customization, targeting capabilities, and performance tracking. Understanding these differences is essential for selecting the most suitable approach to achieve your marketing objectives effectively.



Rahul Maheshwari

Digital Marketer at SocioBlend | Football Maniac | Value Investor | Petrol Head | Plantsman