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Boosted Social Media Posts vs. Paid Social Media Ads: Which Engagement Method is Right for You?

Updated: May 31

Graphic of social media related icons, representing how social media engagement methods like boosted posts and social media ads can increase brand awareness and drive conversions.

Social media has become a huge factor in brand marketing strategies, largely due to the campaign opportunities and increased exposure that social media offers. Though social media posts are a great way to keep your followers updated on your brand, simply relying on organic (free) social media posts (and hoping to go viral) can cause your brand to go into a “social media rut.”

Sometimes a brand’s social media just needs a little push in the right direction to get the desired engagement- that’s where social media boosting and paid social media advertising come into play. Boosted social media posts and social media ads are similar methods of increasing engagement but each have key differences that can help you elevate your brand’s presence on social media. Let’s see which promotional method is right for you!

“Navigating social media can be tricky, but one of the best ways to ensure that your brand’s important content is reaching the right audience is through social media boosting and paid social media ads. Let’s talk about it!” - Bret, Marketing and Business Development (aka social media guru and content king).

^This is Bret from the EWISE team. He’ll be adding his two cents on the boosted posts vs. social media ads discussion!

What Are Boosted Social Media Posts?

When a brand chooses to boost a social media post, it is because the brand wants to increase reach and engagement on one particular post. Maybe this particular post is a special announcement about the brand that deserves greater attention outside of the brand’s current social media following but doesn’t necessarily warrant a full-blown advertising campaign. In this instance, the brand would make the post and boost it with a little bit of money to extend the post’s reach.

Boosted posts target users based on demographics and interests, which ensures that the content reaches individuals who are more likely to engage with it. This makes boosted posts particularly effective in generating engagement metrics such as likes, comments, and shares. Brands commonly choose to boost posts on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, and boosting posts on social media is relatively easy. With just a few clicks, brands can boost a post and quickly expand their content's reach. This ease of use makes boosted posts an attractive option, especially for businesses with limited resources or time constraints.

What are Social Media Ads?

Similar to boosted social media posts, paid social media ads are another great way for brands to spread their message to social media users beyond their existing followers. Social media ads are more commonly associated with campaigns, showcasing a series of related messages to promote a brand’s products, services, or special offers.

Social media ads also identify users based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and other criteria. These ads are particularly effective in generating engagement metrics as well as conversions. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more offer social media advertising options.

“In my experience, I’ve found that social boosts are great for increasing exposure and engagement on one particular post. Social boosts are more of a one-time thing. On the other hand, social ads are on a campaign basis, so this method is designed to be more long term.”

When Should You Use Paid Social Media Engagement Methods?

Boosted social media posts and paid social media advertisements can be highly effective in specific scenarios where you want to increase engagement and visibility. Here are some situations where these engagement methods are particularly advantageous:

Promoting Important Announcements or Events

If you have an upcoming product launch, a special event, or any significant announcement, boosting a post or running an ad can help ensure that the information reaches a broader audience. By targeting users who are likely to be interested in your industry or reside in your local community, you can create buzz and generate engagement around your announcement.

Testing Content Performance

Ad campaigns and boosted posts are excellent ways to gauge the audience's response to different types of content. By boosting multiple posts with varied content formats, visuals, or messaging, you can quickly analyze which resonates best with your audience. This data can guide your future content creation and optimization strategies.

Building Brand Awareness

When establishing a new brand or expanding your reach to a wider audience, paid social media strategies can help increase brand visibility. By targeting users based on their demographics, interests, or behaviors, you can introduce your brand to potential customers who may not be familiar with your products or services.

“One of the biggest reasons why boosted posts and ads are so effective is because you are targeting a specific demographic, and you’re targeting users who are not currently following your account. When you pay social media platforms an allotted amount of money, you increase your brand’s chances of gaining new followers. Even more so, you generate more opportunities for your target audience to become more familiar with your brand the more they see your boosted post or ad.”

Which Social Media Engagement Method is Right for Your Brand?

When deciding between boosted social media posts and paid social media advertising, it's crucial to align your choice with your marketing objectives, resources, and target audience. At EWISE Marketing and Communications, we believe that these factors can help you best determine which social media engagement method is best for your brand:

  • Budget: Boosted posts generally require a lower investment compared to paid ads, making them suitable for businesses with limited advertising budgets.

  • Objectives: If your primary goal is to increase engagement and amplify the reach of one particular post, boosting can be an effective and cost-efficient option. However, if you seek more advanced targeting options and a wider range of campaign objectives, paid social media advertising may be the better choice.

  • Time and Expertise: Boosted posts are quick and easy to set up, making them ideal for businesses with limited time or expertise in social media advertising. On the other hand, paid ads require more involvement in terms of campaign creation, optimization, and monitoring.

Social Media Promotions that Help Your Brand Thrive

Boosted social media posts and paid social media advertising are both valuable tools in any brand’s social media strategy, and each method has its own strengths and considerations. By evaluating your objectives, resources, and target audience, you can determine which method is best suited for your business and develop an effective social media engagement strategy that aligns with your goals.

“All in all- boosted posts and social ads are both very helpful in increasing brand awareness, engagement, and driving conversions. It’s a great way to direct people to landing pages, products, and websites that you want them to see. Happy posting, everyone!”

Need help with your social media strategy? We can help take your social media posts to the next level! Contact us!


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