Facebook sponsored posts are posts that businesses pay to deliver to a larger audience than their following. They are created through a Facebook business profile and run for short-term campaigns of no longer than seven days. Businesses looking to increase brand awareness without using Facebook Ads Manager should use sponsored posts.
How Facebook Sponsored Posts Work
A Facebook sponsored post is an organic post that a business pays to distribute to users outside of their followers. Businesses can sponsor posts through their Facebook business profile by selecting a post to sponsor, setting a maximum budget for a set number of days, and choosing targeting options. By giving a post a broader reach, it’s seen by more people, leading to increased brand awareness and user engagement.
Sponsored posts are much easier to create than ads through Facebook Ads Manager. Create a post as you normally would for your business page then, once it is live, you will see the option to “Boost Post.” Then, follow the few simple steps to choose your audience, the number of days the post will be boosted and your budget.
Businesses of all sizes with Facebook business profiles can benefit from sponsoring a post. Since the Facebook algorithm dictates that only those who view Facebook soon after you’ve made a new unsponsored post will see it, chances are a standard post will have little impact on your business. By sponsoring a post, however, you can grow your organic audience significantly, increasing followers and engagement, which build brand awareness.
Facebook Sponsored Posts vs. Ads
Facebook sponsored posts (boosted posts) and Facebook Ads are often confused. As there are many similarities between them, it is easy to understand why. First, it’s important to clarify that sponsored and boosted posts are one in the same. The difference between sponsored posts and Facebook Ads comes down to their ease of use, length of ad time and supported marketing objectives.
Facebook Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts are created directly from a Facebook Business profile, making them easy to create and manage. They are designed for businesses without knowledge of Facebook Ads Manager who want to grow brand awareness and are only interested in short-term advertising campaigns.
Here are the primary characteristics of Facebook sponsored posts:
- Ease of use: Extremely simple to use as posts are boosted directed from your Facebook page without the use of Facebook Ads Manager
- Length of time for each sponsored post: One to seven days
- Supported marketing objectives: Gaining awareness, post shares and page likes
Facebook Ads are similar to sponsored posts, but are built using Facebook Ads Manager and are created with more complex targeting and budgeting options. Because of this complexity, creating Facebook Ads is more difficult for those who aren’t familiar with Facebook Ads Manager.
Facebook Ads are geared toward ongoing, long-term advertising. They can be used for short-term ads like sponsored posts, but given the time it takes to build Facebook ad campaigns strategically, they are seen as more of an investment of time.
Here are the primary characteristics of Facebook ads:
- Ease of use: Some knowledge of Facebook Ads Manager is ideal
- Length of time: Ads can stay up as long as an advertiser chooses
- Supported marketing objectives: All 11 available Facebook marketing objectives: brand awareness, reach, traffic, app installs, engagement, video views, lead generation, messages, conversions, catalog sales, and store visits
Depending on your advertising goals, Facebook ads may be a better choice for you than sponsored ads on Facebook. Despite the increased complexity, many businesses prefer the added control and capabilities Facebook ads gives them. If you want to use Facebook ads, but lack the knowledge, try using a professional ad management service. We’ve made it easy by finding you the best Facebook Ad Management Services.
Who Sponsored Posts on Facebook are Right For
Facebook sponsored posts are primarily for businesses with limited Facebook advertising knowledge who are interested in promoting brand awareness via short-term campaigns up to one week long. These posts reach anyone who has liked your Facebook page, friends of those who have like your Facebook page, or a custom audience of Facebook users who may have never heard of your business.
Facebook sponsored posts are best for businesses looking to advertise with the following goals:
- Increase page likes & shares: Sponsoring a post increases the number of people who will see your post, potentially leading to more likes and shares
- Boost one-off posts: Posts can only be boosted between one and seven days, so they’re a good option for short-term advertising
- Advertise easily on Facebook: Boosted posts don’t require knowledge of the complex Facebook Ads Manager, making them a very easy option for businesses that don’t have Facebook expertise
- Advertise affordably on Facebook: Sponsored posts are more affordable than Facebook Ads, although they offer only limited audience targeting capabilities
Facebook Sponsored Post Costs
Sponsored posts on Facebook are very affordable, with a $1-per-day ad spend minimum. The size of your sponsored post’s audience or the number of people who will see it depends on your total maximum budget. When sponsoring a post, you will input your budget. At that point, Facebook will provide estimates on how many people will see your post per day over the duration of your boosted post.
How to Create a Facebook Sponsored Post in 7 Steps
Navigate to your business’s Facebook page, create a new post or find an existing post you wish to sponsor), click the Boost Post button, and then follow the simple steps that follow. The entire process should take less than 15 minutes, depending on the time it takes to create new post content.
How to get your sponsored post up and in front of a larger audience in these seven easy steps:
1. Navigate to Your Facebook Business Page & Create a Post (or select a post to boost)
Login to Facebook and go to your business’s Facebook page. Confirm that you are on your business page by clicking the “Page” button from the toolbar in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. From the business’s home page you can either create either a new post or boost an existing post.
Create a New Post
If you’re not sponsoring an existing post, then you will need to create a post. This is no different from any other time you post on your page, so simply write a post as you would when you are creating a free post—or you can work with Hibu on creating one for you.
2. Click ‘Boost Post’
From the home screen of your business page, find the post you want to sponsor. If you just created the post, then it will be the most recent post. Look at the bottom right-hand corner of the post, and you will see a blue button titled “Boost Post” above the likes and comments section. Click that button to begin the process of sponsoring a post.
2. Select Your Goal
You will first be prompted to choose your advertising goal: website visits or engagement. In short, are you looking for your post to result in people visiting your website or engaging (liking, sharing and commenting) more on the post? Facebook will then show your post to audiences who are most likely to take the action you are seeking, based on their Facebook use history.
3. Choose Your Audience
Next, you will be prompted to choose your audience or those Facebook users to which your post will be displayed. Click the blue text “Create Audience” from the upper right-hand corner of the box to open all audience options.
Then, set your audience parameters, such as user demographics and behaviors, to create an audience that fits the profile of your ideal customer.
Learn more about how to target your audience in our article, Top 7 Facebook Ad Targeting Options.
4. Input Your Budget and Duration
Input how much you want to spend on sponsoring your post in total. The budget you choose will be spread over the number of days that you choose to run the sponsored post. For example, if you choose a total budget of $20 over five days, then you will spend an average of $45 per day. When you input your budget, you will also see the estimate of your post’s reach, giving you more insight into how many people will see it. Adjust your budget based on your desired reach.
5. Turn on Conversion Tracking
Scroll to the bottom of the Budget and Duration section and click the slider icon to turn on conversion tracking. This gives you the ability to track user engagement with your ad, giving you a better sense of return on ad spend and the effectiveness of your campaign.
6. Input Payment Information
If this is your first time advertising with Facebook, you will be prompted to input your payment information, such as a debit or credit card. If you have advertised with Facebook in the past and still have an active card on file, then you will be able to bypass this step.
7. Click ‘Boost Now’
Complete the process by clicking the “Boost Now” button at the bottom of the screen. Your sponsored post is now live:
8. Monitor & Analyze Sponsored Post
Once your post has been completed and launched, it’s time to start reviewing your data to determine the post’s effectiveness. Remember what your advertising goal was and compare the data to key performance indicators (KPIs), such as the number of likes, shares and new followers, to determine the success of your sponsored post. Based on this information, you can run new sponsored post campaigns with changes to your post copy and images, budget, duration and targeting to increase effectiveness.
Pros & Cons of Facebook Sponsored Posts
There is a lot of debate around if and when to use Facebook sponsored posts as an alternative to posting Facebook ads regularly. While they can be a great tool for some businesses, they’re not for everyone; whether or not they’re right for your business depends on a number of variables.
Before you commit to sponsoring a post for your business, consider the following pros and cons.
Pros of Sponsored Posts
- Easy to use: Facebook Ads Manager is not required, so there is little to no learning curve with boosting posts
- Reach more people: They’re a good way for your post to reach people who wouldn’t see it otherwise
- Increasing likes & shares: The marketing objective of sponsored posts is to increase your post’s reach and to increase audience engagement, which is great for brand awareness
Cons of Sponsored Posts
- Limited audience options: Ads can only show to people who have liked your page, friends of those who have like your page, or a custom audience using a condensed version of targeting options from Facebook Ads Manager
- Ad schedule limitations: Ads run for one to seven days, and advertisers cannot choose days and times for the post to display
- Very few objectives or outcomes: The only action you will see from a sponsored post is likes and/or post shares
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Kind of Facebook Post Should I Sponsor?
Any post from a business page can be sponsored, though you will want to make sure the post is high quality. It should have a strong message, use great visuals, and include an actionable item or CTA, such as a link to your website or your Facebook business page.
Which is Better: Facebook Ads or Sponsored Posts?
Facebook Ads and sponsored posts look nearly identical to Facebook users but serve different purposes for advertisers. Sponsored posts can run only run for a limited amount of time (up to 7 days) and have limited audience targeting options. They are more affordable, however, and are easy to use as they don’t require the use of Facebook Ads Manager.
Can I Boost a Facebook Ad?
Advertisers cannot pay to boost an ad. If Facebook advertisers are looking to boost an ad, they should work on improving the ad’s quality to increase rank at the same budget or increase the budget to increase audience size potentially.
What is the Cost of Facebook Advertising vs. Sponsored Posts?
The cost of advertising on Facebook is up to the advertiser. Facebook only requires a minimum ad spend of $1 per day. However, the average small business advertising on Facebook spends around $16 to 32 per day or around $500 to $1,000 per month. Sponsored posts also start with a minimum $1 per day budget and run for no more than seven days at a stretch. Get more detailed information about Facebook advertising cost, including average cost-per-click (CPC) and estimating return on ad spend in our article Facebook Advertising Cost.
The Bottom Line
Facebook sponsored posts are posts that businesses pay to reach a larger audience. They are best for businesses with limited Facebook advertising knowledge who want to run short campaigns for brand awareness. They are ideal for building followers and engagement but offer only limited audience targeting options.