Facebook Ads vs Facebook Promoted Posts

The two most common ways to promote your small business through Facebook is using one of these two Facebook advertising formats.  You may wonder what the difference is, and when you should use them.

Firstly, a promoted post.  As the name suggest, this is when you promote a post that is featured on your Facebook page. The reason for doing this will be to get additional people to see the content you are adding to your page. As explained in previous blog posts, Facebook limit the organic reFacebook postach of your Facebook page posts to such an extent that only about 1 in 25 of the people who have liked your page previously will see your posts. The result is that you have to spend with Facebook to get your post seen by a wider audience – either fans, including friends of fans, or anyone you want to target.

What you will see is that it looks almost the same as a normal post – the text at the top and an image below. The only difference is that there will be a ‘Sponsored’ descriptor.

If you click on the promoted post, it will take the viewer to your Facebook page.

So if all you want to do is get a message out, and don’t really need them to do much else (except perhaps Like or leave a comment) then this is probably what you need.  The biggest advantage is that you are not limited in the amount of text you can include at the top of the post.


Next are Facebook ads.  These do not appear on your Facebook page. In other words, if a viewer sees this ad in their timeline, and go to your Facebook page, they will not see the advert (unlike promoted posts above).

facebook rkg-facebook-ad-external-shop-nowThe primary reason small businesses would use a Facebook Ad is that they have a big ‘call-to-action’ button so you can drive people to your website.

As you can see, there is a very different format to the ad. There is a short description above the visual, a headline below the visual, and a website URL.  The image is smaller, and more landscape in its proportions. The call-to-action’ button is prominent.

The primary downside to ads is the limited number of characters allowed for text. The headline is limited to 25 characters and the copy above the image is limited to 90 characters, which can be a real challenge. So the purpose of these ads is to whet the viewer’s appetite, and encourage them to hit that button.


Turf carousel

There is one other relatively new feature which may sway you in favour of Facebook ads rather than Promoted Posts:- Carousel Ads.  This allows you to use 3 to 5 images which are presented alongside each other, and on mobile devices these can be swiped through. It suits when you want to profile a number of products in one advert, or if you want to tell a story in pictures.



So the decision very much depends on what your objectives are.  If you just want to deliver a more detailed message or with a bigger visual, then a promoted post may be what you need. If you are happy with a more succinct message, and want to drive people to your website, the Facebook Ads are better.


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