Facebook Ads VS Facebook Posts - What is the difference and why you need both


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When I am called to see a potential client, I am often asked to explain why posting on Facebook and Facebook advertising is essential; and the difference between the two.

Facebook is a free medium; which is why its up-take both by end consumers and businesses has been significant. In saying that, it is an advertising medium so has a ‘pay-to-play’ model can't be ignored. Essentially anyone can create a Facebook Page for free and can post for free, but if you want to place your post or ads in-front of a particular audience, you will need to pay for it. And due to the data Facebook holds for every user, we think it’s 100% worth it.

What is a Facebook Post

  • Posts sit in reverse chronicle logical order on a Facebook page

  • Posts may organically fall into your page likes audience news feed

  • Posts can be viewed by anyone, at any time if they visit your Facebook page

  • Posts acts as a research tool for those looking to engage with your business now or in the future

  • Posts come in a variety of post types; IE photo, video, album, event, poll, etc.

  • Posts generate engagement audiences. When combined with a Facebook Ad is one of the most influential marketing tools on Facebook.

What is a Facebook Ad

  • Ads are seen on a consumer's Facebook news feed via desktop or mobile, Instagram feed or stories, or via Facebooks audience networks

  • Ads can target a specific audience type; search, custom (engagement, database, website visitors, etc.) or look-a-like

  • Ads can show on a target markets news feed with ‘sponsored’ in small writing under the name of the Facebook Page

  • Ads cannot be found on your Facebook Page

  • Ads are paid (pay-to-play)

  • Ads come in a variety of ad types; IE photo, photo carousel, lead ad, page likes, video, events, post-boost, etc.

  • Ads can be forward scheduled and served in a set time frame, on certain days and at certain times

A Facebook post is a great way to tell your brand's story. It’s social proof that you are active and serving your target market on a regular and consistent basis. Each post should be objective focused, with a steady tone of voice and have unique and creative photos or videos that accompany its copy.

When you post to your Facebook page; Facebook will show your post to a small number of people who have liked your Facebook page via their news feed; know as ‘organic reach’. Adding a paid ad component to this post will create a ‘paid reach’ audience.

Facebook ads are perfect for serving brand awareness or a direct call to action sales messages to a particular audience. For example, you might create a custom audience who has engaged with your Facebook page in the last seven days. You want to encourage them to visit your website and turn them into a customer. You build a Facebook Ad, using a photo you had taken of a product for a Facebook post a few weeks ago. Accompanying the picture is a strong sales message, ‘Save 25% with Discount Code BUYNOW’. It includes a link to the product on your website. This Ad can then be placed to people inside of that audience, and once they hit eight days, they drop out of the audience unless they engaged on your Facebook page again. 

In our opinion; Facebook is one of the most influential marketing mediums available. The data it collects, building a super targeting audience online based on interests, actions, demographics and geo-graphics has never been easier. In saying that, if your creative doesn’t reflect what your audience is interested, you can easily waste your marketing budget. 

DesignApril Ford