This is a great question that was asked by one of our members from our community, Digital Stars.
In simple terms, can someone advise what the difference is between a boosted post and a sponsored post? And how on earth does one publish a sponsored post?!
What is a boosted post?
A boosted post is a piece of organic content (a ‘normal’ post that has been made on a Facebook page, for example) that has then subsequently had some funding put behind it to show it to more (or different) people that would have seen it otherwise. The options surround it are (relatively speaking) limited compared to other ways with which you can promote Facebook content – but it is the simplest way to get content in front of a larger audience – so it’s always worth having ‘in your back pocket’.
What is a dark post?
Dark posts are named as such because – for the most part – the content (copy, visual etc.) used to create the ad doesn’t appear elsewhere (like with a Boosted Post) except for the people who are selected through targeting (so the content is ‘dark’ to those not selected). It means that you can be selected and appropriate with your language, visuals and offers to your audience because you know who is, and who isn’t, going to the content.
Now for the more observant amongst you will know that Facebook has since rolled out a feature that promotes transparency (which for the record, I think is a good thing).
But because perhaps some folks chose to abuse what targeted ads allow them to do, we’re all tared with the same brush now. So, even running dark posts, a would-be investigator can check your Facebook Page and see if you’re running – and if you are, what – ads. This means that where before you would potentially say to someone who lived in Sunderland that they can have a widget at a certain price and someone in York would never know that – now they can.
This isn’t inherently a bad thing (it’s demonstrably no different to saying “existing customers only” or “terms and conditions apply”) – but definitely, something to have on your radar.
What is a sponsored post?
So a sponsored post is really something that sits above, or at least between, both of these. The label “Sponsored” is applied to content to that has been paid to be placed there. Whether paid placements, paid increase, paid objective or paid targeting – it’s just there ‘artificially’. Don’t read anything bad into what I’m saying though – paid content absolutely has its place and we couldn’t do what we do without it (we use targeting to reach people who haven’t yet had the opportunity to hear about us).
So it’s a more generic label applied to any content that has had some ‘sponsorship’ (or, money) put behind it.
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