‘Facebook ads aren’t right for our company’ and other excuses

When we talk about Facebook Advertising with executive teams and managers, we usually get one of two responses:

  1. Facebook isn’t for me, so it isn’t for my business
  2. Yeah, we’ve boosted posts before, but I couldn’t see that we got anything out of it

Before you make a decision NOT to advertise on Facebook, it’s important to get to know a little more about HOW, WHEN and WHY it works.

Think of Facebook as the biggest database of humanity.

Think of all the DATA they have.

Now think of how that data can be used to reach exactly the people you want to talk to.

Facebook advertising (and the extended Audience Network, which brings you the power of Facebook’s data but outside of Facebook) is a massive opportunity for your business.

Stop boosting your Facebook posts

I am going to start right off by saying that I am a big fan of Facebook and Facebook advertising for business. In spite of all the negative press about Facebook (from the end of organic reach, to the old Cambridge Analytica data scandal) I still believe strongly in the platform and its ability to help your business.

But there is one thing I want you to stop doing immediately.

I want you to stop boosting your posts.


Stop it.


Right this minute.

Resist the urge to do the easy thing, the thing Facebook wants you to do as it is easy money for them. But, it is not necessarily smart money for you.

I am not saying don’t advertise inside Facebook. Far from it.

I want you to advertise inside the platform, but I want you to do it in a strategic and more cost effective way. I want you to advertise inside Facebook but I want you to focus on the outcome, what is the result you want to achieve. Getting more people to see your post has its place, but it’s often not the only reason or the right reason.

Why just boosting posts within Facebook doesn’t work

Successful Facebook advertising means bringing together the right combination of

  • The right objective
  • The right audience
  • In the right places
  • At the right budget
  • For the right time with
  • The right copy.

When you boost a post, you can’t actually do all of those things.

For a start, you can’t choose an objective.

Ask yourself these questions,

  • What do you want people to do,
  • What is the result you want,
  • Do you want more traffic to your website, more email signups, more sales, more video views or just more engagement with the post?

When you boost a post, the objective is set — it is just engagement. That is OK if you want to get more likes or comments on that post. But will it turn into subscribers, or website visitors or buyers?

Generally – the answer is no.

How the Facebook algorithm and Facebook Ads work together

The reason for this is that Facebook’s algorithm knows who to show ads to based on what they do inside Facebook, i.e. it looks at how they behave inside Facebook.

  • Do they click through to websites? 
  • Do they buy from posts?
  • Do they read posts or are they just clickers?

This is called optimisation and Facebook does this each time you advertise inside their platform, it selects people from within your audience choice that will respond best to the kind of ad objective you have chosen.

So when you just boost a post, Facebook sets the objective as Engagement, meaning that it will only show the boosted post to those people within your chosen audience, most likely to like the post, comment on the post or share the post. Even if the post is one with a link within it.

If you have a post talking about a product or service you sell, then boosting the post is not a useful choice at all, because what we want people to do is click through and visit the website page we are talking about. We need to be clear on what we want people to actually do.

If we want people to buy a product, then we need to tell Facebook that is our objective from the very beginning, otherwise, our ads will fail. This is the single biggest reason why ads fail inside Facebook or why they don’t seem to get traction. We want people to do one thing — i.e. visit our website, but we ask Facebook to send us people that are only like to like our post and not go anywhere or do the next step.

But what if you have one of those awesome posts that are resonating with your audience and Facebook is prompting you to boost it?

Don’t do it!

Learn how to run effective, targeted Facebook ads instead.


Leanne O'Sullivan

Digital Sherpa & CEO
I help businesses grow through strategic digital marketing.​ I am the founder, CEO and Digital Sherpa of Adventure Digital – a marketing agency based in regional NSW, servicing clients all over the Australian eastern seaboard. I’ve made it my life’s mission to help you grow a sustainable, enjoyable and profitable business.

Want to get started but aren't sure how?

Arrange a 20 minute discovery call. Let us help you get on the right track.