At Worthy Marketing Group, we often run Facebook ad campaigns for our clients to build up email lists, promote events, and for e-Commerce. One point of confusion that comes up a lot is the difference between a Facebook Boost and a Facebook Ad Campaign and what you are and are not allowed to say and do when running Facebook campaigns and Boosts.

what is the difference between a Facebook boost and a Facebook ad campaign?

The quick answer to this is ‘not much’!

Facebook’s ad platform allows business pages to pay money for traffic to specified pages, events, and external URLs. That is what an ad campaign is in essence. The difference between a boost and a campaign comes down to how you place your order for that traffic. If you have a Facebook business page, you might have noticed (or used!) the little blue ‘boost’ button that pops up under your page’s posts. Click the button, make a few decisions and press boost, and you’ve set up a Facebook ad campaign! More involved campaigns are set up using the Facebook Ad Manager and now-defunct Power Editor. (You can read our article and thoughts about the blue button here.)

Here are a few basic differences between a boost and a full ad campaign:

Facebook Boost

Facebook Ad Campaign

Set up required Minimal Involved
Where to set up On a Facebook Business Page In Facebook Ad Manager
Audience Options Limited Extensive
Requires published post on Facebook Business Page? Yes No (post can be built and ‘live’ in Ad Manager)
Flexibility Minimal Extensive

At Worthy, we use the Facebook Ad Manager almost exclusively for all campaigns due to the options available. Using the Boost feature can be helpful if, for example, you’ve written a blog post and shared via your Facebook page. You can click the blue ‘boost’ button and specify a small amount of money to ensure more of your page followers will see the post than they would organically.

What’s important to remember is that even if you only use the Facebook Boost button to start your campaign, everything is still subject to Facebook’s ad guidelines. The three areas where users can get tripped up with Facebook’s requirements, whether boosting  a post or setting up a whole campaign, are:

  • Too much text in the ad image
  • Missing Privacy Page on the destination website
  • Use of language or images that are not allowed in Facebook ads

Let’s go over each point!

too much text in the Facebook ad image

Until recently, Facebook required that no more than 25% of an ad image be text, and this is a common reason ad are not approved or trigger warning messages. Overall, this rule is not too terribly difficult to manage. In our experience, the best-performing ads use photography as their ad creative so the ad looks more like a blog post and less like an ad, so we tend to not use a lot of text in our ads. If you are setting up a Facebook ad campaign via the Boost function or the Ad Manager, you can check your ad with this Text Overlay Tool. Certain types of images, such as book covers, are exempt from the text rule. If you choose to run an ad with more than 25% text, Facebook will warn you before starting the campaign and the reach of the campaign will not be as high as it would be if you were using an non-text image.

Pro tip – Resist the urge to add text to your Facebook ad images! Make your ad look like a shared blog post for the most clicks!

missing privacy page and Facebook ad campaigns

All websites should have a Privacy Page so website visitors can see how the website will use and store data. But we know that in the real world, that page often gets pushed to the backburner. If you are planning to run Facebook Ad campaigns, this will need to be done before you start. One of the cardinal Facebook advertising rules is that a Privacy Page is required. In fact, for some types of campaigns, like lead ad campaigns, you will need to include the URL to your privacy page in the campaign setup! This is one of those areas where we definitely recommend talking with your attorney, but in a pinch, you can do a Google search for ‘privacy page template’ and there are lots of free templates out there.

Pro tip – Be sure to add a Privacy Page to your website if you haven’t already!

what language and images to steer clear of in Facebook ad campaigns

Facebook has a fairly strict ad guidelines policy when running ads and the consequences can be dire — shut down of the ad account with no warning and no appeals process.

There’s a whole range of things that can trigger the ad guidelines, but the two most common language issues we’ve seen when running campaigns for our clients have to do with ‘not harassing/calling out personal characteristics’ of’ Facebook users and ‘unsubstantiated claims’. We’ll dig in below, but note — these guidelines fly in the face of typical marketing copy which tends to follow the pattern of ‘set up dire problem’/’provide miracle solution’.

Regarding not harassing/personal characteristics, the issue is that Facebook wants folks to feel good when scrolling. So the copy on ads and the ensuing landing pages that are getting paid traffic needs to keep that in mind. Harassment includes calling out people or targeting personal characteristics and/or ‘making them feel bad’. Saying things like ‘want to lose weight?/get energy?/get out of debt?’ are frowned upon because it implies the Facebook user is overweight, tired and poor. Advertisers also can’t say things like ‘meet other Christian singles’ which would call out a user’s faith — in this case it’s the use of ‘other’ that can trigger the issues and saying ‘meet Christian singles’ is more in alignment with the guidelines as it doesn’t imply that the Facebook user is also a Christian single.

Regarding unsubstantiated claims, health and business coaches need to be extra careful! Not allowed images/language include showing before/after photos of weight loss or saying something like “How you can build a six-figure business.” — instead, say “How I built a six-figure business” The prior implies a claim that Facebook believes the advertiser can’t back up. The latter is telling a personal story, which is different and allowed.

One of the easiest ways to make sure you are on the up and up is to avoid the use of the word ‘you’ in ad copy. While the word ‘you’ is not specifically prescribed, typically when we use the word ‘you’ in ad copy, it’s followed by something we probably can’t say because it’s likely to either call out a negative (how you can lose weight/get out of debt/get more energy) OR make a wild claim (how you can make a million dollars, find the love of your life, contact alien life).

Pro tip – As a rule of thumb, avoid using the word ‘you’ in your Facebook Ad copy to steer clear of violating Facebook’s advertising guidelines.

Like what you’re reading? Then opt-in to get the Worthy Wednesday newsletter, a monthly update featuring the latest tips and tricks to help you get your WORTHY message out to the world.

the difference between a Facebook boost and ad campaign and what language is allowed in each type of campaign | The Worthy Marketing Group Blog